Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette has arrived at the Port of Dover on July 4, as part of a series of UK coastal cruises for British passengers which launched on July 3. This was announced by the port in a press release.
The Silhouette is the second passenger call into the port since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The ship’s arrival followed TUI’s Marella Explorer which sailed in on June 26, commemorating the eagerly anticipated return of cruise in Kent.
“It’s great to see the excitement for Dover cruise return so quickly only a week after we welcomed the Marella Explorer, our first passenger call since the pandemic. I have no doubt that the cruising buzz will be in full swing again soon,” said Head of Cruise at the Port of Dover Sonia Limbrick.
“It was wonderful to see the Celebrity Silhouette in Dover again on Sunday, July 4. My thanks go to Destination Dover, Visit Kent, Intercruises and our partners for working with us to showcase why Dover and Kent is such a fantastic cruise destination to the special guests onboard,” she added.
Chief Executive at Visit Kent, Deirdre Wells, said that Kent was “thrilled” to see cruising restarting again.
“This is a huge vote of confidence in our county’s position as an international gateway, and we’re really excited to start showing visitors exactly what this spectacular corner of the UK has to offer once more. Our thanks go to colleagues at the Port of Dover, who I know have been working tirelessly in order to ensure that all passengers arriving into Dover receive the warmest, and safest, of welcomes to the Garden of England,” Wells noted.
Celebrity Cruises’ ‘Three Castles Discovery program’ was arranged by the port with support from Destination Dover. The tour started at Dover Castle, discovering its 2000-year history, followed by Walmer Castle and Gardens, which became a seaside retreat for politicians, aristocrats, and royalty and ended at Deal Castle – a Tudor artillery castle in England.
The Port of Dover has worked closely with the UK Chamber of Shipping, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Cruise Britain and the many cruise lines that choose Dover in order to implement the industry framework for COVID-safe cruising. The safe return of vessels over the last week signifies an exciting relaunch to the cruise season in Kent, the Port of Dover wrote.
Despite an “extremely challenging” 15 months for the travel industry, the investment of time into a series of solid relationships with Kent’s tourism and hospitality organizations has ensured that the Port of Dover has been able to work quickly and collaboratively in order to ensure a warm – and safe – welcome for the Garden of England’s first returning passengers post-COVID.
For many years, the Port of Dover has developed a strong partnership with Visit Kent, the official destination management organization for the county. Partners now include Dover District Council, Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, English Heritage’s Dover Castle, Deal Castle and Walmer Castle, Dover Marina Hotel & Spa, Hush Heath Estate and transport providers – Southeastern Trains and YMS Travel coach company.