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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' New Ship Borealis Joins Rest of the Fleet in Rosyth
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' New Ship Borealis Joins Rest of the Fleet in Rosyth
Keeping Tabs on the Fleet: A Roundup of UK Cruise Ship News
Workers aboard Queen Elizabeth prepare for the ship's UK debut in August 2021. (Photo: Cunard Line)

Keeping Tabs on the Fleet: A Roundup of UK Cruise Ship News

Keeping Tabs on the Fleet: A Roundup of UK Cruise Ship News
Workers aboard Queen Elizabeth prepare for the ship's UK debut in August 2021. (Photo: Cunard Line)

August 26, 2021

Aaron Saunders
News and Features Editor
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(5:22 p.m. BST) -- The UK cruise restart has continued over the past few weeks, with additional ships coming online for British holidaymakers looking to get away and get back out to sea.

Here's a quick rundown of the UK fleet and some noteworthy vessel movements over the past few weeks.

Fred. Olsen Completes First International Sailing Since 2020

Fred. Olsen's Borealis on its first international cruise to Iceland (Photo: Richard Lovelock/Fred. Olsen)

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines completed its first international sailing since 2020, with Borealis returning from a voyage to Iceland on 23 August. It was also the first international sailing to depart from a UK port of call in 17 months.

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The ship -- formerly Holland America Line's Rotterdam acquired by Fred. Olsen last summer -- set out on 14 August from the UK, bound for Reykjavik, Isafjordur, Eyjafjordur, and Seydisfjordur, with a total of 800 passengers onboard.

Clare Ward, Director of Product and Customer Service at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

"This is a big achievement not just for us, but for the cruise industry. Being the first international sailing, this cruise was not without its challenges, but we worked very closely with the Icelandic authorities to ensure all went smoothly and, of course, safely, both for our guests and crew and those living and working in the ports we visited."

The line has restarted sailings aboard Borealis and sister-ship Bolette, while the line's other vessels -- Balmoral and Braemar -- remain laid up until December and April, respectively.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth Finally Sets Sail

Crew aboard Queen Elizabeth prepare for its return to service on August 13, 2021 (Photo: Cunard)

Cunard's grand Queen Elizabeth finally returned to the seas on Friday, August 13 from Southampton -- the start of a series of summertime UK cruises, and the first Cunard vessel to resume service since the global health pandemic began.

"I think I speak for the entire team at Cunard when I say how delighted we are to be returning to what we do best as we get ready to welcome our guests back on board," said Cunard President Simon Palethorpe. ""We know how much our guests have been looking forward to our first voyage and we hope that they fully immerse themselves in the Cunard on board experience, as they enjoy some of the most stunning coastlines Britain has to offer."

Prior to the vessel's return to service, crew were putting the finishing touches on the ship's paintwork and outer decks.

Queen Elizabeth will conduct its first international cruise in October, when it sails from Southampton to Amsterdam, prior to a longer voyage to the Canary Islands and Madeira on 1 November.

Fleetmate Queen Victoria will remain out of service for a while longer, coming back to service on 22 April 2022. The line's legendary flagship, Queen Mary 2, returns with a transatlantic crossing between New York and Southampton on 3 January 2022.

Sky Princess Prepares to Start Operations on 30 August

cruise critic sky princess

Princess Cruises' Sky Princess will be the second Princess ship to enter service in the UK when it sails from Southampton on 30 August.

Like sister-ship Regal Princess (which resumed operations on 31 July), Sky Princess will be operating Princess Cruises' "Summer Seacation sailings around the UK. These include three-and-four-day cruises with nothing but sea days, designed to allow passengers to enjoy all the amenities onboard in a safe, COVID-free bubble. Longer seven-night sailings are also offered that visit a variety of UK ports of call.

The ship will become the third Princess Cruises vessel to restart service, following Regal Princess and Majestic Princess, which restarted operations across the pond in Seattle, with sailings to Alaska, in July.

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