Cruises are back – first international cruise since March 2020 returns to UK

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Fred. Olsen Cruise’s Borealis returned to the UK from Iceland yesterday. After setting sail on August 14 with 800 passengers onboard, Borealis is the first cruise ship to go on an international voyage from British waters.

The cruise industry has suffered during the pandemic, with all UK cruise operations halted since March 2020.

Borealis’s voyage marks a return to normal.

Clare Ward, Director of Product and Customer Service at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “This is a big achievement not just for us, but for the cruise industry.”

She continued: “Being the first international sailing, this cruise was not without its challenges, but we worked very closely with the Icelandic authorities to ensure all went smoothly and, of course, safely, both for our guests and crew and those living and working in the ports we visited.”

Book Fred. Olsen 2021 and 2022 cruises here.

The Fred. Olsen’s cruise stopped at Reykjavík, Ísafjörður, Eyjafjörður and Seyðisfjörður.

And passengers were able to leave the ship and go on organised shore excursions.

Clare said: “It is the first time in 17 months that anyone has been able to explore overseas on a cruise again, and our destinations team worked closely with our shore tour providers to help as many guests as possible have safe yet genuine experiences ashore and enjoy the natural wonders of Iceland.”

The cruise industry has been changed by Covid and the first international sailing reflected the new challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Fred. Olsen and all the passengers had to fill in pre-registration forms and rigorous testing prior to arrival in Iceland and on their return to the UK.

In addition, the Icelandic Government required all passengers to be fully vaccinated.

The first international cruise from the UK is an important milestone for the cruise and tourism industries.

Clare said: “This is a real milestone for Fred. Olsen, and we can’t wait to welcome guests back on board for international sailings throughout the rest of the year and beyond.”

While passengers were able to leave the ship and explore Iceland, the cruise operator also made sure that the journey was as enjoyable as the destination.

Clare commented: “Of course, as a cruise line with a fleet of smaller ships, we know that the joy of the journey is just as important as the destination.

“Our journey planners curated an itinerary to showcase some of Iceland that is best seen from the water, from the rugged landscapes of Hornstrandir King and Queen Cliffs and scenic sailing into Seyðisfjörður, as well as some lovely sights of whales and other marine wildlife.”

Britons who wish to go on a cruise can now do so and operators have scheduled exciting voyages for the rest of the year and going into 2022.

International travel is restarting and Britons’ options for a holiday are opening up.

The return of international cruises is a positive step in the right direction for the industry and holidaymakers.

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