“Sickening thud for Australia’s travel agent community”: Carnival cruise ship relocated to US

“Sickening thud for Australia’s travel agent community”: Carnival cruise ship relocated to US

Due to uncertainty around the Australian cruise industry, Carnival Cruise Line has relocated Carnival Spirit to Jacksonville Florida.

The relocation to Florida follows the success of the resumption of cruising in the US but has left many in the Aussie travel industry frustrated.

According to the cruise line, Carnival Splendor and Carnival Spirit will return to Australia when cruise operations resume from their scheduled home ports of Sydney and Brisbane.

Dan Russel, the general manager of Brisbane based Clean Cruising said the shocking news “will come as a sickening thud for Australia’s travel agent community desperate to see a restart of cruising in Australia.”

“It is beyond doubt that the Carnival Spirit deployment away from Australia is a direct result of the indecision on the part of federal and state governments over the restart of cruising in Australia,” Russell said.

“Cruise lines are obviously getting frustrated with the lack of progress or clarity in Australia and at the end of the day they operate mobile assets, which can be deployed as and where needed.

“The Carnival Spirit deployment is particularly disappointing because it was to have been based full time in Brisbane at the still unused international cruise terminal.

“Hundreds of travel agents around Australia depend on cruising in full or in part and it is very worrying to see opportunity sailing away because of government inaction here.

“This is precisely why travel agents fanned out across Australia last week in a national day of action calling on MPs for the lifting of travel and cruise bans, allowing travel businesses to trade without restriction and calling for support for the travel industry recovery package put forward by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents.”

The national day of action that Russel mentions saw travel industry folk across the country picket outside the offices of key federal and state parliamentarians today to speak up about the industry’s unique struggle.

Many in the cruise industry were quite vocal at the national day of action as ships were banned from entering Australia until 17 February, for the twenty-third cruise cancellation announcement since the rolling cruise ban began in March 2020.

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