Cruise ban lifts: Check out Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O cruise deals

Posted: 18 March 2022 5:13 pm
News
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After 2 years, get ready to pack your bags and sail away from Australia.

Earlier this week, Greg Hunt (Minister for Health and Aged Care), Karen Andrews (Minister for Home Affairs) and Dan Tehan (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) released a joint statement on the return of international cruise ships to Australia.

They indicated that the Australian Government has (finally) decided not to renew the ban on international cruise ships arriving and leaving Australian ports. The ban will now expire on 17 April on medical advice that it is now safe to do so.

"This is great news for the cruise industry, tourism, the broader economy and the Australians who love to take a cruise holiday," said Minister Tehan.

Since the announcement, several cruise lines including Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and P&O Cruises have announced just when they'll be dropping anchor in Australian waters, along with some deals that will have you back playing limbo on the lido deck in no time.

Sounds great, when can I set sail?

While cruise lines are on their way back (some sooner than others), if you hadn't already booked a sailing, you might be waiting a while longer yet.

Cruise lines first need to honour bookings that were made in the past 2 years, so there isn't a lot of availability until later this year or until early 2023.

Here's when you can expect to start cruising again and the available deals:

Princess Cruises

Princess cruise ship

Princess Cruises will be one of the first major cruise lines to come back, with the Coral Princess making her debut in Brisbane on 16 June for a winter season.

Deal:

3 for Free. Book select voyages and receive a free Stateroom Location upgrade, up to $200 onboard credit (varies by voyage length) and a free specialty dining voucher for 2. Offer ends 6 May 2022.

Our 3 favourite sailings:

Book your Princess Cruises sailing now

Royal Caribbean

Snorkelling

Royal Caribbean will make its return to Australia with the Radiance of the Seas sailing from Sydney on 21 October.

Deal:

Half-price deposits, up to US$400 on-board credit and up to 30% on select cruises including samplers, short getaways, summer cruises and South Pacific cruises. Offer ends 5pm AEST Tuesday 5 April 2022.

Our 3 favourite sailings:

  • 7-night Tasmania cruise from $899 per person (interior). Departs from Sydney, 22 October 2022 on the Enchantment of the Seas.
  • 8-night South Pacific cruise from $1,117 per person (interior). Departs from Brisbane, 1 November 2022 on the Quantum of the Seas.
  • 11-night New Zealand cruise from $1,584 per person (interior). Departs from Sydney, 26 November 2022 on the Ovation of the Seas.
Book your Royal Caribbean sailing now

Carnival Cruise Line

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Carnival returns from 5 October with a 4-day round-trip sailing from Sydney.

Deal:

Carnival has launched its Fun Up Your Life sale with reduced deposits down to just $50 per person on twin share in all sailings. It also includes free upgrades within the same room category. Available on select sailings from Australia through to June 2024.

Our 3 favourite sailings:

  • 3-day Getaway cruise from $321 per person (interior). Departs from Sydney, 27 October 2022 on the Carnival Splendor.
  • 10-day New Zealand cruise from $864 per person (interior). Departs from Sydney 21 November 2022 on the Carnival Splendor.
  • 11-day South Pacific cruise from $1,082 per person (interior). Departs from Sydney, 29 January 2023 on the Carnival Splendor.
Book your Carnival Cruise Line sailing now

Celebrity Cruises

celebritycruises

The luxurious Celebrity Eclipse will sail through October 2022 to April 2023 between 3 to 13-night itineraries throughout Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Deal:

Celebrity is having a "Last-Minute Luxury" event this weekend with up to $200 credit per person and 25% off cruises and flights (they've also thrown in premium drinks, Wi-Fi and tips). Ends 4pm 1 April 2022.

Our 3 favourite sailings:

  • 11-night South Pacific cruise from $2,288 per person (interior). Departs from Sydney, 9 December 2022 on the Celebrity Eclipse.
  • 12-night New Zealand cruise from $2,740 per person (interior). Departs from Sydney, 27 November 2022 on the Celebrity Eclipse.
  • 11-night Great Barrier Reef cruise from $2,763 per person (interior). Departs from Sydney, 3 November 2022 on the Celebrity Eclipse.
Book your Celebrity Cruises sailing now

P&O Cruises

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P&O will resume cruising from 31 May with the Pacific Explorer sailing from Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Deal:

Book a Balcony Room for the price of an Oceanview Room when you book before 5 April with a $49 deposit. Terms and conditions apply.

Our 3 favourite sailings:

  • 3-night 80's Cruise from $499 per person (interior). Departs from Sydney, 20 August 2022 on the Pacific Explorer.
  • 10-night Discover Vanuatu cruise from $1,049 per person (interior). Departs from Sydney, 5 September 2022 on the Pacific Explorer.
  • 4-night Whitsundays cruise from $334 per person (interior). Departs from Brisbane, 6 September 2022 on the Pacific Encounter.

When are cruise lines returning to Australia?

See when your preferred company will be cruising back into Australian waters. Remember, many of these cruises are already booked up. You should be able to find space on sailings after these dates.

Cruise lineWhenWhereBook
Norwegian Cruise Line22 December 2022Trans-Tasman and PacificBook with CruiseDirect
P&O31 May 2022Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and MelbourneBook direct
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line21 October 2022Sydney-TasmaniaBook with CruiseDirect
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line9 November 2022Brisbane-TasmaniaBook with CruiseDirect
Holland America Line12 November 2022Australia, New ZealandBook with CruiseDirect
Cunard7 November 2022Tasmania, New ZealandBook with CruiseDirect
Seabourn5 December 2022Australia, New ZealandBook direct
Carnival Cruise Line5 October 2022Sydney, Moreton IslandBook with CruiseDirect
APTSeptember 2022Western AustraliaBook direct
Celebrity CruisesOctober 2022Australia, New Zealand, South PacificBook with CruiseDirect
Viking CruisesNovember 2022Asia, Australia, New ZealandBook direct
Oceania Cruises12 December 2022AustraliaBook direct
Oceania Cruises16 January 2023Sydney to AucklandBook direct
Oceania Cruises13 February 2023Sydney to PapeeteBook direct
Regent Seven Seas Cruises29 December 2022Sydney to Trans-TasmanBook direct
Regent Seven Seas Cruises26 January 2023Sydney to BaliBook direct
Princess Cruises16 June 2022BrisbaneBook with Princess Cruises
Silver Sea CruisesDecember 2022Australia, New Zealand, AsiaBook direct

Is it safe to cruise?

The cruise industry has learnt a lot in the 2 years that ships weren't operating in Australia. As cruises returned slowly in overseas ports, they were able to enact safety measures to make sure that cruising could once again become a safe and enjoyable experience.

To keep guests and crew safe, a number of cruise lines have instituted vaccination and testing requirements, health screenings, mask recommendations, increased ventilation and extra medical care onboard.

All international cruise ships need to meet all public health requirements of the jurisdictions they travel within.

However, something to keep in mind is travel insurance.

Finder travel insurance expert Gary Hunter said, "You can get travel insurance for cruises, but it won't cover you for COVID-19 expenses. At this moment in time, it's still too much of a risk for insurers to include in their policies.

"That doesn't mean you shouldn't get insurance, though," he explained. "It can still cover you for lots of mishaps unrelated to COVID, such as cruise delays, medical expenses, trip cancellation and cabin confinement."

It's always a good idea to take out cover as soon as you book. If something happens and you need to rearrange your trip, your insurance can cover the costs.

Not excited by these discounts? See more cruise deals.

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