Princess Cruises has been largely exonerated in the report of the Australian Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess cruise ship coronavirus outbreak. he report was released last Friday 14 and the Commissioner heavily criticised Australian health officials.
Kevin O’Sullivan, chief executive of the New Zealand Cruise Association, says the organisation is pleased with the outcome. ‘It has been a very stressful time for Carnival and Princess because of mismanagement by Australian health agencies.’
The inquiry found ‘serious errors’ by New South Wales Health in its handling of suspected cases on board.
‘The Commission’s report confirms that none of our people — the Captain, the ship’s doctor, or members of our shore side port agency team — misled public authorities involved in Ruby Princess being permitted to disembark guests on March 19,’ says Jan Swartz, group president, Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia.
‘This finding is of great importance to us because it goes to the integrity of our people. In our more than 20 years in Australia, we have always sought to cooperate honestly and professionally with officials in accordance with the regulatory environment.
‘We acknowledge the Commission’s specific comments about Carnival Australia, and we will consider these comments to the fullest possible extent,’ Swartz adds.
Princess Cruises also welcomes the Commission’s attention to improving information sharing and coordination among government agencies in the future. In our submission to the inquiry, we agreed that this area deserved consideration. We look forward to collaborating with government agencies and industry peers to improve these systems.
The New Zealand Cruise Association (NZCA) says it is imperative not to ‘waste the next month or two’ and wants close collaboration with government on what its expectations are from cruise – in the short, medium and longer terms.
The statement comes after the Prime Minister announced the continuing suspension of cruising in New Zealand until at least the end of September.
The New Zealand Cruise Association (NZCA) has called for the cruise industry to share stories about why cruise is important.
‘Talk to anybody and everybody using whatever media, social media outlet you are comfortable with,’ says CEO Kevin O’Sullivan. ‘The cruise industry in New Zealand will recover, but it needs your help.’