With so much uncertainty (and negativity) surrounding the UK’s eventual split from the European Union, the travel industry and the British public are understandably concerned. I mean, there are too many things still up in the air for anyone’s liking, and as the saga drags on, more and more people are seeking to know what Brexit means for their holidays.
However, despite the fears being expressed in different quarters, the truth is that no one knows how this complicated ‘divorce’ will impact travel. It is only after a deal has been struck, assuming that a deal will eventually be agreed, that we will know for sure how the travel industry will be affected. How about toning down this ‘all-gloomy talk” with some positive news then? That is what this article is all about.
The most important thing for travellers (more especially those who have booked cruises in the coming months) to know is that, until the final deal is negotiated, the existing regulations will stay in place. EU regulations regarding maritime passengers’ rights, for instance, will continue to protect passengers on cruises from UK ports. Similarly, cruises mostly operate under international rules and regulations that are independent of EU roles. As it stands, it is business as usual till 31st October 2019, the agreed exit date.
It is possible that the government would negotiate for an earlier departure date but until that happens; there won’t be any travel changes to ruin your holiday plans. ABTA and the government have also reassured travellers that it is fine to book cruises beyond the departure date. In case a Brexit deal is agreed, individuals will continue to travel as usual as the country will be allowed a transitional period. The government has also advised travellers consult their insurance providers as well as cruise lines on the terms and conditions of their travel insurance and booking. It is something you should do if you are planning to travel in the coming months.
It is also possible that the cruising costs would rise as a result of the depreciating sterling which would, in turn, lead to an increase in fuel costs. CLIA UK and Ireland director, Andy Harmer, expects excursion costs to rise. However, he reassures passengers that cruise lines are working behind the scenes to ensure that the cost of cruising remains relatively affordable for those planning to go on cruise holidays. In case of a no-deal, cruise lines are putting measures in place to ensure that potential immigration checks have minimal impact on the passenger experience.
Many cruise lines including P&O all have onboard sterling pounds to ensure that passengers’ spending while onboard is not affected by the exchange rate changes. P&O Cruises issued a statement, posted on the website, promising customers that in case of a no-deal, its cruise holidays will not be affected.
Cunard Line also moved to reassure its customers that measures will continue to be put in place to minimize the effects of any potential travel changes that may be caused by Brexit. Passengers will also continue to enjoy full financial protection as provided by IATA, ATOL, and ABTA.
The European Parliament gave its nod to legislative amendments to allow UK citizens to travel to EU countries for short stays without needing visas even if an exit deal is not agreed. This is good news for UK holidayers looking to travel within European for a period not exceeding 90days as they won’t be required to have visas. However, in case of a no-deal exit, UK citizens will be required to have at least a 6-month passport validity to travel to the EU.
No one really knows what is going to happen after the UK leaves the EU. The impact of Brexit on holiday cruises also remains largely uncertain. However, it is not all doom and gloom as some people would want you to believe. The good news is that you can still book your cruise and sail away to a well-deserved holiday.