Marella Cruises has joined the growing list of cruise lines scheduled to cruise from the UK this coming summer cruise season.
The cruise line announced via Facebook that Marella Cruises UK itineraries will resume this summer.
The four-ship British cruise line previously sailed as Thomson Cruises before being acquired by travel giant TUI.
It has a strong presence in the UK and a popular fly-cruise program, but has instead opted for a domestic season given the UK ongoing foreign travel restrictions.
“We’re really pleased to announce we’ll be offering domestic cruises sailing from the UK this year. We can’t wait to welcome you back onboard. More details will be revealed soon,” the company said.
Itinerary details are likely still being worked out as Marella engages with local tourism authorities in ports around the UK.
Several of the other cruise lines that have announced summer UK cruises for 2021 have opted to sail ‘cruises to nowhere’ without any ports of call.
P&O Cruises is sailing roundtrip cruises from Southampton that visit no other ports, while Disney Cruise Line will also sail roundtrip cruises without any shore excursions, but will do so from four different ports: Tilbury, Newcastle, Liverpool and Southampton.
Marella Cruises, like the rest of the cruise industry, has been waiting out the coronavirus pandemic since March last year when it cancelled all cruises globally.
The announcement of a domestic cruise program in the UK is the cruise line’s first effort at resuming operations and comes following an announcement by the UK government that domestic travel restrictions will be eased from May 17th.
P&O Cruises has indicated that only fully vaccinated guests will be allowed to board, but its unclear whether Marella will follow the same protocol.
Fellow British cruise line Saga Cruises was the first cruise line to announce that it will require vaccines for passengers back in January. Since then, Royal Caribbean has made a similar announcement for its return to service in the Caribbean, as has Virgin Voyages.
As for which cruise ship Marella Cruises will deploy on its UK cruises, its likely to be Marella Explorer or Marella Explorer 2, as both ships are in warm lay-up in the UK, anchored in the English Channel, while the rest of the fleet is in Greece.