Vueling announces special flights to Italy from Cardiff for UEFA EURO 2020

European low fares airline, Vueling Airlines has announced special flights from Cardiff to Rome-Fiumicino, so fans will be able to fly from to support the Wales football team at the UEFA EURO 2020.

The football match against Italy will kickoff at Rome’s Olympic Stadium on June 21, 2020.

The airline will operate an outbound flight from Cardiff Airport to Rome-Fiumicino Airport, departing at 13:05 on 20th June 2020 and returning at 14:30 on 22nd June 2020. The flights will be operated on an Airbus A320, which can hold up to 186 passengers each way. Flights are on sale now at vueling.com/en, via Vueling’s mobile app, on the m.vueling.com mobile site or via the local travel agent.

Spencer Birns, Chief Commercial Officer at Cardiff Airport, said: ‘The Euros are such a major event in the sporting calendar, and it is fantastic to see that our valued airline partner Vueling is making it possible for Welsh football fans to see the team in action against Italy.’

Cardiff Airport is the gateway to Wales, handling over a million passengers a year with over 50 direct routes and more than 900 connecting destinations worldwide through hubs including Amsterdam Schiphol, Dublin and Barcelona.

A part of International Airlines Group (IAG), Vueling operates short and medium-haul destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, which are operated with a fleet of 120 aircraft of the Airbus A319, A320, A320neo and A321 models.

Floating Cruise Hotel Offers Accommodation for UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland

Polferries, a Poland-based ferry operator, is offering accommodation for football fans visiting Poland to watch the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship in Gdansk-New Port.

The company is offering accommodation in its floating cruise hotel, M/F Scandinavia, which is anchored at a distance of around three kilometres from the Arena Gdansk stadium, where a number of 2012 Euro matches will be played.

The hotel is keeping around 800 berths reserved for 2012 Euro football fans, and is claiming to offer a fun filled ambience for its passengers on match days, and additional after-parties back on board. The floating hotel has two restaurants, two bars, a number of shops, and an onboard cafe for its passengers.

Aneta Wencel, the company shipping policy division director said, ‘EURO 2012 is the greatest football event of the year, and fans gathering in Poland from all over Europe have every reason to celebrate the magnificent sports event. And with everything at one place, hotel, restaurants, cafes etc, visiting fans can lay back and relax and concentrate on the game and the whole experience. The preliminary matches in Gdansk will no doubt be filled with action, excitement and world-class football. With more than 800 enthusiastic fans onboard we expect to host an extraordinary football fest.’

The ferry will be anchored at Gdansk-New Port from June 13 to 15, and 18 to 19, 2012, for the Group C matches to be played between Ireland, Spain, Croatia and Italy.

While berth cabins are priced at EUR156 for June 13 to 15, 2012 for two nights inclusive of daily breakfast, the rates fall to EUR52 for June 18 to 19, 2012 for the same amenities.

 

Ukraine: A Football Fan’s Travel Guide

With the start of the UEFA Euro 2012 football championship now only six weeks away, England supporters will be anticipating their team’s opening game against France in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Monday June 11. But how prepared are travelling fans for navigating around a country that is not yet a regular tourist destination?

Those supporters intending to stay in Ukraine, at least for the duration of England’s three group-stage matches, will have to contend with a serious amount of travelling within a country that is close to two and a half times larger than the UK. The second England game is against Sweden in the Olimpiysky Stadium, Kiev, on June 15. Kiev is 369 miles from Donetsk, but it is a journey that ardent supporters will have to make twice, as they must return to the Donbass Stadium, Donetsk for the final group game against the home nation on June 19.

There are several options for travelling between Donetsk, a city in the west of the country that owes much of its development to the mining industry, and Kiev, the country’s centrally located capital. Rail is an obvious choice that offers a relatively comfortable and cost effective means of travel, but has a typical overnight journey time of twelve hours. The ticket price, one way, is approximately £38 for second class. A high-speed train was due to be operating in time for the championships, cutting the journey time to five and a half hours, but there currently appears to be no format available for booking this.

Another cheap option is to take one of the frequent bus services between the cities at less than £20 one-way, but again, be prepared to sit back and enjoy the scenery with a journey time that is also likely to take twelve hours or more. There are regular flights between the cities but they are considerably more expensive and seats could be difficult to come by at this late stage.

