Cunard Line has cancelled its planned 2021 summer cruise season for all three of its ships and will instead cruise a series of shorter roundtrip voyages from Southampton, UK.
Cunard’s shorter roundtrip cruise program from the UK presents a golden opportunity to anyone who has always wanted to take a Cunard cruise, but lacks the time or money for its itineraries, which are typically multi-continent grand voyages.
Cunard said its decision was based on the latest advice from the UK government, which has indicated that with vaccination numbers climbing and case numbers for COVID-19 falling, domestic travel may soon be possible again.
“With the UK Government confirming that domestic travel is close on the horizon, we are introducing a series of exciting, shorter duration holidays for Brits looking for the perfect staycation in Cunard luxury this summer,” said Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard.
“These will be sailings from Southampton, for UK residents, around the UK and will make the very most of the summer sunshine. We’ll be announcing further details imminently,” he added.
The cruises are likely to be modelled on MSC and Costa’s resumption in Italy, where cruises initially were only available to Italian residents and visited only Italian ports.
While other British cruise lines, such as Fred Olsen, have offered circumnavigations of the British Isles before, Cunard Line typically offers itineraries across Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America.
The cancelled sailings include all Queen Victoria voyages for departures up to and including 27 August 2021, Queen Elizabeth’s summer Mediterranean fly-cruise season and all departures up to and including 11 October 2021, as well as Queen Mary 2’s current program of departures up to and including 12 November 2021.
According to Cunard Line, further information about the itineraries from Southampton will be made available later this month, when bookings are also expected to open.
It’s expected that these cruises will be available only to UK residents initially given the UK’s ongoing quarantine requirements for international travelers.
Cunard’s move mirrors that of fellow British cruise line P&O Cruises, which has also announced it will be launching a series of shorter UK-focused cruises when it resumes operations.
That decision was based on British MP and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Aviation and Maritime, Robert Courts’ announced that domestic cruises will be resuming on May 17 from England.
Like Cunard, P&O has said it will announce further details about itineraries and pricing later this month.