Vaccinated vacationers around the world will enjoy “cruises to nowhere” this summer as those protected against Covid-19 are invited to a stay at sea by cruise lines.
The British cruise line P&O Cruises announced in March that it would offer “Staycation Cruises” to vaccinated residents of the United Kingdom.
Holidaymakers can book up to seven nights at sea from Southampton in the south of England and take a route along the British coast with no ports of call.
Onboard activities include gourmet restaurants, cocktail bars, boutiques, cinemas, spas, gyms, live music, and theater shows.
Proof of vaccination is required prior to boarding the ship and those on board are required to follow improved health practices such as wearing face masks in certain public areas of the ship.
While vaccination is not mandatory for crew members, they undergo rigorous testing and quarantine systems on board, as well as regular testing.
For all other P&O Cruises holidays, guests do not currently need to be vaccinated. The owner – the world’s largest cruise operator Carnival Corp – said Tuesday that it is currently not taking a position on mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for passengers.
The Carnival statement came just a day after rival Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd announced it would vaccinate travelers as part of a proposed plan to resume travel from U.S. ports from July 4.
“We believe that through a combination of 100 percent mandatory vaccinations … we can create a safe, bubble-like environment for guests and crew,” said Frank Del Rio, CEO of Norwegian Cruise, on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Royal Caribbean Group has also announced that it will resume cruises from the Caribbean later this year with fully vaccinated passengers and crew.
The cruise company has also extended the duration of its “cruises to nowhere” from Singapore, which currently do not require guests to be vaccinated, after the “overwhelming demand” for travel among residents with limited travel options outside of their small island town -state.
Excursions on the company’s Quantum of the Seas ship, equipped with attractions such as surfing and skydiving simulators, will continue from Singapore through October 2021.
Singapore currently accounts for a third of the world’s cruises, the tourism authority said on Wednesday. This is due to the success of his “cruises to nowhere” at a time of crisis in the industry worldwide.
In November, the city-state started so-called “round trips” with luxury liners that have no contact point and only last a few days. There have been relatively few domestic Covid-19 cases in Singapore since last year.
Singapore cruises are only open to 5.7 million residents who haven’t been able to leave the tiny country and have instead opted for activities like sojourn and even indoor camping.
The cruises recorded approximately 120,000 passengers, according to the Singapore Tourism Board, and are operated with lower capacity and strict health protocols.
Cruises are yet to restart in many parts of the world after the coronavirus pandemic saw some of the earliest major outbreaks on cruise lines.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association, some cruises have been made in parts of Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific.