The UK cruise sector reopened earlier this year, but only domestic cruises were allowed, now with international port calls given the all-clear, Royal Caribbean has extended its British cruise season but won’t be cruising internationally.
In addition to extending the cruise season, Royal Caribbean will also welcome international guests aboard in addition to British passengers.
Those new rules will come into effect from September, while Royal Caribbean has not indicated when Anthem of the Seas will add foreign port calls to its itineraries out of Southampton.
“We are thrilled with the response to our Royal Caribbean holidays from the U.K. Since recommencing sailings in early July, our British Isles itineraries have achieved peak guest satisfaction levels,” said Ben Bouldin, Vice President, EMEA, Royal Caribbean International.
“We welcome the recent update from the U.K. government, which lifted advice against international cruise travel,” he added. “While this marks a positive step forward in the global return of cruise, there are still complexities to navigate when calling at multiple European ports of call from the U.K.”
Bouldin said these complexities, coupled with the popularity of Royal Caribbean’s British Isles sailings to date, has led to its decision to extend its sailings around the British Isles.
Anthem of the Seas’ itineraries will remain the same, with 5- to 7-night roundtrip cruises from Southampton calling in Liverpool, England; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Kirkwall and Glasgow, Scotland.
Anthem of the Seas was the first in the fleet to restart operations in the UK in July, and the fifth in the fleet overall.
Anti-COVID protocols remain unchanged with all crew members already fully vaccinated and only guests 18 years or older who are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before sailing.
Guests under 18 years old can still cruise but will have to undergo testing, the full details of which can be found on the Royal Caribbean website.
The extended Anthem of the Seas cruise season out of the UK comes as Royal Caribbean ramps up its cruise resumption, with plans to have its full fleet of 25 ships back in service by May next year.