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Cruise ships experience high demand as they gear up to set sail this summer

After a devastating year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, cruise ships are finally gearing up to set sail again this summer. Cruise liners can operate from 17th May when lockdown restrictions are next due to be eased. Operators have already been selling tickets for several weeks and have seen high demand from those eager to travel.

Reno Charlton
· 3 min read

Over the past year, cruise operators have suffered devastation along with other travel companies. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused chaos for cruise travel specialists, with cruise liners sitting dormant for over a year.

Operators are gearing up to start offering cruises again after 17th May, when lockdown rules are due to ease once again. Some have a range of summer excursions planned with a phased restart that will begin with cruises around the British Isles. One operator, Fred Olsen, revealed that demand has been extremely high, and tickets have been selling fast for its earlier trips.

A different type of cruise experience

The restart of cruising around the UK will see operators offering a different kind of cruise experience to travellers, also providing them with an alternative to a UK staycation. The first cruises will be scenic trips around the British Isles, allowing travellers to enjoy the many facilities onboard rather than docking at different ports every day.

Thomas Rennesland, a senior official with Fred Olsen, told the BBC that while it had been a very stressful year, demand for its up-and-coming British Isles cruises was high.

He said, "Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to some really fantastic colleagues as the ships were not moving. Then of course we had to start planning the re-entry into service. No one has ever done anything like this before."

Fred Olsen announced its British Isles cruises for the summer some weeks ago, and since that time, two-thirds of tickets for the earlier cruises have been sold. This reflects the eagerness of Brits to escape the chains of lockdowns and restrictions and to finally enjoy a change of scenery.

It is thought the return of cruising could also attract new customers, with operators such as Virgin Voyages offering experiences such as three or four-day cruises to introduce this type of travel to new customers.

New protocols in place

Many people will remember the chaos with cruise ships last year when passengers and crew members were stranded worldwide following the initial outbreak of the pandemic. Following the disruption, new protocols and increased measures have been put into place to protect all on board.

Bob Sanguinetti, boss of the UK Chamber of Shipping, said that cruise operators had put a lot of time and effort into introducing new measures to ensure the safety of crew and passengers. He added that, because of this, it should not be such a challenge to get passengers back on board this summer.

Reno Charlton

Reno Charlton

Reno Charlton has been writing since 2003. She has worked with a diverse client base around the world, across a variety of subjects and industry areas, specialising in lifestyle and health & wellbeing niches. In addition to her online work, Reno is also a published author and has written several children's books and short stories.