The last six weeks have been difficult for the travel industry. A mixture of strikes, volcanic ash and civil unrest in the popular destinations of Greece and Thailand have dented confidence in would be travellers. It’s not all doom and gloom though as cruise operators have been reporting increases in bookings of up to 50% this month!
Cruise.co.uk is one of the companies which has reported an increase in passenger numbers. According to Sukie Rapal, the company’s head of marketing “Since early April, we have seen a significant increase in the number of phone inquiries and bookings regarding operators who sail from UK ports.
The current situation with BA and the second volcano incident has resulted in even more interest for our agents. While we also offer international fly-cruises, we expect to see a continued interest from customers who simply don’t want to risk flying, even to mainland Europe.”
The number of no fly cruises operating from British ports has been a surprise to many victims of the volcanic ash. In fact there are 19 different cruise companies operating from British ports with most leaving from Southampton, Portsmouth, Dover and Newcastle. The most popular destinations for no fly cruise are the Mediterranean, the Norwegian Fjords and the Baltic Sea. Cruise lengths tend to be between 7 and 14 days.
A Baltic cruise allows you to visit spectacular St Petersburg as well as the delightful town of Tallinn and the Scandinavian capitals of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki., here is a great example from Royal Carribean International.
In the med you can easily reach the cities of Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Rome by sea as in this example from Princess Cruises.
European river cruises are another option which is proving to be popular this summer. Cosmos Tourama offer a range of luxury river cruises through Europe following the Rhine, Rhone and Danube, all of which can be accessed by rail from the UK via Eurostar. These cruises offer an easy and enjoyable way to travel in style through Europe.