Credit: Shutterstock

Cruises cancelled as Germany tightens travel restrictions - what it means for your cruise

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Germany cruise holidays are under threat after the European country cracked down on UK travel this weekend. Which cruises are cancelled and what does it mean for you?

Germany cruise holidays have been cancelled by certain cruise lines as entry restrictions are limited to prevent the spread of Covid.

The new Germany travel rules came into force yesterday after the UK was "designated a virus variant area by Germany," stated the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Travel to Germany from the UK

"Carriers such as airlines are restricted to transporting a narrow range of individuals from the UK to Germany, including British citizens who are resident in Germany, and German citizens," detailed the FCDO.

"Tourists are not allowed to be transported to Germany."

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Anyone who does enter the country must test for Covid with a PCR or a rapid antigen test regardless of vaccination status.

Those arriving from the UK must "quarantine at home for 14 days irrespective of their vaccination status."

- READ MORE: New UK travel rules launch - latest cruise advice -

What do the new rules mean for cruises?

Many cruise lines are operating Christmas market cruises over the winter which may well be impacted by the new restrictions.

Some cruise lines have cancelled cruises while others have not. Some may alter itineraries in the coming days as the situation develops so it is worth checking for updates with your cruise line.

Germany cruise holidays: Many cruise lines are operating Christmas market cruises over the winter. Credit: Shutterstock

Which Germany cruises are cancelled?

TUI River Cruises

All TUI River Cruises this month have been axed.

"We’ve unfortunately had to cancel all TUI River Cruises sailings due to depart in December," said the cruise line in a statement.

"We will be proactively contacting all impacted customers in departure date order to discuss their options."

- READ MORE: What's onboard TUI River Cruises ship TUI Skyla? -


Saga has cancelled cruises. A Saga spokesperson told World of Cruising: “Following Germany’s announcement on the restriction of British travellers, we have had to cancel a small number of river cruises due to take place over Christmas and New Year. All guests have been offered a full refund.”


Tauck has also axed sailings. The cruise line said in a statement: Unfortunately based on recent COVID-19 regulations announced in both Austria and Bavaria, Germany on November 19, we are unable to operate our Danube holiday river cruises as planned.

"As a result of the current lockdown in Austria and the cancellation of all Christmas markets throughout Bavaria, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all 2021 departures of 'Christmas Markets Along the Danube' and 'Holiday Magic: Danube Family River Cruise'. Please note we do not anticipate these temporary measures will have any impact on our Danube cruises in the spring."

Riviera Travel

Riviera Travel has cut two German cruises this winter.

A cruise line spokesman said: "Due to travel restrictions from the UK to Germany and the ongoing uncertainty, we have had to cancel two cruises due to run over Christmas and New Year. All passengers have been notified."

Germany cruise holidays: All TUI River Cruises this month have been axed. Credit: Shutterstock

Avalon Waterways

Avalon has not cancelled cruises but is offering UK tourists who are impacted by the entry restrictions the option to reschedule.

A line spokeswoman said: "The vast majority of cruisers on Avalon Waterways’ Christmas Market cruises through Germany this year are coming from North America. Given this, we have not needed to cancel any Rhine River Cruises as Germany’s new travel restrictions do not impact these travellers.

"For guests travelling from the UK, we will be in direct contact with all affected guests and their travel agents to offer a range of options to reschedule affected cruises, providing them the opportunity to request a letter of credit or a full refund."

Amadeus River Cruises

It's a similar story for Amadeus - cruises aren't cancelled but due to travel restrictions UK travellers will no longer be able to join the sailings.

The Scenic Group

Scenic and Emerald Cruises have not been affected. A spokeswoman told World of Cruising: "our sailings in Germany do not resume until spring 2022 and at this point, there is no change to these scheduled sailings.”

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen also isn't due to make any calls into Germany until next summer, "so we haven’t been required to make any cancellations or changes to our cruise programme," said a spokeswoman.

- READ MORE: Christmas market river cruises cancelled as Europe locks down -

The German cancellation come after a swathe of Christmas market cruises had to cancelled as Austria locked down in a bid to tackle Covid.

Many sailings due to cruise the Danube had to be slashed.

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