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Disney Cruise Line heads for unique Round-Britain summer ‘Staycation’ voyages

by Susan and Simon Veness

Disney Cruise Line has confirmed an exciting series of short British “Staycation” cruises this summer in a bid to beat the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) ongoing blanket ban on cruising from U.S. ports.

disney cruise line
Photos via Disney Cruise Line

Cruise fans had been alerted to the possibility by a number of rumors on Thursday, and Disney finally confirmed the possibility this morning in a special press release from their London office that highlighted the unusual and unique nature of the voyages featuring the 1,750-passenger Disney Magic.

All U.S.-based cruise lines carrying more than 200 passengers have been under a “No Sail” order from the CDC since March 14, 2020, but Europe is now allowing a limited range of cruises this summer.

Aimed at U.K. residents, Disney’s sailings are being billed as “staycation” cruises from a series of British ports as they will operate only round-trip from each port and passengers will stay on board throughout.

The majority of voyages will be two or three nights, but there will also be a handful of four-night sailings, none of which will call at another port during that particular cruise.

Four ports of embarkation will be used at various times in the summer — London Tilbury, Newcastle, Liverpool, and Southampton — but no dates have been announced as yet.

disney cruise line

Disney Cruise Line president Thomas Mazloum explained: “Our teams are bringing tremendous ingenuity and fun to these new cruises, tailoring them with care to the times we are living in, yet filling them with everything you’d expect from Disney, from great service and entertainment to immersive dining experiences and magic for the whole family.”

The press release says the cruises will “feature enchanted entertainment and with multiple layers of health and safety measures.” These latter will include guidance from the U.K. government, health authorities, and medical experts.

All passengers will need to undergo COVID-19 testing and health screenings, and face coverings will be required, along with reduced guest capacity, physical distancing, and enhanced cleaning.

Many U.K.-based cruise lines have announced that vaccinations will be required this year, but Disney’s vaccination requirements have not been declared, and they seem unlikely given Disney Cruise Line’s strong appeal for children and the family market.

The onboard experience will still feature the ship’s excellent accommodations, dazzling entertainment, and variety of all-inclusive dining options. Like all the ships in the fleet, the Disney Magic offers dedicated spaces for children and adults alike, including family pools and waterslides, whimsical kids’ clubs, and adults-only retreats like the secluded pool and spa, lively entertainment district, and fine-dining restaurant, Palo.

Classic Disney stories, characters, and entertainment will come to life during these special all-at-sea cruises, including a celebration with Mickey, Minnie, and their pals; a Frozen flurry of fun with Anna, Elsa, and Olaf; and an epic encounter with Marvel’s Super Heroes.

Guests will be able to enjoy special moments with beloved Disney friends, from capturing physically distanced photos with Captain Mickey to enjoying a royal promenade with Disney Princesses or seeing favorite Toy Story pals. West End-quality stage shows will captivate guests of all ages in the elegant Walt Disney Theatre.

The sailings are expected to go on sale in April for voyages this summer, pending the issuance of U.K. government guidelines and authorizations. For more information, visit DisneyCruise.co.uk or contact a travel agent and follow the new Instagram account @DisneyMagicAtSea.

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