What is so great about No-Fly Cruising?

Well its obvious, isn’t it? No Airplane, no flights, no airports. Now we are fans of avoiding the Airport, The queues, the shops, the gates, the lighting, na… We would rather not go to the Airport.

This appears however to be the view of an increasing amount of cruisers, while this has been popular in the States for some time, the European market has been slow to follow, however in the past few years ‘ex-UK’ or ‘No-Fly Cruising’ has taken off, with 40 ships operating from the UK on a total of 506 cruises during 2011. It is also our understanding that 40% of UK cruise passengers sail on a no-fly cruise.

This rapid growth in cruising from the UK has meant that UK ports have been working hard to develop facilities for the ships, with Southampton adding to its five cruise terminals, and Portsmouth opening a new one, as well as ongoing problems regarding Liverpool’s Cruise terminal (check our previous article).

Southampton leads the way with 65% of all cruise departures from the UK, Royal Caribbean, P&O, MSC and Cunard all depart from here. The UK is perfectly positioned to operate cruises to Northern Europe, in the Norwegian Fjords, and to the Med, Across the Atlantic, or round the British Isles. We recently visited the MSC Opera which is currently operating out of Southampton (Check out our Ship Visit Article). RCI’s huge Independence of the Sea’s has also been operating out of Southampton.

However the only drawback from an Ex-UK cruise is that it can take a long time (2/3 Days) for a Cruise ship to arrive in warmer climates, which for those who cruise to the sun, and be a large portion of their holiday. We think the strength of these no-fly cruises will benefit those who don’t like flying, we recently recommended this to a friend who hates flying. Also For Northern European Cruises to Amsterdam, Denmark and the Baltic, what better place to start your cruise.

With the rapid increase in fuel prices expected to continue, airfares are only expected to keep rising too, So we expect to see the growth of No-Fly Cruising to continue. This is also the belief of the Cruise Lines, who have home-ported more vessels in the UK than ever before.

If you are considering a No-Fly Cruise, there is a free book which may interest you available from www.noflycruising.com, this is free and we have our own copy, very useful when making this article and suggesting possible cruises to people.

Let us know what you think! Comment, Facebook, Twitter and Email

Thanks,
Liam

Liam@Crociere.co.uk
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Related Articles
Liverpool Cruise Terminal Woes
MSC Opera Ship Visit in Southampton

Links
www.noflycruising.com
www.msccruises.co.uk

MSC Opera Ship Visit

If you are on Facebook, I suggest you like MSC Cruises, Or follow them on twitter. MSC have been arranging tours onboard the MSC Opera, and they are telling you about them through Facebook & twitter.

The ship visit was in Southampton, unfortunately living in Liverpool and not being able to drive, a 5 Hour train journey is required, so I decided to go down on the Monday and stay overnight in Southampton. I stayed in the etap hotel, which is a sister chain to Ibis, the hotel was basic but for one night at £39, it was value for money. The hotel is right over the road from the station and by the main shopping centre.

The MSC Opera was built in 2004 at Chantiers de l’Atlantique, the same yard that build the Normandy and Queen Mary 2, So has true Atlantic pedigree. She accommodates 2,000 passengers and has 740 Staff. As the last vessel in the Lirica class her sisters are MSC Lirica, MSC Sinfonia and MSC Armonia. She has 4 restaurants, 6 bars and 2 pools. MSC is a true European Cruise Line with its customers coming from across the EU.

The day started at Southampton’s City Cruise Terminal, where we where process through security and welcomed onboard the vessel. In total there was around 25 people on the tour, which included a mixture of new cruisers, regulars and travel agents.

The tour was conducted by one of the cruise lines social hosts, who walked us around the various areas onboard, he provided an interesting insight into how each of the lounges, bars and restaurants worked when the vessel was on a cruise. My favourite room being the Disco, looking out over the back of the ship. The outside area ‘Il Patio open Restuarant’ was a great area next below the funnel.

MSC Opera has an excellent theatre with 99% of seats having unobstructed views (a few seats at the back are slightly obstructed). We were also shown some of the cabins; an inside double, outside double and outside twin. All other cabin grades were full. These rooms are decent sized, with large bathrooms.

Afterwards there was a short question and answer session, where you can ask questions about MSC’s cruise products across the fleet and offers available. Following this we were taken to the dining room for a six course lunch, wine and soft drink where also available.
The food was amazing, I had a delicious soup and the sirloin steak was the best I have ever had. MSC also has amazing real Italian Ice Cream which I recommend!

Overall I think the ship looks great and I would definitely recommend it, if the effort that was put into the ship visit is matched by the cruise you will have an excellent time.

MSC has 11 vessels, and MSC Opera is currently operating on cruises out of Southampton Exploring Northern Europe, the Baltics, and a new cruise sailing to Amsterdam, La Rochelle, Bilbao and La Coruna. Check www.msccruises.co.uk if you are interested.

MSC has a very interesting all-inclusive package, which can make the cost of the cruise much more defined from the outset, and I think it is an interesting concept, one which I will write about in a future blog post sometime next week. We have also posted additional pictures from the day on our Facebook page so have a look.

The MSC Staff were really helpful and interesting, I would like to thank them for the great day 😀

Have you been onboard an MSC vessel? How did you like it? Let us know!
Facebook, Twitter, Comment & Email!

Thanks,
Liam

Liam@Crociere.co.uk
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Like Us on Facebook

Links

MSC Cruises – www.msccruises.co.uk