‘Mystery’ cruise sells out within 48 hours

Uniworld promises an ‘incredible bucket list trip full of surprises for those that love the thrill of adventure’

Most European countries should be on ‘green’ travel list, says EasyJet boss

A 10-day “mysterycruise that promises “over-the-top, unique experiences both on and off the ship” has sold out within 48 hours of going on sale.

In addition, a second mystery voyage, put on sale a fortnight later, sold out in just 24 hours.

Setting sail on 12 June and 23 September 2022 respectively, the clandestine voyages are being offered by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.

Both cruises will be sailing in Europe, with all the details, including destinations, remaining a secret until the last possible moment.

Passengers will receive a packing list in advance of the trip, but the “big reveal” will only take place when they are en route to the airport.

Uniworld’s president and CEO Ellen Bettridge, who will be onboard, said the idea was hatched after customer feedback revealed cruisers would be “willing to travel anywhere” after months stuck under lockdown during the pandemic.

She said: “It’s an incredible bucket list trip full of surprises for those that love the thrill of adventure; the biggest surprise being the itinerary reveal that will only happen when our guests are already on their way to the airport.”

The all-inclusive cruise costs from £4,999, including flights to join the cruise from its point of departure.

An unlimited selection of spirits and wines, wellness programmes, onboard entertainment, in-suite butler service, airport transfers and onboard gratuities are all included in the price.

The company says that both itineraries are new to the brand and that the second mystery cruise will travel to completely different destinations from the first.

Chris Townson, UK and Ireland managing director for Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, said he was “delighted” at the response to the unique cruises, and that there were “more exciting announcements down the line as the world opens up to travel once more”.

Cruise companies have been hit hard by the pandemic, with many voyages repeatedly postponed until 2022 and 2023.

Public appetite for cruising does not appear to have diminished, however, with a luxury world cruise costing £58,000 selling out within a day in March.

The Silversea Cruises voyage, lasting 139 days and calling in at 34 countries across five continents, was one of the line’s fastest selling sailings ever.

Elsewhere, 100,000 people volunteered to participate for a “mock cruise” programme launched in November 2020 by Royal Caribbean.

These are trial sailings with volunteer guests designed to demonstrate the efficacy of Covid-19 health and safety measures on board ships.

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