Cruising will soon resume in Australia, with the ban on cruise ships set to lift on April 17, 2022, as the country’s cruise companies gear up to set sail once again.
The exciting news comes as Trade and Tourism Minister, Dan Tehan, told Sky News that a formal announcement would soon be made to confirm the reopening of cruising in Australia.
“We have agreed in the next day we are going to get all the work necessary so hopefully on Wednesday we can announce that April 17 is the day that cruising can begin again,” revealed Tehan.
“We now see absolutely no reason why we can’t make that formal announcement now that we have NSW and I am pretty sure we are going to have Queensland onboard.”
— Cruise Weekly (@cruiseweekly) February 7, 2022
Tehan went on to explain that as soon as New South Wales and Queensland “tick off on what their health officials say”, that the country would have the all-clear to proceed.
“The Commonwealth wants to go. I have been pushing for us to go for number of months.”
Managing director of Cruise Lines International Association Australasia (CLIA), Joel Katz, made a statement last month revealing Australian states were “waiting for the government to develop a set of national guidelines and the federal government is waiting for the state to take the lead in the cruise resumption”.
The cruise industry in Australia was originally set to reopen on February 17, however, the date was extended by two months, to April 17, over concerns regarding the wave of Omicron infections in the country at the time.
In a previous statement to the media, back when cruise reopening was last addressed and extended by the government, Katz was pragmatic.
“As an industry, we are caught between the federal government and the states so we are saying to them, let’s just sit down and talk about the pathway forward,” said Katz.
“Even if the ban is lifted on the 17th of February, which we are hoping will happen, it’s going to take many months for those ships to come back to Australia.”
The official announcement of the lifting of the April 17 ban will come as welcome news for Australia as the country continues to revive its tourism industry after the mass outbreak of Covid-19 in 2019.
A number of cruise lines including Royal Caribbean have already opened bookings for cruises embarking as early as the end of March.
More to come on the expected reopening in the coming weeks.