Queensland Ready for Cruise Resumption

Brisbane

Queensland has announced that it is ready for cruise resumption, following the news about Australia’s cruise ban expiring on Apr. 17.

According to a media statement, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed on March 18 that Queensland would soon finalize health protocols with the Commonwealth, NSW and Victorian Governments to ensure the return of the state’s $1-billion cruise industry.

“Cruising is coming back to Queensland … Rebuilding Queensland’s tourism industry is central to our plan for economic recovery,” Palaszczuk said. “That’s why we’re working closely with the Commonwealth to welcome back cruise ships as soon as possible.”

Palaszczuk said that before the pandemic, the cruise industry injected “millions of dollars into local businesses right throughout Queensland.”

“With a brand new cruise terminal here in Brisbane, more ports than any other state and the best climate, there’s no reason Queensland can’t become the cruise capital of Australia in the near future,” Palaszczuk noted.

According to the media statement, the Palaszczuk Government has also completed a $127-million project to widen and deepen the shipping channel in Cairns and is now delivering a $232-million upgrade to the Port of Townsville – initiatives that will make Queensland an “even more attractive destination for the cruise industry.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said health protocols were “still being finalized” by the Commonwealth and state governments, but were likely to include full vaccination for passengers and crew, COVID testing and mask-wearing before embarking and when disembarking, and enhanced communication between cruise lines and passengers about the health protocols, COVID-safe practices and the “potential health risks associated with cruising.”

“This week’s announcement by the Australian Government to lift restrictions on international cruise ships from Apr. 17 2022 is another great boost for our tourism sector,” said Hinchliffe. “Queensland’s state-of-the-art $180-million Brisbane International Cruise Terminal will soon be ready to welcome cruise ships back to Brisbane, and ports along the Queensland coast will be ready to receive cruise ships in the coming months … And we’ve worked closely with cruise lines to lure visitors with the best onshore tourism attractions om Australia.”

The cruise resumption in Queensland will be kicked off with the Pacific Explorer’s call on June 2.

Additionally, Queensland said that Carnival Cruise Line has changed its October and November cruises across the South Pacific to domestic trips, with Queensland featuring quite heavily on the programs.

“The restart of the Australian cruise ship industry is important. We’ll work with the Australian Government and industry to chart the safe course to resumption,” Hinchliffe said.

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