Cruise

Petition to restart cruising in Australia gains traction

A petition calling for the house of reps to lift the ban on cruise ships in Australia is fast gaining traction.

The e-petition, aptly titled ‘Remove the ban on cruise ships in Australia’, is currently the third most signed of all 65 petitions directed at the House of Representatives on the Australian parliament website, with 565 signatures so far.

In fact, the top three petitions gaining traction right now all seem to be travel related with ‘Say NO to a vaccination passport’ attracting the most with 1,038 and  ‘Open a travel bubble with a COVID-free Taiwan’ attracting the second most signatures with 925 at time of publishing.

The petition’s creator, Richard Davey, reckons that with a bit of support from the industry and avid cruisers alike, it could be the most signed.

“It is intended to add to the call to allow cruise ships back into Australia for safe and responsible resumption based on the undeniable success in Singapore and Taiwan,” Davey, who is cruise manager at Ambassador Travel, said.

“Although I am involved in the cruise industry … I am principal petitioner as a private citizen as is customary.

“I believe it is crucial for the government to know that it is not just the industry itself that wants this.”

Specifically, the petition calls for the House to lift the ban on cruise ships to enable the resumption of domestic and regional cruises in Australia and other safe destinations in our region for vessels larger than 100 passengers.

It also suggests the house follow the “safe, responsible and 100 per cent successful model used in Singapore and Taiwan”.

“Over the last six and nine months respectively, domestic cruises have operated in Singapore and Taiwan with almost 500,000 passengers carried, with no cases or infections whatsoever due to the standard of the operations and the success of those countries in controlling the virus similar to that which Australia has achieved,” the petition says.

“There are many Australians who will benefit by a prompt resumption including holidaymakers, tourism sector workers, travel agents and primary producers.

“Ultimately, the presence of cruise ships in Australia will be a crucial part of the recovery of inbound tourism.”

In July 2020, thanks to Taiwanese authorities, Genting Cruise Lines’ Explorer Dream became the first ship to resume sailing in Asia following a global cruise pauses that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, the ship has taken Taiwanese guests on 80 island-hopping voyages.

In October last year, Singapore followed suit when both Dream Cruises and Royal Caribbean received approval from the government to pilot cruises out of the country in November and December respectively.

Davies said the petition is not intended to be in competition or conflict with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and its “excellent” Ready, Set, Sail tool.

The ‘Ready, Set, Sail’ campaign targets travel agents, industry stakeholders and other members of Australia’s cruise community, generating instant emails to local MPs and key ministers with just a few clicks or personalise a message to tell of their own story and circumstances.

“The main difference with a petition to the house is that it will be presented to all 151 members, and the relevant minister(s) are required to respond in public,” he said.

“By comparison, the CLIA tool directs a message from the user (refined by the entry of the user’s postcode) to their local members both state and federal, premier or chief minister and Prime Minister, and although responses can be expected to be received, they are not necessarily made public.”

The petition can be signed until Wednesday 9 June at 11:59pm.


Featured image source: iStock/leremy

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