For many people, a cruise is the epitome of luxury travel. Whether you’re voyaging around the fjords of Norway or you’re taking in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean, cruises symbolise relaxation and leisurely indulgence.
Nevertheless, the lengthy voyage time cruises often involve can deter a lot of holidaymakers. If you want to enjoy all the travel benefits of a cruise but none of the waiting around, fly-cruises could be just right for you – here’s our guide to picking cruise and flight packages online.
Why get a fly-cruise package?
Although fly-cruise packages are now relatively common, many travellers are still unclear about what they involve. Essentially, a fly-cruise deal lets you skip much of the voyage and lets you fly directly into your cruise’s first port of call. When the cruise has made its last stop – or the last stop you’d like to explore – you simply fly back home, rather than returning home on-board the ship.
There are a variety of advantages to these cruise and flight packages. Firstly, if you’ve only got a short window within which to take a holiday, fly-cruises eliminate a large chunk of travel time and let you get straight to the main event. It’s a great solution too if you’re nervous about travelling by boat but would still like to enjoy the luxuries of a cruise, as the number of days you spend on-board will be limited. It also means you can extend your stay in your first and last stops
What’s more, most cruises from the UK leave from Southampton. So if you live in northern England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, fly-cruises are more convenient as you won’t have to make the journey to and from the south coast.
The web’s best fly cruise deals
Whether you’re looking for cruises in Europe or further afield, you’ll find a wide variety of fly-cruise deals from leading cruise liners and travel agents. If you’re planning a cruise from June to December 2014, for instance, Cunard’s Mediterranean fly-cruises promise a voyage you’ll never forget. You can choose to meet the Queen Elizabeth in Rome, Athens or Venice and tailor-make your holiday to last 7, 14 or 21 nights.
If you’re seeking a far-flung adventure, P&O’s exotic fly-cruises could be just the thing. Here, you’ve got a range of options to suit every taste: fly to Singapore and take an 11 -day cruise to Dubai before flying home again, or start your cruise in Dubai and slowly make your way back to Southampton, stopping at key destinations in North Africa and southern Europe on the way.
Celebrity Cruises, Thomson and MSC Cruises also offer fly-cruise packages that include flights, airport transfers, pre- or post-cruise accommodation and assistance if your flight is delayed or your luggage is misplaced.
Not sure which fly-cruise deals are best for you? Fred. Olsen lists packages from a range of cruise liners so you can compare deals before making a final choice. Virgin Holidays Cruises are also worth consulting before making a booking; their fly-cruise deals include direct flights, resort or hotel transfers and, in some cases, a free upgrade to a balcony cabin.