Coronavirus has further delayed the delivery of Australia's new icebreaker, but a temporary Antarctic supply ship for next summer has been locked in.
The $529 million RSV Nuyina, under construction in Romania, was already 19 weeks behind schedule before the virus hit.
It was due to arrive at Hobart in November and begin sailing to the frozen continent in January.
But its start date has been pushed back indefinitely, with specialist teams unable to reach the European shipyard because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.
"The fit-out and testing schedule for the vessel is being severely impacted," Australian Antarctic Division operations manager Charlton Clark said on Monday.
"Due to the uncertainty around the coronavirus situation, we don't know when the ship will be finished and ready to undergo the required sea-trials."
The delay is not expected to have any impact on the cost of the long-term contract.
The AAD was already planning to contract another ship for this summer, after the orange Aurora Australis competed its final resupply trip last week after 31 years.
The MPV Everest, built in 2017 and operated by Dutch company Maritime Construction Services, will fill the void for at least 90 days, the AAD announced on Monday.
It can accommodate up to 100 expeditions and has a helipad for resupply operations
"The MPV Everest was selected after a call for proposals and was identified as providing the best value for money," Mr Clark said.
Aurora Australis returned to Hobart from its final mission to sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island to little fanfare, with celebrations called off because of coronavirus fears.
Australian Associated Press