Cruise-Australia.com where you will Discover a Wonderful World of Cruising at its very Best.

 

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Please Note: Cruise-Australia and my other related maritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Please be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise company or any travel or cruise agency, etc. Also I do not accept advertising nor donations as all sites are fully funded by me! In addition, I pay full fare for all my cruises as I will not accept “freebies”, therefore you can be assured that all views expressed herein are completely without any bias whatsoever!

Introduction:

Welcome to Cruise-Australia.com a website that has been online since the early 1990’s. Cruise-Australia has been designed especially for Australian’s, New Zealanders and the Asian cruise market, not to forget all those who love heading overseas and joining ships in other countries, therefore many have become worldwide cruise travellers and explores of destinations far-afield.

PLEASE NOTE: With all Cruise Companies have suspended operations due to the Coronavirus pandemic, until such time it is permitted and safe to return, their ships are either berthed, at anchor or drifting off various countries, etc. For your information, I am please to provide a complete alphabetical list of ALL Cruise Ships worldwide of where they currently are located as of mild May! To view the page - ENTER HERE.

However, I wish to commence this page with a Ruby Princess Special regarding the “Covid-19” debacle, for it is important that we understand the underlying details of what really occurred and sadly much of it, for some reason is never covered by the general media.

Note: Below the Ruby Princess details below and much further down the page, in my Cruise News section there are details regarding our beloved cruise ships having been suspended in their cruise operations until it is safe for them to return. Use the link below and read it now or continue with the following, as well as the wonderful number of fine cruise ships on this page, and read it when you reach it! Cruise News.

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Australia’s Ever Increasing Cruise Market:

Records have proven that Australia has become the world’s fastest growing cruise market, and considering I have been in the Passenger Shipping and the Cruise Industry for over sixty years, having commenced in New Zealand as a travel agent and then worked up to a manager, later to become the head of a major International around the world passenger Shipping Company in Australia, followed by operating a Cruise Company, I certainly know a great deal about the industry, an industry I love greatly! Although now many years later, I had to retire due to rather extreme ill health, but when it is possible I still make an attempt to continue to share my vast knowledge with those who love to take their vacation by sea. Although I have to be honest, myself like many regular cruise passengers are not fond of the today’s modern great big cruise ships that sadly look more like apartment blocks (condos), or as many regulars say per email; “Great big square boxes on a hull” or “Massive Theme Parks and Shopping Centres at sea, where there are thousands of passengers are travelling with you, thus will always be in queues, and more queues, where you will have to queue up at a variety of venues on a daily basis!” And the aforementioned is very true indeed, as a recent passenger told me who returned from a cruise on one of these huge ships. “Besides the hordes of children everywhere, the ship just felt over crowded, even though it was such a huge ship with so much space, but I had a problem to find a quiet place, except in our mini-suite. My next cruise will be on a much smaller ship!”

 

Left: The 153,516 GRT MSC Seaside accommodates 5,119 passengers with a crew of 1,413 crew

Right: The 25,572 GRT AIDAprima accommodates 3,300 passengers with a crew of 900

On both these ships I call that; Travelling with a Crowd!

Please Note: I and Mr. Hun-Eng Tan who has been my friend and fulltime carer for many years, usually cruise some three times per year, but I always pay the full fare, as I do not believe in freebies! My only aim is to provide my knowledge to all who are seeking the right cruise ship for their needs, and thus when I review a ship I have cruised on, or other ships that are currently in operation regardless if they are based in Australia, New Zealand or visit here, as well as ships around the world, you can be assured that you will be reading about them without any bias what so-ever!

Reuben Goossens - September 2015

Seen during a two week New Zealand cruise

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Lecturer.

I have been in the Passenger Shipping and Cruise Industry for 60 years.

 

This page has a great deal of content; however you can enter the Main Index Below

Enter the - Cruise-Australia.com - INDEX

 

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Special but Sad News Item

 

The MV Astoria, originally built in 1948, will sail her final Cruise

with Cruise & Maritime Voyages on October 19, 2020,

13 night “Norway & Land of the Northern Lights” Cruise.

