Cruising is Out, But Enthusiasts Can Still Visit Laid-Up Cruise Ships
It still isn't possible to board a cruise ship in the UK, but for those who miss cruising, it is quite possible to board a ferry and take an excursion to look at cruise ships.
In the beach town of Mudeford, Dorset, Capt. Paul Derham's Mudeford Ferry is offering 2.5 hour "Ghost Ship Tours" for paying passengers to view anchored cruise ships in the English Channel, weather allowing. The setting is less luxurious than a full-scale cruise, but passengers may bring their own food and drink.
The public response has been positive, with interest from locals, cruise enthusiasts and tourists, and the operator plans to continue the tour schedule through September and October. "I am completely overwhelmed with the attention," Capt. Derham told CNN Travel. "[The ships] look spectacular, because even when they're in the ports of call, like Southampton or wherever, you can't get that close to a ship, with a good view."
With the world's cruise fleet substantially laid up due to the COVID-19 cruise moratorium, there is plenty in port for visitors to look at. As of Tuesday, ten cruise ships were anchored off the UK's southern coastline between Plymouth and the Isle of Wight, with the largest concentrations near Weymouth and Poole. The current visitors include the Azura, Aurora, Queen Elizabeth, Marella Explorer, Britannia, Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2, and the Anthem, Jewel and Allure of the Seas - some of the largest cruise ships in the world.
Sunday fleet get together???????? Such a beautiful weekend in Weymouth Bay. Vessels from @pandocruises and @cunardline keep each other company enjoying the gentle Westerly breeze and lots of sunshine???? We wish you all a beautiful Sunday afternoon on dry land and on the water???????? pic.twitter.com/peBUDFE8Fl— Marcin Banach (@CaptainMarcin) August 2, 2020