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First UK Cruise Since Pandemic Departs On the Solent

22nd May 2021
UK waters where the Port of Southampton marked the return of cruises since the pandemic began. Above MSC Virtuosa became the first cruiseship to embark cruising, albeit to ports within Britain. UK waters where the Port of Southampton marked the return of cruises since the pandemic began. Above MSC Virtuosa became the first cruiseship to embark cruising, albeit to ports within Britain. Credit: BBC News South-twitter

In UK waters is where the first cruise voyage since the coronavirus pandemic began has got under way.

As BBC News reported, MSC Virtuosa departed Southampton (yesterday evening) on a four-night English Channel excursion, with a stop at Portland in Dorset, where Afloat adds the 6,300 capacity ship is currently berthed.

Passengers joining the (MSC Cruises operated) cruise ship earlier said it was "absolutely amazing" and a "momentous day".

Some other cruise lines are also planning UK-only voyages this summer.

P&O Cruises previously announced it would extend its ban on international trips until the end of September, while Princess Cruises is also offering domestic voyages.

Afloat adds the operator's German built Iona, the largest cruiseship custom built for the UK market is also currently on the English Channel coast at Southampton.

The Hampshire port is where a new fifth dedicated terminal is to open this summer.

Published in Cruise Liners
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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