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UK cruises 2021: The perfect way to make the most of relaxed Covid travel rules

UK cruises 2021: Complete list of EVERY cruise this summer and their vaccine policies

Author: Harriet Mallinson

Published on:

Updated on:

Cruise holidays around the UK are booming this year amid foreign travel restrictions. Most of the major lines are offering domestic cruises - this is the full list.

UK cruises are the perfect way to make the most of relaxed Covid travel rules this summer and enjoy the best of Blighty.

There are a great many voyages you can enjoy in the coming months. Here is everything you need to know about the cruises going ahead, from their vaccine policy to what's best onboard.

Cunard

With a series of 13 UK voyages aboard Queen Elizabeth, sailing round-trip from her home port of Southampton, Cunard is providing a luxurious summer staycation opportunity for British guests.

Ranging from three to twelve nights and running from July to October, cruises will explore the British coastline and its famous ports. Some of the trips will be special ‘Sun Voyages’ where the ship sails to wherever is having the most sunshine.

Vaccine policy

Sailings on Queen Elizabeth will be for UK-resident, Covid-vaccinated guests only.

Good for

Traditional five-star luxury at sea – and a long-awaited chance to get posh frocks and dinner suits out of the wardrobe.

Get on board

Seven-night ‘Sun Voyage’ aboard Queen Elizabeth, round trip from Southampton (ship-only cruise), departing 3 September 2021, from £699. rolcruise.co.uk

Celebrity Cruises

Miami-based Celebrity is offering a series of six to eight-night staycation sailings around the UK this summer. From 3 July 2021, guests can enjoy a cruise holiday on the newly revamped 2,886-guest Celebrity Silhouette. And as well as sampling all the delights of life on board, passengers can leave the ship for port stops at Portland in Dorset, Inverness, Glasgow, Belfast and Liverpool.

Vaccine policy

Sailings on Celebrity Cruises will be for UK resident, Covid-vaccinated guests only. Those under 18 will need proof of a negative Covid-19 test result.

Good for

Those who enjoy the experience that only a big cruise ship can offer – with plenty of entertainment and leisure activities to keep all the family happy.

Get on board

Six-night ‘British Isles’ cruise aboard Celebrity Silhouette, round trip from Southampton via Inverness and Belfast, departing 17 July 2021, from £1,085. iglucruise.com

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Disney Cruise

Disney Magic will offer a range of ‘Magic At Sea’ short cruises around the UK this summer. Apart from a limited number of four-night sailings, voyages are two or three-night round trips from Tilbury, Newcastle, Liverpool or Southampton. These are ship-only cruises with no port stops – but with so much to do on board, that’s unlikely to be a problem.

Vaccine policy

Over-18s must be fully vaccinated. Under- 18s need proof of a negative PCR test taken between five days and 24hrs before the cruise.

Good for

Families – especially those with young children. With plenty of Disney stars on board, including Mickey Mouse and the Toy Story characters, this is a cruise that kids will never forget.

Get on board

Four-night cruise aboard Disney Magic, round trip from Liverpool, departing 23 July 2021, from £838. iglucruise.com

English Holiday Cruises

English Holiday Cruises is offering a series of river cruises on board the 22-passenger Edward Elgar, providing guests a chance to enjoy sailing on the rivers of Gloucestershire. These river cruise holidays range from two to six nights. The ship will be sailing from May 17 through to October and all trips are all-inclusive.

Vaccine Policy

Passengers sailing on the Edward Elgar will need to show a negative covid test result before boarding.

Good For

Holidaymakers who want to try a cruise on home ground and those who like to travel in small numbers.

Get On Board

Four-night cruise ‘River Severn Heritage River’ Cruise aboard the Edward Elgar, round-trip from Gloucester, via Upton Upon Severn, Worcester and Tewkesbury, from £990, various departure dates from May 2021. englishholidaycruises.co.uk

Celebrity shilhouette
UK cruises 2021: Guests can enjoy a cruise holiday on the newly revamped 2,886-guest Celebrity Silhouette

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

No stranger to UK waters, Fred Olsen is offering a series of 11 British Isles cruises in July and August, departing from Dover, Edinburgh and Liverpool.

Fred’s ‘Welcome Back’ programme aims to showcase the best of the British Isles, including the Shetlands, Orkneys and Scillies. Guests will be joined by onboard experts from the marine wildlife charity ORCA, who will be offering wildlife-spotting tips.

New ship Borealis (formerly Holland America’s MS Rotterdam) will be the first to sail, her maiden voyage being a three-night round trip from Liverpool via Loch Fyne and Fingal’s Cave, departing on 5 July. Sister ship Bolette departs on a three-night voyage from Dover on 16 August.

Vaccine policy

Vaccination is not currently a requirement on Fred Olsen cruises. However, by the time sailings begin in July, most UK adults will have received their jabs. The line is also introducing a Safe Sailing Charter which includes onboard Covid testing for passengers and crew, social distancing and the wearing of face masks.

Good for

Great value cruise holidays in a friendly atmosphere with exemplary service.

Get on board

Five-night ‘Touring Scenic Orkneys & Shetlands’ cruise aboard Bolette, round trip from Dover via Lerwick and Kirkwall, departing 24 August 2021, from £799. fredolsencruises.com

Hebridean Island Cruises

The Scottish small-ship specialist resumes cruising on 17 May with their newest ship, the stylish Lord of the Glens, followed on 18 May by Hebridean Princess. Itineraries of between five and eight nights will feature the best of the Highlands and Western Isles, and the ships will operate until the end of the season in November.

Vaccine policy

Hebridean’s current policy is that all guests should have received at least one dose of vaccine. Additionally, all guests will be Covid-tested before boarding.

Good for

Admiring some truly great Scottish scenery while being treated like royalty.

Get on board

Seven-night ‘Kingdom of the Isles’ cruise aboard Hebridean Princess, round trip from Oban via Eigg, Lewis, Harris, Bishop’s Isles, Barra and Iona, departing 6 July 2021, from £5,200. hebridean.co.uk

Hebrides
UK cruises 2021: Hebridean Island Cruises offers 7-night ‘Kingdom of the Isles’ cruise

Majestic Line

The Scottish Isles specialist is offering a choice of three, six and 10-night cruises this year aboard its fleet of four bijou cruise vessels. The line has 18 different itineraries covering the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the west coast of Scotland, the Orkney Islands and a sailing along the Caledonian Canal.

Vaccine policy

The Majestic Line has no plans to make vaccination mandatory.

Good for

Each cruise carries no more than 12 guests – and with four crew to look after you, this is truly a trip to savour. It’s a great option for solo travellers, too, as two cabins on each cruise are retained for single occupancy at no additional surcharge.

Get on board

Three-night ‘A taste of Argyll’ cruise aboard Glen Etive, round trip from Holy Loch via Bute, Arran and Cumbrae, departing 23 October 2021, from £1,240. themajesticline.co.uk

Marella Cruises

Popular cruise line Marella is offering a wide choice of UK itineraries for summer 2021, with prices starting at just £399 for a three-night sailing.

Marella Explorer will set sail from Southampton, beginning on 25 June, with ports of call including Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool and the Orkney Islands. Her sister ship, the adults-only Marella Explorer 2, will also offer UK cruises, sailing from Newcastle to Scotland, Wales and Ireland from 10 July.

Vaccine policy

Guests aged 18 and over must have received their second jab at least seven days before travelling. All guests, including under- 18s, will be asked to have a lateral flow test before departure. Infants under the age of two will not be able to sail as they are exempt from testing.

Good for

Anyone who enjoys a fun-packed cruise. Marella’s ships are bursting with great eateries and fabulous facilities, including luxurious Champneys spas. Marella Explorer offers a wide range of family-friendly activities including mini golf and movies under the stars.

Get on board

Three-night ‘Sail the South Coast’ cruise aboard Marella Explorer, round trip from Southampton via Dover and Portland, departing 28 June 2021, from £399. tui.co.uk

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MSC Cruises

Love the excitement of a maiden voyage? MSC Cruises is offering UK holidaymakers the chance to sail around the British Isles this summer aboard its sparkling new megaship, MSC Virtuosa.

The season begins this month (May) with a series of short cruises from Southampton (four-night sailings from £499). Starting in June there are 7-night sailings with prices from £849 and embarkation also available in Liverpool and Glasgow (Greenock). Onboard facilities are too numerous to list, but they include five pools, the exclusive Yacht Club and super- luxurious Aurea spa.

Vaccine policy

Cruises are open to UK residents only, but MSC is allowing non-vaccinated guests aboard, provided they can show proof of a negative test done within 72 hours prior to embarkation. Additionally, all guests will be given a Covid swab test and temperature check prior to embarkation, and the line has strict onboard health and safety protocols in place.

Good for

These large, lively ships are the perfect choice for families big and small. Every generation is catered for and there’s lots to do and see on board – including five age group-specific kids’ clubs and the largest shopping area on any cruise ship, all under the largest LED dome at sea.

Get on board

Seven-night cruise aboard MSC Virtuosa, round trip from Southampton via Liverpool, Glasgow (Greenock) and Belfast, departing 26 June 2021, from £899. msccruises.co.uk

Noble Caledonia

Small-ship specialist Noble Caledonia is sailing around the British Isles from 3 June. Guests can choose to travel on a number of different itineraries aboard Hebridean Sky or MS Island Sky.

Vaccine policy

Sailings aboard Noble Caledonia ships are available to UK-resident, Covid-19 vaccinated guests only.

Good for

Incredible journeys to some of the world’s most beautiful small islands, with a team of onboard experts to help you make the most of your journey.

Get on board

Nine-night ‘Hebridean Secrets’ cruise aboard Hebridean Sky, from Oban to Inverness via Staffa, Iona, Lunga, Canna, St Kilda, Inverewe, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, Lerwick and Fair Isle, departing 11 June 2021, from £4,695. noble-caledonia.co.uk

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P&O Cruises

British-based P&O is offering a series of short UK breaks this summer aboard the ever-popular Britannia, plus week-long voyages on exciting new flagship Iona. The cruises will depart from Southampton between June and September.

Britannia will offer three and four-night breaks and one six-night holiday, with departures running from 27 June to 19 September and prices starting at £249. Iona will make her maiden voyage on 7 August – a seven-night non-stop cruise via the Scottish isles – followed by further seven-night itineraries until 18 September. Prices start at £579.

Vaccine policy

Sailings on Britannia and Iona will be available to UK-resident, Covid-19 vaccinated guests only.

Good for

Tailored to the preferences of British cruisers, both P&O ships offer guests a fabulous range of dining and shopping options, plus West End-style entertainment and relaxing spa days. The largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market, Iona brings a host of new features, including an onboard gin distillery.

Get on board

Seven-night ‘British Isles’ maiden voyage aboard Iona, round trip from Southampton via the Inner Hebrides and Iona (ship-only cruise), departing 7 August 2021, from £949. pocruises.com

Princess Cruises

This summer, Princess is offering British travellers a series of short breaks and week-long cruises aboard MedallionClass ships Regal Princess and Sky Princess. The 22 cruises will depart from Southampton and travel around the UK coast.

Regal Princess will offer 14 UK voyages, with departures from 31 July to 23 September, while Sky Princess will sail eight cruises, running from 30 August to 28 September. Both ships will stop at ports including Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow and Portland in Dorset, with itineraries ranging from three to seven nights. All-inclusive fares for a balcony stateroom start at £489 for a three-night scenic voyage; £599 for a four-night cruise with up to one port; and £899 for a seven-night cruise with up to three ports of call.

Vaccine policy

Sailings on Regal Princess and Sky Princess will be available to UK-resident, Covid-19 vaccinated guests only.

Good for

The onboard experience offers something for guests of all ages. Restaurants including the Crown Grill Steakhouse and Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria are already firm favourites among foodies, while entertainment fans will love watching movies under the stars and some top-class live entertainment at the Princess Theatre.

Get on board

Five-night ‘Summer Seacation’ cruise aboard Sky Princess, round trip from Southampton via Glasgow (Greenock) and Belfast, departing 22 September 2021, from £799. princess.com

Regal princess
UK cruises 2021: Princess is offering British travellers a series of short breaks

Riviera Travel

Riviera Travel is offering cruise fans the chance to sail around Scotland in July 2021 on its new 158-passenger ship Seaventure. The ‘Cruising Scotland’s Highlands & Islands’ itinerary showcases the country’s famous lochs, historic castles and the beauties of the Outer Hebrides.

Vaccine policy

All guests on Riviera Travel holidays must have received both doses of vaccine, or test negatively for Covid before travel (tests are offered free of charge before embarkation).

Good for

Fans of small-ship cruising. Formerly Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ MS Bremen, this luxurious ship offers a fitness suite, sauna and heated saltwater pool – perfect for a relaxing cruise.

Get on board

Seven-night ‘Scottish Highlands & Islands’ cruise aboard Seaventure, from Edinburgh to Glasgow (Greenock) via Aberdeen, Invergordon, Orkney, Stornaway and Oban, departing 19 July 2021, from £2,299. rivieratravel.co.uk

Royal Caribbean

Guests will be able to enjoy a UK cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s hugely impressive Anthem of the Seas this summer. The ship will depart from Southampton in mid-July on four to seven-night coastal cruises, visiting ports including Glasgow, Belfast and the Orkney Islands.

