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Cunard launches Queen Elizabeth local UK and Mediterranean cruises and ultimately to Australia – a lesson for Australia?

October 2, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A report in the UK Daily Express says that while cruises have been off limits to Britons recently due to the Foreign Office’s advice against cruise ship holidays, British cruise line Cunard has launched a new scenic cruising schedule around the British Isles and in the Mediterranean on board Queen Elizabeth.

With the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office [FCDO]  advising against cruise ship travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, echoing the Government advice in Australia, although that extends to a ban on cruise ships, the FCDO advice which is also based on medical advice from Public Health England [PHE] says cruise ship travel means staying overnight for at least one night on an ocean voyage with people from multiple households.

The advice also applies to international travel on a ship that is exclusively for pleasure or recreation, providing overnight accommodation and has leisure and entertainment facilities such as cinemas or swimming pools, however, ferries and private boats are not included in the FCDO’s advice.

In the meantime, Cunard has launched a scenic cruising programme around the UK next year in a move that’s perfect for anyone looking to get away from home but not venture too far away, with the voyages beginning in March with the first set to depart from Southampton on March 26, 2021.

The question is why can’t Australia do this in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia right now?

There will be five voyages in total which will span either three, four or seven nights, with the sailings will take place on the ship titled Queen Elizabeth a previously regular visitor to Australia

Cunard says that the itineraries include the Jurassic Coast, with glimpses of Devon and Dorset then the Isles of Scilly on the Cornish coastline and further north, the Hebrides in Scotland.

Cunard President Simon Palethorpe, told UK media that cruisers might get lucky and be able to spot dolphins and puffins along the way, adding, “We are thrilled to announce such a broad new program for Queen Elizabeth, with sailings from Southampton and, later in 2021, from Barcelona.

He added, “Guests wanting to explore Europe can experience captivating journeys from a scenic voyage exploring the British coast, to sailings visiting Norway to Iberia” and “for the first time since 2014, Queen Elizabeth will also be sailing a series of fly-cruises in the Mediterranean, departing from Barcelona, and featuring calls including the French Riviera, the west coast of Italy and the islands of Majorca and Corsica.

“Queen Elizabeth will finish her season with a transit through the Suez Canal, crossing the Indian Ocean to Singapore, before venturing to Australia”.

Short, scenic cruises like this are a first for Cunard which are known for their longer ocean cruises, but customers must be aware that the sailings at the beginning of next year up to April 27 are for UK residents only, with the Cunard website saying, “As Cunard resumes service, the sailings departing prior to April 27 2021 are only available to book by residents of the UK at this time.”

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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