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Brexit advice for cruise passengers issued
CLIA UK & Ireland is expecting to confirm more than two million British travellers took a cruise last year for the first time, as positive figures from the key 2018 summer travelling period are released, revealing a 2.1% rise on the same period in 2017.
The total number of cruises taken between January and September rose to 1,338,000 in 2018 from 1,310,000 in the same period the prior year. Full-year figures for 2018 will be announced in the Spring.
This, coupled with indications that the all-important post-Christmas sales period is showing strong demand from cruise customers, puts the UK cruise industry in a strong position for the beginning of 2019, despite continuing political uncertainties surrounding Brexit.
However, with regards to travel arrangements taking place after March 29, the UK Government and ABTA have both issued official guidance on passenger travel to the EU by air, rail or sea after Brexit, especially if there is no Brexit deal.
From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, cruise operations will continue on the same basis as today.
Even if there is a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU. The UK government has offered similar assurances for EU airlines.
Passengers should take out appropriate travel insurance, check and understand the terms and conditions of their booking, and check with their cruise line and insurance provider if they have any questions.
Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland director, said: “We welcome this advice and hopes it reassures UK and EU citizens planning a cruise holiday. We would also advise that all UK travellers check the expiry date of their passport when booking travel arrangements, and ensure that there is at least six months’ validity at time of travel.
“2019 is an exciting time for the cruise industry with 24 new ships being delivered for ocean and river cruise lines, and many existing ships being renovated and refurbished to a standard that rivals even the finest land-based hotels. Never before has there been so much choice for customers in terms of style of ship, itinerary and onboard experiences.
“The global fleet development, new destinations to explore, plus recent reassurances from authorities surrounding Brexit, put British travel agents in a great position to tempt their customers to choose cruise in 2019, whether it’s for the first time, or as repeat guests.”