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Saga boss says international cruise ban could be lifted by end of July

Saga Travel chief executive Nick Stace on international cruises

Saga Travel chief executive Nick Stace has outlined his belief that the Foreign Office advice against international cruise operations could be lifted by the end of this month [July].

Domestic cruises resumed in May but sailings further afield have remained off limits. At present the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against international sea-going cruise travel based on the latest public health medical advice.

However, speaking to the BBC Today programme on Thursday [22 July], Stace said: “There was a meeting yesterday [21 July] hopefully to make the decision that we have now a sufficient body of evidence – which is 49,000 passenger journeys since May across the sector – plus a memorandum of understanding signed with the FCDO that should ensure that the Foreign Office can lift its cruise advisory and that cruising internationally can happen. It should happen at the end of July – that’s the timetable.”

Stace added that Saga was hoping to resume international cruises from the beginning of September, “which gives us a little bit of flex in case there is a day or two delay in the decision. We’re very hopeful it will happen.”

Speaking to CTN sister title World of Cruising, Stace added: “The cruise industry has been working closely with the government on the resumption of cruising. We are hopeful the decision in the coming days around the resumption of international cruising will be a positive one.

“At Saga, we’ve worked extremely hard to ensure we create the safest environment possible for our guests and crew. We’ve introduced a range of measures including the requirement that all our guests have both vaccines in advance of travel.”

Saga held the naming ceremony of its second new-build ship Spirit of Adventure in Portsmouth on 20 July.

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