(8 a.m. BST) -- Cunard Line has become the latest cruise line to announce a restart in the United Kingdom, outlining a series of brand-new British Isles scenic cruises and special "Sun Voyages" with no named destination.
The new itineraries, which will operate roundtrip from Southampton aboard Queen Elizabeth between June and October 2021, will be available only to UK residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
"Cunard's Summer at Sea luxury UK voyages are a truly unique way for guests to have a much-needed break this summer," said Cunard president Simon Palethorpe. "With international travel not yet fully opened up, we're delighted to offer these voyages exclusively for British guests to experience a staycation unlike any other."
Cunard's new British Isles voyages will sail the scenic coast of England, with ten departures in all. Four of these will offer ports of call, including Liverpool, Greenock, Invergordon, Belfast, and Newcastle. A maiden call for the Cunard fleet will be made in Holyhead, Wales.
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Queen Elizabeth will also operate three new "Sun Voyages" that offer no predetermined itinerary and are designed, as the title implies, to whisk passengers to the areas with the best weather. These unscripted, seven-night voyages are a first for Cunard, with the itinerary remaining essentially a mystery to passengers.
While these new voyages aboard Queen Elizabeth will be only for vaccinated UK residents, a Cunard press release notes all other currently on-sale itineraries do not, at this time, require passengers to be vaccinated in order to travel.
Passengers and crew aboard Queen Elizabeth will be required to adhere to enhanced health and safety protocols that include hand sanitizing, social distancing and mask wearing in certain areas of the vessel -- even for vaccinated passengers.
Crew onboard will undergo strict COVID-19 testing and quarantine regimes prior to starting service, along with regular testing during their time onboard.
While Cunard says these voyages are on-sale for passengers of all ages, it notes all passengers must adhere to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, meaning these new voyages will be unsuitable for passengers under 18 who are ineligible for COVID-19 vaccination in most cases.
Proof of vaccination, including dates, will be required to be shown at the terminal prior to embarkation. Passengers who do not meet these criteria will be denied boarding.
These new voyages aboard Queen Elizabeth last between three and 12 nights. Bookings open for sale on March 31, 2021.