Cruise

“Cruising is coming back to Queensland”: Palaszczuk, Carnival, and Princess reveal restart plans

With cruising finally coming back to Australia, the Queensland Government announced plans to revive the cruise industry as Carnival Australia and Princess unveil sailing plans.

This comes after the Federal Tourism Minister, Dan Tehan, predicted cruising would return on 17 April, which Greg Hunt, the Federal Minister for Health, has confirmed.

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the state would soon finalise health protocols with the Commonwealth, NSW and Victorian Governments to ensure the return of the state’s $1 billion cruise industry.

“Cruising is coming back to Queensland,” Palaszczuk said.

“Rebuilding Queensland’s tourism industry is central to our plan for economic recovery.

The Palaszczuk Government has also completed a $127 million project to widen and deepen the shipping channel in Cairns and is now delivering a $232 million upgrade to the Port of Townsville.

QLD Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said health protocol is still being confirmed, but would likely require passengers and crew to be vaccinated, COVID testing and mask-wearing before embarking and when disembarking, and more communications between cruise lines and passengers about health protocols and COVID-safe practices.

“The industry is one we want to see resume as soon as practicable but not at the expense of proper health requirements and procedures,” Hinchliffe said.

In light of the announcement, Carnival Australia is unveiling plans for its ships to make about 140 calls to Queensland ports this year in a commitment worth an expected $165 million to the state’s economy.

The organisation’s homegrown cruise line, P&O Cruises Australia, is set to lead cruising’s comeback in Brisbane, which has the only purpose-built cruise terminal in Australia with the new Brisbane International Cruise Terminal.

Two weeks later, Princess Cruises Coral Princess will begin her maiden Australian deployment in Brisbane, setting sail on 16 June with a three-night cruise, the first of 21 cruises from the Queensland capital in 2022/23.

In a move worth an estimated $60 million to the Queensland economy, the 2000- guest ship will be homeported in Brisbane for 11 new departures ranging from 3-12 nights between June and August before returning for another 10 cruises this summer from November.

Then, on August 20, P&O Cruises Australia will base its latest ship, Pacific Encounter, in Brisbane for her first season in Australia, sailing on 24 cruises in 2022.

Detailing the plans in Brisbane today, Carnival Australia president Marguerite Fitzgerald said Queensland is once again set to be the linchpin of cruising in Australia after a two-year pause in cruising operations.

“Like our guests, we can’t wait to return to Queensland. Not only do Queenslanders love to cruise, the state has a fantastic selection of ports that are among our domestic and international guests’ favourite destinations, from Cairns in the north to Moreton Island in the south,” Fitzgerald said.

The return to cruising comes after a two-year ban on the industry following the Ruby Princess debacle in March 2020.

Cruising’s return to Australia has been postponed 23 times over the past two years.


Image: Facebook/Annastacia Palaszczuk



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