Cardiff announces charter flights to new cruise destinations for 2017

The UK’s biggest cruise operators have announced their timetable of charter flights from Cardiff in 2017, including new services to Rome and Dubai, Cardiff Airport said in a release.

According to the release, Celebrity Cruises will operate a new flight to Rome on July 31, 2017, where passengers will meet the Celebrity Reflection ship, which will go on a Best of the Western Mediterranean trip calling at Florence, Pisa, Nice, Barcelona, Malaga, Gibraltar, Cartagena and Ibiza.

Thomson’s Celebration ship is set to launch two new cruise itineraries in winter 2016/17, operating from the port of Dubai for the first time. 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 on January 23, 2017 and February 20 2017.

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

In the first half of 2017, two departures will be organised to Bridgetown, Barbados on February 13 and March 18, where P&O’s Azura will begin its 14 night Caribbean tour covering destinations such as St Kitts and St Lucia. P&O’s recently launched Britannia cruise ship is also planning to operate a 14 night Caribbean cruise, with direct flights from Cardiff to Bridgetown departing on November 19, 2016, January 13, 2017 and 28 January 2017.

Thomson’s TUI Discovery Ship will also be cruising the Caribbean in early 2017. The Paradise Islands and the Tropical Delights itinerary starts with departures from Cardiff to Bridgetown on January 8 and March 5, 2017. In addition to the several charter flights available from Cardiff in 2016 and 2017, scheduled services will be operating to Barcelona up to four times a week with Vueling, the airport added.

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.’