The cruise industry’s work to resume domestic and international cruises has been hailed by the minister for aviation, maritime and security.
Robert Courts said he was “incredibly proud of what we have achieved together”, following a meeting between the MP and CLIA’s executive committee in Southampton as part of London International Shipping Week.
Domestic cruises restarted earlier this year, while some lines have also resumed international sailings after the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office removed its advice against international cruise ship travel in August.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines was the first line to complete an international cruise from the UK since the initial pause in operations on new ship Borealis.
During the meeting with Courts, CLIA highlighted the success of the sector’s phased return to operations, “including the thousands of British passengers who have taken a cruise holiday with the UK domestic seacation season”.
The domestic season helped to develop a set of protocols and best practices for the return of international sailings last month, the association said.
Courts said: “Thanks to the dedication and hard work of our cruise sector, we have seen the safe restart of international sailings this summer, after more than a year of still waters.
“I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together, and look forward to even greater cooperation between government and industry, helping more people return to seas and sail around the world safely again.”
CLIA UK & Ireland chair Ben Bouldin added: “The cruise industry has worked incredibly hard together with the government during the last 18 months to resume operations responsibly.
“The success of this summer’s round-Britain cruises is a testament to the commitment shown by so many people working within cruise but also in ports, local authorities, health bodies and government.
“The seeds of recovery are vitally important for cruise, as well as the wider travel industry. We look forward to maintaining this collaborative approach as the industry steps up its operations internationally.”
Since last summer, approximately 1.2 million people have sailed on cruises around the world, according to CLIA.