A cruising re-start date?

By | Category: Travel news

Although vaccines are now available, travel and tourism look like being affected for some time.

Carnival Cruise Lines has supended cruises from US ports until April. Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines.

Just last week, Holland-America and Princess cruise lines announced that they wouldn’t restart cruising in the Americas until late April or early May. Mediterranean cruises by Holland-America will also be delayed until the very end of April.

Carnival which owns Cunard and P&O has suspended its American cruises until the beginning of April. Saga has no cruises until early May but already it has indicated that a cruise calling at American ports in September will not go ahead. That suggests it has little confidence in a return to cruising in the next four months at least.

With the vaccination in most countries other than Israel starting a little more slowly than many experts wanted, the backlog and the millions of people that are considered to be in the greatest risk areas means that it is unlikely that cruise holidays will start when the cruise companies think.

Take the UK for instance. In England the plan is that all those in the top five groups will be vaccinated by late Spring which could mean June or July. The announcement by the Welsh government yesterday that all over 50’s should be vaccinated by Spring and all adults by the Autumn. Scotland just aims to vaccinate as soon as possible and Northern Ireland will have vaccinated all over 80’s by the end of January it hopes.

It looks as though all people in the UK who want the vaccine will not be vaccinated until the Autumn. Will cruise companies hold off until then or just plan to go to sea with those who can demonstrate they have had the vaccine?

There are as many rumours in the travel industry about when mainstream cruises will re-start as there are I have had hot dinners.

Initially the cruise companies will wait until at least a few countries open their ports to people from other nations. Until then with the no-overseas travel rules in the UK and countries blocking British visitors because of the new strain, cruising seems on a backburner for another few months.

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