The first passenger cruise call sailed into Dover for the first time in 15 months on June 26, the Port of Dover has said in a press release.
According to the press release, the Marella Explorer arrived alongside a celebratory welcome from local tugs and water cannons as part of her British Sights and Seas sailings.
“We are delighted to welcome the wonderful Marella Explorer here for her inaugural call to Dover and our first cruise call since March 2020,” said Head of Cruise at the Port of Dover Sonia Limbrick.
“The team has been preparing for this moment for a long time, working really hard to ensure that we adopt the best COVID protection measures. It’s been a long time coming and I’m so proud to see the cruise season officially launch here again,” she added.
Limbrick said that Kent and Dover offer “some of the most inspiring cultural and scenic moments in the country, so we are the perfect destination for British Isles cruises.”
“We can’t wait to see our long-standing customers again and welcome new cruise lines here soon,” she noted.
The port said that it has worked closely with the UK Chamber of Shipping, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Cruise Britain and the many cruise lines that choose Dover to implement the industry framework for COVID safe cruising.
The port looked after cruise ships and their crew throughout the pandemic by offering lay by and repatriation facilities, it said.
It looks forward to the “cruising buzz returning as guests arrive into Dover to enjoy its award-winning service and the stunning backdrop of the White Cliffs and Dover Castle.”