More than 100,000 passengers have sailed on UK departures since the cruise sector restarted in May, according to latest Clia UK and Ireland figures.
In total, 21 ships have offered ex-UK sailings since restrictions were lifted from May 17. Cruise lines were initially only allowed to sail with 1,000 passengers or at 50% capacity, whichever was lower.
Clia said that cruise ships have been able to operate “at an increased capacity above 50% since July 19”, depending on each vessel’s “onboard protocols and guidelines”.
A Clia spokesperson said: “On ocean-going ships, the [UK cruise industry] framework stipulates that cabins need to be taken out of general availability so they can be used for isolation and quarantine if needed.”
Clia UK & Ireland managing director Andy Harmer said: “Since May 2021, 21 cruise ships have sailed on round-Britain cruises, enjoyed by more than 100,000 guests, following strict protocols developed in cooperation with health and government authorities.”
The trade association’s figures include Viking and Noble Caledonia – which are not Clia cruise line members.
Harmer added: “The health and safety of passengers, crew and destinations are an operational imperative for Clia members as cruise lines resume operations responsibly.
“With support of the UK government, the cruise industry has developed enhanced health protocols that go beyond any other travel sector operating today.”
MSC Virtuosa, the first ship to resume UK operations on May 20, finished its season last week with a three-night departure out of Southampton, during which it hosted the ITT Conference.