Bali-bound ship turns back to Aus amid COVID outbreak

A cruise ship bound for Bali has been diverted to Fremantle following a COVID outbreak on board.

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth left Sydney on 15 November, stopping at Arlie Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas and Darwin, and was set to arrive in Bali today before heading to Perth as part of a 17-day trip.

The itinerary was derailed when between 10 and 15 per cent of the ship’s more than 2000 passengers tested positive for COVID, the Western Australian government told ABC News.

A spokesperson for Cunard said the decision to axe the ship’s stop in Bali followed ongoing conversations with Balinese authorities.

“In light of this, we will sail into Fremantle in the coming days as planned,” the spokesperson said.

The ship is expected to arrive in Fremantle on Wednesday 30 November.

Cunard’s parent company, Carnival Corporation, recently reintroduced vaccine and mask mandates on its Australian ships in light of a recent spike in case numbers across the country.

The spokesperson said 95 per cent of passengers over the age of 12 were required to be vaccinated, with the other five per cent set aside to allow for people with medical exemptions.

Free RAT tests are also available to all passengers on board Queen Elizabeth and those who tested positive are not allowed to leave their mandatory five-day isolation period until they returned a negative test.

The news comes just weeks after Majestic Princess docked in Sydney Harbour with more than 800 cases of COVID on board, prompting NSW Health to set the ship alert level at tier three, the highest possible warning.


Image: Queen Elizabeth (iStock/On-Air)

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