Cruise Travel may appeal to you if you’d prefer to leave the challenges of air travel behind you and focus upon setting sail for an adventure around the British Isles!
With the UK cruise industry aligned with the reopening of domestic tourism and indoor hospitality sectors, we thought we’d share what you should be aware of, before embarking upon cruise travel post lockdown.
When will UK Cruise Travel Be an Option Again?
Cruise travel should restart from Monday 17th May. Like the previous steps on the UK government’s road map out of lockdown, reopening the UK cruise industry will be dependent upon passing four tests.
In time, if the UK cruise industry demonstrates that it can operate carefully cruises across Europe should be given the green light too! If you’re feeling optimistic and would like some cruise travel inspiration for winter, view a previous blog that covers warm destination cruises in December and January. Or learn how to choose to find the right cruise for you here.
Which Cruise Lines are Offering British Isle Cruises?
A list of cruise lines that will be offering domestic cruises in the UK:
- Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth offers scenic cruises. Sail for four nights, for sights of the Isle of Mull. Or cruise for 12 nights and visit Guernsey, a great place to explore in many ways – not least of all onboard an Albion coach.
- Viking Cruises aims to begin departures from Portsmouth on May 22nd, May 29th, and June 5th 2021. With an eight-day ocean itinerary called “England’s Scenic Shores,” exclusively for UK residents, relax on the ocean liner’s newest ocean ship – Viking Venus®.
- P&O Cruises are hoping to start a series of seven-night breaks from August, which include sea days and excursions. For a short, four-night coastal cruise, discover the UK’s hidden gems, such as The Jurassic coastline. Or, stay on board for two weeks to visit your favourite specialist restaurants and shops and go on a range of onshore excursions. These include the Titanic experience in booming Belfast, a picturesque drive within Ireland’s second-largest county (Donegal), and a trip to the Viking town of Kirkwall within the Orkney Islands.
- Fred Olsen will be offering three to thirteen nights onboard its family-run cruise line, which departs from six UK ports. During a three-night cruise, sail around the mythical Scottish coast and spot sea birds. A team from ORCA will also be on board to help you spot the variety of native fauna! When onboard for 13 nights, step ashore to explore the ‘Emerald Isle’, The Isle of Man, The Isles of Scilly, and the cornish harbour of Falmouth.
- Princess Cruises have plans to set off in October. On a MedallionClass™ vessel, spend 10 days cruising around the British Isles, with excursions that visit enchanting fairy tale castles in Ireland.
For more information about what the cruise lines and industry is doing in preparation for a post-COVID cruise, visit the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) website.
UK Cruise Travel Restrictions
Cruise travel post-COVID will look and feel different but this is to ensure the safety of you, all the crew, and passengers throughout the voyage.
What can I expect on a UK Cruise post-COVID?
- While onboard, you’ll receive daily non-invasive saliva PCR tests and additional health checks.
- A sanitisation team will work throughout the day and night to ensure all surfaces are cleaned frequently with anti-viral solutions.
- Physical distancing measures will be introduced, for example, tables and chairs will be spaced further apart in the restaurants.
Will booking a cruise be more flexible?
- If you test positive for COVID and cannot travel, you should be able to cancel and move your cruise to another without paying extra administration fees.
- Refunds should be available if you don’t wish to transfer your cruise to another date.
- In some cases, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your departure. Just check with your cruise travel agent or provider.
The Best UK Cruise Travel Agents
For knowledgeable advice about what’s going on in the cruise industry, such as cancellations, rebooking, future cruise credits, and onboard perks, speak to a reputable cruise travel agent. You can find a list of some of the best ones in the UK here.
Whichever agent helps you book your desired journey, remember to take Free Spirit Cruise Travel Insurance as well.
Free Spirit Cruise Travel Insurance
There are many benefits of going on a UK cruise with Free Spirit cruise travel insurance. For instance, we cover people of any age and most existing medical conditions or disabilities. Plus, protection is given against loss and theft for medical aids, travel documents, and essentials.
We can also confirm that there is cover for evacuation/repatriation and necessary onboard medical expenses on a UK-only cruise. Our policy will provide cover with a £5 or £10 million limit for emergency medical and associated expenses, the amount will be dependent upon your chosen cover level.
If you have any concerns about travelling during the Coronavirus pandemic read our COVID travel guide for an anxiety-free holiday and/or learn more about our Coronavirus Cover.
How you spend your cruise and wherever you visit is up to you. We hope we’ve given you the confidence to travel whenever your next ocean voyage may be. Happy Sailing!