New advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office appears to clear the way for river cruising to return for UK travellers.
The government body last week issued a blanket ban on the sector, branding cruising unsafe in the post Covid-19 world.
However, the FCO has now clarified cruise ship travel means “staying overnight for at least one night on a sea-going cruise ship with people from multiple households”.
“Our advice against cruises applies to international travel on a ship that is exclusively for pleasure or recreation, providing overnight accommodation and other leisure facilities such as entertainment venues or swimming pools,” added a statement.
This appears to allow Hurtigruten to offer cruises around the UK later this year.
The advice does not include ferries or privately-rented boats, the FCO added.
Travellers are advised to contact their cruise line, travel operator or the travel company if they have a voyage booked.
Commenting on the decision, Chris Townson, managing director, UK, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, said: “We welcome the news that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice against river cruising has been lifted and are delighted to have supported the efforts of CLIA, ABTA and the rest of the industry to bring about this change.
“River cruise ships are small by comparison with ocean liners, carry far fewer passengers, and are always in close proximity to the shore, and therefore to local healthcare providers.
“Uniworld ships have plenty of outdoor space and multiple dining options where we can make reservations, plus our itineraries offer outdoor activities such as bike rides or hikes, and small group visits to uncrowded villages and towns off the beaten track.”