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Coronavirus: Updated Cruise Ship Policies and Cancellations Because of COVID-19 (2021)
Coronavirus: Updated Cruise Ship Policies and Cancellations Because of COVID-19 (2021)
Which Cruise Lines Are Sailing Right Now in the UK?
M S C Virtuosa arrives into Southampton M S C Cruises, Blue Harbour (1)

Which Cruise Lines Are Sailing Right Now in the UK?

Which Cruise Lines Are Sailing Right Now in the UK?
M S C Virtuosa arrives into Southampton M S C Cruises, Blue Harbour (1)

September 27, 2021

Adam Coulter
U.K. Executive Editor
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Editor's note: The U.K. cruise season is almost over and most cruise lines are now sailing internationally. For the latest info. please read the following article Which U.K.-Based Cruise Lines Are Sailing Internationally And Where?

(9:15 a.m. BST) -- MSC Cruises brand new ship, MSC Virtuosa set sail from Southampton on May 20 -- the first cruise ship carrying passengers to leave the port in 14 months -- and marking the restart of cruising in the U.K.

Viking followed two days later from Portsmouth, after christening its newest ship Viking Venus at sea on May 17.

The next major line to set sail was Marella Cruises on June 25; followed by P&O Cruises, with a series of round-Britain cruises for vaccinated passengers only, starting June 27, on Britannia.

Other lines offering round-Britain cruises include: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines (July 5); Disney Cruise Line, Cunard Line; Celebrity Cruises, which will base Celebrity Silhouette in Southampton from July 3 and Royal Caribbean will base Anthem of the Seas in Southampton from July 7.

Virgin Voyages will sail Scarlet Lady back to the U.K., offering a series of round-Britain cruises in August.

Most lines are insisiting on fully vaccinated passengers only, with a few exceptions, including MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean, meaning kids will be able to get onboard as long as they show a negative PCR or lateral flow test.

International cruising has restarted, too, with a number of lines basing themselves in Greece and Cyprus this summer, and on August 2 the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advisory against international cruising is lifted, meaning international cruising can restart from these shores.

And cruising has also restarted in the Caribbean -- Celebrity Millennium set sail on June 5 from St Maarten and Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas restarted on June 12. And from the U.S. with the departure of Celebrity Edge on June 26.

At last count there were a total of 18 cruise lines operating 23 ships offering coastal cruises to and from English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish ports.

Here is your guide to which lines are restarting cruising, when, what ship and vaccination requirements round-Britain. We will add to this as more lines make restart announcements.

Ocean Cruise Lines

MSC Cruises

M S C  V I R T U O S A (1)

Ship: MSC Virtuosa

When: Restarted May 20, 2021.

Itineraries: Southampton, offering a series of short-break cruises and week-long summer sailings calling in at Portland, Liverpool and Belfast.

Requirements: Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for all adult (over-18s) passengers. Under-18s must show proof of a negative lateral flow. COVID travel insurance required.


Viking Venus (Photo: Viking)

Ship: Viking Venus

When: Restarted May 22, 2021.

Itineraries: The line will offer five eight-day ocean itineraries with embarkation dates of May 22, 29 and June 5, 12 and 19 for U.K. residents only from Portsmouth, calling in at Liverpool, Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, Falmouth and Portland.

Requirements: All passengers must be fully vaccinated. A negative PCR test and daily non-invasive saliva PCR tests for both crew and passengers. Over 18s only.

Noble Caledonia

Hebridean Sky (APT) TA Listings Page Image

Ship: MS Island Sky, Hebridean Sky

When: June 16, 2021; June 20, 2021

Itineraries: Due to restrictions in Scotland, the line ahs been forced to amend its Scottish itineraries and will be operating Portsmouth to Liverpool round-trips for the forseeable future.

Requirements: Fully vaccinated passengers only.

Marella Cruises

Marella Explorer (Photo: Marella Cruises)

Ship: Marella Explorer, Marella Explorer 2.

When: June 25, July 10.

Itineraries: Marella Explorer will offer seven new UK itineraries during the summer season with a three-night itinerary from Southampton, visiting Dover and Portland, and a seven-night itinerary in August from Southampton, visiting Liverpool, Dublin and Cobh in the Republic of Ireland.

ME2 will depart Newcastle, with itineraries that include stops in Leith for Edinburgh, Greenock for Glasgow and Lerwick, Shetland Islands (from July 19) and Belfast, with two international itineraries at the end of the summer -- one calling in at Le Havre and another to Iceland.

Requirements: The line requires all adults 18-years-old and over to have had both COVID-19 jabs at least seven days before travelling. All under 18-year-olds, excluding infants under the age of two who will not be able to sail as they are exempt from testing, will be asked to have a lateral flow test. All passengers must also provide proof of a negative lateral flow test before boarding the ships at the start of the cruise.

P&O Cruises

Britannia TA Listings Page Image

Ship: Britannia, Iona

When: June 27, August 7 (Iona)

Itineraries: Southampton, offering round-trip short breaks on Britannia and week-long cruises on Iona until September 19, 2021.

Requirements: All passengers must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before boarding and must provide evidence of a negative PCR test.

Saga Cruises

Saga Cruises Spirit of Adventure Arrives in Tilbury

Ship: Spirit of Discovery, Spirit of Adventure

When: June 27, July 26 (Spirit of Adventure)

Itineraries: Saga was due to offer four itineraries, all round-trip from Tilbury (except Spirit of Adventure) two of which -- "Scottish Highlands and Islands" and "From the Northern Isles to the Fjords" have both been amended due to the current restrictions in Scotland. On the June 27 and July 3 sailings the is offering a West Country and South Coast trip from Tilbury.

Other itineraries (which will be reviewed on June 28) include: "Great British Isles Adventure" departing on July 11th, 2021 aboard Spirit of Discovery for 14 nights, calling at Falmouth, Holyhead, Belfast, Greenock, Ullapool, Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Newhaven and Newcastle.

The "From the Northern Isles to the Fjords" itinerary aboard Spirit of Discovery on July 25, 2021 for six nights, calls in at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, cruising Sognefjord in Norway, Lerwick in the Shetland Islands and Stornoway followed by Scrabster in Scotland.

The Inaugural Cruise on Spirit of Adventure on July 26th is 15 nights and is due to call in at Newcastle, Newhaven, Dundee, Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Ullapool, Cruise St Kilda, Greenock, Belfast, Douglas, Holyhead, Bristol and Falmouth before disembarking in Dover.

Requirements: All passengers must be fully vaccinated.

Celebrity Cruises

Aerial shot of Celebrity Silhouette

Ship: Celebrity Silhouette

When: July 3, 2021.

Itineraries: Southampton, offering six- to eight-night cruises which will include port calls in Dover, Portland, Liverpool and Belfast.

Requirements: All over-18s fully vaccinated. Under 18s must show proof of a negative PCR test.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines


Ship: Borealis, Bolette.

When: July 5, August 16, 2021.

Itineraries: Liverpool on Borealis on a three-night scenic maiden voyage and Bolette on a three-night maiden voyage from Dover on August 16.

Requirements: Fully vaccinated passengers only.

Riviera Travel


Ship: MS Seaventure.

When: July 5, 2021.

Itineraries: Seven-night cruises from Edinburgh exploring the Western isles of Scotland.

Requirements: Fully vaccinated passengers only.

Royal Caribbean

Anthem of the Seas

Ship: Anthem of the Seas

When: July 7, 2021.

Itineraries: A combination of four-night "Ocean Getaways" from Southampton in early July and five- to eight-night British Isles cruises, starting 15th July, that include ports stops in Liverpool, Kirkwall, Scotland and Belfast.

Requirements: All crew and over-18s fully vaccinated. Over-18s must take a PCR test within 72 hours of sailing. Two to 17-year-olds must take a rapid antigen test at the terminal.

Hebridean Island Cruises

Hebridean Princess

Ship: Hebridean Princess

When: July 13, 2021.

Itineraries: The ship will operate a series of cruises during July and August departing from Cardiff and Portland, stopping at destinations in Wales, as well as Lundy Island, the Isles of Scilly, the Isle of Wight plus a number of smaller southern coastal ports.

Requirements: All passengers must have had at least one vaccine. In additon, a lateral flow test kit will be sent to each passenger named on the booking and no more than seventy-two hours prior to the cruise, each passenger must take the test. The line will also test each passenger prior to booking.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Magic (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)

Ship: Disney Magic

When: July 15, 2021.

Itineraries: Southampton, Tilbury, Newcastle and LIverpool offering two-, three- and four-night cruises.

Requirements: Adults over 18 must be fully vaccinated. Under 18s must show a negative PCR test.

Princess Cruises

Sky Princess (Image: Princess Cruises)

Ships: Regal Princess, Sky Princess

When: July 31, 2021.

Itineraries: Southampton, offering 22 "Summer Seacation" short-break and week-long cruises, with ports-of-call including Liverpool, Belfast and Greenock until September 23, 2021.

Requirements: All passengers and crew must be fully vaccinated.

Virgin Voyages

Scarlet  Lady  Cruise  Critic  Inline  Deal 1

Ship: Scarlet Lady

When: August 6, 2021.

Itineraries: Two-, three- and four-night itineraries departing Portsmouth between August 6 and August 27, 2021.

Requirements: All passengers and crew must be fully vaccinated.


Queen Elizabeth TA Listings Page Image

Ship: Queen Elizabeth

When: August 13, 2021.

Itineraries: Southampton, offering ten departures; four of these will offer ports of call, including Liverpool, Greenock, Invergordon, Belfast, and Newcastle. A maiden call for the Cunard fleet will be made in Holyhead, Wales.

Requirements: All passengers must be fully vaccinated at least seven days before boarding.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Splendor (Photo: Regent Seven Seas)

Ship: Regent Seven Seas Splendor

When: September 7, 2021.

Itineraries: 11-night voyage, round-trip from Southampton, England visiting Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Requirements: All passengers must be fully vaccinated at least seven days before boarding.

River Cruise Lines

English Holiday Cruises

Edward  Elgar

Ship: Edward Elgar

When: May 17, 2021.

Itineraries: Two- to six-nights along the River Severn.

Requirements: Negative test prior to boarding.

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