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Royal Caribbean cancels Australia 2021-2022 cruise season

13 Oct 2021
Matt Hochberg

While cruises have been able to restart in the United States and Europe, Australia will have to wait another year for cruise ships to return.

Royal Caribbean announced on Thursday morning in Australia it has had to cancel its Australia 2021-2022 season.

"A clear pathway for the return of cruising is yet to be established by the Australian Government. As a result, we’ve reviewed our Australia 2021-2022 season."

This affects scheduled Ovation of the Seas sailings from Sydney between December 13, 2021 - March 31, 2022.

Australia still has a cruise ship travel ban that runs through December 17, 2021.

The cruise line said in a statement, "We know this news is disappointing, and we’re sorry for the impact to your holiday plans."

The cruise line added that it is still working with Australian officials to find a way to resume sailings there, "We are proactively engaging with Federal and State governments to recommence cruising in Australia and will provide updates as they come to hand.​"

Guests booked on cancelled sailings have the choice of a 125% future cruise credit that they can use by April 30, 2022, Lift and Shift to a new sailing on the Australian 2022-2023 season, or 100% refund.

The Ovation of the Seas cancellation comes a few months after Royal Caribbean cancelled cruises from Australia on four ships.

Since March 27, 2020, no foreign-flagged cruise ships may enter Australian waters.  The Australian Health Principal Protection Committee reviews the ban regularly.

Cruise Passenger, an Australian site about cruising, quotes sources that say the Australian government has ignored requests for talks for a safe and phased approach to a cruise restart from Cruise Lines International Association Australasia.