Preparing for a successful restart of cruising following the pandemic

Australia’s cruise industry is gearing up to resume operations as soon as it is safe to do so

Preparing for a successful restart of cruising following the pandemic
A new welcome centre has been completed at Eden on the south coast of New South Wales

By Jill Abel |

After another year of living with our borders closed, Australians have welcomed the resumption of international travel from 1 November 2021. While there has been no announcement about a national outlook for the restart of cruising, we remain hopeful that this will happen in early 2022.

Cruise Lines International Association has developed cruise protocols for the Australian market which has allowed the few local cruise lines to successfully operate intrastate cruises. These protocols have also been used to support submissions for the safe return of international cruise ships when the government approves it.

During the recent lockdowns, ports around Australia have also taken the opportunity to finalise major infrastructure projects. The multimillion-dollar Brisbane Terminal was completed in late 2020, while the overseas passenger terminal in Sydney has received an upgrade and the welcome centre at Eden on the south coast of New South Wales has been completed to support the major wharf upgrade undertaken in 2019. Other regional ports have also carried out beautification projects, such as Gladstone in Queensland which has built a new viewing platform.

The Australian Cruise Association (ACA) is working closely with its members to help with the proposed restart and will host cruise-ready workshops across the country in 2022. These will ensure that ports, tour operators, attractions, food and beverage providers and transportation companies in major cities and smaller regional destinations are updated on the new regulations.

The aforementioned industry stakeholders are all looking forward to the return of cruise ship visits, which support around 18,000 jobs and inject more than AUS$5 million ($3.5 million) into the economy annually.

We are encouraged by the successful restart of cruising around the world, providing outstanding modelling for a safe return to cruise in Australia where we can follow similar stringent health protocols.

For now, we will continue to lobby federal government and hope that the green light is given soon so our passengers get to enjoy the sparkling waters that surround our island nation, which they can see from the upper deck of a cruise ship.

Jill Abel is CEO of Australian Cruise Association

This article was first published in the 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. 

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