Cruises will be safer than stepping on to an aircraft or staying in a hotel room under new rules designed to restart sailings, according industry leaders.
Operators such as Fred Olsen and Saga have drawn up new protocols that they hope will convince ministers to give British departures the green light in the New Year. The Government is continuing to advise against cruise ship travel despite countries on the Continent relaxing their guidance.
Bob Sanguinetti, the chief executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping, said: “We are asking the Government to consider this sooner rather than later.
“Cruising is going to be one of the safest modes of travel and tourism because with these protocols in place and the extra measure that we are going to take, they will have a much closer oversight of their passengers when they embark than at a hotel when a client walks into the lobby. Likewise when a passenger steps on to an aircraft.”
Mr Sanguinetti explained that part of the protocols include charter jets being on standby in case of a major emergency. However, he hoped the measures operators intended to have before departure would negate them ever being required.
They would also allow cruise-goers to enjoy their time on board, he added.
He said: “With the precautions we are taking and the space that we have, you can create safe bubbles. You can create cohorts within the cruise that allows things like social distancing rules to be maintained.
“From a UK perspective, there is no one that is advertising for cruises over the next two to three months. Those operators have taken the pragmatic approach to shift their sights onto the New Year.”