The Best Cruises to Nowhere to Book in 2021
Looking to dip your toes back into cruising post-lockdown? Then a cruise to nowhere is the perfect option
Sometimes all one wants out of a holiday is a change of scenery and given months of lockdown spent trapped indoors in the same mundane surroundings, I think it is something most of us are desperate for.
Following the recent lift in travel restrictions, many cruise lines, including Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises, are now launching 'cruises to nowhere' itineraries.
For those of you who don't know, a cruise to nowhere is a voyage that usually lasts one, two or three nights. Departing from a range of UK ports, these cruises sail out to international waters and return to the same, or a different port, a few days later.
Ideal for new-to-cruisers who wish to test out the cruising experience and see which ships are right for them, or simply those looking to cruise on a budget (being a fraction of the cost of an average 10-night cruise), we predict that these types of sailings are going to be a big trend for 2021 and beyond as travellers dip their toes back into cruising.
So if you fancy a short, relaxing getaway, then a cruise to nowhere is definitely the answer to your prayers. Here's our pick of some of the best cruise lines offering cruises to nowhere itineraries this year.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
With domestic cruises having been given the green light to resume from 17 May, UK staycation voyages will undoubtedly be a big part of travel in 2021, as cruise lines look to make the most of our beautiful shores this year. With that in mind, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines recently unveiled its new ‘Welcome Back’ programme of cruises to showcase the best of the British Isles this summer, which includes a series of no-fly voyages. One such voyage is the cruise line's 'No-Fly Scenic Orkneys & Shetlands', departing on 24 August. Setting sail from Dover, this five-night itinerary makes for the perfect short break, as guests will sail to and from Scotland discovering the dramatic, rugged landscapes of the Shetlands and Orkneys. Nature and wildlife lovers will also be in their element, as guests will be given the opportunity to step ashore in Sumburgh Head, where fulmars, puffins and various other bird species famously live and breed among the sea cliffs. For history buffs, a stop at Kirkwall offers the chance to uncover historic treasures such as the Unesco-listed Neolithic village of Skara Brae and ceremonial stone circles of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar. If you're more of a city slicker, then you should opt for Fred Olsen's 'No-Fly Touring Scenic Britain' itinerary. Departing on 23 August for five nights, this exhilarating cruise visits vibrant UK cities including Liverpool – today a thriving city of art and culture where visitors can wander the stunningly redeveloped Albert Dock – and Belfast, home of the epic Titanic Museum and the famous Bushmills Distillery. Guests will also enjoy a stop off in Falmouth, the gateway to the Cornish coast and home to one of the world's largest natural harbours.
Another cruise line taking advantage of home shores this summer is P&O Cruises, which recently announced details of its new UK coastal cruises. Departing from Southampton on the cruise line's much-loved Britannia, these three- and four-night short break sailings have been designed to sail around the UK coast, 'where the sun shines brightest', according to P&O Cruises, and are ideally suited to travellers looking to slowly reimmerse themselves back into the world of cruising. P&O Cruises recently reported 'overwhelming demand' for its UK coastal cruise programme, so make sure to book quickly before they all sell out!
As part of its exciting new ‘Summer Seacations’ programme this year, Princess Cruises has unveiled 22 new UK voyages, departing from 31 July through to 5 October and ranging from three to seven nights, on the line’s state-of-the-art MedallionClass ships – Regal Princess and Sky Princess. The line’s three-night scenic voyage, round-trip from Southampton departing on 31 July, comes with the all-inclusive Princess Plus offer, which includes a premium drinks package, unlimited MedallionNet – heralded as the best Wi-Fi at sea – and gratuities. On board, guests will get to enjoy sweeping views from one of more than 1,400 balconies on Regal Princess or stroll on the SeaWalk, a glass-floor walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship. For guests in need of some post-lockdown pampering, there's the Sanctuary, a luxurious retreat reserved for adults. As well as purely scenic voyages, the cruise line is also offering voyages that include ports of call to some of the UK’s most historic cities – ideal for those who wish to stretch their sea legs and go ashore. For instance, the cruise line’s ‘Belfast & Liverpool’ sailing, departing on various dates, will take in the bustling cosmopolitan city of Belfast, as well as Liverpool, famed for being the hometown of The Beatles.
Enjoy some well-earned time away and some much-needed pampering on a luxurious scenic cruise with Cunard. The line has released a selection of Summer Staycation cruises between July and October this year aboard Queen Elizabeth. Sailings will be from Cunard’s homeport of Southampton and will be in UK coastal waters as well as 'simply seeking out the very best of the summer sunshine'. Comprising of short non-stop voyages either around the British Isles or chasing the summer sun or cruises stopping at various iconic ports around the UK, this collection of voyages has been designed to provide 'a unique and luxurious staycation opportunity this summer for British cruisers'.
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7-Day Summer Seacation
- 7 nights, departs on the 09 Sept 2021
- Princess Cruises, Regal Princess
- Southampton, Belfast, Liverpool, + 1 more
Scenic British Isles & Summer Wildlife
- 5 nights, departs on the 19 Aug 2021
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Bolette
- Dover, , , + 7 more
The British Isles, Scenic Cruising
- 3 nights, departs on the 23 Jul 2021
- Cunard Line, Queen Elizabeth
- Southampton, , Southampton + 0 more