Everything you need to know about UK cruises this summer, from voyages to vaccines

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Leading cruise lines have announced the resumption of UK-only voyages in early summer – but on some extremely unusual itineraries.

What’s happening?

Most cruises ceased a year ago, as the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Since then the vast majority of the world’s 270 ocean-going cruise ships have been moored, unable to operate.

For a year, the Foreign Office has warned against cruising anywhere abroad. Among the most significant of the many other obstacles to a successful restart of cruising is the choice of destinations. As was shown last spring with some cruise ships desperately seeking somewhere to offload, many locations were unwilling to take vessels and their passengers.

Fred Olsen Line describes the problem when reporting that “Braemar will unfortunately not be operating until Spring 2022.” The ship operates in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. “We believe that initially it may be more complex for us to operate the planned fly cruise programme and we will therefore instead focus on our extensive ex-UK itineraries during 2021,” the company says.

Other ships will be operating what Fred Olsen calls “scenic-only” or “no port” cruises.

Along with P&O Cruises, it will be sailing from UK ports on itineraries that, in many cases, are “voyages to nowhere” – typically cruising along the British coast, with some venturing into the Atlantic before returning to port.

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