Clockwise from left, Celebrity Silhouette, Saga's Spirit of Discovery and Cunard's Queen Elizabeth
Celebrity Cruises, Cunard and Saga Cruises have become the latest brands to confirm that they will resume UK cruise operations this summer in line with the UK Government’s decision to allow domestic travel from 17 May 2021.
British brand Saga Cruises is to offer four all-inclusive itineraries onboard Spirit of Discovery, all departing from Tilbury, London. They include a six-night “Scottish Highlands and Islands” cruise on 27 June, a 14-night “Great British Isles Adventure” voyage on 11 July, and two six-night “From the Northern Isles to the Fjords” sailings, one departing on 3 July and the other on 25 July.
Spirit of Adventure will also offer a 15-night inaugural cruise from Tilbury on 26 July, calling at destinations in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland before guests disembark in Dover.
“I can confidently say that our guests are in for a really exceptional experience and they can board with peace of mind, knowing we take their health and well-being incredibly seriously,” said Nigel Blanks, CEO of Saga Cruises. “We are asking all our guests to have had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine prior to joining our cruises and, as they rightly expect, all necessary precautions and the highest standards of cleanliness will be observed onboard.”
Fresh from a multimillion-pound, bow-to-stern revitalisation, Celebrity Silhouette will be the first Celebrity Cruises ship to resume operations in the UK, starting with a series of six- to eight-night itineraries around the British Isles from 3 July. All guests aged 18 and over must have received full Covid-19 vaccinations, while those under the age of 18 must present negative PCR test results before boarding.
“We’re delighted to be returning to Southampton after over a year away,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. “We are truly committed to the UK market and can’t wait to welcome guests back onboard. What could be better than a new luxury ship, ready to take guests on a journey around one of the world’s most beautiful and impressive coastlines? Not only is this extremely significant to us as a business but also to the local tourism industry.”
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will offer a series of roundtrips from Southampton between July and October 2021, including 10 ‘British Isles Voyages’ and three ‘Sun Voyages’ lasting between three and 12 nights. All the British Isles cruises will include scenic sailings along Britain’s coastline and four include port calls at various destinations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The ’Sun Voyages’ will be guided by studying the weather forecast and “heading to where the sun shines brightest.” Sailings will be open exclusively to UK residents that have received Covid-19 vaccinations.
“With international travel not yet fully opened up we’re delighted to offer these voyages exclusively for British guests to experience a staycation unlike any other, as they relax in Cunard luxury knowing we will take care of everything,” said Simon Palethorpe, president of Cunard.
Several other operators have already revealed plans to restart cruises in the UK this summer. MSC Cruises’ MSC Virtuosa will be the first to resume services for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated UK residents from 20 May, operating short sailings primarily from its new terminal at the Port of Southampton. Viking will also resume limited services in May with three roundtrips from Portsmouth onboard new vessel Viking Venus.
In addition, P&O Cruises will offer vaccinated UK residents a series of short UK coastal cruises on Britannia and new ship Iona between June and September, Princess Cruises will sail coastal cruises from the port of Southampton onboard two of its MedallionClass ships, Regal Princess and Sky Princess between July and September. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ newest vessels, Borealis and Bolette, will also resume operations in July, sailing 11 scenic cruises around the British Isles and Faroe Islands from Dover or Liverpool.
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