It’s time to look at the Cunard 2017 schedules, and in particular the Mediterranean fly cruises. (Please, curb your excitement…)
Cunard have been doing these for a few years, although to be honest I haven’t paid much attention to them. One their smaller ships – Queen Victoria this year and again in 2017 – is based in the Mediterranean from mid-summer through to late autumn and does a series of 7-night itineraries which can be combined into 14 or, I suppose, longer cruises – 21 or 28 nights. The way the itineraries are composed means that a passenger won’t repeat the same itinerary in fine details until they’ve been on the ship for quite a long time.
Here are the different itineraries, each one for 7 nights. They run in the following order:-
- Rome to Venice;
- Venice to Athens;
- Athens back to Athens – I’ve termed this the ‘Athens Loop’;
- Athens to Venice;
- Venice to Rome;
- Rome back to Rome – I’ve termed this the ‘Rome Loop’.
- Rome to Barcelona (once only, at the end of the season).
The itineraries above can either be booked as 7-night fly cruises, or can be combined to form 14-night, 21-night or even longer itineraries if wanted.
I ought to make the following points:
- Each iteration of the Rome – Venice and Athens – Venice 7-night itineraries includes a final day in Venice;
- Each iteration of the Athens Loop itinerary includes an overnight call at Istanbul;
- the Rome Loop itinerary includes a call at Barcelona, and it’s possible to either join a cruise there (e.g. on 28 June for a 10-night itinerary to Venice – i.e. 3 nights Barcelona to Rome, followed by the Rome to Venice itinerary) or to leave a cruise there (e.g. a 9-night Venice to Barcelona itinerary, which includes a Venice to Rome itinerary plus a further couple of nights on a Rome Loop itinerary;
- On one set of itineraries to/from Venice, that port is replaced by Trieste. The call at Venice remains on the day before, but then the ship is moved to Trieste for disembarkation/embarkation the day after;
- At the beginning and end of the season there are also ‘one-way’ fly cruises involving a sail from or back to Southampton.
You’ll note that I have made a distinction in the list above between itineraries between the same two ports but in opposite directions. This is because in some cases the two different itineraries between the same two places include different ports of call. Here’s a table giving the ports of call covered by each itinerary, and the frequency of calls.
To be honest, it’s hard to distinguish much pattern. Obviously the ‘Loop’ itineraries include ports that, by and large, aren’t included in any other itinerary: if you want to go to Istanbul then the Athens Loop is your only choice, and similarly Barcelona is only available on the Rome Loop. But some other ports are available on multiple itineraries e.g. there are six calls at Dubrovnik, on Rome – Venice, Venice – Athens and Athens – Venice itineraries, and Kotor, Corfu, Cephalonia and Katakolon are available on two. Venice – Athens is the most varied, with calls at seven different ports over the three iterations of that itinerary, while the Athens Loop, Rome Loop and Venice – Rome itineraries are the least varied – the same ports appear on each iteration of them.