After two years of waiting, cruise ships will return to Western Australia from November.
Departing from Fremantle Port, the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship will be the first major cruise ship this year in the state, with one returning to Perth and the other finishing in Sydney.
Both P&O and Princess Cruises, alongside Queen Elizabeth, have introduced new rules on board including all passengers over 12 years old to be fully vaccinated and provide a negative COVID-19 test 24 hours prior to boarding, as well as wearing masks indoors.
Docked in Broome, the Coral Discoverer ship this week had a confirmed COVID-19 case, raising concern about future cruises.
But cruise companies say demand from passengers is stronger than ever.
Carnival has released an itinerary that includes many ships stopping off in Perth.
Carnival Cruises chief communications officer Chris Chaimes says there is a lot to look forward to.
“We love cruising to Australia and the enthusiasm is always returned. We can’t get enough of it,” he says.
Thorough internal and external cleaning has been completed along with preparing for all to manage social distancing while onboard.
Director of marketing at P&O Simon Cheng says cruises are expected to be ramped up with more indoor and outdoor activities for all.
“There’s something for everyone but honestly, it’s the port stops that are the real winners.”
“Western Australia is one of the most scenic stops we take, and we’ve always received such strong feedback from guests.
“A lot can be expected. The two year wait meant that for us, we had to create that willingness to come back to cruising but the demand was so large that not much had to be done.”
Tourism WA communications officer Janine Taylor says this is WAs first chance for tourism to really pick up and for the state to get its name out there as we have a lot to offer.
“It’s such a beautiful place not only to live in, but to visit and cruising along the coast is a fun way for the whole family to get to know our state.
“Without cruises, Perth wouldn’t be getting the exposure it deserves,” she says.