(11 a.m. EST) -- Add Cunard to the list of cruise lines that are scrapping international itineraries this summer in favor of close-to-home sailings around the UK.
The line announced that it will offer a series of domestic voyages on Queen Elizabeth from Southampton, sailing in UK coastal waters, for British passengers. More details, including a start date, will be provided later this month, the line said.
To make the new sailings happen, the line has cancelled the summer Mediterranean season on Queen Elizabeth through 11 October, 2021. In addition, cruises on Queen Victoria through 27 August and Queen Mary 2's programme is cancelled through 12 November, 2021.
The moves comes just days after the UK government announced cruises in England can resume on 17 May, 2021. Most cruise lines have said that date, while welcome, is ambitious in terms of crewing up the ships, making late summer a more likely start date.
"With the UK Government confirming that domestic travel is close on the horizon, we are introducing a series of exciting, shorter duration holidays for British residents looking for the perfect staycation in Cunard luxury this summer," said Simon Palethorpe, president, Cunard. "These will be sailings from Southampton, for UK residents, around the UK and will make the very most of the summer sunshine."
The trend toward domestic cruising has been growing, with P&O Cruises and Princess among the lines revamping their schedules from international sailings to those based in England. Royal Caribbean has also said that it's eyeing the UK as its next country-specific restart.