(3 p.m. AEST) -- Due to the ongoing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Dream Cruises has withdrawn the deployment of Explorer Dream to Australia and New Zealand between October 2020 and February 2021.
The decision comes one month after the new program was announced.
"In light of the global coronavirus pandemic, Dream Cruises has been monitoring the situation and working closely with authorities to support all possible precautionary measures. As always, the health and safety of our guests and crew is our upmost priority," said Brigita Devries, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Australia and New Zealand.
"Regretfully, these unprecedented circumstances have brought us to the difficult decision that we must cancel the planned return Australia and New Zealand deployment for Explorer Dream, meaning all cruises scheduled to depart between 8 October 2020 and 13 March 2021 have been cancelled. We are deeply saddened by this decision however we must take these extraordinary precautionary measures in order to limit the spread of the virus and play our part in recovery. We hope that by acting early, we will minimise the number of passengers affected."
Passengers affected by the cancellations have the option to receive a future cruise credit towards any Dream Cruises voyage until December 31, 2021 with an additional AU$250 onboard credit, or receive a full refund. The line will contact affected passengers via their booking agent.
"We thank you for your extraordinary support of Explorer Dream's first ever deployment to Australia and New Zealand recently. We have built wonderful and rewarding relationships with you all, and while Explorer Dream will not return to Australia and New Zealand in the immediate future, we will be back," said Devries.