Commercial Director Australia and New Zealand Katrina McAlpine said the decision to stay longer was made by the 'current uncertainty due to travel restrictions and port closures in Asia and their effect on cruise operations in the region.’
McAlpine said the extended season will benefit local tourism, with 29 visits to ports around Australia.
Highlights of six new itineraries include Queen Elizabeth’s first 27-night full circumnavigation of Australia, as well as calls at Eden and Kangaroo Island, which are keen to welcome cruise ships following the recent devastating bushfires.
There are also two 11-night New Zealand voyages from Sydney visiting Wellington, Tauranga, Auckland and the Bay of Islands.
Sales open Friday
The new Australia and New Zealand itineraries go on sale Friday.
Refunds and booking incentives
The company has contacted passengers booked on the 2,000-passenger ship’s Asia and Japan itineraries and is offering full refunds and special incentives to book a new voyage.
On May 9 Queen Elizabeth departs Sydney on a 24-night trans-Pacific crossing to Vancouver via New Caledonia, Honolulu, Maui, Los Angeles and San Francisco before she commences her 2020 Alaska programme.