Cruise ships lying at anchor in Southampton- when will they set sail again?

  • Report by ITV News Meridian's Kerry Swain:

Saga has written to all its cruise and holiday customers stating they must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 at least 14 days before travelling. However, despite this move there's still no news on when ships may sail again. 

For more than 10 months ships have been lying at anchor and that has had a huge impact on cities like Southampton. It's estimated around 52,000 jobs connected to the industry have been lost in the UK since March.

Norwegian Encore is currently berthed in Southampton Credit: ITV News Meridian

She should have been cruising the Caribbean with up to 4000 passengers on board but the Norwegian Encore is berthed under grey skies in Southampton with her cabins empty.

While ships aren't sailing, businesses that support the cruise industry have stalled.

This taxi firm has lost 50% of its fares.

Lee Haynes, West Quay Cars

This baggage handling company has already lost £100,000.

Fred Hargrave collects luggage from customers' homes and transports it onto cruise ships. His fleet of vans has stood idle since last March.

Fred Hargrave, Cruise baggage handler

Nearly 90% of cruises start from Southampton, each one generating up to £3,000,000 for the local economy. 

Nicola Bailey, Federation of Small Businesses

Some cruises are being advertised from May this year but with no official start date and Coronavirus not yet under control it's feared some small businesses in the supply chain may not survive the wait.