Princess Cruises has been largely exonerated in the report of the Australian Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess cruise ship coronavirus outbreak.
The report was released on Friday, August 14, and the Commissioner heavily criticised Australian health officials.
The inquiry found 'serious errors' by New South Wales Health in its handling of suspected cases on board.
Princess Cruises welcomes the completion of the independent Special Commission of Inquiry into Ruby Princess and again expresses profound sorrow at the impact COVID-19 has had on Ruby Princess’s guests, crew and their families.
"Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected, particularly those who lost loved ones," says Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia group president Jan Swartz.
"The Commission’s report confirms that none of our people — the Captain, the ship’s doctor, or members of our shore side port agency team — misled public authorities involved in Ruby Princess being permitted to disembark guests on March 19.
"This finding is of great importance to us because it goes to the integrity of our people. In our more than 20 years in Australia, we have always sought to cooperate honestly and professionally with officials in accordance with the regulatory environment," says Jan.
"We acknowledge the Commission’s specific comments about Carnival Australia, and we will consider these comments to the fullest possible extent."
Princess Cruises also welcomes the Commission’s attention to improving information sharing and coordination among government agencies in the future.
"In our submission to the inquiry, we agreed that this area deserved consideration. We look forward to collaborating with government agencies and industry peers to improve these systems," says Jan.
"Our overriding objective is to ensure cruising is a safe and enjoyable pastime for the millions of people who value exploring the world by sea as their preferred holiday choice.
"Princess Cruises has developed strong relationships with our guests, travel agents and other stakeholders in Australia and over decades we have also worked closely with the Australian Government, State Governments and their agencies on many initiatives to build and invest in the cruise industry in Australia.
"We will now take some time to consider the Commission’s findings. In the light of ongoing legal proceedings, we are not able to add to these comments at this time."
To read the report, click here.