Luxury cruise and tours firm Scenic has noted a surge in bookings in the last week following Boris Johnson's announcement setting out the roadmap for easing England out of lockdown.

Since the roadmap was revealed, Scenic says it's had a 150% increase in new bookings for its luxury European river cruises, with sailings down the Rhine, Main and Danube proving the most popular destinations.

Holidaymakers are keen to get away too, with a rise in people booking for late 2021 and into 2022.

The firm says it's been a record week for bookings, with the highest number of new bookings week-on-week since March 2020 when the pandemic broke.

Nichola Absalom, Director of Global Brand & Marketing, Scenic UK commented: "The recent uplift in new bookings shows that our guests are just as eager to set sail again as we are. Whilst booking levels are not yet back to normal, we are seeing the number of enquiries for our small ship cruises continue to grow as the weeks go by.

Scenic Jasper river cruise ship sails past vineyards during a European river cruise
Scenic Jasper river cruise ship sails past vineyards during a European river cruise

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"We’re seeing guests book well in advance to give themselves a luxury cruise holiday to look forward to with departures for late 2021 and into 2022 the most popular.

"Positive advances in the UK such as the vaccine rollout and lockdown roadmap have helped to instill confidence among our guests, combined with our generous Super Earlybird offers which provide significant discounts for those planning well in advance."

A view of the Danube river at sunset with Budapest's cityscape also visible
Sailings along the Danube have proven one of the top popular options

The brand currently has savings of up to £1,500 per couple with perks such as complimentary private door-to-door chauffeur-driven transfers on all 2022European river cruise departures. You can find out more about the cruises and the brand's Covid-19 measures

Under the roadmap, Boris Johnson announced that foreign travel could resume from May 17 subject to a review in April, although it's worth noting that he didn't specifically mention cruises at the time. Currently the Foreign Office continues to advise Brits against cruise ship travel during the pandemic. (You can check the latest cruise travel advice for more information).

Still, there continues to be a demand for cruise holidays when restrictions do lift - one cruise costing £38,000 sold out in just one day.