25 Awst

New destinations see cruise travel taking off from Cardiff

In what has already been a successful few months of flying customers to meet cruise ships this year, some of the UK’s biggest operators have already announced a busy programme of charter flights from Cardiff in 2017, including new services to Rome and Dubai.

Celebrity Cruises has confirmed a new flight operating to Rome on 31st July 2017, where passengers will meet the Celebrity Reflection ship before embarking on a Best of the Western Mediterranean trip calling at Florence, Pisa, Nice, Barcelona, Malaga, Gibraltar, Cartagena and Ibiza.

Winter 2016/17 will see the launch of a brand two new cruise itineraries for Thomson’s Celebration ship, which will be operating for the first time from the vibrant port of Dubai. The two seven night itineraries – ‘Arabian Nights’ and ‘Cities of Gold’ – will stop overnight in Dubai and visit six new destinations including Khasab and Muscat in Oman, Manama in Bahrain, Doha in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Khor Fakkan in UAE. Direct flights will depart Cardiff  23rd January 2017 and 20th February 2017.

P&O Cruises continue to operate popular year-round charter flights from Cardiff, offering Mediterranean cruises during the summer and far-flung Caribbean cruises throughout the chillier winter months. The next departure will be on the 5th October 2016 to Genoa, where passengers will board Oceana and embark on a tour of Italy – with a dash of Croatia – before fly home from Venice.

There will be two departures in the first part of 2017 to Bridgetown, Barbados on 18th Feb and 18th March, where P&O’s well-known ship Azura will begin its 14 night Caribbean tour taking in exotic destinations on its way including St Kitts and St Lucia.

Fans of P&Os recently launched Britannia cruise ship will be able to experience this stunning vessel in all its glory on a 14 night Caribbean cruise, with direct flights from Cardiff to Bridgetown departing on 19 November 16, 13 January and 28 January 2017.

Thomson’s TUI Discovery Ship will also be cruising the Caribbean in early 2017. The stunning Paradise Islands (followed by Tropical Delights) itinerary starts with departures from Cardiff to Bridgetown on 8th January and 5th March 2017, where guests on board will take in a packed itinerary over 14 nights. Highlights include The Grenadines, Antigua, St Maarten, Aruba and Curacao Island.

In addition to the wealth of charter flights available from Cardiff in 2016 and 2017, scheduled services will continue operating to Barcelona up to four times a week with Vueling, creating even more opportunities for customers to sail from the popular Mediterranean port.

Debra Barber, Cardiff Airport’s Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, commented: “Cruise travel is becoming increasingly popular with our customers and it’s great to see the industry offering a wealth of choice across the Mediterranean and further flung parts of the world.

“It’s important for Cardiff Airport to facilitate this growing trend by offering more services via our airlines – both schedule and charter - and it’s great to see new routes operating next year to Rome and Dubai. Going forward, and as passenger numbers continue to increase steadily, I look forward to seeing the cruise travel market continuing to thrive and more direct services operating from Wales’ national airport to meet demand.”