Saga reduces capacity on first two restart sailings

Saga Cruises has confirmed Spirit of Discovery’s first two sailings will operate at 50% capacity in line with the government’s restrictions.

The 999-passenger vessel (pictured) resumes operations on Sunday from Tilbury but will only carry about 500 passengers on its first two sailings.

Cruise lines had hoped to start operating at full capacity after June 21 when the final Covid-19 restrictions were scheduled to be lifted. However, the government pushed back the lifting to at least July 19.

Over-50s specialist Saga is contacting affected passengers due to travel on the voyages and offering them the choice of either rebooking to a later cruise or a full refund.

A Saga spokesperson said: “Following the decision by the government to delay the easing of lockdown measures, we will have to further reduce the number of guests on board our first three cruises.

More: More cruise lines respond to UK capacity restrictions

‘Freedom day’ delay hits UK cruise capacity

“With all of our guests and crew fully-vaccinated and high demand for our cruises, we are working to ensure we can accommodate as many guests as possible.”

The line said it understood concerns around the latest Covid-19 data but added that “such tight capacity constraints is disappointing for our fully vaccinated customers”.

Saga joins a host of other cruise lines – such as Royal Caribbean International, P&O Cruises, MSC Cruises and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines – that had their capacities affected by the government’s decision to extend restrictions until at least July 19.

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