Princess Cruises to cancel vacations on roundtrip Southampton sailings

Princess Cruises, an international premium cruise line and tour company, has said that it will withhold its UK-based cruise vacations, sailing roundtrip from Southampton, through September 25, 2021 on Sky Princess, Regal Princess and Island Princess.

The move comes as the cruise company reviews its operations following the recent UK Government announcement on the roadmap to ease lockdown and related international travel restrictions, the company said. For UK guests, Princess Cruises will launch a series of new short cruises departing in late- summer on Regal Princess and Sky Princess from Southampton that will go on sale later this month.

‘We share in our guests’ disappointment over these cancelled voyages, and we appreciate the continued understanding and cooperation from our loyal guests and travel advisors,’ said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. ‘As we prepare our ships for a return to service, we remain in close contact with the UK Government to monitor the latest travel guidance for international guests.’

The company said that for customers booked on a cancelled voyage, Princess will offer to move guests to the equivalent cruise in 2022. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests’ 2021 fare on their 2022 voyage. Alternatively, customers can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100 percent of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10 percent of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 ) or a full refund to the original form of payment.

For guests currently booked on a cancelled voyage where there is no suitable cruise available in 2022, guests will automatically receive a refundable future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100 percent of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10 percent of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25). Alternatively, guests can request a full refund to the original form of payment.

Customers are required to send the through an online form by April 15, 2021 or guests will automatically receive the FCC option. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022, Princess said.

The latest information and instructions for booked guests affected by these cancellations, and more information on FCCs and refunds, can be found online at Information on Impacted & Cancelled Cruises, it added.

easyJet and easyJet holidays offers new Greece routes from Bristol for Summer 2021

easyJet and easyJet holidays have announced the launch of new flights and holidays from Bristol Airport to the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini for this summer.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said: ‘We know that people want to travel as soon as they can and as soon as it is safe to do so and so we want to ensure they have even more destinations to choose from when making a booking for this summer.’

The new route from Bristol to Santorini will commence on May 31, 2021. Flights are available from £30.99, or a seven-night package holiday including flights, hotel, bags and transfers can be booked for £373 per person. The route to Mykonos will operate from Bristol starting May 28, 2021, with fares available from £30.99 and holidays available from £373 per person, with a range of hotels including the adults only 4-star Andronikos hotel. All easyJet holidays can be booked with a deposit of GBP60 per person.

Flights to both new destinations will operate once a week throughout the summer, providing anyone travelling from the South West with a direct connection to the popular Greek resorts. The new route joins the existing easyJet routes from Bristol to Athens, Corfu, Crete, Kefalonia, Kos, Preveza, Rhodes and Zakynthos. The airline has also added more seats on summer routes from Bristol to Turkey, with additional departures on Mondays to Antalya and on Tuesdays and Fridays to Dalaman as well as on Sundays to the Greek Island of Corfu.

easyJet holidays offers seven nights at the 3-star Olia Hotel, Mykonos, on a room only basis for £373 per person including flights from Bristol airport, 23kg of luggage per person and transfers on October 22, 2021.

easyJet holidays also offers seven nights at the 5-star Splendour Resort, Santorini, on a bed and breakfast basis for £595 per person including flights from Bristol airport, 23kg of luggage per person and transfers on July 12, 2021. Bookings can be made at easyjet.com/en/holidays

Dave Lees, CEO, Bristol Airport said: ‘We are delighted with easyJet’s announcement adding two new destinations from Bristol Airport to the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini and increasing capacity to Antalya and Dalaman in Turkey and the Greek island of Corfu for summer 2021. This further increases the choice of destinations and flight options available to passengers in the region choosing to fly from their local airport. This shows the confidence in the region and when the time is right and travel restrictions ease, Bristol Airport will be ready to provide the essential air connectivity, which is what our customers are telling us they want. We will continue to work with easyJet, enhancing and developing the route network for the future.’

easyJet and easyJet holidays have introduced flexible customer policies under its ‘Protection Promise’, which includes a Refund Guarantee for flights or holidays if they are cancelled plus a full refund for holidays if a customer changes their plan up to 28 days before. With the Travel Ban Protection customers can also receive a refund for non-cancelled flights if plans are impacted by travel bans in a regional or national lockdown. Customers also have the Freedom to Change flights without a fee up to 14 days before departure, and can change a holiday up to 28 days before departure; and if quarantine measures come in to place at the last minute, the Quarantine Assurance allows changing impacted flights without a change fee. All holidays are covered under easyJet holidays’ Covid commitments if holidays cannot proceed, or are impacted by restrictions.

Cornwall Airport Newquay announces Summer 2021 services

Cornwall Airport Newquay is preparing to welcome passengers back to the Airport announcing connections around the UK, Europe and beyond, for Summer 2021.

While Cornwall Airport currently remains closed, the teams at the Airport and Cornwall Council have been working with the Department for Transport to ensure a safe reopening once lockdown restrictions are lifted. The new four-year London PSO (public service obligation) route is expected to be announced in the coming weeks and will commence operations on March 28 2021. The teams are working to ensure the London route serves both Cornish residents travelling to London for business and leisure and inbound tourists to the Cornish coastline.

When the Airport reopens, Ryanair will resume its popular routes to Alicante and Faro in March. Cornwall Airport is also expecting the return of the Aer Lingus route to Dublin, as well as the Eastern Airways’ routes to Manchester, Teesside and Leeds-Bradford.

In addition, Cornwall’s newest airline partner Loganair is expected to commence operations in March. The Scottish airline will be reconnecting Cornwall to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle and Aberdeen as well as operating routes to Manchester and Teesside alongside the current Eastern Airways services.

Later in the summer, Blue Islands will return to the Airport to operate routes to Jersey and Guernsey, providing a link for holidaymakers wishing to visit the Channel Islands or Cornwall.

Further, the Airport is expected to resume its European connections to Dusseldorf (with Eurowings) and Copenhagen (with SAS) this summer. The route to the Isles of Scilly with operator Skybus will now have a codeshare agreement with Loganair, making Scilly more accessible than ever before for customers.

The summer 2021 schedule at Cornwall Airport Newquay will be expanded to include more popular destinations as new announcements are expected throughout the coming months, the Airport said.

MSC Cruises sails again after festive season layoff

MSC Grandiosa, Swiss-based MSC Cruises’ flagship, departed last night (January 24) from the port of Genoa in Italy to resume as planned regular 7-night cruises in the Mediterranean after a short pause of operations during the holiday period.

The ship had temporarily suspended her sailing as a result of the Italian decree that restricted movement within the country. MSC Grandiosa first welcomed guests back on board in August 2020 and the company says that feedback from the more than 30,000 guests who have boarded so far has been extremely positive, so much so that some guests have been choosing to extend their stay on board by one or more weeks. It added that its health and safety protocol helped to set the standard for the industry and reemphasised its safety record.

The protocol, which is unique in the hospitality industry and has been approved by national authorities in Italy, Greece and Malta, is being used as the basis to inform and support plans to restart cruising in other parts of the world. Prior to embarkation, all guests pass through a series of health checks, including COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew, as part of MSC Cruises comprehensive health and safety protocol, devised by the company with the support of international experts and approved by the relevant authorities in the countries visited by MSC Cruises ships currently or due to be at sea. The health and safety measures also include a dedicated response plan that can be activated in collaboration with the authorities.

MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol has been designed to respond to the situation ashore even while it evolves, and since November last year some of the measures were enhanced, including the introduction of mid-cruise testing for guests and weekly testing for crew as well as further enhanced hygiene and sanitation measures. Everyone on board observes social distancing as well as wearing masks in public areas, and the guest technology has been leveraged to facilitate onboard contact tracing. To preserve a safe bubble on board the ship, guests only go ashore as part of protected shore excursions, so that they can be protected even while ashore by measures similar to those on board.

MSC Grandiosa, launched in November 2019, offers a wide range of experiences for guests. The company says that whilst on board, guests can relax with total peace of mind and safely enjoy a range of different activities, all adapted to meet the current health and safety measures, whilst still allowing guests to have a memorable and rich experience.

Newcastle Airport to meet new Netherlands travel requirements

Newcastle Airport has recently said that that all passengers travelling to the Netherlands from the UK will have to show two negative COVID-19 tests.

The Government guidelines permit travelling for a number of reasons including for work and education. In addition to the PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, passengers will also be required to take a Rapid Antigen test at the Airport immediately before departure.

KLM currently operates up to two flights a day from Newcastle Airport to Amsterdam and to onwards connections. The Airport launched an onsite COVID-19 testing clinic in November and has confirmed that it is one of a few airports in the UK that will be able to provide pre-departure Rapid Antigen tests for passengers.

Richard Knight, Chief Operating Officer at Newcastle Airport, said: ‘With only 36 hours’ notice we have been able to work with our testing provider NPH Group to set up a brand new clinic which will provide Rapid Antigen COVID-19 tests for passengers travelling to the Netherlands.

‘The KLM route to Amsterdam is a vital connection between the North East and the rest of the world therefore it is imperative that passengers who need to travel for essential reasons are able to.

‘Passengers travelling tomorrow or in the coming days and weeks can find more information on the Rapid Antigen testing procedure on the NPH Group website and also pre-book their appointment.’

Newcastle Airport has worked with two local medical companies to provide a convenient and efficient on-site testing clinic for passengers. Passengers flying to Amsterdam with KLM are advised to pre-book a Rapid Antigen appointment prior to their flight on the NPH Group website: https://www.nph-group.co.uk/