Australia and the nearby islands are some of the coolest cruise destinations on the planet, and endless travelers flock there every year to check out what Australia has to offer. Sadly, more and more cruise lines are beginning to cancel or delay their upcoming Australian itineraries. Why is this, and when can we expect to be able to visit Australia again? Let’s check it out.
Like many places on earth, Australia drastically changed its travel laws once the coronavirus pandemic began. The main difference between Australia and other regions on earth is just how successful their response to the pandemic has been. Because they quickly and strictly shut down their borders, very few cases managed to make their way onto the island. As of August 27th, there were fewer than 600 deaths across all of Australia. Their response has been effective, so they do not currently have any plans to change it. The laws in place close off their borders to anyone who isn’t an Australian citizen, resident, or an immediate family member of an Australian citizen. This affects cruising as ships can obviously not dock in Australia, but it goes further as well. The laws also affect the waters surrounding Australia, with no non-Australian cruise ships being allowed into Australian waters until September 17th, 2020
But what about after September 17th, 2020?
If the way the pandemic has affected the cruise industry has taught us anything so far, it is that we should always assume that dates will be pushed back. September 17th is the current date, but even the Australian government admits that “this does not mean the ban will be lifted at that time.” And even if cruise ships are allowed in Australian waters after September 17th, docking and actual tourism may still be banned.
The cruise industry’s response
Many major cruise lines have begun cancelling their Australian itineraries this year. It seems that they are expecting the worst, and need to avoid losing money on bookings. Carnival recently announced that they won’t be sailing to Australia through December 2nd, 2020. Princess mirrored this move, saying that they have cancelled all Australian itineraries through December 12th, 2020. Other companies have also cancelled many Australian cruises for this year.
No one really knows when we will be able to travel to Australia again, so we’ll just practice patience until new information comes. For all we know, September 17th could be the day, but we’re not so sure about that as of now.