 

Visit MV-Astoria her final cruise after 72 years of sailing - the full strory

 

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In conclusion; countless millions around the world know me well as a Maritime Historian, and cruise-australia.com and ssmaritime.com has been online since the early 1990’s. I have now written on well over 1,350 classic Liners and Cruise Ships, both the grand ships, as well as some of the less significant migrant ships, but all these ships are very important. Then there were those wonderful passenger-Cargo-Liners that would take between 20 to around 400 passengers, many of them offered sheer luxury. The aforementioned has now resulted in having an amazing 534.3 million readers to date and I am sure that you will have noted that you will never find any advertising on any of my pages, or asking for donations, for all information and maritime History is provided online for you to enjoy for free, as it is financed 100% by the author!

Please Note: This page is in Two Parts. Part One: Contains stories regarding a number of interesting cruise companies, operating from small luxury cruise ships to larger ones, and each being highly recommended! Also a story regarding various ships operating on our shores. Then there is an item regarding a series of my personal Cruise Reviews, mostly on the Pacific Aria and other ships operating on the Pacific, NZ, Barrier Reef or PNG cruises, etc. Enjoy! Whist Part Two: Contains current News Items regarding Covid-19 and other relevant items of interest. However there is a special item regarding the Ruby Princess debarkle, which has caused so much debate, who is really to blame?

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Part One

Let’s Talk About Cruising

What is New?

Over countless years I have written features and reviews on countless worthy Cruise Ships and their respective companies in order to better inform cruise and ship enthusiasts … 1; for their pleasure, 2; but more so to ensure that you, my wonderful readers will make the best-informed choice possible on what kind of ship, or which ship will be just right for you. Below I am featuring some wonderful small-ship operators that offer as you, as you will soon see some real Magic, and by that I really mean it, for the reviews I received regarding this line are simply outstanding to say the least. In addition they are a highly awarded small ship luxury Cruise Line operating Expedition Yachts and they are an Australian company, “Coral Expeditions” and their fine fleet of ships sail locally as well as internationally! This company is followed the amazing luxury ““Aqua Expeditions” the new 5 Star luxury “Aqua Blu”. Next is the excellent value for money “Albatros Expeditions” Ship the “Ocean Atlantic”,

Then come and discover my much loved and HIGHLY RECCOMENDEDThe Majestic Line” which has a remarkable fleet of four small cruise ships which you will simply fall in love with, as they offer an unique style of intimate cruising around the Scottish Isles, and believe me the service and food on the four Glen ships is without a doubt beyond belief!

Thereafter I cover the luxury passenger/cargo ship MV Aranui (5) which is based in Papeete, Tahiti, and she is an ultra modern super luxury ship, offering the very best of everything.

Finally I cover various ships cruising out of Australia as well as England’s much loved “Cruise & Maritime Voyages,” who has a large fleet of fine ships that also cruises from Australia annually. I conclude with some links to some of my P&O cruise reviews. Enjoy reading what is on offer!

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Let’s commence with two New Australian arrivals to the Scene, Luxury Expedition Yachts:

Coral Expeditions:

This is Australia’s small-ship luxury cruise operator, which was established in 1983 and today they are one of Australia’s most awarded companies, with a “Certificate of Excellence” by “trip adviser” and “Cruisers Choice” by “cruise critic,” and also awarded
“Quality Small-Ship Cruise Operator” by “cruise-australia.com”.

The Coral Expeditions has grown from having just one small rather basic vessel to operating a fine fleet of glamorous small expedition ships that sail around Australia, Asia and now much further afield into the Indian Ocean and the Pacific!

