Cruising’s recovery has arrived
By Joel Katz, Managing Director, CLIA Australasia
AUSTRALIA’S cruise revival is now underway.
With P&O Cruises Australia’s flagship Pacific Explorer now sailing from Sydney and Brisbane — plus international expedition ships like Ponant’s Le Laprouse and Le Solal joining local Australian operators in the Kimberley — we can now celebrate the beginning of a recovery of cruising in our region.
Other ships and brands will begin returning over coming months, building slowly as we approach the summer months when we can once again expect visiting international ships on their world cruises and seasonal deployments.
At the same time, New Zealand has now confirmed it will open its maritime border at the end of next month, paving the way for operations to resume in October ahead of the traditional summer season. This will mean a revival of trans-Tasman cruising and allow New Zealand to share in the economic recovery that cruising will bring businesses across Australasia.
No doubt we still face challenges ahead, but the cruise industry’s response to the global pandemic has resulted in the most stringent health protocols to be found anywhere in world tourism.
Though we still see considerable levels of COVID-19 in our cities and towns, we can draw confidence from the experience we’ve gained internationally which shows the incidence of serious illness and hospitalisations at sea are much lower than on land — thanks to testing requirements, vaccine mandates, enhanced onboard medical facilities and extensive protocols for identifying and managing cases.
The collaboration and strength that Australia’s cruise community has shown in its fight for revival has been incredibly effective — and our travel agent partners have been among the most passionate voices in that quest.
We’re incredibly grateful for this backing, and it’s something we’ll all benefit from as cruising recovers. As a united cruise community we’ve achieved an incredible amount.