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Cruising Down Under


Gcto
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Now that NCL has canceled (or removed) all cruises for Australia and NZ this winter, what do you think the chances are that RSSC and Oceania are also canceling their cruises. Both are still showing the trips for this winter. Information I find (spotty at best) says Australia might limit or not allow cruises this winter, but I wonder if that is just speculation or fact. 

Any ideas here ? Have NZ on our bucket list for a while and am wondering what to do. 

 

Thanks

 

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No answer (or opinion) on your question but I have to admit when I first saw topic title I thought you were posting that you had taken a job as crew.  😀

 

Truthfully, we are booked on Explorer Auckland to Sydney next January but will have to wait and see if it sails.

 

Marc

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9 minutes ago, mrlevin said:

No answer (or opinion) on your question but I have to admit when I first saw topic title I thought you were posting that you had taken a job as crew.  😀

 

Truthfully, we are booked on Explorer Auckland to Sydney next January but will have to wait and see if it sails.

 

Marc

🙂  you are watching too much TV 🙂  But then....thinking about it...what job (as crew ) would I do....hmmmm...that keeps me busy while mowing the lawn.  🙂

 

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Unfortunately it's not just the lifting of bans for cruise ships that will be an issue. I don't think our borders, both here and in NZ will be open to anyone until at least the end of the year and it may be even longer - I would hazard a guess that the summer cruising season here will not happen.

 

Returning citizens and residents need to undergo a 14 day hotel stay quarantine, paid for by the government and with armed guards in the lobby. Given the rising case numbers in the US and elsewhere I can't see this changing for quite a while. On top of this Australia has somewhat lost it's appetite for cruise ships after the disaster we had with the Ruby Princess so this will add to the slow timing of cruise ship restrictions being amended.

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So, how long until decisions get made?  July?  October?  January?  The Explorer Grand Voyage from Barcelona to Auckland leaves in November; the Mariner would cruise leaves in January; these two voyages (along with the Mariner South American circumnavigation) are still unmodified on the Regent website.  I wonder how the discussions between CLIA and OZ/NZ are going?

 

Marc

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2 hours ago, ClefsDor said:

Unfortunately it's not just the lifting of bans for cruise ships that will be an issue. I don't think our borders, both here and in NZ will be open to anyone until at least the end of the year and it may be even longer - I would hazard a guess that the summer cruising season here will not happen.

 

Returning citizens and residents need to undergo a 14 day hotel stay quarantine, paid for by the government and with armed guards in the lobby. Given the rising case numbers in the US and elsewhere I can't see this changing for quite a while. On top of this Australia has somewhat lost it's appetite for cruise ships after the disaster we had with the Ruby Princess so this will add to the slow timing of cruise ship restrictions being amended.

 

It is a shame that one cruise line has ruined things for every cruise line. Most cruise lines did not have even one case of Coronavirus.  This is my concern going forward.  All cruise lines and ships are not the same.  Trying to contain a ship with several thousand people is not the same as a luxury cruise line with 490-750 passengers.  

 

I disagree that the CDC should open sailing to all cruise lines at the same time.  IMO, only cruise lines/ships that have protocols in place and can be inspected should be permitted to cruise.  

 

We hope to sail to NZ and Australia in late January but understand that it may not happen.  We have been to both countries previously (on land vacations) and sailed parts of Australia on Regent.  Perhaps the governments of these countries will allow a few cruise ships (smaller ones - perhaps with a passenger load of under 2,000) and require them to wear masks and do social distancing while in port.

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Reference Explorer and Australia and 2021 with direct relevance to long-time Regent cruisers: 

 

There are other dominoes that fall if Explorer cancels, or attenuates that Grand Voyage itinerary.  We were, initially, on the Sydney-Auckland 2021 segment.  But, having done that previously a few years' back on Regent; and more-recently on a Crystal "Symphony" San Diego-Hawaii-Auckland-Sydney itinerary--decided in 01/2020 to switch to a later segment.  That being Tokyo-Vancouver, B.C. during April-May 2021. 

 

Cannot see this happening for us unless Explorer has the opportunity to explore at-least several earlier Grand Voyage segments.  We have about five more months left before plunking down Final Payment.  Still hopeful.  But, given the current almost out-of-control rise in COVID-19 infections in key American States, put our chances at about 30%. 