Meet Australia’s Newest glamour Ships in the Fleet:

The new 5,599-tonne Coral Adventurer, which will be followed by her

new sister the Coral Geographer which will arrive in November 2020

Image © Coral Expeditions

Launched in April 2019 and purpose-built to take guests closer to unspoilt vistas in comfort, style and safety, the luxurious Coral Adventurer accommodates 120 guests in 60 spacious staterooms and she has a cruising speed of 13.5 knots. She is a culmination of years of design and three decades of passion for expedition cruising, the Coral Adventurer has over 1000 sqm of open deck space including a wrap-around promenade deck with panoramic views. There are multiple indoor and outdoor bars, including the Explorer bar up on sundeck, she has a well-equipped gym, and a passenger elevator, all of which creates an environment designed for guest comfort. Coral Adventurer has captured the unique requirements for both guests, and the ships crew.

But above all it will be the countless incredible destinations she will visit that will make the cruise, combined with a ship that has the highest quality equipment and technology that will make her perfect ship to sail the Indonesian archipelago, Papua New Guinea, as well as the famed Kimberley coast of West Australia!

Then there is also the state-of-the-art 1,838-ton, MV Coral Discoverer (built in 2005, but completely refurbished in 2016), being an intimate, Australian cruise ship and she has become a much sought after small cruise ship operating at a cruising speed of 14 knots.

The luxurious MV Coral Discoverer

In Addition there is also the Coral Expedition II, which mostly operates 3 and 4 night Great Barrier Reef cruises, which can be combined as a 7 night cruise. The 3 night cruise heads south from Cairns to Hinchinbrook Island, and the 4 night cruise heads north as far as Lizard Island, with the countless treasures in between! Coral Expeditions II hosts just 42 guests in spacious Staterooms with ocean views and all rooms have private facilities. The ship has a spacious Panoramic Lounge and Bar topside up on A Deck, as well as a fine Dining room and Bar on C Deck. Like all ships she is packed with special expedition facilities, and you can snorkel right from the ship itself as she has a special deck that is at water level aft.

Explore the Magic of the Coral Expeditions a fleet of Intimate Expedition Ships

 

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Aqua Expeditions

M/Y Aqua Blu

The Highly awarded “Aqua Expeditions” River Ships in Asia and the Amazon and their M/Y Aqua Blu being their 5 Star Luxury Oceangoing Exploration Yacht, which explores new coastal destinations of East Indonesia, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of “Komodo National Park” commenced her maiden voyage on November 16, 2019.

The Company has received a great deal of International Acclaim, including the Gold Award in the Architecture/New Build category in the 2015 “Asia Hotel Design Awards” for the Aqua Mekong. Many VIP guests to have cruised on one or two of the Aqua vessel’s, including leading travel journalists, and have received awards from “Travel + Leisure”, “Virutuaose”, “Financial Times”, “Conde Nast Traveller”, “Forbes and Robb Report”, also Aqua Expeditions has Won Two 2016 “Luxperience” - from the Sydney Australia “Travel Trade Awards”.

A Guest who sailed on the Aqua Blu wrote a review, and in part he said: “All I can say is this, to sail on an Aqua Blu voyage; you can believe me you will experience a cruise adventure of the Indonesian Islands that will be unlike any you will have ever experienced. It is a delight beyond any other”. V; 2019.

M/Y Aqua Blu seen from the air

Inside her five-decks you will discover that the world famous designer Mr. Cor D. Rover has tastefully paired her amazing history with the modern, and therefore you will find a glamorous brass-and-ivory interior theme with spacious and inviting Lounges, Bars and Dining rooms, as well as outdoor social spaces, including a spacious sun deck.

Here we see the Salon and Dinning Room on Main Deck

She offers safety and comfort, because Aqua Blu’s is the perfect ship to navigate East Indonesia’s seas, as she has attained the International Safety Regulations, such as being; ISM Compliant, as well as being in RINA Class and SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) Certified. In addition, she has also been equipped with “Quantum Zero Speed” stabilizers for optimal comfort whilst she stationary or while sailing.

