Sapphire Princess redeployed to Australia to avoid Coronavirus

Princess Cruises has announced that Sapphire Princess will cruise Australian waters instead of in Asia due to the risk of infection and port cancellations posed by the Coronavirus epidemic.

Sapphire Princess, which cruised from Dubai last year, was meant to sail an Australian season between October, 2020 and April, 2021, but will instead arrive in the region in May this year.

Sapphire Princess will spend a full year in Australia

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The revised schedule sees her Australian season extended by six months, with 47 new cruises from five major Australian cities.

The 2,670-passenger ship was meant to sail in Asia from May to October, but is among a dozen ships, accounting for more than 50 cruises, that have been pulled from the region.

While the Coronavirus epidemic’s full brunt is only being felt in mainland China, several ports in the region are no longer accessible to cruise ships over fears of an outbreak, while even a rumour of Coronavirus aboard a ship can see it turned away from multiple ports.

The new schedule adds 47 new itineraries to Sapphire Princess’ Australian cruise season

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Sapphire Princess will arrive into Perth (Fremantle) following a multi-million dollar refurbishment.

The full season comprises 171 port calls including:

  •        A 10-night Coral Coast voyage sailing from Perth (Fremantle), visiting West Australia’s coastal destinations such as Broome, Geraldton and Exmouth. Departing May 4, 2020
  •        A 17-night Northern Explorer between Sydney and Perth (Fremantle) visiting destinations such as Geraldton and Cairns. Departing Perth (Fremantle) on June 8, 2020
  •        Roundtrip voyages to Fiji from Brisbane and Sydney including a 12-night Fiji cruise sailing from Sydney visiting Dravuni Island and Lautoka. Departing June 25, 2020
  •        Australia Circumnavigation voyages from Sydney, Adelaide and Perth (Fremantle) including an inaugural 28-night Round Australia cruise out of Adelaide visiting Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island, Port Arthur, Hobart, Sydney, Brisbane, Yorkeys Knob, Alotau,  Darwin, Kimberley Coast (Scenic Cruising), Broome, Geraldton, Perth (Fremantle), Margaret River (Busselton) and Adelaide. Departing from Perth (Fremantle) 10 August, 2020

The new cruises will go on sale from Thursday, February 27.

Sapphire Princess will receive MedallionNet WiFi from June 4, offering guests the fastest Wi-Fi at sea.

“Australia remains one of our most popular destinations for UK guests and we’re offering a variety of new options,” said Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ Vice President UK & Europe. “If you’re looking to line up your next cruise down under now is a great time to book with Princess.”

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