UK government allows cruises to resume from late-January 2021

   November 14, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

The UK government is working on a package of measures that include the restart of cruises from the UK in late-January 2021.

The measures include the reduction of the quarantine period for arrivals from countries where it is necessary from 14 to 7 days. A new testing regime that is expected to be introduced to take effect on December 2, when the present month-long lockdown in England is due to end, will also be part of the new measures.

The package will initially be trialed for travelers on flights returning from a small number of destinations prior to being expanded in case it proves successful. Ministers are expected to agree on a package for a restart of the United Kingdom's cruise industry from late January 2021 providing cruise lines can demonstrate stringent testing and infection control measures. Foreign voyages may resume in the following months in case of operators agree to take responsibility for repatriating any crew or passengers stranded due to the pandemic.

In the past few years, the UK source market has generated around 2 million passengers annually. However, all operations came to a standstill in July 2020 when the country’s foreign ministry (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) introduced guidance against cruise vacations.

Since then, Saga UK has taken delivery of MS Spirit of Adventure and P&O Cruises UK of MS Iona, neither of which has carried a single paying passenger as a result of the crisis. Fred Olsen Cruise Line's 2 second-hand ships (acquired from HAL-Holland America Line in 2020-Q3) are also no-sailing. The Coronavirus crisis also led to the bankruptcy of Cruise & Maritime Voyages/CMV UK.