Guests will once again be able to enjoy life aboard a cruise ship.
“There is pent up-demand and we should be very confident about cruising’s return,” added Tony Roberts, UK vice president of Princess Cruises. “Offering a staycation like no other, British cruises will appeal to people who haven’t cruised before”.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of new cruise line Virgin Voyages, commented that he is “so excited to be able to offer UK sailings on Scarlet Lady. The team has curated a fantastic experience for our passengers.”
Get them while you can
The demand for these cruises has been extraordinary. Viking’s initial three eight-day UK voyages quickly sold out, snapped up by returning guests before new-to-cruisers could get a look-in.
Other cruise lines report a similar pattern. Antonio Paradiso, UK managing director of MSC Cruises, says: ‘We have been overwhelmed by the response from customers eager to get back on board and experience a cruise with us this summer.’
It’s the same story elsewhere in the travel industry, with online travel agent iglucruise.com seeing a 300 per cent increase in traffic following news that P&O would be sailing their new ship Iona around the British Isles.
No one should be surprised by this stampede for tickets. After all, it’s not just that these voyages offer the first chance to cruise in more than a year. Many of these big ocean- going ships are rarely if ever seen in UK waters, so the pandemic has also brought a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to enjoy some truly world-class entertainment and cuisine, with all the convenience of embarking from a UK port.
What’s in store
While a number of sailings have already sold out, plenty of others are still available, and cruise bosses tell us that some very special experiences lie in store.
“We can’t wait to give our guests a much-deserved holiday, and we hope our staycations will be a highlight of the British summer,” said Paul Ludlow, president of P&O Cruises.
“The new Ultimate Escape series of holidays includes a memorable seven-night maiden voyage for Iona around the Scottish isles, during which the ship will anchor off the island she was named after.”