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Monday 4 October 2021

Cruise industry carries on carping

Despite many Covid-19 cases being traced back to infections on the Ruby Princess, the cruise industry continues to snipe at Australian authorities.

The Cruise Lines International Association is unhappy that the Australian Government has announced the reopening of international borders next month but given no date for cruise ships to resume sailing from Australian ports.

It says that presents the "absurd" position of Australians being able to fly overseas to go cruising but still being unable to sail from a home port, Travel Mole reported.

CLIA Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz said the announcement on the opening of international travel was welcome news for many parts of the Australian travel industry, but a lack of government action on cruising meant the jobs of more than 18,000 Australians were still in doubt.

"Australia is now one of the only major cruise markets in the world with no clear plan for cruising's revival," Katz said.

"Australians love to cruise, but we now face the ridiculous possibility that we will be able to travel overseas to take a cruise but won't be able to sail in our own waters."

Katz said health protocols had allowed a successful resumption of cruising in dozens of countries overseas, where almost two million passengers had sailed since last year.

"We need detailed discussions with Australian governments so we can break the cycle of inaction and agree upon a detailed framework for cruising's resumption," Katz added.

"The health protocols introduced overseas are working and we need an opportunity to introduce them in Australia so we can plan a careful and responsible recovery."

CLIA and cruise line members have proposed a phased resumption of cruising in Australia beginning initially with limited domestic operations for local passengers only.

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