‘No Fly’ Cruising
‘No fly’ cruising is the industry definition for cruises that depart from and return to a UK port. And currently about 40% of UK cruise passengers choose a no fly cruise. They are particularly popular with first time cruisers, but are also becoming increasingly popular with regular cruisers who find the convenience, flexibility, variety and value attractive.
In 2011 alone twenty-one Cruise Lines, operating 40 ships depart and return to UK ports on a total of 506 cruises. In 2012 this is set to rise even further as even more ships are scheduled to sail 'no fly' itineraries. So which one will be perfect for you?
‘No fly’ cruising is convenient
We live on an island and with no town more than 70 miles from the sea it is easy to get to one of the major ports. Even with the major sailings from the south coast the UK rail and road infrastructure makes getting to ports relatively easy and certainly considerably easier than flying abroad!
All of the major ports have invested in secure car parking facilities and all the major Cruise Lines make the transfer from car to ship as painless as possible.
The Cruise Lines have invested heavily in security to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers and this has certainly been shown in recent surveys that compare cruises favourably against other forms of travel. But above all else Cruise Lines have an enviable safety record when compared to all other forms of transportation.
You don’t have to fly
Not unsurprisingly this is the most important reason as to why ‘no fly’ cruising is becoming increasingly popular. Airport delays, cost (including the increasing level and variety of departure and so called ‘green’ taxes), concerns over safety and worries over luggage all work in favour of ‘no fly’ cruising.
You don’t have to suffer airports.
Of course less time queuing and dealing with noisy departure lounges make cruises from the UK a perfect option for families where there are young children. The hassle free process of arriving at the departure port and boarding your ship are bound to keep you, but more importantly, the little ones happy; the perfect start for family cruises.
You don’t have to put up with ‘low cost’ service
With low cost airlines grabbing such a large slice of the market, most of us have experienced the misery of cramped seating, lack of customer service and ‘extra’ charges for everything from luggage to refreshments. A ‘no fly’ cruise avoids all of this ensuring that your holiday commences as soon as you reach your UK departure port.
There are no luggage limitations
Another reason why regular cruisers prefer to ‘no fly’ is that they are able to take as much luggage as they wish on board. After all, it’s pretty difficult to get all your packing into one bag of less than 20kg at the best of times. If you are embarking on a longer cruise the restriction on weight becomes a pressing (and potentially expensive) issue if you have to pass through airport check-ins. Each Cruise Line has a slightly different policy (and you will have to make sure that each single item of luggage weighs no more than 24kgs for health and safety reasons), but as a guide up to 90kg is generally perfectly acceptable!
You only go through security once
On all foreign holiday and fly cruises you are obliged to go through airport security up to four times (twice on the way out and twice on the way back). On a cruise this only happens once, at your departure port in the UK, cutting down on aggravation, stress and queuing!
Your holiday starts immediately
At your UK departure port your luggage is generally taken from you where you park or as you enter the departure hall – you then go through security and passport control and only see your luggage again in your cabin. And once onboard ship your holiday begins immediately because on a cruise your destination is just another stage in your itinerary, your journey is all part of the holiday by design.
Your holiday is the same length as the cruise duration
If you book a 7 day ‘no fly’ cruise you arrive at the UK port on your first day and you arrive back to the UK on your last day, maximising your holiday time.
Unlike ‘fly’ cruises, you do not have to factor in travel time to an airport, check-in times, flight time, time-zone changes and extra time for potential delays that, without taking into consideration, could see you arrive at your port of departure to see your ship sailing off into the horizon. And in such a circumstance be under no illusions, it is you who is responsible for the costs of getting to the next port of call in order to join your cruise. So to ensure that this eventuality does not happen many fly cruises recommend that you arrive in your city of departure the day before your cruise departs, adding further hotel costs to your holiday expenditure.
You sail with like minded passengers
On a ‘no fly’ cruise the vast majority of your fellow cruisers will be British. The cruises are designed to appeal to the culinary and cultural tastes of British citizens, so you will be sailing with fellow travellers who are likely to have shared values and interests to those of your own.
It’s great value for money
With cruises from the UK you start your holiday the moment you board the ship, giving you even more time to enjoy your holiday. And without the cost of flights to take into consideration the value for money of a ‘no fly’ cruise stands out.
When you are looking at a ‘no fly’ cruise for the first time you need to take into consideration all of the costs of an alternative holiday option when making a value comparison. Then, when comparing, you will see that a ‘no fly’ cruising holiday represents a superb value for money option.