Cruise Report: More overnight stops could lure passengers back to ships

 

Overnight, the Costa Concordia disaster shattered the image of the most durably successful travel sector. The giant ship belonging to the world's biggest cruise firm, Carnival, struck a rock on 13 January. By dawn the next day, more than 30 passengers and crew had died. The big question for the cruise industry is: has that tragedy put off some potential customers for life?

Before the sinking, the Passenger Shipping Association projected that 1.73 million British travellers would take a cruise this year – nearly a million more than 10 years ago. In the immediate aftermath of the sinking, Carnival Corporation – the world's largest cruise company with 100 ships across 10 fleets – and Royal Caribbean, the second largest, both reported a decline in bookings of about one-sixth.

However, assuming you are prepared to be reassured about the safety aspects of cruising, boarding a ship could be the cost-effective way to enjoy the nightlife of Europe's liveliest cities. Staying in ports overnight was once only for small luxury lines such as Silversea (0808 134 1792; silversea. com), Seabourn (0845 070 0500; seabourn.com) and SeaDream (0800 783 1373; seadream.com). Most bigger ships departed at 6pm at the latest.

SeaDream's ex-CEO and co-owner Larry Pimentel took his “port immersive” philosophy with him when he moved to Azamara's fleet of two mid-size ships in 2010, saying it was crazy to sail away in the afternoon – “denying those more cerebral guests the opportunity for any in-depth exploration”.

This year, the two Crystal ships (020-7287 9040; crystalcruises.co.uk) have increased overnight stays, and most voyages include a two-day call. Alternatively, try one of these:

* A voyage from Southampton to Lisbon aboard Azamara Journey. There are stays in Bordeaux, St-Jean-de-Luz and, on arrival in Pasejas, you can go to San Sebastian, six miles away before sailing at 2am. In Bilbao, you can linger in the Guggenheim until it closes at 8pm because departure is at 10pm. From £1,999 per person with flights, 11 nights on board with wine with meals. Departure is on 9 August. (0844 493 4016; azamaraclubcruises.co.uk)

* A 12-night cruise of the eastern Med aboard Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam has overnight stays in Venice and Istanbul. The cost with flights is from £1,589 per person for a 30 April departure (0845 351 0557; hollandamerica.co.uk).

* On a week's round trip from Genoa, you can go clubbing in Ibiza; MSC Sinfonia doesn't sail away until 2am. Weekly departures (May to October) cost from £599 per person, cruise only (0844 5611955; msccruises.co.uk).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £32,000 Uncapped

    £22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £10,000 Uncapped - Part Time

    £7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Digital Marketing Executive (CRM, Eve...

    Recruitment Genius: Receptionist / Sales / Customer Service Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: The role is likely to be 4on 4 off, days and ...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea