Domestic Cruising is alive and well! The pent-up demand that the CEOs of major cruise lines have been telling us about is turning out to be entirely accurate. Everywhere cruises have been put up for sale in the new domestic cruise itineraries, they have shown massive interest from cruise passengers.
The UK Market is Exploding
Seven cruise lines have so far confirmed they would be sailing the British Isles in the upcoming months. Several of these cruise lines are reporting sold-out cruises and significant demand from locals.
After 12 months of lockdowns, restrictions, and an almost total ban on vacations, this is excellent news for a cruise industry that has been struggling to survive.
Full Coverage on UK Sailings:
- MSC Cruises to Begin a Range of UK Sailings From May
- P&O Details UK Sailings That Start in June
- Viking Cruises to Begin UK Domestic Sailings in May
- Cruise Line Replaces Regular Sailings with UK Staycation Voyages
- Domestic Cruises in the UK Can Resume From May 17
- Princess Cruises Cancels UK Sailings, New Short Options to Come
- P&O Offers UK Only Cruises But Causes Further Cancellations
P&O UK is in a unique position. Iona, the company’s newest vessel, is the sister ship for Carnival’s Mardi Gras, Costa Smeralda, and AIDAnova. It will be great for the British public to be able to get a taste of the state-of-the-art vessel while it sails around the stunning British coastline, with guests getting the opportunity to see the sunset at its namesake island.
P&O UK has said that the response has been overwhelming since cruises went on sale on March 22. President and CEO Paul Ludlow recently said the following:
“We always hoped that these domestic cruises would be popular, given the uncertainty around holidays abroad, but we have never before seen such significant and immediate demand and it certainly shows the effects of lockdown and everyone’s need for a holiday. Many thousands of guests have already made bookings and Iona’s maiden voyage to the Scottish islands is already very well-sold and will be a very special cruise,”
The same counts for other cruise lines that have announced sailings in the UK. These include Cunard, which will be sailing with Queen Elizabeth. Viking Cruises will be sailing with its newest vessel Viking Venus, while Fred Olsen will be sailing with two vessels, Borealis and Bolette.
Carnival Corporation cruise line Princess Cruises has also decided to deploy two vessels to the British Isles, Regal Princess, and Sky Princess. Lastly, MSC cruises have also announced it will be deploying one ship to the UK; this so far unnamed vessel will be sailing on 7-day cruises.
The Bahamas Taking Its Chances- And It’s Working
Crystal Cruises announced record sales last week. While cruising from the US might not be allowed just yet, those willing to cruise can just take a short hop over to Nassau.
The cruise line said that almost 4,000 travelers reserved staterooms or suites on one of the Nassau or Bimini cruises in the Bahamas. Almost 200 guests even reserved back-to-back cruises with some planning to spend 42 days onboard Crystal Serenity.
Royal Caribbean offered its first cruises from the Bahamas for sale today. Interior cabins are already showing sold out on their interior cabins for the June 12 sailings onboard Adventure of the Seas.
A clear sign of that pent-up demand. The cruises will sail from Nassau to a Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas, Cozumel, Mexico, and Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas.
These are not the only Caribbean cruises, of course; Celebrity Cruises even had a timer to count down until when its cruises from St. Maarten went on sale.
The List Is Growing
The UK, Caribbean, and Bahamas additions come on top of the enormous success we have seen in other countries lately.
Singapore has been showing its A-game with cruises onboard Quantum of the Seas and World Dream. TUI has been sailing successfully around the Canary Islands for the last months, and Costa and MSC cruises have been successfully sailing in Italy. Of course, we will also see Odyssey of the Seas sailing the Greek Isles from Haifa later this year.
The cruise industry seems to have found a median to sail, protect the guests onboard, and places the ships visit. The vaccination requirements that we see more and more cruise lines taking on will be seen as a hindrance for some guests.
But, to have cruises come back successfully, it seems the only way we can at least make a start with cruising again. And after 12 months of no vacations and no cruises, that is just about high time.
Main Photo Credit: Nigel Jarvis / Shutterstock.com