Much to the relief of travellers around the world, the UK government, with effect from 4:00 am (0300 GMT) on August 2, officially gave the green light to resume international cruises. It must be noted that domestic cruises were already allowed to run from May but international cruises were prohibited until now.
People travelling to England will be required to quarantine on arrival but travellers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and are arriving from amber countries in Europe (EU member states, European Free Trade Association countries and Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City) and from the US, except France, will not have to quarantine when entering England. However, they will still be required to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on the second day after they arrive.
Those arriving from France will be subject to separate rules. If someone has been in France in the 10 days before they arrive in England, then they will need to quarantine for 10 days after they arrive and take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, even they happen to be fully vaccinated.
“We’re helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends,” Transport Secretary of UK Grant Shapps tweeted while announcing the news.
We’re also able to confirm the restart of international cruises🚢and flexible testing programmes to help key workers and drive our economic recovery.
Whether you’re a family or a business, this is progress we can all enjoy.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) July 28, 2021
Shortly after the announcement by the UK government, P&O Cruises announced that international cruise holidays on their ships ‘Britannia’ and ‘Iona’are set to start from September 25, with Britannia sailing to the Mediterranean and Iona to Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: We are absolutely delighted with today’s announcement from the UK Government that international cruising can resume from the UK.
Britannia has been sailing UK coastal cruises since the end of June and Iona’s maiden voyage on 7th August.
— P&O Cruises (@pandocruises) July 28, 2021
The news comes at a time when Britain is in the midst of another wave of the virus due to the Delta variant. However, it has been noticed that the case numbers have dropped over the past week as its vaccine drive has witnessed more than 70 percent of adults being fully jabbed.
Cruising from UK: Prominent Cruise Ports
When it comes to ports, UK has no shortage. Every corner of Britain is endowed with at least one excellent departure cruise port. Cruises from Southampton, Tilbury, and Liverpool have iconic world cruises and transatlantic voyages to offer.
If you wish to get a glance of all of Northern Europe, then look no further than Southampton as it is central to countries like Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Norway.
The Southampton cruise port is the largest UK cruise port and boasts the best UK cruise lines ships sailing from there. The list with best Around the World cruise ships from Southampton includes all P&O world cruise liners and the Cunard ships. The town of Southampton itself is worth exploring, and the view of the shore from the sea is simply awe-inspiring.
The Dover cruise port is the second largest in the UK. It has 2 passengers terminals, and in the pre-Covid times, it used to attract 200,000 passengers a year. The majority of UK cruise ships from Dover sail to Scandinavia and Northern Europe (to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, and Germany).
Some of the other prominent cruise ports that are visited mostly by big UK cruise line ships include Port Greenock, Port Harwich, and Port Liverpool.
Read More: Life Beyond Ordinary Cruises
Cruising from UK: Prominent Cruise Lines
Cunard Line, which is one of the world’s most famous ocean liners, is known for its commitment to value and quality, and it sails to some of the most thrilling destinations in the world. Cunard offers travellers a view of ravishing beauty spots such as the Isle of Scilly and the Jurassic Coast.
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With flexible booking system, P&O UK has established itself as one of the many ‘go-to’ cruise lines of Britain.
Renowned cruise lines such as Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises and Princess Cruises have brought their UK cruise offering online for the summer.
Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic, which is exclusive to UK residents, departs from Liverpool, Southampton, Newcastle and Tilbury, and promises to offer a memorable experience, thanks to its onboard entertainment, world-class accommodation, and dining and recreation facilities for families. In order to sail, guests will be required to meet health and safety requirements. COVID-19 testing and full COVID-19 vaccination for adults 18 years of age and older will be necessary in order to sail.
Saga has restarted a number of sailings for July and August around the UK onboard Spirit of Adventure and Spirit of Discovery. ◼
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© This article was first published online in Aug 2021 – World Travel Magazine.