Covid-19 Response

Covid-19 Re-opening

Update : 16.10.20 - Local Lockdowns and New Tier System

Passengers are reminded that the MUST check the guidance for their locality before travelling to us.

Check guidance here:

Use the government Post code lookup to check what restrictions apply in your area:

Please note there are specific instructions as to who you can travel with. We will not knowingly accept passengers on board who have broken the law to travel to or with us, for the safety of everyone on board. Please carefully examine the guidance, especially if you are considering travelling with someone who is not in your household or support bubble.

Update : 23.9.20 - New Government Measures announced 22.9.20

We are glad to see that many new measures being brought in to keep people safe in England announced 22.9.20 are in line with precautions we have already been taking since we re-opened in August. The government are catching up with what needs to be done!

Here are the precautions we had already implemented which the government are now mandating:

  • Staff in retail and hospitality settings must wear face coverings.
  • Customers must wear face coverings when not in their dining area seating.
  • Customers must eat and drink at a table, with table service only.
  • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

As a result of the recent announcement we must now close our bar from 10pm each night.

We are unaffected by other aspects of the announcement in relation to the on board activities we offer. Please note we enforce the rule of six and do not allow the merging of groups on board as per government guidelines.

We have had many passengers comment that our balance of hospitality and safety is just right, without needlessly detracting from their experience. Make sure you read their online reviews.

English Holiday Cruises are cruising again.

  • Covid Secure with "Good to Go" Accreditation from Visit England.
  • Only £100 deposit for travel that commences in more than 60 days.
  • ABTA Protected.
  • Travel insurance available via our partners Just Travel Cover with no age limit, pre existing conditions cover and even Covid-19 related cover options.
  • Unaffected by cruise or international travel advice.
  • Excursions unaffected by "Rule of 6" (see FAQ below).
  • No risk of quarantine after return from holiday from abroad as we operate inland in the UK only.
  • See the video explainer below!

Update 10th September, 2020

The key statement in new Government regulations published today is:

From Monday 14 September, you must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6.

This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes. This change will simplify and clarify the rules on social gatherings, so they are easier to understand and easier for the police to enforce. There will be a limited number of exemptions. COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total but groups of up to 6 must not mix or form larger groups.


As a cruise holiday business, we align ourselves with the hospitality sector, so we remain free to provide our cruise holidays and accommodate more than 6 guests, provided everybody continues to wash or sanitise their hands, wear facemasks when moving around indoors and maintains social distancing. We actively encourage and facilitate these basic precautions on our vessel and during outside tours, whilst providing several additional layers of safety precautions. Furthermore, we have for some time now adopted a policy of not accepting bookings from groups of family and friends which exceed 6 people. As all of our guests will know, we also maintain GDPR-compliant records about their contact details and these are now mandatory for track and trace purposes.


In many ways, we see the new guidance as a vindication of the procedures we already have in place and we look forward to continuing to welcome all of our passengers onto the Edward Elgar over the coming weeks

On 16.7.20 The FCO clarified its position on cruise ship travel. Cruises that English Holiday Cruises provide are unaffected by the FCO advice against cruise ship travel. Here is the FCO advice:

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against cruise ship travel at this time. This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England.

Cruise ship travel means staying overnight for at least 1 night on a sea-going cruise ship with people from multiple households.

Our advice against cruises applies to international travel on a ship that is exclusively for pleasure or recreation, providing overnight accommodation and other leisure facilities such as entertainment venues or swimming pools.

Our advice does not include ferries or privately-rented boats.

The government will continue to review its cruise ship travel advice based on the latest medical advice.

You can read the full FCO advice here:

The Government has specifically allowed all inland boating since 4th July – see

Covid-19 FAQ

Are English Holiday Cruises still operating? +

English Holiday Cruises recommenced operations on 10.8.20 with Covid secure measures in place as outlined above.

As members of ABTA what are English Holiday Cruises’ responsibilities? +

As members of ABTA, we are obliged to act within the ABTA code of conduct and we are also governed by the Eurpoean Package travel directive 2018. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we are proud to say we have processed every refund request with a cash refund (no credit notes) within the statutory 14 days.

Can I change the date of my booking? +

If your booking was made before 20.8.20 for travel in 2020 then our flexible booking terms apply and you can transfer you booking with at least 30 days notice without charge. All bookings made after 20.8.20 will have our revised booking terms applied.

Can I transfer my booking to a friend? +

If you are too worried to travel but would like someone you know to come instead then you can transfer your booking as per the guidance in section 7 of our booking and refunds policy.

Are English Holiday Cruises relaxing their cancellation policy? +

As of 8.9.20:

  • Bookings can be secured for all future travel with a deposit of £100 per person if travel is more than 60 days in the future.
  • For travel within 60 days, the full balance will be due.
  • For cancellations by passengers made more than 60 days from departure, we charge £100 per person cancellation fee. For bookings cancelled by passengers 30-60 days from the date of departure, 50% of the cruise fee will be charged as cancellation fee. Cancellations made less than 30 days from travel will be charged 100% of the cruise cost as cancellation fee.

Please see our terms of booking.

What happens if English Holiday Cruises are forced to cancel? +

ABTA clearly advises all travellers both local and international that travel operators are not obliged to cancel travel until it is “imminent” - meaning within a few days of the date of travel. We will not usually cancel until travel is imminent, but if we ever do this, then your money will be refunded in full without any admin charge. You can view ABTA advice for travellers here:

Can I buy insurance to cover me? +

YES. Travel insurance is imperative for all bookings. You can obtain cover from Just Travel Cover, our insurance partner, here.

I am travelling from outside the UK. What should I do? +

We will treat all international customers on the same basis as our customers from the UK and EU. You must travel within the law of current restrictions of the UK, your home territory and any territory you pass through.

Will you be refusing access to anyone if there is a raised probability of them having contracted Covid-19? +

If passengers refuse or fail to comply with our health checks and protocols, they will be denied entry to the vessel or removed without refund. The right insurance policy can be obtained should you contract Covid symptoms before travel.

Is the "Rule of 6" Coming into effect on 14.9.20 affect your cruises or included excursions? +

No. Our vessel and all excursions are Covid-secure locations. This means that customers remain distanced from others at all times and do not form a larger group. Walking tours of up to 30 are still allowed in Covid Secure locations. You will be asked to wear a face covering during walking tours. You can see the published guidance in relation to this under point 2.2.2 here: 

Ask us a Question

If you have been unable to find the information you are looking for here, then please contact us using the form below and we will respond as quickly as possible. For the fastest response, please leave your booking reference number if you have one. If you want to sign up for the email newsletter, don't fill this form out but please use the form at the bottom of the page in the black footer section.

Ask us a Question
First Name  
Last Name  
How can we help you?