The industry is hopeful for the ban on international sailings to be lifted with the introduction of the traffic light system in May
Clia has said that the Global Travel Taskforce’s report on restarting international travel “sends a signal of confidence” to the cruise industry.
The Taskforce revealed that the government would be introducing a traffic light system from May 17, although it did not mention the resumption of international cruise. UK cruises are allowed to sail from May, but currently the Foreign Office advises against sailing on a cruise ship that will travel internationally.
The Department for Transport said that key factors in the assessment of countries on the traffic light list will include:
– the percentage of their population that have been vaccinated
– the rate of infection
– the prevalence of variants of concern
– the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
A statement from Clia read: “We welcome the announcement to restart international cruises alongside the wider resumption of international travel, in line with the ‘traffic light’ system.
“This announcement is the culmination of extensive collaboration between industry, government, health authorities and ports during the last 12 months to further strengthen health measures, which now go beyond any other travel sector. The industry’s protocols have already been tried and tested as almost 400,000 people have sailed on cruises since last summer elsewhere around the globe.
“It sends a signal of confidence to the industry and is a welcome boost to the thousands of people employed in the sector or whose livelihoods depend upon cruise, including travel agencies, hotels, tour guides, port operators and many other service providers up and down the country.”
The new line’s Summer Soirée Series will traverse the south coast of England and is on sale now
Virgin Voyages has revealed that it will be operating a series of cruises out of Portsmouth this summer. It is the latest line to announce a summer of ex-UK sailings, read our round-up here.
The sailings will be on offer only to UK residents and include three and four-night sailings this August. All passengers will need to be over 18, as is standard on Scarlet Lady, and be vaccinated.
“Virgin Voyages has been looking forward to sailing, and we’re so excited to announce our plans to sail from the UK,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. “Our team has curated such a fantastic experience for our sailors and know this is a holiday they will love.”
Sailing along the south coast of England, these cruises offer a taste of the Virgin Voyages experience . The Summer Soirée Series includes:
● Itinerary 1 – Long Weekender (three-night, Friday to Monday)
○ August 6-9
○ August 13-16
○ August 20-23
● Itinerary 2 – Summer WeekDaze (four-night, Monday to Friday)
○ August 9-13
○ August 16-20
○ August 23-27
“After more than a year of waiting and a major emphasis on a safe return, we’re ecstatic to announce these new sailings and bring sailors onboard to experience what it’s like to set sail the Virgin way,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO and president of Virgin Voyages. “We look at our UK summer voyages as a homecoming to pay homage to our British roots, and what an excellent way to kick-off our sailing season before heading back to PortMiami.”
The Summer Soirée Series is on sale now.