CRUISE ships could return to Queensland waters within months amid a huge surge in demand for travel off our coast.
The multi-billion dollar industry was brought to its knees during the pandemic, widely blamed for helping to transmit the virus worldwide, including here in Australia with the Ruby Princess.
Now, the world’s biggest cruise line, Carnival, is looking at taking bookings for cruises out of Sydney to Brisbane and further north as early as late April, despite the recent outbreak in NSW.
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The move could provide a much needed $17 million boost to the Queensland economy.
It’s understood all passengers and crew would need to undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing before they embark to ensure no outbreaks of the virus on board.
On-board medical centres and staggered check-ins are among other measures being considered by cruise lines to help safeguard their vessels in the future.
It comes as Australia’s biggest airline gets ready to re-start international travel in a matter of months.
Qantas announced on Tuesday it was selling seats to the US and UK from July, despite the federal government’s travel ban remaining in place.
The airline’s boss, Alan Joyce, has previously said passengers would be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 if they wished to travel internationally with the airline.