As the pandemic continues and Australian authorities maintain travel restrictions with no options for resuming cruises at the moment, Carnival Cruise Line has announced a further suspension of its operations in the region and cancellations of more voyages for Carnival Splendor and Carnival Spirit. Neither ship will now set sail until at least the end of May or early June 2022.
More Cancellations in Australia
In an update to the line’s travel advisory about operations in Australia, Carnival Cruise Line says “we are sorry to share the news that Carnival Cruise Line is pausing operations for selected Australian sailings departing from 15 March 2020 through to and including 29 May 2022.”
The affected sailings are for Carnival Splendor through and including May 31, 2022, and for Carnival Spirit through and including May 29, 2022.
“On behalf of all of us at Carnival Cruise Line, we extend our sincere apologies for the disruption to your holiday plans and trust you understand this decision was made with everyone’s best interest at heart,” the advisory states.
Both ships had been scheduled to resume operations in early May, after numerous prior cancellations.
Carnival’s travel advisory does remain optimistic, however, with the following note to guests: “Thanks for hanging in there with us. We look forward welcoming you aboard a Carnival cruise in the future!”
Guests on the recently affected sailings are being offered an “Enhanced Value Option” as compensation for the cancellation.
For cruises of five nights or longer, guests will receive a 100% future cruise credit (FCC) of their fare, as well as AUD $900 (approximately $630 USD) per stateroom of onboard credit for a new cruise if booked by July 31, 2022 for sailing by March 31, 2024. For cruises of five nights or shorter, guests will still receive a 100% FCC, but the onboard credit will be AUD $450 (approximately $315 USD).
The Enhanced Value Option will be automatically applied to all cancelled sailings, but guests can also choose a full refund if they prefer. To do so, guests need to submit an online form by July 31, 2022. Those who choose the full refund will not receive the onboard credit.
All guests, regardless of their choice, will receive a full refund of beverage packages, pre-paid Wi-Fi, and Fun Shop purchases, which will be returned to the original form of payment.
When Will Australian Cruises Resume?
There is no timeline yet for when cruising may resume in Australia, but Carnival Cruise Line is committed to working with local authorities to safely restart operations.
In a prior statement regarding cruise operations in Australia, the company stated, “Carnival Cruise Line will resume cruising in Australia with enhanced health and safety measures developed in conjunction with government authorities, public health experts, local ports of call, and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
When cruising is permitted to resume, both Carnival Splendor and Carnival Spirit will first operate domestic itineraries, calling on various ports around Australia rather than visiting international destinations. This will help maintain travel protocols while once again allowing cruise travelers to explore the region.
As the cruise line waits for the Australian government to clear cruise travel to resume, it is likely the domestic itineraries will be extended and adjusted as new protocols are put in place. Passengers booked on Carnival Splendor and Carnival Spirit in the coming summer months should be prepared for the possibility of further cancellations or itinerary changes.
For now, the two Carnival ships are on hold in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and are not operating any sailings. Carnival Spirit recently completed a dry dock where she received minor updates and the new red, white, and blue hull livery that is gradually being applied fleet-wide.