What is a fly cruise?
A fly cruise will see you jetting off to meet your cruise ship, rather than embarking at a UK port. You will usually be offered a choice of UK airports to make sure your fly cruise is as convenient as possible, so you can get your holiday off to the best possible start.
There’s literally a whole world of fly cruising options out there. The Caribbean, Mediterranean and even destinations further afield such as the USA and Australia are opened up by fly cruising. So, if you’ve ever asked yourself ‘what is a fly cruise?’, the quick answer is it’s your opportunity to explore far-flung parts of the world, without those extra days at sea!
Fly cruising: What to consider
As with any form of travel, there are pros and cons to taking a fly cruise. Here’s our guide to deciding whether this is the right type of holiday for you.
Pros of fly cruising
Minimal sea days
With cruising, it’s often the case that the voyage is just as important as the destinations. Who doesn’t love staring out at an expanse of ocean, where the land feels a million miles away?! However, for some, cruising is about exploring those different ports of call, with the ship simply a way of getting from A to B.
A fly cruise keeps at-sea days to a minimum. Rather than spending days on end cruising across the Atlantic to reach the Caribbean, you can hop on board a plane and be there in a matter of hours. If this sounds like the ideal way to start your holiday, we’d recommend taking a closer look at fly cruising.
Create your dream getaway with Cruise & Stay
If you decide to book a fly cruise, it’s the perfect excuse to extend your stay. Add a few days to the start or end of your holiday to really make the most of the destination. What could be better than a few extra hours to kick back and relax in Barbados? Or some precious hours pounding the streets of Rome?
Fly cruises often depart from some of the most amazing ports in the world, which sounds to us like the perfect excuse for an extended holiday. Remember, we’ve got a Cruise & Stay team who are ready and waiting to put together your dream fly cruise holiday!
Regional airport fly cruise departures
In the UK, Southampton and Dover are considered to be the major departure ports, and while these locations are good for some, they are highly inconvenient for others, particularly those who live in the north and have long driving times ahead of them.
Fortunately, more and more UK ports are starting to offer cruises from other ports, including Fred. Olsen which has called Liverpool home for its flagship, Borealis. However, the number of cruise lines that are permitted to using these ports is still somewhat limited, whereas with a fly cruise, you will have your pick of regional departure airports closer to home. Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands – you choose. Departing from a local airport reduces travel stress, saves on petrol costs, and simply makes the start of your cruise holiday much more comfortable.
Cons of fly cruising
Fly cruising undoubtedly has its benefits, but it isn’t the most convenient choice for some holidaymakers. Here are just some of the cons you might encounter when flying to your cruise ship.
Airline baggage allowances
Luggage allowances are the biggest nuisance when it comes to fly cruising. The beauty of cruising is that baggage restrictions are often very relaxed. In fact, as long as you can fit all your bags comfortably in your cabin seems to be the motto but really, only health and safety issues are the concern with luggage needing to weigh no more than 23kg per case for baggage handlers to safely handle with care.
As soon as you book a fly cruise, however, you then have your airline’s baggage allowance to contend with. Depending on your operator and ticket type, the amount of luggage you can take is likely to be limited. If you’re not one for packing light, this could be an issue.
While we’re on the subject of luggage, there’s also the possibility that your bags will go missing. Unfortunately, this is just another potential pitfall you will face when you travel by air, but embarking a cruise ship makes it all the more frustrating.
Once your baggage has been located, it will be transported to your ship. If you’ve already set sail, your bags will meet you at an onward port. Hardly the most relaxing start to your holiday!
Potential airport delays
Being held up at the airport isn’t the best start to any holiday, but when you’ve got a cruise ship to join, it can be especially annoying. Cancelled flights and delays can create all sorts of logistical problems if you’re joining a fly cruise, especially if you don’t have much time between arriving in your destination and embarking your cruise ship. However, bear in mind that if you book a cruise including flights as a package, you will be given all the assistance you need to meet your ship. It’s not ideal, but can offer real peace of mind if you’re worried about taking a fly cruise.
Fly cruising has its benefits, but there are also some potential problems that can arise. Bear in mind this is the case with any type of holiday, and we’d still argue that it’s still well worth considering! Explore our fly cruise holidays by clicking here.
We are currently finding the most frustrating thing about fly cruising at the moment is understanding the requirements for Covid testing prior to sailing. Cruising from Southampton was pretty straightforward but the rules around flying from a UK airport, e.g. Bristol to Malta are far less clear. The main airports seem to have test facilities in place but regional airports are far less clear with requirements. I realise that rules are constantly changing but any guidance you can give would be really appreciated. Thanks
Hi Alan, covid requirements are slowly easing, making things run a lot more smoothly. Most of the cruise lines do send out an email with requirements for travel in the run up to your departure, but we do certainly understand your frustration.