Due to the easing of an international cruise prohibition, Royal Caribbean Cruises can begin promoting summer 2021 sailings from Cyprus to British consumers.
Since early July, the Jewel of the Seas has been headquartered in Limassol and sailing among the Greek islands with vaccinated passengers from Cyprus, Israel, and the United States.
Ben Bouldin, vice-president of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Europe, Middle East, and Africa division and new chair of Clia UK and Ireland, told a Travel Weekly webcast: “We haven’t really been pushing it in the UK up until this point.
“But now it’s permitted to sell internationally. We’ve got chartered air, we’ve got special transfers, we’ve got everything in place for that to be a fantastic holiday for a UK guest.
“We’re going to turn the lights on and we’re going to go hell for leather now because it’s a really great option for people wanting to go overseas.
“We can now start to take the Brits to that programme without really changing anything.”
Anthem of the Seas, the cruise line’s flagship, has been sailing domestically from Southampton since mid-July, but international trips are expected to begin in September.
Domestic cruises, according to Bouldin, have been going well, with passengers giving the company the highest Net Promoter Scores.
The next step would be to research the complexity of traveling to countries like Portugal and Spain, as well as how things like Covid testing will affect the onboard experience, he said.
Mundy Cruising’s owner and managing director, Edwina Lonsdale, remarked Her agency received calls from clients as soon as the restriction was lifted, and she expects the news to continue to increase inquiries in the following days.
“They still have to jump through all the hoops that they have to do for international travel but it just gives that confidence and an opportunity for us to pick up some last business for 2021 – so this year isn’t a complete loss,” she stated.
International cruise ships with various ethnicities on board would have obstacles, but she added: “We’ve done challenges for 16 months, now we can do some more.
“We have to just do what we do best, which is be very adaptable, be very calm, be the voice of authority for our clients, give them the confidence.”
Clia UK and Ireland managing director Andy Harmer said there may be a “few of itineraries” available in the next month or so, but anticipates foreign cruises for Brits to gather up steam starting in September.
“We’re used to lots of nationalities onboard our ships, with lots of different entry and exit requirements, lots of crew from different nationalities, itineraries that take in multiple countries in one voyage – so, as an industry, we’re certainly already plugged into some of those challenges, because of course, local rules will vary from port to port and from country to country,” He elaborated.
He noted that agents have shared their great experiences with the domestic cruises that have been sailing throughout the British Isles since mid-May.
“Our travel agents do that really well…become real ambassadors for our industry,” he said.
“The fact that they’ve enjoyed it, they felt safe and secure but they’ve had a great time is a message that we want to share with customers.”
Book by: May 31st 2022
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