Government updates guidance on cruises - but only river voyages are now allowed

17 July 2020, 13:53

The advice has been updated to lift the ban on river cruises
The advice has been updated to lift the ban on river cruises. Picture: PA

The government has updated its travel guidance on cruises in its latest roll back of coronavirus restrictions, and has clarified that river-based trips can go ahead.

Foreign Office guidelines earlier this month said the FCO "advises against cruise ship travel at this time".

Earlier this week, this was updated to define such travel as "staying overnight for at least one night on a sea-going cruise ship with people from multiple households."

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Jill Starlet Grainger, a consumer travel rights journalist and editor at, spoke to LBC, and said the reasons for the changes were "a little bit unclear" as they differentiated between whether the water was salty or not.

She said the guidance would also put travellers into "tricky situations" as they may not be able to get money back on trips they had already booked - and may be nervous to embark on.

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But Declan Treanor, the chairman of Arena Travel, told The Telegraph that river voyages were "much more like staying in a hotel" compared to their seafaring counterparts.

River cruises are also usually shorter in length and have fewer passengers on board.

Cruise travel became a huge focus at the beginning of the year as the coronavirus began to emerge.

Several ships - some of whom are among the Princess Cruises fleet - hit headlines after outbreaks of the illness were reported on board.