View my Two Page Aqua Blu Feature

 

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Albatros Expeditions:

This beautifully refurbished Expedition Ship the Ocean Atlantic has an international Ice Class Rating of 1B, and she offers an excellent standard; and although she is not in the high luxury class, “she does offer a 3 ½ to 4 Star value experience, making Antarctica more accessible to many more adventurers than ever before”. It is well known that most other expedition ships tend to be 5 to a 6 Star ultra luxury rating, and thus they come at an extremely high fare. Ocean Atlantic’s Public Venues and Accommodations are stylishly appointed, and her suites are especially spacious, most of her accommodations are outside, with just six very spacious inside cabins, all have private bathrooms, hairdryers, individual temperature control, a phone for internal calls, and a flat screen TV.

The intimate Panorama or Explorer Lounge up on Deck 8

 

The Main Dining Room forward on Deck 6, there is also the Discovery Bistro aft Deck 7

 

One of the ships stylish accommodations

She offers and amazing 20 zodiacs, with water level boarding on two sides of the ship. For full details read the two page Ocean Atlantic feature.

Enter the MV Ocean Atlantic feature

 

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“The Majestic Line”

You will discover that on Cruise-Australia there is a vast variety of cruise options available from mini-cruise ships to the giants of the sea; however I will start with four of the most loved and highly awarded mini-cruise ships based in Scotland, owned by the acclaimed The Majestic Line.” This company which was founded in 2004, offer small comfortable cruise ships that have become known for their intimate and exciting west-coast Scottish ocean going experiences.

MV Glen Massan

Their first two vessels were originally built as Irish wooden Herring Trawlers but they were converted in Scotland into the most beautiful eleven guest cruise vessels with all cabins having private facilities with windows or a porthole. There is a spacious Lounge, Bar, Library, Flat Screen TV and a Dining Room aft on Main Deck, as well as ample outdoor deck spaces.

The spacious Dinning Room, Lounge, library & Bar on the Glen Tarsan

And believe me there is not a fishy smell to be found anywhere, except when that giant fresh seafood buffet is placed on the table! The Bridge on all ships is open to their Guests throughout the day. The first two perfectly designed ships operate cruises around the west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides, and they rapidly became such a huge success not just in Britain, but around Europe as well as worldwide. Thus the owners decided to build two brand new ships based on the first two, but with steel hulls yet with new technology and other improved facilities including stabilisers and Wi-Fi, etc.

The latest ship of the fleet the MV Glen Shiel

 

The Lounge on the Glen Etive

These vessels looked much the same externally, but on the internally on Main Deck, rather than having the one large main public venue, these new ships had two, with a spacious Lounge, Bar, Library, a flat screen TV located forward with the Dining Room with a smaller Lounge area being located aft. You will find a comprehensive Multi Page Feature online detailing this worthwhile cruise experience with a difference, complete with photographs, reviews and deck plans via the link below.

World famous TV star and vocalist Miss June McDonald cruised on the Glen Tarsan and she loved her experience so much, that she stated, “I will be going again, but next time on the 10 day cruise, for it is the experience of a lifetime, and I just loved it!”

These cruises are of a very high standard and fares for a 3 night cruise are from AU$ 1,976.00, and a 6 night cruise from AU$ 3,838.50, there are also 10 day cruises. The service and cuisine on board a Majestic ship is of the highest standard possible, and this company is highly recommended by the Author, and no I have never been in contact with the company.

“The Majestic Line” fabulous four mini-cruise-ships that will capture you and delight you!

