UK cruises you can book this summer including P&O, Royal Caribbean and Disney

Get ready to stride up the gangway and breathe in that glorious sea air – cruising from UK ports is back! After a year of agonising pandemic paralysis, a flotilla of stunning ships will set sail for seacation voyages around the British Isles – and a little beyond – this summer.

Some will only sail ‘coastal cruising’ without calling at ports, others will make some stops.

You might need to be vaccinated against coronavirus and many ships will have reduced capacity, but you should certainly expect various protocols including masks, social distancing, hand sanitising, health screening and some testing.

These long-awaited itineraries are flying off the shelves.

Here’s the latest line-up…

Saga

A general exterior view of the Spirit of Adventure cruise ship
Spirit of Adventure will sail on her inaugural cruise this summer

Where to: Spirit of Discovery and new ship Spirit of Adventure will sail six voyages, of five to 15 days, from Southampton and Tilbury between June and September.

Destinations include Orkney, Belfast, Newcastle, Anglesey, Bristol, Isle of Man, Shetland, Greenock and Edinburgh, plus scenic sailing in the Norwegian Fjords.

Adventure’s round Britain sailing on July 26 will be her inaugural.

Calls at ports: Yes.

Covid rules: Double vaccinated passengers only.

Cost: From £1,352 per person. Find out more and book at travel.saga.co.uk

Cunard

A view of Cunard's cruise ship Queen Elizabeth
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will sail on UK cruises

Where to: The 181-year-old line’s 10 scenic itineraries with Queen Elizabeth will be round trips from Southampton between July and October and cover British Isles cruising past sights such as Land’s End, Arran and the Mull of Kintyre. Some sailings will be making port visits to Liverpool, Greenock, Invergordon, Belfast, Newcastle and Anglesey.

On three special Sun Voyages the captain will follow the forecast and head to wherever the weather is best.

Cunard’s itineraries range from three to 12 nights.

Calls at ports: Yes, some sailings.

Covid rules: Queen Elizabeth voyages will be for UK vaccinated residents.

Cost: From £479pp. Find out more and book at cunard.com.

Marella Cruises

A view of the Marella Explorer 2 cruise ship
Marella Explorer 2 will be one of the ships on offer

Where to: Two ships will be deployed on three to 12-night all-inclusive trips. Explorer will sail from Southampton from June 25, with Explorer 2 based in Newcastle starting on July 10. The Southampton voyages will call at ports including Dover, Portland, Belfast, Dublin, Anglesey, Greenock and Liverpool. Itineraries from Tyneside are yet to be announced.

Calls at ports: Yes.

Covid rules: UK residents only; adults with vaccinations and negative test, children with negative test.

Cost: From £439pp. Find out more and book at tui.co.uk/cruise.

Princess Cruises

Sky Princess cruise ship sails past a rocky landscape
Sky Princess will be one of the ships sailing this summer

Where to: Regal and Sky Princess will offer three to seven-night seacations from July 31 to September 28. Some itineraries will include stops at ports including Portland, Liverpool, Greenock and Belfast.

Calls at ports: Yes, some voyages.

Covid rules: UK resident vaccinated passengers only.

Cost: From £489pp all-inclusive. Find out more and book at princess.com.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Silhouette at sea
Celebrity Silhouette at sea

Where to: Six, seven and eight-night itineraries are on offer from Southampton with a season of departures running throughout July and August. The newly “revolutionised” Celebrity Silhouette will stop at destinations such as Portland, Inverness, Kirkwall, Glasgow, Belfast, and Liverpool.

Calls at ports: Yes.

Covid rules: Passengers aged 18 and over vaccinated, under 18s with negative test.

Cost: From £1,049pp. Find out more and book at celebritycruises.com.

Fred Olsen

Fred Olsen's Borealis cruise ship
Fred Olsen’s Borealis cruise ship

Where to: New ships Borealis and Bolette, plus Balmoral, will sail 11 three to seven-night voyages from Liverpool, Rosyth and Dover between July and September, including Bolette and Borealis’ maiden voyages.

Seven cruising-only trips will have wildlife charity ORCA on board to offer hints for spotting marine mammals. Other voyages include calls to Belfast, Falmouth, Orkney and Shetland.

Calls at ports: Yes, some sailings.

Covid rules: Negative test required.

Cost: From £399pp. Find out more and book at fredolsencruises.com.

MSC Cruises

A view of MSC Virtuosa cruise ship at sea during sunset
MSC Virtuosa will sail on a series of itineraries from late May

Where to: New flagship MSC Virtuosa will kick off her inaugural season in late May with a series of three and four-night voyages departing from Southampton and calling at Portland.

She will set off for week-long trips to Portland, Belfast, Liverpool and Greenock. Embarkation also available in Liverpool and Greenock on the longercruises.

Calls at ports: Yes.

Covid rules: Vaccinations not required, but negative test is. “Bubble” excursions only.

Cost: From £499pp. Find out more and book at msccruises.co.uk.

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises' ship Britannia
P&O Cruises’ ship Britannia

Where to: Current flagship Britannia and new ship Iona will sail from Southampton between June and September for three, four and seven-night scenic itineraries.

The highlight will be Iona making her maiden voyage to the scenic Scottish island she was named after, where she will anchor for a celebratory stay until sunset.

Calls at ports: No, except a one-off call at Liverpool by Britannia.

Covid rules: UK-resident vaccinated passengers only.

Cost: From £249pp. Find out more and book at pocruises.com.

Disney Cruise Line

A view of the Disney Magic cruise ship
The Disney Magic cruise ship

Where to: That Mouse magic will be heading to sea from July to September. Disney Magic will sail from Liverpool, Southampton, Newcastle and Tilbury on mainly two, three and four-night round trip voyages, as well as limited four-night sailings.

These will be “at sea” voyages only but there will be heaps of Disney activities on board, including Frozen fun with Anna, Elsa and Olaf and action from Marvel Super Heroes.

Calls at ports: No.

Covid rules: No vaccinations required.

Cost: Yet to be announced. Find out more and book at disneycruise.co.uk.

Royal Caribbean

Anthem of the Seas
Anthem of the Seas

Where to: Anthem of the Seas will offer a combination of no-call three and four-night trips in early July, followed by a season of five to eight-night voyages with visits to Liverpool, Belfast and Orkney.

Calls at ports: Yes, on longer trips.

Covid rules: Passengers aged 18 and over vaccinated, under 18s with negative test.

Cost: From £559pp. Find out more and book on royalcaribbean.com.

Virgin Voyages

Scarlet Lady
Scarlet Lady

Where to: Richard Branson’s foray into cruising has been badly delayed by the pandemic. But every cloud has a silver lining and we’ll now see Scarlet Lady based in Portsmouth rather than Miami for six three and four-night itineraries in August.

Expect high demand for a sneak peek at what is expected to be a very different take on holidays at sea.

Calls at ports: No.

Covid rules: Passengers aged 18 and over vaccinated.

Cost: From £499pp. Find out more and book at virginvoyages.com.

More cruises

Also sailing some limited UK seacations this summer are Hurtigruten (from Dover), Viking (from Portsmouth), Tradewind (from Portsmouth, Liverpool, Harwich, Edinburgh and Greenock) and Riviera (from Edinburgh and Greenock).

Top tip

If you are new to cruising and using one of these convenient no-fly trips to test the water and see if it’s for you here’s one top tip. Put some things you might need right away once you’re on board – such as cossie, sunscreen, flip flops, hat, books – in a cabin-size bag or holdall.

While you may be on the ship sharpish, your main luggage may not follow for an hour or two.

Are you planning a cruise holiday this summer? Let us know in the comments below.




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