Think of our 'house' brands - P&O, Cunard, Fred. Olsen, Marella, Cruise and Maritime… They all cruise regularly from the UK. We have seen other brands come and go, and others stick it out with regular UK departures, at least during the summer months: Royal Caribbean and MSC for example.
Often the bigger US-centric lines will position their older ships in the UK, preferring to showcase the shiny new ones close to home, or in the ever-popular Mediterranean. So it certainly is thrilling that Celebrity Apex, the second ship in the long awaited and super-cool Edge Class series, will operate out of the UK after being launched and named in Southampton in April 2020.
This will be the first time Celebrity Cruises will operate two ships from Southampton, with Celebrity Silhouette returning for her third consecutive year. We are very excited to be inspecting Celebrity Edge at the end of November, and will report back about this new class of ship and whether you should be standing by to book your UK departures, with an on sale date of 29th November 2018. Interested parties should definitely pre-register.
In January 2020 she will become 'all-inclusive', with all house spirits, wine, beer and soft drinks included in the fare, not to mention gratuities, WiFi, a UK travel package and more. And when her sister Spirit of Adventure joins her in August 2020, she too will have the inclusive offering. Whilst we recognise certain people hate the 'for old people' tag that goes hand in hand with Saga, we have to assure you that the proposition is rather different now. Saga welcomes guests of all ages but finds in the more mature market a fun-loving group of outgoing travellers ready to welcome new experiences and seize the day!
Meanwhile, those with a taste for something slightly quirky might want to follow Her Majesty and take a look at the little Hebridean Princess, operating her unusual itineraries around Scotland and the Isles, and on to Ireland.
With plenty of options on Silver Wind in 2019 and 2020, and on Silver Whisper in 2020, you could visit the Norwegian Fjords, Denmark, Iceland and the Celtic Lands - but don't delay, many Silver Wind sailings even as far ahead as 2020 are already sold out.
Regent Seven Seas have a range of British Isles cruises, but the stand-out options are Seven Sea's Explorer's France and Iberian Peninsula cruise departing 18 May 2020, and an opportunity to check out Splendor in her inaugural season on a British Isles cruise departing 18 August 2020.
Other options include a comprehensive 45-night cruise on Seabourn Quest departing from Dover on 17 May 2019, wihch takes you to Iceland, the North Cape, Norwegian Fjords and British Isles, finishing back in Dover, whilst Crystal has already released preliminary itineraries for 2021 with lots of fantastic options for no-fly cruising, so ask us for details as soon as they are available.