 

Have already had two 2020 Regent cruises canceled; as well as a Uniworld River Boat three-segment series later this Summer in France. 

 

No vaccine; no cruising for us.

 

GOARMY!

 

 

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It’s worth reading what happened to the Australian expedition ship Greg Mortimer on its Antarctica trip. It had 100 + Australians and New Zealanders on board and many positive cases of Covid. So, it’s not only large cruise ships that would be of concern to Australian or NZ.

 

The Australian tourism minister has advised that its most likely there will be no international leisure travel until into 2021 apart from possible  ‘ bubbles’ with NZ and some Pacific countries. Safe to say that since Aussies can’t fly out of the country, no one is coming in unless it is essential and then only with 14 day strict hotel quarantine at travellers expense. 

 

Sadly it’s hard to see how cruising can happen in any form except just for locals until well into 2021. And the cruise lines would have to have made plans well before this to get the ships there. 
 


 

 

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19 hours ago, mrlevin said:

So, how long until decisions get made?  July?  October?  January?  The Explorer Grand Voyage from Barcelona to Auckland leaves in November; the Mariner would cruise leaves in January; these two voyages (along with the Mariner South American circumnavigation) are still unmodified on the Regent website.  I wonder how the discussions between CLIA and OZ/NZ are going?

 

Marc

Marc, it is also Australia and NZ.  They DO NOT WANT US.  Just the same with Hawaii.  There is a quarantine and they are not kidding about it.  You can't go.  It may not change for quite a while.

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I can’t link right now but I believe Australia has some new cases and closed two grammar schools.  And I agree.  Right now I can’t see any country welcoming people from the USA without very strict restrictions. 

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2 hours ago, Caroldoll said:

You can't go.  It may not change for quite a while.

 

2 hours ago, greykitty said:

Right now ............

 

A lot can & will change in the coming six months ................... hopefully for the better 

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8 minutes ago, flossie009 said:

 

 

A lot can & will change in the coming six months ................... hopefully for the better 

Well, I hope so - I saw that the UK is relaxing some restrictions on July 4, and I hope it goes well.  

 

That said, sounds like the hoped for travel bubble for New Zealand may not happen as quickly as anticipated.  I do think some countries will be very wary of tourist travel in general for much longer than first anticipated - and I can't blame them.

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12342390

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21 hours ago, GOARMY said:

There are other dominoes that fall if Explorer cancels, or attenuates that Grand Voyage itinerary.  We were, initially, on the Sydney-Auckland 2021 segment. 

 

We, along with two other couples, are scheduled to be on the segment prior to the one GOARMY cancelled, the Singapore to Sydney holiday cruise.  Even if the Government of Australia opened up on 01 January 2021, there are two stops scheduled in Oz on 28 December (Darwin) and 31 Dec (Cooktown).  Our final payment is due to our TA on the 9th of July.  At least one major cruise line--Princess--has changed its final payment dates for cruises leaving until the end of April 2021.  Final payment for Princess is now due only 60 days prior to departure.  Given the uncertainty of what countries will allow cruise ships to dock, shouldn't Regent move the final payment closer to the actual sail date vice 150 days out?

 

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20 hours ago, sanne said:

 

The Australian tourism minister has advised that its most likely there will be no international leisure travel until into 2021 apart from possible  ‘ bubbles’ with NZ and some Pacific countries. Safe to say that since Aussies can’t fly out of the country, no one is coming in unless it is essential and then only with 14 day strict hotel quarantine at travellers expense. 

 

 


 

 

Just verified this with friends in Australia...yes, this is true and they don't expect any international travel until into 2021 (unless ...those 14 days quarantine). So I guess, the season is done...and itineraries have to be changed.  But all is in flux it seems. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Gcto said:

Just verified this with friends in Australia...yes, this is true and they don't expect any international travel until into 2021 (unless ...those 14 days quarantine). So I guess, the season is done...and itineraries have to be changed.  But all is in flux it seems. 

 

 

It is an interesting conundrum.  Regent has one cruise scheduled this year - the one that takes Explorer from Singapore to Sydney. We did that cruise a few years ago - it is a very "hot" (weather wise) itinerary with temperatures up to 114 degrees in two ports.  In January 2021 there is the Sydney to Auckland cruise and the Auckland to Sydney cruise before Explorer leaves the area.  We hope that things will be better in the world by then but, at this point, it is impossible to tell.  All we can do is hope that we can do the January cruise.  We have booked flights and excursions through Regent.  This is cruise was paid for mostly with FCC's so, if the cruise is canceled, we would want to book another one ASAP!

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Whilst we have a couple of states in Australia which have been Covid free (i.e. no new cases and no active cases) for some weeks, there are some states still having a very small amount of community infections. But the aim was never to eliminate Covid but to flatten the curve enough that we would not inundate our health care system. Well we've well and truly done that as we have 7,000 ICU beds available and only 2 are currently being used for Covid patients. Unfortunately now in Australia we have gone to the extreme of thinking that a daily infection rate of under 20 people in some States is a "second wave" and lock downs are being reintroduced. With this attitude towards such low numbers I can't see the government opening our borders to anyone from the USA for quite some time.

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2 hours ago, ClefsDor said:

Whilst we have a couple of states in Australia which have been Covid free (i.e. no new cases and no active cases) for some weeks, there are some states still having a very small amount of community infections. But the aim was never to eliminate Covid but to flatten the curve enough that we would not inundate our health care system. Well we've well and truly done that as we have 7,000 ICU beds available and only 2 are currently being used for Covid patients. Unfortunately now in Australia we have gone to the extreme of thinking that a daily infection rate of under 20 people in some States is a "second wave" and lock downs are being reintroduced. With this attitude towards such low numbers I can't see the government opening our borders to anyone from the USA for quite some time.

That’s exactly how I see it too. 

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Agree with what my fellow Aussies have said above, it isn't looking likely for international travel this year and on into next year.  The most recent information I have seen is at the link below on the ABC website, from a speech made by the federal Minister for Tourism Senator Birmingham to the National Press Club last week.  (Note that ABC is our national broadcaster - like BBC in UK, not like the ABC in the US. For those trying to make travel decisions it is as good an Australian news source as any.) 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-17/borders-likely-closed-until-next-year-coronavirus-restrictions/12365978

 

Quote from article:   "I do sadly think that in terms of open tourist-related travel in or out of Australia, that remains quite some distance off," Senator Birmingham told the National Press Club.  "Just because of the practicalities of the volumes that are involved and the need for us to first and foremost keep putting health first."  Asked whether that meant the border would not open until next year, he said, "I think that is more likely the case".

 

If this turns out to be what happens, then  …..exactly when next year is the big question. The government's approach has been very cautious to date and I for one cannot see that changing.  So for the foreseeable future Australia is pretty much the Hermit Kingdom at the end of the world. 

I wish things were different…

 

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I would like to add this quote from an interview yesterday (23 June) on ABC Radio National with the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt:   "I do think that the border- the international border closures will remain in place for a very significant time."

 

Full interview was posted on the Minister's official government website - here:  

https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/interview-with-fran-kelly-on-abc-radio-national

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On 6/22/2020 at 7:19 PM, Travelcat2 said:

 

It is a shame that one cruise line has ruined things for every cruise line. Most cruise lines did not have even one case of Coronavirus.  This is my concern going forward.  All cruise lines and ships are not the same.  Trying to contain a ship with several thousand people is not the same as a luxury cruise line with 490-750 passengers.  

 

I disagree that the CDC should open sailing to all cruise lines at the same time.  IMO, only cruise lines/ships that have protocols in place and can be inspected should be permitted to cruise.  

 

 

Facts have shown that getting any large groups of people (10 or more) together inside a confined area (cruise ships meet that criteria) is a formula for virus spread. When the cruise ships were first ordered to cease travel, the virus was not as widespread as it is today. Many more people are walking around with the virus today, some with little if no symptoms. I am not a fan of the CDC but I think it is wise to look at cruising as a whole because there will be people on every ship that have the virus (it is so prevalent now) and you can't always detect who has it. So far, opening up venues where people are in relatively close contact has not worked well. Certainly abiding by the rules, social distancing, masks, washing hands, etc will help with the spread of the virus but it just reduces the odds of transmission. 

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