International cruises re-start from the UK

By | Category: Travel news

Hidden away in the announcement by the transport minister, Grant Shapps, that people entering England from EU countries (except France) and the EU would not have to face self-isolation if they had been double vaccinated was news about cruising.

P&O’s Arcadia cruising in the Caribbean. It could be on the cards again later this year. Image P&O

He confirmed the restart of international cruises from British ports.

Cruises from the UK have been domestic only up until now. You can sail around the UK but heading for French or Spanish ports, the Norwegian coastline or anywhere else has not been allowed.

At present I think eighteen ships are sailing or scheduled to sail around our shores. Now expect cruise companies to add a few ports in Europe to try and see how interested we would be in voyaging further afield.

I would expect that it will still involve only those who are double jabbed and you might need to take a test prior to boarding. Only time will tell what rules will be introduced by the cruise companies, destination ports and ports in this country.

Don’t expect any countries to be added that have a high or growing incidence of COVID-19 cases.

This will have come too late to affect August cruises but it might result in some Autumn cruises being added to the schedules. Indeed P&O were quick off the blocks with a statement from their boss suggesting that they might be able to offer some very end of September cruises to international ports.

The trade body for cruise companies, Cruise Lines International Association, (CLIA,) has naturally welcomed the announcement pointing out that cruise lines have been sailing round Britain with enhanced protocols that go beyond any other travel sector operating today. It also said that the current practice of 100% testing of guests on UK domestic cruising will apply to international sailings.

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