Citing the uncertainty around when Covid-related travel restrictions might be lifted, Princess Cruises canceled what was to be its largest deployment ever in Australia and New Zealand.
Princess will delay cruising Down Under until May 31, thereby eliminating a summer-season cruise program that was to entail five ships sailing from six homeports. The five ships were set to offer 127 departures on more than 70 itineraries, ranging in length from two to 35 days, visiting Australia, New Zealand, Papau New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji.
Princess had previously canceled all of its cruises worldwide through Dec. 15 except for its Australia program, which was to resume Oct. 31. However, Australia's and New Zealand's borders remain closed except to their own citizens, residents and their immediate family members.
Australia's cruise ship ban is currently in place through Dec. 27, although the Australian government has stated that this does not mean the ban will be lifted at that time; the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee reviews the ban regularly.