Australia & New Zealand Cruises

Sydney Harbor Welcomes Australia's First Cruise Ships Since Ban

Australia’s pandemic-era ban on cruise ships has come to an end. The Pacific Explorer became the first ship in 2 years to sail into Sydney Harbor on Monday, as the country moves to revive its tourism industry after Covid-19.

The ban on foreign cruise ships — imposed in March 2020 after a Covid outbreak aboard the Ruby Princess spilled into Sydney once the vessel docked — cost the Australian economy more than $7.4 billion, the Cruise Lines International Association estimates.

Operators “are preparing for a carefully managed resumption of operations in a sector that previously supported more than 18,000 Australian jobs,” the association said in a statement ahead of the ban’s expiry.

Australia’s states will determine when vessels can enter now the federal ban has run out. Safety steps include vaccination requirements for crew and passengers over 12 years old, as well as mask and Covid-testing protocols.

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