Cruise returns to UK and Europe
Multiple cruise lines have restarted around the world — P&O, Celebrity, Crystal, Seabourn and Fred Olsen have relaunched their sailings this week, following Viking, MSC and Saga who had already returned.
Royal Caribbean returns to its Europe departures with its first sailing in Cyprus. Jewel of the Seas embarked on a two-night preview sailing on July 6 from Limassol, ahead of its inaugural cruise on July 10, with ports including Athens, Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos and Santorini, Greece.
The cruise marks the beginning of a short summer series of seven-night itineraries to the Greek Islands for Royal Caribbean, also marking the first time the liner has based a ship in Cyprus.
It’s been more than a year since Royal Caribbean have operated in Europe due to the pandemic, with Jewel being one of two of their ships to return to cruising on the continent this week. Today (July 7), Anthem of the Seas will also set sail from Southampton on UK coastal cruises, with further ships to be added throughout August, including Harmony of the Seas to depart from Barcelona on August 15.
All crew and passengers on Jewel aged above 18 will be fully vaccinated. Families are still welcome aboard the sailing, with non-vaccinated passengers between 12 and 18 completing a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival in Cyprus. All passengers above the age of two will also have to take a compulsory complimentary test on the day of embarking. The measures are specific to the sailing from Cyprus in compliance with the Cypriot government and will be continuously evaluated.
The return to sailing in the UK and Europe follows a recent change in policy, stating that cruise liners can carry more people if all guests have been fully vaccinated and had at least 14 days since their second dose before departure. The policy allows ships to sail at 50 per cent capacity, regardless of the total number of guests, if all on board have been double vaccinated.
Ben Bouldin, EMEA vice president, said: “Jewel of the Seas’ first sailing out of Cyprus marks the beginning of an exciting return to cruising in Europe for Royal Caribbean.
“Cyprus is a beautiful country with a multitude of must-visit regions, and it is an extremely popular destination among our European guests – we know they are ready and waiting to enjoy a Cyprus and Greek Isles getaway this summer.”