Driving between the cities, either in a rental car picked up on arrival or your own car if you have decided to bite the bullet and drive across most of Europe, is an option with plenty of pros and cons. On the plus side, you can sample more of the ‘real’ Ukraine by travelling across country at your own pace, and accommodation in towns that are a distance away from the championship venues is almost certain to be less expensive. However, on the down side, the standard of some of the country’s roads is poor to say the least, while the city roads are congested, and populated by motorists that drive with a ‘spirit of adventure’ that make them not for the faint-hearted. Also, while experiencing Ukraine’s backwaters might provide you with more of an insight into an intriguing country that few of your social group are likely to have visited, it is worth remembering that once away from the major cities you will be exposed to locals whose inexperience with tourists is likely to make them suspicious, off-hand, or even downright rude. Non-white visitors in particular could find a level of prejudice in some quarters that they would be unlikely ever to experience in Western Europe. And on the subject of personal security, whether in a major city or a smaller town, try to avoid flashing expensive jewellery or wads of money, Ukraine is still a relatively poor country and being seen as a rich Westerner will not earn you any more respect and could make you a target for scammers and thieves.

Basic medical facilities in Ukraine are not to Western European standards, either in the proficiency of medical staff, or in terms of facilities and equipment. Should you need medical attention while visiting the country you will be best served at one of the Private Clinics. These tend to cater for Ukraine’s middle class, so you will have to pay for the care that you receive, keep the receipts and make a claim on your travel insurance on your return.

By applying some pre-planning and common sense, experiencing a football tournament in Ukraine should certainly provide for a more memorable event than those hosted by nations that we are more familiar with . If England progress past the group stage, possibilities open up for travel to other cities in Ukraine or into Poland, all the way to the final in…but this is England that we are talking about, so perhaps we should take one step at a time!

Colin Gibson

UK Residents Yet To Be Stirred By London 2012 Olympics

In Britain, people are yet to be caught up in the excitement of the Olympics 2012 bandwagon, with the event competing with the upcoming UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Champions League final to be played on May 19, 2012, between England-based Chelsea, and Germany’s Bayern Munich, followed by the UEFA European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

The findings of a new study show that excitement around the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic games is rising, but is yet to catch up with the other sporting events that are in the offing. The Keller Fay’s TalkTrack Britain study is the only ongoing research project that tracks online and offline conversations, and its findings show that only 20 percent of the UK consumers have discussed the 2012 Games during April 2012, which is a slight rise over the March 2012 figure of 18 percent.

This is in comparison with 25 to 30 percent of UK consumers who have reported discussing football league matches in April 2012.

The attention of sports fans in the UK is expected to shift to the 2012 Olympics once the football and rugby seasons close, said the research.

Steve Thomson, the managing director of Keller Fay UK, said, ‘It’s clear that excitement about London 2012 is building, but at the moment traditional sports – football especially – are hard to dislodge from getting the main attention around the nation’s kitchen and pub tables. In England, this week has started with the focus on Roy Hodgson, and it seems that until the summer itself the Olympics aren’t yet top of the agenda.’

Introduction of Ryanair May Lower Ukraine Hotel Prices for UEFA Championship

Hotel prices in Ukraine are expected to fall for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, with the introduction of Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, said the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister, Borys Kolesnikov.

Ukraine is hosting the UEFA Football Championships, along with Poland, from June 8 to July 1, 2012. Ryanair intends to offer services to the Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Donetsk from its hub in France from May 2012. Fans will able to attend matches with Ryanair on a round-trip basis, removing the need to pay for hotel accommodation, and it is expected that hotel room rates will come down in price due to the decreased demand.

In an interview, Ukrainian minister, Borys Kolesnikov, said, ‘I think that this problem will be resolved by the end of April. First, we are completing an agreement with Ryanair on its entry to the Ukrainian market, and all fans will be able to calculate the cost of a flight for every match and stay in Ukraine. And the price will be in favour of aviation. I think that price will significantly fall from that moment. It takes three-and-a-half hours to fly from London to Donetsk, and a round-trip ticket will cost $300. England will play three group stage matches in Ukraine. That is, total expenditures would be $900, if you just fly for every match. If the price of a hotel room costs more than $200, then it would be a lot more expensive to live here for ten days. I think that this will quickly cool the ardour of our hotels.’

Earlier, reports have said that UEFA president and former footballer, Michel Platini, has expressed his concern at high prices for accommodation at Ukrainian hotels during the Euro 2012 European Football Championship.