Saga ‘looking at round-Britain cruises within weeks of lockdown being lifted’


Spirit of Discovery being christened in Dover in July 2019 (Picture: Dave Monk)

Saga Cruises is looking at sailing some round-Britain voyages within weeks of lockdown restrictions being lifted, says MD Nigel Blanks.

He said: ‘We are exploring a number of options for when the government lifts the restrictions which includes looking at cruising around Britain with and without ports of call, taking in sights such as the Jurassic coast line, the puffins on Staffa and the Giant’s Causeway, to name but a few.

‘The timing is very much dependent on when the Foreign and Commonwealth Office changes its guidance on non-essential travel, particularly for the over-70s with many of our guests falling under this category. As soon as the guidance changes, we have a plan in place that means we can resume cruising within three to four weeks.’

Mr Blanks said that round-Britain cruises had always been popular with Saga passengers. ‘I’ve spoken to a number of guests over the past few months with many saying how they cannot wait to get back on board as soon as it is safe to do so to enjoy the facilities and service we provide, irrespective of destination.’

He added: ‘In the short term I would expect a spike in interest for round-Britain cruises though, taking seasonality into account, this will likely only run in to the early autumn.

‘Our priority is the health of our guests and crew and our decisions are being made with their well-being in mind. We have industry-leading health and safety measures already in place but we are reviewing these to make sure it reflects the realities of operating in a post-Covid climate.

‘We are closely monitoring the situation and are waiting for the FCO advice on travel for the over-70s to change before we move forward with any of our plans.’

Earlier this week, Viking announced it was ‘testing the waters’ to see whether it should consider running some round-Britain voyages.

Saga has currently cancelled its scheduled sailings on Spirit of Discovery until September 1. Sister ship Spirit of Adventure, which was due to enter service, has been delayed until a later date, still to be decided.

See also:

Photo tour of Spirit of Discovery

Spirit of Adventure ‘will have separate identity’

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