Fancy a holiday? Hays Travel taking bookings for 'seacations' with world's top cruise operators
Hays Travel has had thousands of inquiries as the North-East firm starts taking bookings for UK “seacations” with the world's top cruise operators.
When lockdown is relaxed, some of the most glamorous cruise ships will be setting sail to exciting destinations around Britain from May this year.
And as more cruise operators announce their Round Britain itineraries, Sunderland-based Hays Travel has been inundated with thousands of enquiries and has launched extra helplines and online registration for those who want the most up to date information on what is available.
"We have had thousands of inquiries already," said Dame Irene Hays, owner of Hays Travel – the UK's largest independent travel agent.
"Our customers are desperate to have a holiday and to be able to have a staycation in the UK combined with the luxury of a cruise is a real addition to the UK holiday offer.
"We are working with some of the best operators and cruise ships in the world, so there'll be first class service, hospitality and entertainment on board, as well as shore excursions.
"At the same time there is peace of mind – the government is only allowing this within the highest standards of health and safety."
Why choose a cruise?On most cruises, everyone on board will have been vaccinated and tested before boarding and physical distancing means ships will not be filled to capacity so won't be overcrowded.
As the UK holiday market reaches its full capacity, with inflated prices due to the huge demand, taking a cruise is a viable option.
Where will they sail from and where will ships dock?Ranging from three to 14 nights, there will be a huge variety of cruises setting sail from ports all over the UK including Tilbury (London), Southampton, Liverpool, Greenock (Glasgow), Portsmouth, Leith (Edinburgh), Newcastle, Hull and Dover.
They'll be taking in beautiful scenic landscapes and exciting city destinations around the coasts of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and many will be as close to all-inclusive as possible.
How much will ‘seacations’ cost?
There's a wide range of prices from £399 upwards and bookable by a deposit and payable by direct debit, as well as travel insurance to cover all eventualities.
Among the operators that have already confirmed cruise schedules are P&O, Princess, Cunard, Saga, Riviera Travel, Hurtigruten, MSC, Viking and Tradewind Voyages.
P&O's new ship, Iona will make its maiden voyage and its flagship Britannia will be among the fleet around Britain's shores this summer.
Tradewinds' magnificent new tall ship Golden Horizons will go on a south coast "dress rehearsal" cruise in June as she makes preparations for her inaugural season.
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth will be offering twelve new voyages, exclusive to UK guests. On some cruises, Saga will sail out of British waters to the Norwegian Fjords but will not dock at any international ports.
Fred Olsen has two ships making maiden voyages - Borealis will be island hopping in the Hebrides and Bolette will head for the Channel Islands.Not all details are available yet, so customers can contact their local branch, register for updates with Hays Travel online athttps://www.haystravel.co.uk/staycation-pre-registration, call the cruise helpline on 0800 408 4229 or visit www.HaysTravel.co.uk