Cruise liners return to Australia after more than two years – Orange News

AFP, published Monday, April 18, 2022 at 10:41 a.m. A cruise liner docked in Sydney Harbor for the first time in more than two years on Monday, after the lifting of a ban intended to combat the coronavirus pandemic.The Pacific Explorer, who sported a huge ‘We’re back home’ banner, made a grand entrance in glorious sunshine, surrounded by tugboats spewing plumes of water. Crowds gathered on the Sydney Harbor Bridge to watch upon the arrival of this ship, which traveled some 18,000 kilometers in nearly a month to return to Australia. International cruise ships were banned from Australian waters in March 2020 after an outbreak on board the Ruby Princess, another cruise ship, spread across Australian territory, with some passengers carrying the virus. This had led to hundreds of Covid-19 cases and the deaths of 28 people The Pacific Explorer and other P&O-owned cruise liners have been moored off Cyprus for much of the last year, awaiting a lifting of this ban. Bookings for P&O cruises in Australia are now close to pre-pandemic levels, spokeswoman Lyndsey Gordon told AFP. “We are now looking at an almost normal summer season in 2022-23,” she added. Before the pandemic, some 350 cruise ships visited Australia, carrying more than 600,000 passengers. This industry is worth 5.2 billion Australian dollars (3.5 billion euros) in Australia, according to the International Association of Cruise Lines.