Domestic Cruises in the UK Can Resume From May 17

Good start to the week in the UK. Robert Corts, Britain’s shipping minister, has told several MPs that cruises, at least domestic ones, will be on 17. May 2021 can be resumed.

The announcement comes after the British government began taking steps to ease tensions in the country, according to a road map Prime Minister Boris Johnson has laid out for the country. Although the pandemic plagued the UK for many months, the successful application of the vaccine laid the groundwork for a rapid return to a new normal.

Help the cruise industry restore confidence

Robert Corts, Minister of Aviation, Shipping and Safety, was speaking at the virtual meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Maritime Group (APPMPG). He told MPs that the government is working with England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to organise cruises across the UK.

This means that flights between, or to and from, UK ports are likely to resume as soon as possible, on the 17th. May, according to the Prime Minister’s roadmap.

From repatriation and risk mitigation procedures to KV-19 protocols and the in-state vaccination program, a great session from @APPMPG with @robertcourts who gave very helpful updates. The road to the domestic cruise market will be paved on the 17th. May open again pic.twitter.com/qUrwNuhy2V

– All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Navy and the Group (@APPMPG) March 8, 2021

The cruise industry will be happy with this news. The cruise lines, CLIA (Cruise Lines Associated with Great Britain and Ireland) and the British Chamber of Commerce have worked hard to establish reliable protocols for guests and crew. The signal from the UK government will be followed up by the cruise industry around the world.

A government spokesman said:

We are committed to resuming sailing as soon as it is safe to do so, and we are working closely with the industry to prepare for a safe and successful resumption.

The resurgence of domestic cruising in England goes hand in hand with the general resurgence of domestic tourism and hospitality.

As indicated in the PM’s roadmap, the earliest date for this step is the 17th. May.

Photos: SeregaSibTravel / Shutterstock.com

What are the next steps for cruise lines?

The government’s plans are not unexpected. Although the exact date is not entirely clear, several cruise lines had already begun preparations for the departure. These include P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, while Royal Caribbean is one step ahead of the UK after announcing that the Odyssey of the Seas will sail to Israel.

Paul Ludlow, chairman of P&O Cruises, issued the following message in response to the news:

We are pleased that the Government has acknowledged that the UK domestic cruise holiday will begin on the 17th. The month of May can begin. Although our re-launch is still a few weeks away, we are already looking forward to welcoming our guests aboard our Ultimate Escape series of voyages this summer – British Coastal Cruises. Details of the programme, including ships, dates and itineraries, will be announced later this month.

Other cruise lines, such as SAGA Cruises, have announced that they will only sail with 100% vaccinated guests. However, they have not announced whether they will go earlier than the announced dates of August 2021.

Last week, the cruise line postponed even more cruises. No Cunard cruises are scheduled for May; the cruise line will tour the British Isles and make transatlantic trips to New York starting in June.

Before cruise lines are allowed to go to sea, they have to comply with a number of strict measures imposed by the government. Under the current system, crew members coming on board must undergo a PCR test and spend two weeks in quarantine on board, while guests on board must maintain a social distance and wear masks.

Photo: P&O Cruises

Will we see more international travel?

The opening up of the domestic cruise industry is a step towards the opening up of international tourism. The UK has recently set up a new Task Force on International Travel which aims to reinvigorate international travel in a safe and sustainable manner.

Several government departments, travel agents and representatives of the major aviation, shipping, cruise, international rail and tourism industries met to discuss the work of the task force and how to resume safe international travel.

Also read : When will cruises resume in 2021?

While the UK has long been considered a laggard in the fight against COWID and the resumption of cruising, it now appears that the country is taking the lead. And that should make it the second largest cruise market in the world.

Main photo credit: Anita van den Broek / Shutterstock

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