Vaccine policy

Cruises are available to UK residents only. Adult guests must be fully vaccinated before departure, while under-18s will require a negative Covid test.

Good for

A taste of one of the biggest ships at sea. Packed full of entertaining things to do on board, it’s a real treat for all the family.

Get on board

Five-night ‘British Isles’ cruise on Anthem of the Seas, round trip from Southampton via Belfast and Orkney Islands, departing 15 July 2021, from £669. royalcaribbean.com

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RSSC is offering guests the chance to experience its fabulous new ship Seven Seas Splendor on an 11-night cruise in early September. The voyage is a round trip from Southampton, with port stops in Scotland and Ireland.

Vaccine policy

All passengers must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before departure. Regent Seven Seas Cruises has also created its own ‘SailSAFE’ programme to protect against Covid-19, and guests will be tested before boarding.

Good for

Total five-star luxury at sea, with incredible restaurants, hotel-style bars and high-end entertainment.

Get on board

Eleven-night ‘Historic Isles’ cruise aboard Seven Seas Splendor, round trip from Southampton via Edinburgh, Orkneys, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast and Portland, departing 11 September 2021, from £8,399. rssc.com

Saga Cruises

The over-50s specialist is operating sister ships Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure on a double programme of UK cruises this summer.

Spirit of Discovery will offer ‘Scottish Highlands and Islands,’ ‘Great British Isles Adventure’ and ‘Northern Isles to the Fjords’ itineraries beginning on 27 June, while the brand new Spirit of Adventure will leave Tilbury on 26 July for a 15-night maiden voyage taking in Newcastle, the Orkneys and Northern Ireland, before disembarking at Dover.

Vaccine policy

All guests must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before boarding.

Good for

Saga’s ships are aimed at a sophisticated adults-only British market, so you can expect upmarket restaurants, bars and entertainment facilities, including the signature Britannia lounge. Guests also enjoy complimentary UK travel to and from the port of embarkation, plus free travel insurance if required.

Get on board

Five-night ‘Celtic Escape’ cruise aboard Spirit of Discovery, round trip from Southampton via Greencastle (N Ireland) and Belfast, departing 24 September 2021, from £1,306. travel.saga.co.uk

Tradewind Voyages

If you long to experience the romance of sail, Tradewind is offering eight cruises around the UK this summer, beginning on 1 July, all aboard Golden Horizon – the world’s biggest tall ship.

Vaccine policy

Vaccinations are not currently required but enhanced health protocols are in place, including pre-boarding temperature checks.

Good for

A unique cruising experience that offers modern luxury in the stunning setting of a traditional sailing ship.

Get on board

Nine-night ‘Scotland East to West’ cruise aboard Golden Horizon, from Edinburgh (Leith) to Glasgow (Greenock) via Aberdeen, Scapa Flow, Ullapool, Tobermory, Fort William and Islay, departing 6 July 2021, from £1,749. tradewindvoyages.com

Tradewind
UK cruises 2021: Tradewind is offering eight cruises around the UK this summer

Viking

A new addition to the line’s stylish fleet of identical ocean ships, Viking Venus will begin UK sailings this month (May), offering a series of five seven-night ‘England’s Scenic Shores’ itineraries, round-trip from Portsmouth. the port of embarkation, plus free travel insurance if required.

Vaccine policy

Sailings will be for UK-resident, Covid-19 vaccinated guests only.

Good for

The chance to get on board a brand new Viking ship without having to fly anywhere. You’ll love the contemporary interiors, great spa and amazing cuisine.

Get on board

Seven-night ‘England’s Scenic Shores’ cruise aboard Viking Venus, round trip from Portsmouth via Liverpool, Scilly Isles, Falmouth and Portland, departing 26 June, from £1,690. vikingcruises.co.uk

Virgin Voyages

Guests can experience revolutionary new ship Scarlet Lady on six adults-only sailings around the south coast of England this August. The three and four-night ‘Summer Soiree’ voyages are ship-only, sailing round-trip from Portsmouth. Prices start at £499 for a three-night cruise.

Vaccine policy

Sailings on Scarlet Lady will be for UK- resident, Covid-19 vaccinated guests only.

Good for

A chance to get a sneak peek at Virgin Voyages’ exciting new ship. Fun and stylish with an amazing club area, spa and even a tattoo parlour, it’s a great new way to cruise.

Get on board

Four-night ‘Summer WeekDaze’ cruise on Scarlet Lady, round trip from Portsmouth, departing 16 August, from £599. virginvoyages.com

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