UK Government passes new regulation banning cruise shore excursions in all UK ports

Dec 02, 2021

The UK Government tightened travel restrictions on cruise ships as fears grew about the Omicron impact on the country's ongoing Covid surge. The new regulation which was passed on November 30, states that cruise passengers will not be allowed to go out in UK ports for organized shore excursions or independent shore excursions. Passengers on all cruise ships touring the UK can only embark and disembark at the end of the voyage.

First to receive the news were the guests sailing on the MSC Magnifica, as the ship docked in Southampton. A letter was distributed among guests that reads:

"Dear guests,

Please note that due to the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, travel requirements are changing daily and governments are quickly updating their restrictions. 

The UK government has passed a new regulation banning shore excursions and independent shore excursions for all cruise lines in Southampton and all UK ports starting tomorrow, Tuesday, 11/30/2021.

As a result, all of the excursions you had booked had to be canceled and the amount has already been credited to your on-board account. 

Only guests whose cruise ends in Southampton are allowed to disembark. All excursions you booked had to be canceled and the amount was credited to your on-board account. 

This change is due to conditions over which we have no control. We therefore ask for your understanding and we are confident that you will enjoy your time on board our beautiful ship. For more information, please visit 

Kind regards,

Captain Pietro Paolo Maresca"

Guests reported that the Captain also made an announcement saying that he had just received news that UK would not be allowing any excursions at Southampton. The only people to be allowed off the ship, would be those due to disembark at Southampton at the end of their voyage. The new restriction applies to all cruise lines coming to the UK until further notice. 

Aida Cruises replaces Southampton with Cherbourg

Following the latest restrictions in the UK, AIDA Cruises has decided to replace Southampton with a stop in Cherbourg, France on the 7 Night Metropolen voyages from Hamburg. At the moment it is not clear whether AIDA will immediately switch over the entire winter season or whether it will select a limited period for the rerouting again for the time being.