Enter The Majestic Line Feature

 

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Cruising the Islands of Tahiti in Luxury:

Then what about Tahiti? There is a very special luxury ship based in Papéeté, which is owned by “Compagnie Polynésienne de Transport Maritime” or just (CPTM), with the ship being the Passenger-Cargo cruise Ship the A

MV Aranui 5 is seen at Bora Bora - “Aranui” means “The Great Highway” in the

Maori language being all part of the CPTM ships great Polynesian history and culture

Photograph © by CPTM

Thus as you can see from the amazing ship above, the MV Aranui 5 will offer her 254 Guests comfortable, air-conditioned accommodations in remarkable comfort, for this is certainly not a traditional cargo ship that just has some passenger accommodations, but this is more of a luxury passenger ship that just happens to also carry cargo and mail to the many Islands it visits, which really makes the voyage so much more interesting! On her spacious aft decks the ship offers her Guests space to sunbathe, swim in the pool and enjoy exotic tropical drinks while she wends her way among the countless beautiful tropical Islands. All in the wonderful comforts of a superb ship!

Enter the MV Aranui 5 Cruising around the Beautiful Tahitian Islands

Including the magical Tuamotu and Marquesas Archipelago’s

 

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Various Ships:

Besides the smaller companies shown on this page, there are the more traditional larger ship companies, as well as the more glamorous super luxury smaller up-market Cruise Lines, such as “Silversea,” “Seabourn”, “SeaDream Yacht Club” and “Viking Ocean Cruises” and of course the luxurious “Holland America Line.” HAL’s luxury ships cruise to and from Sydney between September and April annually. In 2021 the much loved ms Oosterdam returns to our shores replacing her sister the ms Noordam.

Ms Oosterdam is seen arriving at Circular Quay Sydney, and berth at the International Cruise terminal

 

Visit my ms Oosterdam Feature

 

Another HAL visitor to Australia

 

Holland America Lines 5 Star luxury cruise ship, the ms Amsterdam is seen departing Sydney Australia,

whilst she is on her around the world voyages. HAL is the world’s highest Rated Cruise Line

as well as having the highest Rated Cuisine served to their Guests at Sea

Enter my ms Amsterdam Ship Review when she was in Brisbane

All Cruise Companies & ships can be found on the Index Bar at the bottom of the page.

 

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Cruise & Maritime Voyages:

But I would now like to turn to an ever growing and a most successful British cruise company “Cruise Maritime Voyages” or CMV, who commenced in 2010. Today they have a fleet of six ships in operation, and they prefer to operate both modern as well as some of the best maintained and beautifully refurbished classic style cruise ships including the greatly loved MS Marco Polo.

The superb CMV Classic Liner and much loved Cruise ship is the MS Marco Polo celebrates her 55th anniversary in 2020, and she is scheduled to sail well into late 2021

Enter the MS Marco Polo a Two Page Feature

A cruise review by Mr. John Happs & His dear wife Hazel who cruised on her in June 2016 to Iceland

CMV operates some magnificent traditional Classic Cruise ships, such as the Marco Polo of course, as well as the MV Astoria, but then they also operate the luxurious and very much newer cruise ship; Vasco Da Gama. This is without a doubt a wonderful cruise company with an excellent fleet of ships, but also known for its excellent service and entertainment! In 2021 two further ships will join their fleet; one is the identical sister of the Vasco Da Gama, and another ship that will come from the same reliable source. Thus the CMV fleet will have an amazing fleet of ships sailing the globe, including around the world voyages and cruises within as well to and from Australia and New Zealand.

I recommend a cruise on the traditional Marco Polo, as she seems to remain one of the most popular ships in the fleet!

The newest ship in the fleet the ms Vasco Da Gama

Also visit https://cmvaustralia.com/ for Australian based voyages

Above I have shown just a very small insight into a very big world of cruising that is available to you, and I have not forgotten the local scene, such as P&O cruises Australia, as I have cruised on the Pacific Aria frequently, being such a fine ship, and of course P&O Cruises Australia has undergone a complete transformation, with all the existing ships that remain having taken on much of the very stylish décor and themes from the Pacific Aria and placed them on the Pacific Dawn, giving the old girl a whole new look! And of course on P&O’s newer arrivals the ex Dawn Princess, now she has been completely refitted and she also has taken on a modified Aria look plus so much more! And this will go on with the ex Grand Princess soon  to arrive as the MV Pacific Adventure, which will also feature many of the same venues as on the Pacific Aria, the wonderful Blue Room, the Ocean Bar, and all the familiar Restaurants, such as the Waterfront and topside The Panty, plus so many more new exciting additions.

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P&O Cruises Australia

The aging Pacific Dawn and the greatly loved Pacific Aria have been SOLD:

P&O Cruises - will off-load the both the Pacific Dawn to her new owners in February 2021, but the bad news for Australian cruise lovers, P&O is also getting selling the best and most luxurious ship in the entire P&O Cruises fleet, as she is the only ship that has ever retained the # 1 rating throughout her entire career with P&O, and no other ship in the P&O fleet has even come near her and has been able to get it from her, no not even the latest addition to the fleet the, ex Princess ship the Pacific Explorer. Thus it is with great sadness that I have to announce that the Pacific Aria will also leave Australia in April 2021 to be handed over to her new owners, “Cruise & Maritime Voyages” (CMV) of the UK. After their refits, the Pacific Dawn will be renamed ‘Amy Johnson’, and Pacific Aria will be renamed ‘Ida Pfeiffer’.

The proud bow of the wonderful Pacific Aria is seen with the Southern Cross beautifully draped over it

Both ships are to be retired as they will be replaced by the very much larger Pacific Adventure (ex Golden Princess) and the just named Pacific Encounter, currently sailing as the Star Princess, which will join the fleet in November 2021.

Pacific Dawn’s final voyage under the P&O Cruises Australia banner is scheduled on February 8, 2021, which will see her sail from Melbourne, Australia, around the east coast of Australia and then to Singapore where she will end her voyage and be handed over to her future owners. The Pacific Aria will make a similar voyage from Australia to Singapore in April of that that same year for her handover.

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Pacific Aria Cruise Reviews by the Author:

November 2019: My dear friend and Carer, Eng Tan have just returned from one of our many cruises on the delightful ms Pacific Aria, we have reached every corner of the Pacific as well as North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, as we have been so fortunate to cruise a good number of times to magical Papua New Guinea, as well as the wonderful “The Bounty” cruise, which visits Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, amongst other wonderful tropical Islands.

However, our last cruise was our beloved PNG cruise and we had smooth sailing to say the least, but soon we will see the Aria head off to New Zealand and Adelaide, and in February 2021 she will leave P&O forever, like a few of the other ships that have been sold off. Yet the Pacific Aria is the best ship in the fleet! You will soon come to see that I and countless of other past passengers who love this magnificent ship, considering she has the best cabins of all the P&O ships, as all cabins has a lounge area with a sofa and a coffee table and so much more, etc. In addition, she is officially rated the Number One ship in the fleet, yet they are dumping her. My review of our recent PNG cruise will cover some of the reasons quite comprehensively.

Pacific Aria seen at anchor off Kiriwina IslandPapua New Guinea on November 25, 2019

Photograph by & © Mr. Hun-Eng Tan

 

Enter my Pacific Aria Reviews

Including an INDEX to other cruises & “The … “Papua New Guinea Experience”

The November 19, 2019 10 day PNG Cruise Review and Commentary will be online soon

 

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Part Two - Cruise News Updates

 

Dear readers,

It is important to note that P&O Cruises Australia & Carnival Cruises took action before any other cruise company regarding what is happening with Coronavirus or COVID-19 as it is also known!

Voluntary Pause of Cruise Operations

Please Note: The suspensions have all been extended for the time being

Two of Australia’s largest cruise ship operators P&O Cruises Australia & Carnival Cruises have announced that they are suspending operations due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

President of P&O Cruises Australia, Sture Myrmell, said that P&O Cruises would “pause” operations for at least 30 days and may resume cruises by April 13 now, possibly in June? (As we now all know this has been extended).

