Agents have welcomed the decisions by a number of cruise lines to offer itineraries around the UK this summer as a way of restarting the industry.
Cruise specialists said the move by brands such as P&O, Princess and Cunard was “massively good news” and called for other lines to also offer itineraries around the British Isles this year.
The Department for Transport confirmed last week that domestic cruising in English waters could resume from 17 May, prompting lines to amend their original summer 2021 schedules and replace them with a series of short-break and week-long “staycation” UK cruises.
Details of dates and pricing will be announced this month.
Agents agreed the move would stimulate pent-up demand among existing cruise clients, as well as potentially encourage newcomers to try their first cruise.
Lee Hunt, boss of Deben Travel, which also operates dedicated cruise shop Cruise Ready, told TTG: “It’s a really positive move. There’s still a huge amount of demand for cruising – more and more people are looking at cruising out of the UK.”
Hunt added UK cruises would also offer an “alternative” to land-based domestic holidays this summer, as high prices and availability are proving to be a challenge.
Anthony Blackmore, managing director of Cruise365, said the UK cruises showed lines were “very confident” about being able to resume cruising later this year.
“There’s a massive opportunity to showcase to people who have not cruised before,” he added. “There are a lot of interesting ports of call in the UK. I think the cruises will sell well.”
Carol Kirkham, from Kirkham Travel, said clients were “chomping at the bit” to resume cruising and added that she expected other lines, such as Fred Olsen and Saga, would also introduce UK itineraries for 2021.
Miles Morgan, owner of Miles Morgan Travel, added: “I’m delighted as it shows the confidence they will restart operations. The pent-up demand is phenomenal, we’re just waiting for the hand brake to be released.”