Following the announcement of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown in February, travel looks set to start to reopen from 17 May within England, as long as the four conditions are met.
The Department for Transport later confirmed that the reopening of domestic cruises in the UK would align with the resumption of domestic tourism and indoor hospitality, which confirms the plan to allow UK domestic cruises from 17 May.
What is a UK domestic cruise?
A domestic cruise is exactly what it sounds like: a cruise around different locations in the UK.
Some are themed around historical landmarks, some are sold on letting you experience mini city breaks in some of the best places the UK has to offer, and others are more varied.
The UK is far more diverse and engaging than many people first realise, and a domestic cruise is the perfect way to take it all in and begin to really appreciate what’s on your doorstep.
Will it be safe?
Cruise lines have been working with the government throughout the coronavirus pandemic to ensure passengers and crew can be kept as safe as possible.
Clia UK and Ireland director, Andy Harmer, backed this up as he explained how “protocols have already been successfully tested where cruise has been able to operate elsewhere in Europe.”
It’s clear that cruise lines will be taking the safety of everyone on board seriously, with testing, quarantine, and other health screening in place.
What are the cruise lines saying about this?
Cruise lines have come out to express their excitement about this breaking news. P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, said they were “delighted” after the announcement.
The mood in the industry is very positive, and many feel this could be a good move for rebuilding cruise confidence, leading the way for international cruises to start back up when the government allows.
P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises are just two of the cruise lines that have spoken about their intentions to increase the number of UK domestic cruises they’re offering to give passengers even more options.
When can you book?
Many cruise lines are only taking bookings for later this year and into next year, with Fred. Olsen one of the only ones offering cruises this summer so far.
Keep an eye out for this to change following the government’s announcement, as P&O Cruises have already said they will start offering the ‘Ultimate Escape’ – a collection of UK domestic cruises – later this month.
It’s important that you keep in mind that reopening on cruises is dependent on the government allowing it, and while 17 May is the plan, it’s based on certain conditions being met – ensuring the virus is under control before leisure travel can start back up.
Before booking, check the terms and conditions of the cruise line to make sure you have the flexibility to rearrange your travel dates if the lockdown measures are changed.
Make sure to also take out a cruise travel insurance policy as soon as you book your trip so cancellation cover is in place.