3 July 2020
Over a million guests safely embarked from British ports in 2019 and in excess of 1.7million visits ashore in UK ports of call were made. Health and safety are integral to the cruise industry and have been over recent years of industry growth; no other form of travel provides such high transparency in public health reporting or requires such stringent cleaning and hygiene protocols.
Ocean cruise lines were swift to introduce enhanced screening protocols worldwide, including health and travel history checks prior to embarkation of every passenger and crew member. Furthermore, once the WHO confirmed the pandemic, the vast majority of ocean cruise lines voluntarily suspended operations worldwide, making the cruise industry one of the first industries to do so. This proactive action has been recognised by the UK Government.
The safe return of passengers and crew to their homes has been of paramount importance and has often taken place when ships were thousands of miles from their home port. This repatriation has been complicated by international air travel and border restrictions and the UK Minister for Transport has put on record her recognition of the tireless work of the cruise lines, in conjunction with Government, to repatriate thousands of passengers and crew.
The industry continues to work closely with Government to develop robust guidelines that will enable a safe resumption of cruising for passengers, crew and the communities they visit. The cruise sector and the supply chain it supports generates an estimated £10bn to the British economy annually and the pathway to the resumption of cruising is actively supported by the UK Government.