UK Cruise line Marella Cruises, a part of the TUI group of companies, has announced it will start selling its UK vacations from April 16, 2021.
Unfortunately, the news came with the message that the cruise line has had to cancel any cruises outside the UK for the time being.
Sailing From Two Ports
The UK-based cruise line announced it would be sailing from two UK ports this summer. The line will set sail from Southampton in the south of England and Newcastle in the north of England.
The line has confirmed it will be sailing with the Marella Explorer and Marella Explorer 2. For now, the cruise line will only be offering its Southampton sailings for sale from April 16th, while the Newcastle cruises will be going on sale at a later date.
Marella Explorer will set sail from Southampton on UK itineraries from June 25, sailing to new ports of call, including Belfast, Dublin, and Liverpool.
Marella Explorer 2, the cruise line’s adult-only ship, will also offer UK sailings from Newcastle from July 10, with even more UK ports of call.
The cruises will be available to UK-based guests only for those that are interested. Guests will need to be fully vaccinated with both injections a full 7-days before sailing. Although vaccinations are mandatory onboard, Marella Cruises is also employing a wide variety of measures to keep COVID-19 away from the ships.
International Sailings Still Not Happening
The good news was accompanied by some bad news, though. Marella has been forced to cancel or postpone all of its cruises outside of the UK. Although MSC cruises announced multiple European itineraries today, Marella is not that confident. Therefore the following voyages have been affected:
- Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2 due to depart on or before July 31, 2021.
- Marella Cruises sailings from Palma on Marella Explorer due to depart on or before September 25, 2021.
- Marella Cruises sailings from Dubrovnik on Marella Explorer 2 due to depart on or before October 21, 2021.
Although the cancelations and postponements are disappointing news for those booked on these voyages, guests that have been affected can change their voyage for free or get a full refund.
UK Cruises Proving To Be Popular
Very few cruise lines will not be sailing from the UK this summer. Despite the significant number of ships offering staycations from Southampton, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Tilbury, and more, it seems the ships will all be full. A sentiment shared by the Managing director of cruise TUI UK, Chris Hackney:
“Domestic sailings are a great step for the cruise industry and has given us the opportunity to take our customers to new destinations full of culture and history whilst still being close to home. We’re looking forward to this new adventure on the British seas and are dedicated to making sure our customers have the most memorable and exciting cruise with us.”
Multiple cruise lines have been reporting sold-out cruises, while others like P&O cruises have announced they will be adding even more voyages to handle the massive demand from the UK public.
So while some cruise lines may have been hesitant about vaccination mandates, and no international travel, it seems cruises are alive and well, at least on a national level!