Announcing the pause, Sture Myrmell also said all at P&O were also aware that they’d be disappointing those who have holidays booked, or are already on a cruise. Carnival Cruise Line of course also committed to the plan and pause from cruising for the next month.

Sture Myrmell continued; “Cancelling or reducing the length of a cruise is the last thing we would ever want to do but these are extraordinary times and we have no hesitation in putting the health and well-being of our guests, crew and the wider community first.”

In a statement, Carnival said: “While Carnival has not had a diagnosed case linked to our operation we realise this situation is bigger than the cruise industry and we will continue to do our part to support public officials to manage and contain this unprecedented public health challenge.”

For guests whose future voyages that have been cancelled during the 30 day period, P&O is offering a full refund, or a Future Cruise Credit equal to 200% of the cost of their original cruise. The cruise line is communicating with guests directly on voyages currently sailing.

Mr Myrmell thanked P&O’s loyal guests for their unwavering and inspiring commitment to the brand and their support for the onboard teams who do so much to deliver exceptional guest experiences.

“In spite of everything, many guests were prepared to cruise because of their faith in P&O Cruises as their favourite cruise brand,” Mr. Myrmell said. “We look forward to getting past this coronavirus challenge so that our cruise operations can return to normal.”

Only if required contact P&O Customer Sales & Service on 1300 550 491 (Australia) or 0800 543 177 (New Zealand).

P&O stated that “We expect to experience high call volumes and wait times during this period, therefore please bear with us during this time.”

Please Note: It is obvious that all Cruise lines are affected and will return when it is safe to do so!

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The Ruby Princess Debacle

Below are my thoughts in regard the simple question; “Who was responsible for allowing passengers to walk off the Ruby Princess without Immigration or Customs?”

These are my Thoughts:

It has been said on the News, that emails between the ship’s doctor and NSW Health clearly outlined concerns over a number of sick passengers onboard the ship. Among the sick were passengers with “temperatures over 38C” and some who had “muscle aches and diarrhoea, severe vomiting or headaches” all being common coronavirus symptoms!

In a conversation between a Ruby Princess official and a NSW Ambulance officer just before 9 pm the night prior to her docking, it was clear that there were concerns that some passengers may be suffering from the coronavirus.

Thus again I ask the simple question?

“Why did the Federal Government controlled byDepartment of Immigration and Border Protection’ (DIBP) allow all passengers simply walk off the ship in Sydney on March 19, 2020, without any passport checks or customs control's whatsoever?”

As all Australians now well know, sadly the Ruby Princess debacle has resulted in over 660 passengers testing positive for COVID-19 and the death of some 21 passengers in Australia so far. These figures do not even include passengers who left Australia after disembarking, who headed to the United Kingdom, the USA and Spain as well as Asia, or anyone who acquired it via secondary transmission, thus there are countless more that will have caught Covid-19 and died due to the massive failure that occurred in Sydney on March 19, 2020. 

I wish to state that I feel that in many ways Carnival is being made a scapegoat for the failures of various Government departments who are simply pointing fingers to every one else but themselves!

It was incomprehensible WHY after she had docked in Sydney on March 19, after her passengers had left the ship, and reached the terminal they were simply permitted allowed to walk through the terminal, collect their baggage and simply leave and go home wherever that was in Australia or overseas.

What was wrong with that picture, they did that without any passport or customs control in the Terminal, one passenger told me. “It was like just if we got off a train, rather than off an International cruise. We need to remember this event occurred after the Prime Minister and the Minister for of the “Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) had already made it very clear that all passengers on arriving aircraft and cruise ships would not be allowed to enter the country without passengers being subjected to the appropriate testing, and very clearly this did not happen on March 19 at the Cruise Terminal.

Now let us look at some facts:

The Minister for the “Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) being a department of the Government of Australia who is wholly responsible for Immigration and Border Control. And I do mean the very Government who is famed for their slogan “Stop the Boats”; well did they not bother to stop this Big Boat, when they from all reports already knew that there were passengers with flu like illnesses, and high temperatures on board, before she docked!

