The cruise lines will face a struggle to restart at scale, because there's a reputation to shake off, as well as rising cases to contend with.
Carnival Corp‘s Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia on Wednesday canceled voyages in and out of the country through mid-December, citing uncertainty regarding the resumption of cruise holidays.
Australia banned the entry of cruise ships in March 2020 when they were the source of most of the country’s early Covid-19 cases. The curbs were extended last month to Sept. 17.
P&O Cruises Australia said in a statement that the industry had been in talks with the Australian government and public health authorities since last October for the re-start of domestic-only cruising.
“They (the cruise businesses) are like every business in Australia — they need certainty, and I am concerned they may find it increasingly difficult to hang on without a clear pathway forward,” P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said.
Princess Cruises said in a separate statement that it would move guests booked for a canceled trip to an equivalent cruise next year.
(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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Photo credit: Australia banned the entry of cruise ships in March 2020. Caroline Voelker / Unsplash