United Kingdom

Cruise companies offer 70% discounts in a bid to draw back customers after the coronavirus pandemic 

Cruise companies are slashing their fares by up to 70 per cent in a bid to draw customers back after the coronavirus pandemic.

Carnival Cruises is offering as much as 38 per cent off trips from Sydney to Brisbane and the South Pacific.

The cruise operator is selling fares for a nine-day round trip in May 2021 from Sydney to New Caledonia for $545 per person and an 'extra value' deal offering a 50 per cent reduction on deposits.

Blue Lagoons Cruises has also offered 70 per cent off cruises until June 2022 on its three, four and seven day cruises with flexibility on dates once the international travel ban is lifted. 

Cruise companies are slashing their fares by up to 70 per cent to entice customers back once the ban on international travel has been lifted (stock image)

It comes despite no word from the federal government on when the overseas travel ban - which includes international cruises - will be lifted. 

The Australian Border Force has also banned cruise liners from entering Australian waters until September 17.

Operators are hoping though the trans-Tasman bubble, which would allow travel between Australia and New Zealand, could be open by September.

Australian doctor Dr John Parker - who helped contain the outbreak of the disease on the ill-fated Ruby Princess after it docked in Sydney on March 19 - said cruise holidays would look very different once travel restrictions are relaxed.

'It won't be quite as crowded. You've got to have social distancing and the crew will have to have individual cabins,' he told The Daily Telegraph.

Dr Parker said there were multiple hygiene protocols cruise ships could use to reduce the spread of the virus - including an app allowing crew members infected with COVID-19 to record changes in their daily temperature checks. 

Pictured: The doomed Ruby Princess on March 19 after docking at Sydney Harbour.  Operators are hoping a trans-Tasman bubble could allow the cruise business to start again by September

Pictured: Blue Lagoon Cruises' Mystique Princess. The cruise operator is offering fares discounts of up to 70 per cent

'You could see everyone’s temperature in real time, it would be a useful tool for the future,' he said.

It follows an urgent warning being issued at the end of May after a passenger on the Ruby Princess was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

NSW Health sent out an alert to all of the ship's passengers who were on board between March 8-19. 

HOW CRUISE SHIPS HAVE BECOME HOTBEDS FOR THE CORONAVIRUS

The Diamond Princess cruise ship was at the centre of the early beginnings of the coronavirus outbreak in February. 

Japan forced the Diamond Princess cruise ship into quarantine at the port of Yokohama after hundreds contracted coronavirus. 

At least seven people who were on board the vessel died. 

Diamond Princess cruise ship seen above at Yokohama Port near Tokyo on February 26

From 15 March, all international cruise ships were banned by the Australian government from sailing into or out of Australian ports for 30 days.

On March 19, the Ruby Princess arrived in Sydney Harbour and more than 2,700 guests are allowed to disembark without adequate health checks. 

About 700 of its passengers have since tested positive for COVID-19, with many more put at risk - accounting for around 10 per cent of all Australia's cases.

So far, at least 22 COVID-19 deaths have been linked to the cruise liner. 

A criminal investigation was launched on April 5 into how passengers were able to disembark without checks.

Cruise ships around the world have struggled to find somewhere to dock during the coronavirus pandemic as countries close their ports to the vessels.

Football news:

Sterling on the record for goals in a season: we Want to win the Champions League and the FA Cup, otherwise they won't mean anything
Sheffield will finish the Premier League season without defeats from clubs from London. 22 points in 10 games and 5 home wins
Bonucci on Juve's draw with Atalanta: We must look at the result. This is how Championships are won
Sterling surpassed Yaya Toure to become Manchester City's 2nd goalscorer in the history of the Premier League
Gasperini on two penalties for Juve: They are above any rules in Italy. Did we have to cut off our hands?
Sarri Pro 2:2 with Atalanta: We played with one of the best teams in Europe right now
Pep Guardiola: Manchester City have won a place in the Champions League on the pitch. I hope that UEFA will allow us to play