Several cruise ship operators have released details of their plans to resume cruising in the coming months.
Among the areas being advertised is the UK, as the Government has decided to allow domestic travel again from 17th May, as long as the situation continues to improve.
These cruises will be restricted to UK residents only and some will require guests to be vaccinated, while self-distancing will be imposed, meaning that the ships will sail at less than full capacity.
For example, three Carnival brands – Cunard, P&O and Princess – have announced cruises around the UK, varying from three to seven days duration, some calling at Belfast, Greenock (Glasgow) and Liverpool from Dover or Southampton, while others will sail up the East Coast, calling at Scottish ports and islands and some will cruise to nowhere on shorter trips.
In addition, Fred.Olsen is to commence cruises from Liverpool and Dover on its latest vessels – ‘Borealis’ and ‘Bolette’ – on a similar pattern.
MSC Cruises said that it is to offer a series of short cruises out of Southampton from its new terminal followed by seven night trips stopping at various UK destinations with the ‘MSC Magnifica’.
The cruise giant has said that vaccinations will not be required but strict protocols will be put in place and COVID-19 testing will be needed prior to boarding.
Meanwhile, Viking Cruises will be positioning its latest ship – ‘Viking Venus’ – into Portsmouth offering up to eight-night cruises for UK residents only.
Hurtigruten is still advertising cruises from Dover around the UK and Ireland with the recently renovated ‘Maud’.
In addition, TUI-owned Marella and Disney became the latest operators to announce domestic cruises from the UK this summer.
Outside of the UK, Royal Caribbean Group plans to restart operations in the Caribbean this June based on the Bahamas and St Maarten, as well as Bermuda, involving two of its brands – Royal Caribbean International with two ships and Celebrity Cruises – thus avoiding closed US ports.
Genting’s Crystal Cruises has also announced plans to base one of its cruise ships in the Bahamas for short cruises around the islands.
In Asia, Genting has received permission to offer cruises from Penang in Malaysia, following a similar model to Singapore, which at the end of 2020 allowed Genting and Royal Caribbean to begin short cruises for Singapore residents only.
In the Mediterranean, Royal Caribbean is to base the ‘Odyssey of the Seas’ at Haifa and the ‘Jewel of the Seas’ in Cyprus.
Celebrity has said that the ‘Celebrity Apex will offer cruises around the Eastern Mediterranean from the middle of June.
Costa Cruises has also announced that it will resume Italian cruises in May, offering three- and four-day mini-trips, or alternatively a seven-day cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari with the ‘Costa Smeralda’.
‘Costa Luminosa’, the second Costa ship due to resume service, will sail from Trieste on 16th May and the following day from Bari, on a programme of one-week cruises in Greece and Croatia.
MSC Cruises has claimed that it has carried more than 50,000 guests since its restart of operations in August last year in the Mediterranean under the protection of its health and safety protocols.
At present, ‘MSC Grandiosa’ is offering sailings for Schengen residents only in the Mediterranean. She will be joined by the ‘MSC Seashore’ in May.
Carnival’s German brand, AIDA Cruises has positioned the ‘AIDAperla’ to the Canary Islands.
AIDA will offer week-long cruises around the Canaries, departing from Gran Canaria, calling at La Palma, an overnight call in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, with stops at Fuerteventura and Lanzarote before heading back to Gran Canaria.
Elsewhere, ‘AIDAprima’ and ‘AIDAvita’ have become the first cruise ships to dock at the new Dubai Cruise Terminal.
The two vessels berthed at the terminal on 16th March, 2021, the cruise line said.
The new Dubai terminal extends over 120,000 sq m and is located between the islands of Bluewaters and The Palm Jumeirah.
Between late November, 2021 and mid-April, 2022, AIDA is offering seven-day trips from Dubai calling at Abu Dhabi and Muscat in Oman, among other Gulf ports.