Cruise Industry Comments on Return of Domestic Cruising on 17 May

Author: Olivia Sharpe

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Maritime minister Robert Courts informed a group of MPs that UK cruise lines will be able to resume domestic sailings from 17 May

Key members of the cruise industry have said that they welcome the news that UK cruise lines will be able to restart domestic sailings on 17 May.

Maritime minister Robert Courts disclosed the news during a virtual meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Maritime and Ports Group (APPMPG).

The group tweeted: '**NEWS** Maritime Minister robert courts announces the reopening of the domestic #cruise market in England on 17 May at tonight’s @APPMPG meeting.'

The group then later tweeted: “From repatriation procedures and risk mitigations to CV-19 protocols and the domestic vaccination programme, a great @APPMPG session w/ @robertcourts who delivered some much appreciated news. A pathway to the domestic cruise market re-opening on 17 May.'

Following the announcement, members of the cruise sector have shown their support for the decision.

Clia UK and Ireland director, Andy Harmer, said: 'We strongly welcome the announcement that cruise will be included alongside the restart of other domestic tourism in the UK.

'The industry has been working with the government over the last year on health protocols which put the safety of our passengers and crew first. Many of these protocols have already been tested successfully where cruise has been able to operate elsewhere in Europe.

'The industry has long planned a phased restart for cruise, with domestic cruises representing the first stage of this plan.

'We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the government, including through the Global Travel Taskforce, in order to ensure the safe restart of international cruise in time for the summer season.'

Other members of the cruise industry have also expressed their delight, including Anthony Daniels, Hurtigruten's UK and EMEA general manager:

'We welcome the news today from the Department of Transport that domestic cruises are able to operate from the 17 May. It’s another positive step forward for the cruise industry and for travel agents.

'Hurtigruten offers a series of exciting expedition cruises in British waters in summer 2021, with great opportunities for guests to join one of our small ships in Dover. The size of our ships, and our style of cruising, allows us to flex and adapt our programme, but without compromise to bring adventure to our guests. We are finalising operational details, and will provide further information in due course. We look forward to welcoming guests onboard once it is safe to do so.

'Hurtigruten’s “Book with Confidence” initiative remains in place, offering guests reassurance and risk-free booking. When you choose to book a voyage departing in 2021, if for any reason you need to move your departure date, you can rebook for free. Or if you wish to cancel, you can receive a refund, including the deposit, within 14 days.'

Along with Hurtigruten, other leading cruise lines including P&O Cruises and Princess have announced new UK sailings for this summer as cruising slowly returns.

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