Carnival Corp will soon start returning passenger ships to Australia now that the federal government lifted a two-year ban on cruising as a precaution against the pandemic.

The New York-listed and London-listed owner of 91 vessels plans to start sailing P&O Australia’s 1,950-berth Pacific Explorer (built 1997) out of Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne on 31 May.

This launch will come several weeks after the government plans to end the ban on 17 April.

It was implemented on 18 March 2020 after ships owned by Carnival and other cruise providers experienced Covid-19 outbreaks.

Arnold Donald-led Carnival stopped sailing P&O Australia’s Pacific Explorer, 1,400-berth Pacific Dawn (built 1990) and 1,258-berth Pacific Aria (built 1994) on 13 March 2020 when it suspended cruising for all ships across its nine brands.

The Miami-based cruise behemoth also expects to start sailing Princess Cruises’ 2,000-berth Coral Princess (built 2002) from Australia in June and its 3,611-berth Majestic Princess (built 2017) from the island continent in February 2023.

As a result of the new Australia itineraries, Carnival cancelled itineraries through April 2023 on the 2,670-berth Diamond Princess (built 2004) and 3,560-berth Royal Princess (built 2013) to Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

It also cancelled two Panama Canal sailings on the 3,100-berth Ruby Princess (built 2008) planned for February 2023 and some voyages on Majestic Princess from Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific that had been slated February 2023 to May 2023.

“The uncertainty of the past two years has been replaced with hope and a belief that the lifting of the cruise ban at last heralds the return of cruise operations in Australia,” Carnival Australia president Marguerite Fitzgerald said in a statement.