Bulletin: The return of international cruise

This week has been quite a momentous week for many of our members and the wider UK cruise industry.

After 16 months of pressure, lobbying and hundreds of meetings the government has finally announced that international cruises can restart from England from 2nd August.

Domestic cruises have successfully run from May but international cruises have been prohibited, until now. Everyone at the Chamber is delighted the government has finally given international cruise the green light.

The industry has done everything the government has asked of it over the past year and a half, going above and beyond what other sectors have to do, and this decision is long overdue.

The industry has developed new protocols to ensure the health and wellbeing of passengers and crew, making it the safest environment in the travel and hospitality sectors. We know passengers will be desperate to start sailing again and enjoying the delights that cruise travel has to offer. And in the Daily Telegraph yesterday long time cruise write Jane Archer paid tribute to the work of the Chamber, and the cruise industry, in getting the government to change its advice.

Away from cruise we have renewed our call for the UK government to actively offer vaccinations to seafarers visiting British ports. Along with Nautilus International, we have written to the Transport Secretary and Health Secretary asking them to confirm the government's policy that seafarers of any nationality serving on ships visiting the UK are entitled to vaccination in the UK without needing to register with a GP.  

We also want this advice to be published as soon as possible to ensure a consistent approach to seafarer vaccination in all ports. It also asks for the statement to confirm that vaccines can be administered onboard cruise ships by qualified medical staff, and for the government to reduce the interval for vaccines for seafarers when possible.

Finally this week, our friends at the Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust (MAST) will launch their 10th Apprentice Ship Cup at the end of London International Shipping Week. The Apprentice Ship Cup gives young people the opportunity to develop themselves by sailing a tall ship under the guidance of a professional crew, overseen by mentors. If you or your organisation would like to find out more please contact Jim Graves (mastjwg@yahoo.co.uk) who will be able to help.