CLIA has reassured British travellers that cruises will continue to operate from the UK post-Brexit (Image: Silversea)
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) UK & Ireland predicts a rise in the number of British cruise passengers in 2019, despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit. The British Government and Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) have also provided reassurances about travel arrangements taking place after 29 March 2019.
The number of cruises taken between January and September rose by 2.1%, from 1.31 million in 2017 to 1.34 million in 2018. Combined with strong demand from cruise customers throughout the post-Christmas sales period, the UK cruise industry is in a good position going into 2019, according to CLIA UK & Ireland.
The British Government and ABTA have released official guidance for passengers travelling to the European Union (EU) by sea, air or rail after Brexit. From 29 March, if there is a no-deal Brexit, cruise operations will continue as they are. Cruise passengers departing from a UK port will continue to be protected by EU regulation on maritime passengers’ rights as it will be brought into UK law. Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, aeroplanes will continue to fly between the UK and EU. If a deal is agreed, everything will stay the same until December 2020. These authorities have also advised that travellers take out travel insurance, check the conditions of their booking and ensure that their passports have at least six months’ validity at time of travel.
“We welcome this advice and hopes it reassures UK and EU citizens planning a cruise holiday,” said Andy Harmer, director of CLIA UK & Ireland. “2019 is an exciting time for the cruise industry with 24 new ships being delivered for ocean and river cruise lines, and many existing ships being renovated and refurbished to a standard that rivals even the finest land-based hotels. Never before has there been so much choice for customers in terms of style of ship, itinerary and onboard experiences.
“The global fleet development, new destinations to explore, plus recent reassurances from authorities surrounding Brexit, put British travel agents in a great position to tempt their customers to choose cruise in 2019, whether it’s for the first time, or as repeat guests.”
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