Cruise holidays were seeing success after success before the coronavirus pandemic took its hold. However, since March 2020 cruises in UK waters have been on hold.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his plans to map England out of lockdown and back to freedom.
As part of this, self-catered holidays within the UK have been told they can go ahead from April 12, meanwhile, all other holidays, including hotel stays, may resume from May 17.
Though this is all dependent on whether or not data at that time satisfies the Governments “four tests” many travel firms are already setting out preliminary plans to reopen.
In a breakthrough for cruise lovers, English river cruise operator English Holiday Cruises has plans to resume holidays from May 17.
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A spokesperson for the brand explained: “Covid safety measures will still be in place and they will be cruising around Gloucestershire and the river Severn with a reduced capacity to allow for social distancing.
“Other safety measures include virucidal fogging between cruises and UVmatic overnight air sterilisation you can feel safe whilst setting sail.
“Other precautions in place include pre-boarding health checks and baggage sanitising, contactless check-in, hand-sanitisers readily available, a one-way system around the vessel with distancing signage, exclusive lounge/dining spaces with screening, ‘no-share’ airflow and table service for everything.
“Cabins also include ‘no-share’ airflow accredited under the new Visit England ‘Good to Go’ scheme.”
Alongside welcoming back seasoned cruisers, the firm also says it is the perfect opportunity for those thinking of embarking on a cruise to “test the water”.
The Edward Elgar vessel can carry up to 22 passengers in 11 cabins, while also being “the biggest ship capable of fitting into the smallest locks on the river”.
The 2021 offering will include a four-night “Historic River Cruise”, including a stay at a partner hotel near Gloucester.
Along the way, guests will take in an array of sights dating back to Norman and Tudor times.
Alternatively, holidaymakers can opt for a six-night “Seven Wonders of the Severn Cruise”, spanning more than 100 miles of river.
Starting at Gloucester Docks, cruisers will journey up the River Severn to Stourport and visit the Severn Valley Steam Railway, Upton upon Severn, Tewkesbury Abbey, Worcester Cathedral. The journey also includes a visit to Slimbridge Wildlife centre and Purton hulks barge graveyard.
Cruise holidays start from £315 per person depending on the selected route and length of travel.