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Billion Pound Cruises: All At Sea

  • Episode:

    1 of 1

  • Transmission (TX):

    Thu 02 Jul 2020

  • TX Confirmed


  • Time

    9.00pm - 10.00pm

  • Week:

    Week 27 2020 : Sat 27 Jun - Fri 03 Jul

  • Channel:


  • Published:

    Wed 17 Jun 2020

The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication - in the public domain - until Tuesday 23 June 2020.

Billion Pound Cruises: All at Sea

A new documentary for ITV tells the story of how the biggest global crisis in living memory brought the £120 billion pound lucrative cruise industry to its knees and 100s of ships around the world to a standstill across six extraordinary weeks. Billion Pound Cruises: All at Sea will air this July on ITV.

The documentary will explore the role of cruise ships and in the spread of the virus and ask if the well-being of passengers and crew was always put first. With personal insights from passengers onboard ships living through the unfolding crisis along with renowned experts, the film forensically unpacks the events across six critical weeks that led to dream cruise holidays turning into floating horror stories with thousands of passengers in quarantine and crew members finding themselves stuck out at sea on infected ships.

The cruising industry has sky-rocketed to a more than £100 billion business in the last few years with 30 million people taking to the seas in 2019. Now, in a short space of time, this travel industry heavyweight has been brought to its knees.  For the first time in history, the whole of the cruising industry has ground to a halt with ships and passengers stranded at sea, rows of liners moored in ports with nowhere to go and routes cancelled.  

Billion Pound Cruises: All At Sea tells the inside story from David and Sally Abel who were enjoying their luxurious cruise around the South China sea when disaster struck on the Diamond Princess.  Using personal footage, the programme provides a unique perspective of events unfolding as both husband and wife end up contracting the virus with David becoming seriously ill in hospital.

Ian and Morvin Rae were on a cruise around South America as the virus spread across the world.  They quickly went from enjoying the holiday of a lifetime to being refused entry to foreign ports and confined to their cabins. 

Elisa McCafferty continued with her cruise around Australia and New Zealand after being told that she couldn’t cancel her holiday.  Along with her husband, she took her elderly parents on the cruise as the world was going into lockdown.  After being refused entry to New Zealand, the Ruby Princess sailed back to Sydney in Australia where their passengers disembarked. Subsequent outbreaks of the virus on land were later traced back to those passengers.