Carnival’s back in the UK

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dench.jpgIt’s carnival time! Celebrations get under way around the world later this week, with the biggest street party in the world ready to rock Rio de Janeiro. Here in Britain, Carnival Cruise Lines have chosen today to announce it is bringing a ship back to the UK next year for the first time since 2008.
Carnival Legend, which was christened by Dame Judi Dench (above) in 2002, will be based in Europe for 17 voyages between April and October 2013, visiting 34 ports in 18 countries. The 2,600-passenger ship will sail eight cruises from Dover to the Baltic, the Norwegian fjords, and around the British Isles.
As a brand, Carnival is best-known in America for its party atmosphere and lively cruises which attract younger passengers than most British-based ships. The global economic cruise forced the company to abandon plans to base a ship in the UK shortly after Myleene Klass (below) named Carnival Splendor in Dover in 2008.
splendor.jpgRecently-appointed UK managing director Adolfo Perez said now is the right time to re-establish the company’s global expansion, and picked out the UK as one of the biggest cruise markets outside the US. Carnival expects a mix of international passengers on its ex-UK cruises, but to be attracting more British passengers than it has ever done in the past.
Details of the itineraries and fares will be set out in a dedicated UK brochure which will not be with travel agents until May, but here’s a sneak preview.
Transatlantic: To re-position to Europe at the start of the season, Legend will sail a 15-night voyage from Tampa on April 7, 2013 and arriving at Barcelona on April 22. Ports of call include Bermuda, Ponta Delgado in the Azores, Malaga, and Palma de Mallorca. The ship returns to the US with a 15-night crossing which leaves Barcelona on November 12.
Mediterranean: Three Grand Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona to Venice on April 22, May 16 and October 19, visiting Palma de Mallorca, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Livorno, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome), Messina and Dubrovnik. There will also be three 12-day cruises from Venice to Barcelona on May 4 and 28, and October 31. Legend will leave Barcelona on June 9 for a 12-day voyage to Dover, calling at Marseille, Monte Carlo, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Malaga and Lisbon. The ship leaves Dover on October 7 for the return trip.
From Dover: Six Baltic Wonders cruises to Copenhagen, Warnemunde, Helsinki, St Petersburg (overnight), Tallinn and Amsterdam on June 21, July 3, 15 and 17, and August 8 and 20. On September 1 the ship will set out for the Norwegian fjords, visiting Alesund, Bergen, Stavanger, Oslo, Hamburg, Zeebrugge and Le Havre, while on September 13 it embarks on a circumnavigation of the British Isles, calling at Stavanger, Edinburgh, Invergordon, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin and Le Havre.
Fares for Northern Europe start at £879 per person, and those for the Mediterranean at £699 (cruise-only).
►Back to the Rio carnival for a moment: Striking police and firemen in Brazil have returned to work, so Adonia’s visit to the city tomorrow (Wednesday) will go ahead as planned. A call at Salvador, in the north-east of Brazil, was cancelled a couple of days ago because of fears for the safety of passengers .
I still have to question the thinking of the itinerary planners who arranged for the P&O ship to be in Rio – along with Holland America’s Prinsendam – two days before the official start of Carnival. Passengers will be saying “adeus” to the city before the party begins.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:54+00:00 14 February 2012|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News, Cruise Ships|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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