The crowded British coastline

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

It is beginning to look like cruise companies have decided that the UK represents a goldmine (or lifeline) for their business in the early summer.

Saga’s newest ship – Spirit of Adventure. Image – Saga

Copying earlier models seen in Singapore and Italy, twelve cruise companies have announced that they will operate short cruises around the UK this summer.

Presumably this is because they can see that the vaccine programme in the UK is heading towards 60% for first jabs and is already at over 8% for people who have had both. By the middle of May the figures for those having had both jabs will be much higher. It means – the cruise companies hope – that those that have been vaccinated will be in sufficient numbers to justify moving ships to the UK.

And most, if not all, will insist that all passengers should have had both jabs just as all crew members will have had.

Generally the cruises will be up to about five- maybe seven – days and calling just at ports in the British Isles such as Liverpool, Belfast, some Scottish ports and those in the Orkneys and Shetlands as well as ports on the east coast.

At present it looks as though ships won’t call at ports in the Republic.

Later in the season, most cruise companies are planning that they can include overseas ports such as those in Scandinavia but these will be subject to developments.

The companies which have announced that they will move vessels and operate cruises from Southampton, Harwich, Greenock or Tilbury are:    



Fred Olsen



Marella (owned by TUI)





Tradewind Voyages


Royal Caribbean is the one big company that hasn’t announced round-Britain cruises for the forthcoming season. As other companies jump on the bandwagon will they be far behind? A present they have just four cruises planned in the Mediterranean for June and July only. Bringing a vessel to the UK for mid and late May might be on the cards now that tighter lockdowns apply to Germany, one of the largest providers of cruise passengers in Europe along with the UK.

Give it another week or so and even more companies might join the British coastline cruise business!  

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