It’s been a busy week for the travel industry, with a selection of UK seacation cruises setting off on their first voyages with passengers on board since February 2020 and new destinations added to the green and amber lists on the Government’s traffic light system, with quarantine scrapped in some locations for double-jabbed passengers. 

Take a look at all the latest news and information from the world of cruising, here, and start planning your next cruise adventure…

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Saga’s Spirit of Discovery prepares to sail for the first time since February 2020

Quarantine scrapped for double-jabbed passengers 

There’s been great news for the travel industry this week, as the Government announced new travel rules for Brits looking to holiday this summer.

While previously, anyone returning to the UK from an amber list country were asked to quarantine for up to 10 days, the Government this week announced that this will no longer be necessary for anyone who has received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and is returning to the UK on or after 19th July 2021. 

This is great news for cruise lines who have been limited to where they can sail due to the current restrictions - but while the UK have scrapped quarantine rules, certain countries are still requesting travellers from the UK self-isolate when arriving there, meaning it’s not quite plain sailing just yet.

The new requirements for those returning from amber list countries to the UK are:

  • From 19th July, passengers who have been fully vaccinated with an NHS administered vaccine in the UK or are on a formally approved UK vaccine clinical trial, returning to England from an amber list country will no longer need to quarantine - proof of vaccination will be required in advance of travel

  • Pre-departure testing and day two testing measures will remain

  • Children under the age of 18 will be exempt from quarantine on returning to England from an amber list country

  • The recommendation for people to NOT travel to an amber list country will be removed from 19th July - travellers should continue to monitor the FCDO website for the latest travel advice.

Countries currently on the amber list include:

  • Greece and her Islands

  • The Bahamas

  • Belgium

  • Croatia

  • Cyprus

  • Spain and her Islands

  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines

For the full list of amber countries, visit the website.

Find out more about cruising after Covid-19

Cruises set sail for the first time since early 2020

After an almost 18-month hiatus, it was celebration central for a selection of some of the world’s most renowned cruise lines over the last few weeks as they set sail from ports around the UK and Europe with passengers on board, for the highly anticipated return to cruising. 

Passengers stepped on board MSC’s brand new ship ‘Virtuosa’ for her maiden voyage around British Isles from Southampton, with one individual noting that for a 6,300 strong passenger ship, having just 1,000 passengers on board to comply with social distancing rules felt like they ‘had it to themselves’! While over on Saga’s ‘Spirit of Discovery’, Captain Darin commented that “Exploring the picturesque ports on the south coast of England under sunny skies was a welcome break for our guests”, who stepped back on board for the first time since February 2020.

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Over in the Med, Royal Caribbean prepared for their first cruise of 2021 with a two-night preview sailing in Cyprus on board ‘Jewel of the Seas’ ahead of her seven-night maiden voyage on July 10, with ports including Athens, Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos and Santorini, Greece.

This inaugural cruise marks the beginning of a series of seven-night itineraries to the Greek Islands for Royal Caribbean, also marking the first time the cruise ship has been based in Cyprus.

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Inaugural cruises and naming ceremonies for UK cruise lines

Over the last few weeks the industry has seen a number of announcements regarding naming ceremonies and inaugural cruises for some of the most stunning new cruise ships in the world.

P&O Cruises celebrated the launch of their latest vessel, ‘Iona’ on 16th May down in Southampton with a sensational naming event hosting some big name guests including Gary Barlow and Jo Wylie. Originally planned for 2020 but delayed due to the pandemic, guests were invited to watch the event live on the company’s website and social media platforms, before she sets sail on her maiden voyage around the UK on 7th August.

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As well as P&O, over 50’s UK cruise line Saga, announced that the naming ceremony for their newest boutique style cruise ship, ‘Spirit of Adventure’, would take place in Portsmouth on 19th July ahead of her inaugural cruise around the UK on 26th July. While the public have been advised not to attend the event in person, the ceremony will be hosted virtually and they invite those wishing to be part of the momentous occasion to sign up to receive details of how to watch. You can do so by filling in the form on their website.

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Find out more 

If you’d like to find out more about the cruises we offer, take a look around our website or call our knowledgeable team on 01737 646412.