Continued uncertainty around the resumption of Aussie cruising has prompted P&O Cruises Australia to can its 2022 homeporting seasons for Adelaide, Fremantle and Cairns.
The decision means a P&O ship will not be based (or homeported) from the cities for seasons scheduled for the first half of 2022.
The cruise line will also cancel cruises scheduled to call in Papua New Guinea until October next year.
As a result, the following cruises will be cancelled:
- Adelaide: cruises scheduled to depart from 18 February 2022 to 28 March 2022. The next homeporting season is scheduled for February 2023.
- Fremantle: cruises scheduled to depart from 2 April 2022 to 25 April 2022. The next homeporting season is scheduled for April 2023.
- The changes also mean the Fremantle-to-Singapore cruise scheduled to depart on 25 April 2022 will be cancelled.
- Cairns: cruises scheduled to depart from 2 June 2022 to 29 June 2022. The next homeporting season is scheduled for May 2023.
- Cruises scheduled to start in Cairns during this period all included multiple calls in Papua New Guinea. The country’s borders remain closed to most travellers.
- The changes also mean the cruise due to re-position from Singapore to Cairns will be cancelled. The cruise was scheduled to depart Singapore on 19 May 2022.
In October, P&O extended its voluntary pause in operations for a further month until mid-February next year, applicable to cruises scheduled to depart from 15 January 2022 to 14 February 2022.
The cruise line has also revealed both passengers and crew members would need to provide proof of vaccination before boarding its ships when they begin sailing again.
Meanwhile, Graeme Blackman, the Sydney marine engineer who inspired the ‘Fly the Flag for P&O’ campaign, has turned his workshop into a cruise ship replica to advocate for the return of cruising in Australia.
Inter-Marine’s Mortdale workshop looks like a cruise ship, even including a ship’s bell when meetings are called to arrange technical services for an arriving ship or planned dry dock.
When workshop staff stop for a break, their amenities room could easily double as a top deck lounge on a cruise ship.
“When it comes to the cruise ships, we are like family,” Blackman said.
“When there are no ships, there is no business for us either.
“We are also a technical supply chandler, so we can get requests from the ships for various equipment for repair, maintenance and upgrades.
“And when the ships come in, we also go on board to assist with this work. Since the pause in cruise ship operations, we have seen our turnover fall by as much as 80 per cent.”
Blackman flies three flags outside his workshop – the Australian flag, the P&O Cruises Australia flag and the Carnival Australia flag, which inspired the Fly the Flag campaign.
Featured image source: iStock/moisseyev