The high cost of Air Passenger Duty has been partly blamed by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines for withdrawing from Caribbean fly-cruises after next winter.
The 927-passenger Braemar will operate cruises exclusively from UK ports following its last Caribbean fly-cruise season in winter 2011/12. The ship has operated a winter fly-cruise programme from Barbados since joining the fleet ten years ago.
Fred Olsen said the decision to withdraw from the Caribbean fly-cruising had been forced by the escalating costs of air travel, together with the high cost of APD, “which is a major – and increasingly concerning – factor”.
General sales manager Lol Nichols said: “This was not an easy decision to make, as our Caribbean fly-cruises have always been popular.
“We feel that the wide choice of ex-UK ports that we feature gives greater convenience to guests from all over the British Isles, and the addition of Braemar to the year-round ex-UK programme will allow for a greater variety of cruises, as well as allowing those loyal Braemar fans to cruise on the ship all-year-round from the UK.”
The line will continue to operate ex-UK cruises to the Caribbean. Fly-cruise will be a relatively small part of the cruise line’s overall offering, with the main focus on cruising from regional ports, including Southampton, Dover, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Newcastle, Rosyth (Edinburgh) and Greenock (Glasgow).
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