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Bolsover MD Michael Wilson: ‘The cruise sector is breathing a huge sigh of relief’

Thorne Travel, Shona Thorne

Bolsover Cruise Club managing director Michael Wilson shares his thoughts on the lifting of the ban on international cruising.

The return to international cruising saw a collective sigh of relief from the cruise industry. We have spent over a year holding our breath, despairing at times as red lists became amber lists and green lists, guidelines were scrapped as quickly as they were introduced, and goalposts moved at such quick pace the England team might have had a better chance with those penalties.

Bolsover Cruise Club managing director Michael Wilson on the lifting on the international cruise ban
Bolsover Cruise Club MD Michael Wilson.

When news broke that the government’s ban on international cruising was being removed, it felt like a cloud had lifted and the skies had started to clear.

A summer staycation season has proven that people are desperate to get back to sea. We’re longing to leave land behind, leaving the problems of the past 18 months behind with it.

Time at sea has always felt like an escape – wifi becomes an option, mobile signal is fleeting, and guests are in a bubble of exploring, eating, time with loved ones and lazy sea days.

It’s an escape from the norm that has been polarised by the events of the past year or so, and so this news has reaffirmed it as an option in the shorter term, not just for the years ahead. I expect we’ll see the release of pent-up demand as those who are double-jabbed jump at the chance to get on board and into the sun.

The desire to see the world has never been so strong, something we’ve seen reflected in a trend for big-ticket bookings for 2022 and 2023. Some cruise lines such as Saga have already released international itineraries for the end of this year and I fully expect many others will follow.

This was the news we have all been waiting for and the relief is palpable across an industry desperate to get back out there and show people the world.

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