Several other lines are also canceling crossings
In a statement, the company explained the reason for its decision. “The health and safety of our guests, our crew and the communities we visit is our top priority,” they said. “As we work with health and government authorities to achieve this common goal, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises will extend the suspension of crossings to include those departing from Australia and New Zealand no later than October 31, 2020.”
Much like the Sailing Ban Order that ended the cruise industry in the United States, Australia has a ban that prevents cruise ships from operating in their waters. Originally issued in March, the order was extended in May and currently runs until September 17.
READ MORE: Australian cruise ship ban extended
Royal Caribbean’s announcement comes as several divisions of the Carnival Corporation have also revealed their own Australian cancellations. But while Royal Caribbean Group is only pushing back its crossings for several weeks, P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises are extending their suspension of crossings in the region until early December.
How affected cruisers will be compensated
In what has become a familiar story by now, those who had left for the now canceled crossings will have the option of a full cash refund or a 125% future cruise credit. They can also take advantage of the line’s new “Lift & Shift” option, which essentially allows them to simply move the existing reservation to the next year while protecting the original cruise fare. Certain restrictions apply, details of which – as well as information on their Cruise With Confidence policy – can be found here.
Royal Caribbean’s move comes just days after similar announcements were made by several other cruise lines. The biggest difference is that while Royal Caribbean hopes to get back to sea by November 1, P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises don’t plan to return until early December.