As we reach the peak of this strange summer and the travel world is beginning to open back up to us, we’re getting a flood of exciting, confusing, and speculative news. Among this is the excellent news that international cruises are back on the market for UK travellers.
As of the 2nd of August 2021, international cruises are now available for sale to consumers across the UK. Whether you just want to pop over to Malta or take an experience to Antarctica with some of the newer, nature conservation cruises, whatever it is you want to do, you can now do it with an international cruise.
And cruise travel is limitless, from families to couples, young to old travellers, and everything in between, cruises are so vast and open now, there’s something great for every kind of traveller.
This is such a great step for travel during Covid, and all of us in the travel industry are ecstatic for this development, with so many cruise suppliers getting some amazing packages ready. From funded Antarctic cruises to new ships, better experiences, and wellness centres on the cruises themselves to make your holiday as enjoyable as possible.
In reporting this wonderful news, the Department of Transport said, “Following the close monitoring of epidemiological evidence, gained through the restart of the domestic cruise industry earlier this year, the UK government has also confirmed the go-ahead for international cruise sailings to restart from England in line with Public Health England guidance.
“International cruise travel advice will be amended to encourage travellers to understand the risks associated with cruise travel and take personal responsibility for their own safety abroad.”
This development isn’t just amazing because you can set out on the water again, but because it is inspiring some great developments and experiences to be made, sold, and booked, whether for 2021 or in advance for 2022 or 2023.
What Are Cruise Suppliers Doing Now?
Speaking to some of our awesome supplier partners, it’s safe to say that we’re all very excited for these new developments and the opportunity to get consumers out on some great adventures again.
Natalie Holder at Hurtigruten said they are very excited and confident for this decision to stick. Especially since a lot of consumers have been saving up during Covid and are now looking to get away and do something different, they’re already seeing great consumer excitement, with bookings ranging from this winter all the way to 2023.
“The demand for cruising is rising as consumer confidence increases. We are fortunate to be leading the way with the return to cruising, with all of our Norwegian Coastal Express ships now sailing to our 32 ports of call along the Norwegian coast,” Natalie said.
With so many restrictions in place before, even within the UK, such as restrictions in Scotland, Natalie said it hasn’t been easy getting cruises out in the past year, making this big news all the more exciting. They’re putting in place dedicated health & safety, and building consumer confidence all they can, to get their new cruises sailing.
“We have seen a clear trend of travellers seeking out truly unique and meaningful travel experiences to destinations such as Antarctica, Northwest Passage, Galapagos Islands and our amazing pole to pole itineraries. Our small ship experience ticks all the boxes for those customers searching for an adventure trip.” Natalie said.
Seeing such a great and adventurous interest in the new cruise programs arising around this news is a great boost for a lot of our partnered cruise suppliers, from Tradewind Voyages releasing some new and entirely unique experiences, to Hurtigruten’s expeditions and once-in-a-lifetime experiences on places such as Antarctica.
And suppliers are adapting as well, providing flexible terms so that the consumer can have confidence in cruise travel after a hectic year.
“Our book with confidence policy is applicable for our Northern lights, Dover departure sailings in 2021/22. This means your customer has peace of mind that they can cancel their booking for any reason and get a refund, including deposit, within 14 days,” Natalie said, talking about the bookings already coming in for winter 2021 to see the northern lights.
Seeing this amazing progress both within package creation and the industry as a whole is a great testament to the possible progress we might see in the future as we go forward in 2021. Though it has been rough of late, as travel finds its feet again, travel companies are coming back stronger than ever, inspired by restrictions to make creative packages that cater to consumer protection, and provide better confidence for their clients than ever.
So, if you’re ready to get booking your cruise holiday, don’t forget to find a fabulous PTS member to book with for some of the best consumer protection. And if you need help picking one of our members, you can call PTS directly at 0207 190 9988.
And, if you’d like to learn more about how you’re protected by the package travel regulations and your consumer protection through PTS, then don’t forget to check out our pages.