Cruise Line Forced to Cancel Shore Excursion Due to Bush Fires

October 22, 2013
(5:30 a.m. EDT) -- Bushfires raging across Australia have so far affected one cruise ship excursion around Sydney.

Holland America Line's Volendam had to cancel a tour to the Blue Mountains on Sunday (Oct. 20) due to the fires, which are threatening to engulf the entire Blue Mountains region.

Alternate tours in Sydney were arranged for passengers whose excursions had been cancelled. No other Carnival Australia cruise line has been affected, a spokesperson confirmed.

He added: “Our thoughts are with those in the Blue Mountains region as they continue to battle the fires.”

Princess Cruises has two ships -- Sun Princess and Sea Princess -- which call in at Sydney regularly, but neither ship are affected as Blue Mountains tours are not offered.

A spokesperson said: “We don't have any impact yet from the fires because the ships that are currently sailing from Sydney primarily carry local passengers, so Blue Mountains tours are not generally offered. Diamond Princess, which carries more North American passengers, begins sailing in Australia in December. So any longer term impact on Blue Mountains tours would be determined at that time.

Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas is due in to Sydney this Thursday (Oct. 24), and we are waiting for a response from the line.

New South Wales has been badly hit by bushfires after the hottest September on record and has declared a state of emergency as the fires continue to rage.

--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor