Cunard launches ‘Summer at Sea’ luxury UK voyages including special sun voyages

Luxury British cruise line Cunard has said that it is offering UK guests the opportunity to spend this summer at sea, with a series of UK voyages on board Queen Elizabeth.

Voyages will be round-trip from Southampton, between July and October 2021, and comprise of British Isles scenic cruising and special Sun Voyages, sailing to bright summer destinations. Ten British Isles Voyages and three Sun Voyages, which would last from three to 12 nights, are available.

British Isles Voyages include sailings along Britain’s coastline including The Jurassic Coast, England’s only natural UNESCO world heritage site, Cornwall including Land’s End and Scotland including the Isle of Arran, Mull of Kintyre and Sound of Mull. Four voyages will make various port calls, including Liverpool, Greenock, Invergordon, Belfast, and Newcastle, in addition to a maiden call for Cunard’s fleet to the Welsh port of Holyhead.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said: ‘Cunard’s Summer at Sea luxury UK voyages are a truly unique way for guests to have a much-needed break this summer. With international travel not yet fully opened up we’re delighted to offer these voyages exclusively for British guests to experience a staycation unlike any other, as they relax in Cunard luxury knowing we will take care of everything.

‘Guests can sail along some of the most stunning coastlines anywhere in the world, as Queen Elizabeth provides a unique vantage point, or sail on one of our Sun Voyages where the destination is unscripted and is guided by studying the weather forecast and heading to where the sun shines brightest.’

Four night British Isles Voyages are priced from £599 per person for a Balcony Stateroom, while a ten night British Isles Voyage will start at £1,299 per person for a Balcony Stateroom. Seven night Sun Voyages are priced from £899 per person for a Balcony Stateroom. The cruises go on sale Wednesday March 31, 2021 at 10am, and can be booked at

The sailings on Queen Elizabeth will be for UK resident Covid-19 vaccinated guests only. All other voyages on sale currently do not require guests to be vaccinated.

All guests and crew will be required to follow enhanced health and wellbeing measures to protect everyone on board on these cruises. These protocols include enhanced sanitation measures, appropriate social distancing and the wearing of masks in certain areas of the ship. Crew will also undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board, subject to change as rules evolve. Travel insurance will also be mandatory for all guests.

British travellers face shortage of yellow fever vaccine

British travellers looking to visit tropical Africa and South America during the winter are likely to face a shortage of the vital yellow-fever vaccine, due to global demand outstripping supply, The Telegraph has reported.

Several British hospitals and health centres have reported an inadequate supply of the vaccine since July. Immunisation against the disease is strongly recommended for travel to winter sun destinations including Brazil, Cape Verde and Gambia.

Travel health specialists are also warning of difficulty in obtaining the vaccine, as fresh supplies are not expected until the beginning of next year. Yellow fever is a fatal disease that kills up to 60 percent of people that become infected. It is prevalent in tropical areas of Africa, South America and parts of the Caribbean and India where mosquitoes are present.

Dr Richard Dawood of the Fleet Street Clinic in London was quoted in the Telegraph, saying, ‘We are getting lots of people coming in who have been unable to obtain the yellow fever jab at a number of places and are getting quite nervous about it. At the moment we still have supplies but I fear we too may run out.

‘I would advise anyone planning to go away to affected countries over Christmas to try to get the jab now. It is only going to get more difficult,’ he added.

Greg Lawson, head of retail at the travel insurance specialist, Columbus Direct, agreed, saying: ‘Vaccination is the single most important preventative measure against this deadly disease.

‘If travelling to regions where yellow fever is found, it is recommended that you seek advice from a health professional at a registered yellow fever vaccination centre at least six to eight weeks in advance to ensure it is available.’

The government-funded National Travel Health Network and Centre has also warned of the shortage of yellow fever vaccine on its website. It advises travellers to visit the website, and to check ‘Yellow Fever Centres’, which lists both NHS and private clinics that currently provide the vaccine.

According to Dr. Dawood, the shortage is due to there only being one manufacturer of the vaccine, which is difficult to produce.

In addition to requiring the vaccination to prevent contracting the disease, those travelling from one yellow fever risk area to another also need to provide proof of inoculation in the form of a yellow fever certificate.


Boost for tourist health with advances in yellow fever and malaria

Tourist’s health issues are set to benefit from developments in the treatment of two of the biggest travel threats, yellow fever and malaria.

Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease that is spread by mosquitoes and can be fatal. Its prevalence in certain parts of the world, including parts of Africa, South America, Trinidad and Tobago, has meant that until now travellers have required an initial inoculation against the disease, followed by booster injections every ten years. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that new research has indicated that a single dose of vaccination gives the recipient life-long immunity to the disease, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Dr Helen Rees, chairman of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunisation (Sage) was quoted in the newspaper, saying, ‘The conventional guidance has been that the yellow fever vaccination has had to be boosted after ten years. Looking at really very good evidence, it was quite clear to Sage that in fact a single dose of yellow fever vaccine is effective. This is extremely important for countries where yellow fever is endemic, because it will allow them to reconsider their vaccine scheduling. It is also important for travellers.’

The newspaper has also reported an advance in the treatment of malaria, another disease that is spread by mosquitoes and kills around 655,000 people per year that live in or visit certain tropical areas. Key to a malaria victim surviving the disease and making a full recovery is the speed with which it is diagnosed. Now, a new, simple blood test has been developed that can diagnose the disease within an hour and enable treatment to begin promptly.

According to reports the test is faster than present methods, does not require specialised laboratory equipment and can be carried out by non-specialist health workers. It was also proven to be accurate in its diagnosis during tests carried out by researchers from the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The latter currently treats 1,500 cases of imported malaria every year.