Britain’s international cruising restart gets the go-ahead

Following the announcement that from August 2, the UK will be allowing fully vaccinated travellers from the U.S. and EU to enter the country without the need to quarantine on arrival, international cruises from England are also set to restart after a forced 16-month hiatus.

UK domestic cruising restarted from 17 May, with the Department for Transport (DfT) stating that international cruise sailings could restart from England in line with Public Health England guidance.

“International cruise travel advice will be amended to encourage travellers to understand the risks associated with cruise travel and take personal responsibility for their own safety abroad,” said the DfT.

The blanket advisory against cruising abroad in place since March 2020 will be removed on 2 August. However, there are still grey areas around when each cruise line will restart operations and if the ports include Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

On the P&O Cruises website, the company says its Britannia and Iona ships will begin planned itineraries on 25 September.

However, due to the country’s traffic light system, a “number of itineraries have had to be cancelled”.

Cunard’s first UK cruise will sail on 13 August with international cruises beginning in October.

Richard Ballantyne, chief executive at the British Ports Association (BPA), said UK domestic cruises had demonstrated how ports and cruise lines could “ensure the health and safety of passengers, crew and destinations”.

He said the organisation is “hopeful that the devolved administrations will follow suit shortly” in allowing international cruises.

The British Ports Association, which represents more than 400 ports, terminal operators and port facilities, said it was “disappointed” that arrivals from France still need to quarantine on arrival into England for ten days.

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