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Oct. 14 update: Royal Caribbean cancels Sydney season, more US restarts for Princess

Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas entering Sydney on a previous visit
Here's a quick read of some of today’s coronavirus-recovery cruise news. This will be updated throughout the day.

Royal Caribbean cancels Ovation’s Sydney summer season

With no decision yet on when foreign-flagged cruise ships will be allowed to re-enter Australia, Royal Caribbean International cancelled Ovation of the Seas’ Sydney summer season from December 13 until March 31.

In August the company launched 24 two- to 10-night sailings from Sydney to Australian capital cities and regional areas aboard Ovation of the Seas, in the hope that domestic cruising would be in place by December. 

Ports included Eden, Hobart, Adelaide, Brisbane, Kangaroo Island, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Port Douglas, as well as sailings around the Great Barrier Reef.

‘We hope that by December we will have guests holidaying with us once again,’ Royal Caribbean International VP and MD Australia and New Zealand Gavin Smith said at the time.

However, on Thursday the company cancelled Ovation of the Seas’ proposed new Sydney summer season, with no permission to operate in sight.

‘As Australia opens up, we are committed to progressing the proactive conversation with governments on recommencing cruising in Australia and hope to provide an update soon,’ a company statement said.

Passengers booked on the cancelled programme are being offered 125% future cruise credits or full refunds.


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More Princess ship restarts from the US

Princess Cruises announced plans for additional ships' return to service in the US during February, March and April, sailing from Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, BC, and Fort Lauderdale.

Starting between Feb. 13 and April 22 cruises on three additional ships carry passengers to the Caribbean, Hawaii and the California coast. Crown Princess, Island Princess and Royal Princess join the eight Princess ships scheduled to restart in 2021, representing 79% of Princess’ ship capacity.

On Feb. 13, Crown Princess will join Majestic Princess and Grand Princess for cruises from Los Angeles to the California coast and Hawaii. Then, Crown Princess will position to Seattle for a couple of Pacific Northwest coastal voyages and to Hawaii. Crown Princess will also add another Alaska departure with a new eight-day Inside Passage cruise with Glacier Bay starting April 29.

Island Princess sails the Caribbean starting March 6, from Fort Lauderdale on a 14-day, 10-day and series of seven-day cruises to the Southern, Eastern and Western Caribbean. Royal Princess will initiate California coast sailings from Vancouver beginning April 8.

By April, 11 Princess ships will be back in service, Chief Commercial Officer Deanna Austin noted. 

Cruises sailing through February are open to fully vaccinated travelers.


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