As I indicated before, we have seen a game of political finger pointing, blaming everyone, except those who are really responsible and that is the Minister for “Immigration and Border Protection”, the Hon. Peter Dutton MP. It was the DIBP Commissioner Mr. Michael Outram who blamed the NSW Health Department for allowing Ruby Princess to berth and for passengers to disembark amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

However, the truth is, it was the “Minister for Immigration and Border Protection” and his IBP Commissioner Michael Outram and relevant departments that clearly failed the Ruby Princess and all it passengers on that day!

Mr Dutton let me ask you;

“If you are in charge of Immigration, is it not the LAW for all passports to be checked at an International Terminal? In addition, according to Australian LAW, is it not obligatory for ALL passengers arriving in Australia to go through Customs?

I have been on countless cruises, and before arrival home we have to fill-in an “Incoming Passenger card”, which covers Immigration and Customs, just as every Ruby Princess passenger had to do prior to arrival in Sydney!

BUT, not a single passenger, regardless if they were from the UK, USA, Spain, or other nations, where required to show their passport to an Immigration official, or have to go through Customs, for amazingly all passengers were able to walk off the Ruby Princess, as another passenger told me;

We seem to be rushed through the terminal, with no checks, no officials it was just if we came off a local bus.”

Thus regardless who said what and to who regarding the state of the passengers, there should have been health, or temperature checks at the Cruise Terminal, just as they were doing at all airports around the county, and like all International Terminals there were full Immigration and Border Protection available, unlike the disgraceful situation at Sydney’s “Circular Quay Cruise Terminal” on March 9, making you Mr. Dutton MP 100% responsible for not having 1. “Stopped the Boat” and 2. At least provided the required facilities like those that were available at all other terminals! No matter all the Government’s political rhetoric done mostly by others rather than the Minister responsible or the Prime Minister, it is what you and the Prime Minister more or less have not said, but you are both responsible what happened with the Ruby Princess.

In Conclusion:

Keeping things in a Maritime theme; all ships have a Captain, and their Captain take their responsibilities very seriously, and in Canberra the Prime Minister is our, or Australia’s Captain, and Mr Dutton, in this case is his First Mate, thus no matter how you look at it, when it comes to “Immigration and Border Control” the blame must rest at the head, and that is you Australia’s Captain and First Mate!

The above are my personal thoughts, and remember I have 60 years of experience in Passenger Shipping and the Cruise Industry, although long retired now, and this site has always been and will be 100% non commercial, thus I am not just supporting a shipping company, but I am looking at simple facts, and these are facts that cannot just be denied!

Many have asked me “How is the official enquiry going?” Friends, it is best that you go online and check the official reports, and I do mean, not news just reports for many are tainted, especially certain newspapers, and TV channels, etc. Just read the official quotations of what the enquiry has released!

Reuben Goossens.

 

The Ruby Princess is seen departing Port Kembla, Illawarra south of Sydney on April 23, 2020 she had been berthed there for some time, having been placed in Quarantine with her crew in lockdown. She headed for the Philippines where most of her crew would disembark and she will be laid up there until COVID-19 restrictions will be relaxed and cruises will once again resume. In the meantime her exterior will be fully painted, as she has suffered somewhat and will be refreshed and Princess Cruises will ensure that the Ruby Princess and every ship in their fleet will be completely disinfected, and the same will apply with every Cruise Company worldwide!

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The Author has been in Passenger Shipping & the Cruise Industry for over 60 years!

 

Photographs on cruise-australia.com & .net are: 1. By the author. 2. From the author’s private collection. 3. As provided by Shipping Companies and their Publicity Companies as well as by private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided without details regarding the photographer concerned., therefore I hereby invite if owners of those images to be so kind and make them-selves known to me, in order that due credit may be given!

 

This notice covers all pages, although, I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displayed on each page, that is, when a page is updated!

 

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