Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette arrived into the Port of Dover yesterday, as part of a series of UK coastal cruises for British passengers which launched on 3rd July.

Silhouette is the second passenger call into the Port since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. Celebrity Silhouette’s arrival followed TUI’s Marella Explorer which sailed in on 26th June, commemorating the eagerly anticipated return of cruise in Kent.

Sonia Limbrick, Head of Cruise at the Port of Dover, said: “It’s great to see the excitement for Dover cruise return so quickly only a week after we welcomed Marella Explorer, our first passenger call since the pandemic. I have no doubt that the cruising buzz will be in full swing again soon.

It was wonderful to see Celebrity Silhouette in Dover again on Sunday 4th July. 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 on board.”

Deirdre Wells OBE, Chief Executive at Visit Kent, added: “We’re thrilled to see cruise, which is such an important industry to Kent, re-opening 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.”

Among the passenger’s onboard Sunday’s vessel, the Port was pleased to welcome a group of industry press guests to the county, who enjoyed a taste of excursions available to passengers across the region, including a visit to Chequers Kitchen in nearby Deal for a hands-on local cookery experience.

Jo Rzymowska, Vice President & Managing Director, EMEA also experienced the “Three Castles Discovery programme”, which was arranged by the Port with support from Destination Dover. The tour started at Dover Castle, discovering its fascinating 2000-year history, followed by Walmer Castle and Gardens, which became an elegant seaside retreat for politicians, aristocrats, and royalty and ended at Deal Castle, one of the finest Tudor artillery castles 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, and the safe return of vessels over the last week signifies an exciting relaunch to the cruise season in Kent.’

For many years, the Port of Dover has developed a strong partnership with Visit Kent, the official destination management organisation for the county, and leading local attractions. 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.

This partnership is dedicated not only to ensuring cruise visitors experience the very best that Kent has to offer – from a friendly welcome to organising luxury VIP visitor packages, specialist experiences and bespoke tours – but also to engaging with the travel trade to develop inspirational itineraries that include off-the-beaten-path experiences not available to the general public.

By Ed

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