P&O Cruises as well as Saga Cruises resumed sailings Sunday, the first day since the pandemic that halted all ocean-going passenger vessels in March 2020.
P&O Cruises Britannia departed Southampton for a four-night stay, while Spirit of Discovery, which was launched originally by Saga in July 2019, left Tilbury.
Britannia will not be making stops on its first UK coast cruise, while the Saga vessel has made calls to Falmouth, Portland, Isles of Scilly, and Portsmouth.
P&O Cruises ships anchor locally Ventura Arcadia, Aurora and Queen Mary 2. Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, sister brands of Cunard, celebrated the occasion with a horn-sounding departure salute when Britannia left Southampton.
Britannia will sail a series on three, four, and seven-night UK coast cruises from September 25 to September 25, when itineraries in the western Mediterranean will begin prior to a winter Caribbean season.
The maiden voyage of the new ship Iona will take place on August 7. It will include seven-night scenic coast cruises along with Atlantic coast holidays.
Spirit of Discovery's sister ship Spirit of Adventure will depart on its inaugural cruise July 26.
Paul Ludlow, president of P&O Cruises, said that they have been counting down to this moment and are thrilled to welcome guests back to board.
We are grateful to all our guests for their patience. It has been a time of anticipation and disappointment. This time has been spent refining and improving our holidays so that you can enjoy your time onboard to the fullest.
We are celebrating the restart of the ship with crew, guests, staff, Southampton, and the industry. As we return to our core role supporting local growers, suppliers and hotels, B&Bs and restaurants, as well as taxi drivers, for whom the cruise sector is so important, it is a celebration.
Nigel Blanks, chief executive of Saga Cruises, said that guests are thrilled to cruise again and that crew members look forward to providing them with an unforgettable experience onboard.
This itinerary takes in some of the most beautiful parts of the westcountry. The sea is the best place to view our stunning coastline.
We are committed to providing the best customer service and work to the highest standards.
Our guests are able to board knowing that we take their well-being and health very seriously. All guests must have received both doses (or all) of the Covid-19 vaccine before departing. Our crew must also have been fully vaccinated.