Fly-cruises in the Mediterranean on the menu for P&O and Cunard

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The two pillars of cruising from the UK – P&O and Cunard – both introduce fly-cruises to the Mediterranean in their programmes for 2011-2012, announced today.
Adults-only Adonia – a replacement for Artemis – will be based in the Mediterranean from October next year, offering six fly-cruises departing from Savona, Athens, Trieste and Naples.
Cunard’s Queen Victoria will operate eight Mediterranean fly-cruises visiting up to nine different ports over 12 nights, from Venice, Rome and Athens.
Thanks to her smaller size, Adonia will be able to visit some smaller ports of call not available to larger ships in the company’s seven-strong fleet. The new ports on P&O’s itineraries are a welcome introduction as many popular destinations are at risk of becoming overcrowded with passengers from the growing numbers of cruise ships in Europe. They include Bourgas in Bulgaria; Flekkefjord, Norway; Foynes, Ireland; Jersey in the Channel Islands; Koper, Slovenia; Sassnitz, Germany; Savona, Italy; and Zadar, Croatia.
The 710-passenger ship, currently sailing as Royal Princess, will initially sail cruises from Southampton between May and October next year, from seven to 26 nights to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. There will also be a round-Britain voyage.
Old favourite Oceana will sail a total of 31 ex-UK cruises year-round, departing from Southampton between October 2011 and April 2012 to the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Canary Islands and the Caribbean and US.
“Some people don’t want to fly for various reasons, so with Azura in the Caribbean in winter we had the opportunity to try ex-UK cruises year round,” said P&O managing director Carol Marlow. “It gives us the option to offer more variety for people.”
The company’s largest ever sailing programme sees the first full year of cruising for 3,100-passenger ship Azura, which will be launched in Southampton by ballerina Darcey Bussell next month. Azura will sail 17 ex-UK cruises from April to October 2011 and 11 Caribbean fly cruises from October 2011 to March 2012.
Azura cruises range from a four night cruise break to an inaugural 15-night Icelandic cruise. The ship will also make overnight calls in Venice and St Petersburg.
Marlow said: “This is our biggest ever programme launch, with 156 cruise holidays to 270 destinations in 90 countries. More people will spend more time with us next year than ever before.
“The introduction of Mediterranean fly-cruising is an exciting step forward for P&O Cruises, and one that we know will make many of our existing passengers very happy. We listen to our customers and always try to give them what they want.
“At the same time, we hope this will attract new customers who have previously chosen a holiday in a Mediterranean resort.
“Our passengers particularly love the way we tailor everything to their British needs; the way we actually celebrate being on a ship, with the officers and crew making this a real nautical experience. They also love the way that a cruise with us is a special occasion that they will remember for a long time to come.”
Early bookings discounts of up to £800 per couple for a 14-night cruise apply to bookings made before June 30. Free car parking is offered on all Southampton departures of seven nights or more. On board spending money of between £50 and £250 per cabin is available for cruises of four nights or more.
Cunard’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth – to be launched in October – will be based in her home port of Southampton, sailing a maiden season of 22 voyages from five to 24 nights duration, to destinations including the Norwegian fjords, the Baltic Sea, around-Britain, the Mediterranean, Canada and New England, and the Caribbean.
Sister ship Queen Victoria will sail 23 voyages – the shortest of seven nights, the longest, 22. From April to August she will be sailing from Southampton to the Mediterranean, Baltic, the fjords and the Canaries. After her fly-cruise season, she will sail 15-night Caribbean cruise from Venice to Fort Lauderdale, Miami. Christmas 2011 will be spent on a 14-night voyage from Los Angeles to Hawaii costing from £2,699.
Flagship Queen Mary 2 is scheduled to undertake 21 seven-night Transatlantic crossings between Southampton and New York, with fares starting at £899.
Cunard President and Managing Director Peter Shanks said:”Three new ocean liners in just six years proves the demand for the Cunard brand from guests looking for the best in luxury cruising and the ability to experience a unique sense of heritage, history and tradition.
“With three liners in the fleet we can now offer a choice of all the best destinations. In 2011 we will be covering Europe, the Americas, Transatlantic, the Caribbean and with our world voyages – the world.”

By | 2010-03-15T07:34:26+00:00 15 March 2010|Cruise destinations, Cruise news|0 Comments

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John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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