Free summer staycation cruises for key workers

Key workers are to be offered free cruises in recognition of their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Key workers are to be offered free cruises in recognition of their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Archive)
13:32pm, Wed 31 Mar 2021
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Key workers are being offered free cruises in recognition of their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Royal Caribbean announced that 999 rooms will be allocated to personnel from the emergency services, NHS, social care sector and armed forces.

Workers who want to apply for the voyages must register on the cruise line’s website to enter a ballot.

After a tough year, we all need a holiday

The firm’s Anthem of the Seas ship will begin sailing from Southampton from July 7.

It will operate ocean cruises as well as voyages around the UK coastline visiting destinations such as Liverpool, Belfast and the Orkney Islands.

Sailings will be available to UK residents who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine, and children with negative test results.

All crew will be fully vaccinated.

The Government has advised people to avoid all cruises since July 9 2020 due to the pandemic.

However, maritime minister Robert Courts told MPs recently that domestic cruises could be permitted from May 17.

Anthem of the Seas (PA Media)

Royal Caribbean chief executive Michael Bayley said: “The UK is a place we hold near and dear to our heart at Royal Caribbean.

“We miss our UK guests and are as eager as they are to get back to cruising from Southampton.

“We are delighted with the UK Government’s recent announcements regarding cruising and excited to set sail again with a phenomenal ship and favourite such as Anthem of the Seas.

“After a tough year, we all need a holiday, but no one more so than the emergency services, NHS, social care sector and armed forces who will have the long-awaited opportunity to get away and relax with total peace of mind.”

A number of other cruise lines are offering summer staycation sailings for UK residents, including P&O Cruises Cunard, MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Saga Cruises.

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