A cruise ship initially scheduled to dock in Bali has been diverted and is set to arrive in Fremantle in the coming days as it grapples with a COVID-19 outbreak.
- The Queen Elizabeth was due to arrive in Bali on Monday but will now travel to Fremantle
- The ship’s owner, Cunard, says the decision was made after consulting with Indonesian authorities
- Between 10 and 15 per cent of the ship’s passengers are COVID-positive, the WA government has been told
According to an online ship-tracking service, the Queen Elizabeth left Sydney on November 15 before berthing in Darwin on Friday.
It was set to arrive in Bali on Monday, and then head to Perth as part of a 17-day voyage.
However, the COVID cases derailed plans to dock in Indonesia.
“Unfortunately, due to the ongoing rise in community transmission across Australia and this being reflected on various cruise lines, we’re unable to visit Indonesia at this time,” a spokesperson for ship owner Cunard said.
“That has followed ongoing conversations with the respective authorities in Bali, and we understand and respect the current circumstances we’re operating in.
“In light of this, we will sail into Fremantle in the coming days as planned.”
The ship has capacity for 2,081 guests, and the WA government said it had received information that 10 to 15 per cent of the people on board are COVID-positive.
WA Health confirmed the ship is due to arrive in Fremantle on Wednesday, November 30.
It has also traveled to Airlie Beach, Cairns and Port Douglas in Queensland over the past 10 days.
A spokesperson for Cunard said 95 per cent of passengers above the age of 12 were required to be vaccinated, with the remaining 5 per cent of slots for people with medical exemptions.
They said free rapid antigen tests were available to all guests and it was protocol for positive cases to enter isolation for five days.
Guests could only come out of their five-day isolation period after returning a negative rapid antigen test, according to the cruise operator.
A spokesperson for Ports Minister Rita Saffioti said authorities were aware of a cruise ship in WA waters with COVID patients on board.
Neither WA Health nor Cunard Line responded to questions about the condition of those who were COVID-positive, but the ship operator said medical support was available around the clock.
Meanwhile, WA recorded 10,520 new COVID-19 cases in the latest 7-day reporting period — a 16 per cent increase on the previous week.
The outbreak on the Queen Elizabeth comes after another cruise ship, the Majestic Princess, docked in Sydney with 800 Covid-positive passengers on board earlier this month.
Cunard Line falls under the Carnival Australia brand, which also operates the Majestic Princess.