Tehan confirms cruise ships on track to return in April

Cruise ships will be allowed to dock in Australia’s ports once again from next month, two years since the Ruby Princess Covid outbreak.

Cruise ships are currently banned until April 17 under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act, but Tourism Minister Dan Tehan is confident that all the states and territories will be ready to resume cruising again from that date on.

“It’s looking very positive, and I think the industry can start planning for that,” Tehan told RN Breakfast.

“We saw the very positive comments from the New South Wales Premier yesterday that he wants to see it lifted. I spoke with the Queensland Tourism Minister last night, the New South Wales Tourism Minister yesterday afternoon, and they are doing all the work that’s needed to get the health protocols in place at a state level.

“So, at this stage, I can see no reason why that ban won’t be lifted on April 17.”

Tehan was also optimistic about the return of events across the nation.

“We had the Victorian Surf Life Saving Championships in Warrnambool, we had the Port Fairy Folk Festival going on, there was the Sculpture Biennale in Lorne,” he said.

“People out and about, getting real confidence from these events, being able to travel again and we’re really starting to see a pick up post-pandemic, which I think is instilling a lot of confidence in people.”

Tehan did offer a note of caution on the recent spike in oil prices flowing through to an increase in airfares.

“As a long-haul destination that will have some impact on Australia,” he said.

“But all the research that we’re seeing is that those who want to make the trip to come to Australia and visit Australia are prepared to pay to do so. So our hope is that that extra cost that you’ll see on an international ticket won’t dissuade those who were already saving to come here.”