UK to limit passenger numbers as cruise sector returns

Published on : Tuesday, April 27, 2021

UK has announced that cruise ships sailing in its waters will be limited to 1,000 passengers when operations begin on or after May 17. All travellers must have to be residents of the British Isles, according to latest regulations issued by the department of transport. The rules also mention that COVID-19-secure guidance will continue to apply.


The government has informed that groups of more than six people or two households will not be allowed to mix indoors whether or not they originally booked in the same group. Only passengers who are resident in the UK and the Common Travel Area comprising the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be allowed to board a cruise from a British port.

Authorities are hoping to relax the regulations on June 21, in line with a wider reopening of the UK economy. At this time, the government plans to remove all legal limits on social contact which will include lifting capacity limits for domestic cruises. The first cruise expected to be aboard is MSC Virtuosa, which is performing her inaugural season around the British Isles. She will depart from Southampton on May 20 on a four-night voyage which will call halfway through at Portland in Dorset, 50 miles south-west.


Her passenger capacity is around 5,000, indicating occupancy of around 20 per cent if all 1,000 legally permitted places are sold. A number of other lines, including Saga, Princess Cruises, Cunard and P&O Cruises will also be offering trips around the UK this summer.


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