Three cruise lines revealed they will resume operations in the United Kingdom, ranging from short breaks and week-long cruises. Viking, Cunard and today, MSC Cruises announced it would start cruises around the British Isles this European summer.
The MSC Magnifica will be sailing from 20 May from Southampton’s new cruise terminal. The cruise line will be accepting vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests. All passengers will be tested prior to embarkation while non-vaccinated guests will also be required to show proof of negative test done within a 72-hour period.
Antonio Paradiso, Managing Director MSC Cruises UK & Ireland said: “It’s time for UK holidaymakers to get back on board and enjoy a well-deserved break from what has been a very challenging 12 months for everyone in so many ways.”
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will also be starting cruises from May 2021.
Cunard president, Simon Palethorpe said: “With the UK Government confirming that domestic travel is close on the horizon, we are introducing a series of exciting, shorter duration holidays for Brits looking for the perfect staycation in Cunard luxury this summer. These will be sailings from Southampton, for UK residents, around the UK and will make the very most of the summer sunshine.
“However, with international travel restrictions still in place, we unfortunately need to cancel a number of departures. We know how much everyone is desperately looking forward to longed-for holidays overseas, so to all affected by this news, I am sincerely sorry for the disappointment this will cause.”
Viking also revealed voyages aboard its newest ship, the Viking Venus.
The new round-trip sailings from Portsmouth will be confined to UK residents only. Viking will offer eight-day itineraries, England’s Scenic Shores, departing on 22, 29 May and 5 June.
Viking was the first cruise line to suspend operations at the start of the pandemic in March last year. The resumption of domestic cruising in England was triggered by the UK Government’s recent announcement that it will allow domestic cruises to restart in May this year.