Large cruise ships will be allowed back to Tasmania’s shores when the next cruise season begins in October 2022.
Premier and Tourism Minister Jeremy Rockliff made the announcement last week stating the return would provide “a welcome boost to local businesses and our economy after nearly three years without.”
Entry of all cruise ships to Tasmania was paused in March 2020 and visits by small, domestic cruise ships with fewer than 100 passengers resumed in December 2021.
The national ban on international cruising was lifted in April 2022 and most Australian jurisdictions have since announced plans to support the return of cruise ships.
The cruise ship industry was an important contributor to Tasmania’s visitor economy pre-pandemic. (Image: Sarajayne Lada)
TasPorts chief executive officer Anthony Donald has welcomed the government’s announcement and said the state’s ports stood ready to receive cruise ship visits for the coming season.
“TasPorts is a strong supporter of cruise ship visits to the state. Their return will provide a major boost to the Tasmanian visitor economy, particularly in areas outside our major cities which have traditionally attracted cruise ship visitors,” he said.
“There is already interest in our traditional cruise ship ports – Hobart, Burnie and Port Arthur – as well as other ports across the state,” Donald said.
The cruise ship industry was an important contributor to Tasmania’s visitor economy pre-pandemic, explaining why TasPorts has already begun engaging with cruise lines to confirm itineraries for the 2022-23 season.
Cruise ships will return to Tasmania in October 2022. (Image: Alastair Bett)
New protocols are now in place to guide the operation of cruise ships in relation to COVID-19 when the Tasmanian season restarts in October. The Tasmanian protocols include best practice measures around COVID-19 vaccination, testing, mask-wearing, outbreak management and communications.
The first cruise ships scheduled to arrive in Tasmania are Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess departing from Sydney on 11 October includes stops in Burnie and Hobart; Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Splendor is scheduled to depart Sydney on a five-night roundtrip itinerary with stops in Hobart and Port Arthur on 31 October; Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will sail around Australia on a 28-night itinerary on 15 November with a stop in Burnie, and P&O’s Pacific Adventure is scheduled to visit Tasmania on 28 November on a seven-night roundtrip itinerary with port calls in Hobart and Port Arthur.