U.K. cruise lines have adopted a "wait-and-see" approach to the current UK post-Brexit crisis, telling passengers it was business as usual.
Cunard Line, P&O Cruises, Thomson Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and cruise industry body CLIA (Cruise Line Industry Association) all moved to reassure cruise passengers following the referendum, in which 52% of the British population voted to leave the European Union.
The cruise lines released their statements of reassurance after the stock markets tumbled, the credit agencies stripped the United Kingdom of its coveted 3-star status and the sterling fell to its lowest in 30 years.
A CLIA statement said:
"CLIA will continue to work with authorities to promote stability and ensure that cruising continues to thrive and carries on making a vital contribution to Europe’s economic growth."
Angus Struthers, Cunard's marketing director, wrote the following e-mail:
"Following the result of the EU Referendum vote, I wanted to take a few moments of your time to reassure you that there are no resulting changes to any aspect of your upcoming holiday with Cunard, including check-in and immigration. These all remain the same as they were before last week's vote.
"Should there be any changes resulting from the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, we will naturally contact you with all and any related information. For now it remains business as usual for us and we are looking forward to welcoming you on board."
CEO of TUI, Fritz Joussen, which owns Thomson Cruises, said the European Union without the U.K. was "barely conceivable". And added:
"But we respect the democratic decision of the British people and trust the U.K. government will take all steps necessary to ensure economic and political stability and to ensure that British holidaymakers will not be affected by the U.K.'s decision to leave the EU. We are well prepared and confident that TUI Group as a truly global company will not be significantly affected by the decision. It remains to be seen how the decision will affect consumer sentiment."
Head of Marketing at CMV, Mike Hall, said:
"Our onboard currency is sterling, shielding our guests from exchange issues. Following the EU referendum result, bookings have remained buoyant."
Fred. Olsen did not directly comment on Brexit, but released the following statement:
"In terms of our cruise holidays, we would stress that we do follow exchange rates. The only point that we make to our guests, as we did four to five years ago, is that we have sterling prices on board, so when the exchange rate is against us, it does not have the same impact as taking a holiday in Spain, for example, or those cruise lines that price in dollars on board."
A P&O Cruises spokeswoman simply said: