Carnival Cruise Line has informed guests that two Carnival cruise ships based out of Australia are to remain on hold even longer. It comes as the Australian government has not yet announced any clear path for when the cruise industry can reopen.
Carnival Cruise line Extends Pause in Australia
With no set date for a return to cruising down under and no cruise ships permitted to operate in Australian waters, Carnival Cruise Line has extended its pause on operations in the country. The extension impacts the Carnival Splendor and Carnival Spirit, both currently on hold in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Carnival Splendor cruises are now cancelled through April 8, 2022. The vessel previously had sailings cancelled into early March 2022. Carnival Spirit cruises are cancelled through April 10, 2022, and the ship also previously had cancelled sailings into early March 2022.
The cruise line says in its latest advisory, “As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, 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 10 April 2022.”
Both ships have remained on hold since the industry-wide suspensions started in March 2020. However, the cruise line has been taking advantage of the free time with Carnival Spirit already receiving her new red, white and blue livery during dry dock in Dubai.
Guests who are impacted by the further cancellations are being offered options. Those booked on cruises six nights or longer can receive a 100% future cruise credit plus AUD$900 of onboard credit per stateroom. The onboard credit will be lower at AUD450 per stateroom for cruises five nights or less.
To take advantage of the onboard credit, guests will have to rebook by March 31, 2022, for a sailing that departs by September 30, 2023. There is also the option for a full refund if a cruise vacation with Carnival is no longer wanted.
At the end of November 2021, sister line P&O Australia extended its hold on operations until March 3, 2022. Royal Caribbean has already cancelled its season down under, and there have also been cancellations by Princess Cruises.
There was hope that the government would be reopening to cruise ships in the second half of December following positive talks with the cruise lines. However, it’s feared that the cruise industry might have to wait longer due to the new Omicron variant. It will also take months for cruise ships to prepare to return to service, including bringing all the crew back on board.
For now, Carnival Cruise Line continues with its restart in the U.S., with more than half the fleet already back sailing. In just a few days, on December 13, an additional two ships will resume, including the new Carnival Radiance from Long Beach.