A DECISION by P&O Cruises to further delay its 2021/22 season was “disappointing” but “not unexpected” says Fremantle mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge.
The company announced on Wednesday there would be no home porting from Fremantle until at least after April 2022.
“With ongoing uncertainty around the resumption of cruising in Australia and the region, today we have announced a further extension to our pause in operations across Adelaide, Fremantle, Cairns and Singapore homeports,” the company said in a statement.
Cruise Lines International Association manager Joel Katz took aim at both federal and state governments following the decision, saying there was a double standard in allowing international commercial flights to start coming in to states with 80 per cent vaccination rates, but leaving the ban on cruise liners.
Ms Fitzhardinge said she didn’t want to get drawn into a debate on borders and whether destinations like Freo where cruise liners played an important role in the economy were getting the rough end of the stick, but noted business owners hadn’t raised the issue with her.
“I don’t think they were hugely surprised by the decision either,” she said.
“We are disappointed, but the good news is that they have committed to the 2023 season,” she said.
by STEVE GRANT