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mkgal

Do cruise lines still do Charter Flights?

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My hubby and I took a Med cruise on Celebrity 16 years ago and used their airfare.  To our surprise, we had a chartered flight from NY to Venice.  It was great as all the passengers were going on our cruise so it was nice to make friends on the flight.  They also showed videos of the cruise ports.  Best part was that we didn't touch our bags from NY to the room.  We literally got off the plane, got on a shuttle to the ship and our luggage was in our room.  We are looking at another Med cruise with our kids this time on NCL and we may consider the airfare option again.  I know there are many options to consider before choosing to go that route but my question is how often do airlines charter planes these days?   We had such a good experience.  How can I know if the flight will be a charter?  

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I think some of the UK cruise lines might use some charter flights; however, I have not heard of a US line using charter flights.

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There are charters.  HAL had one to Tahiti from LAX last year.  However they are targeted and relatively rare.

IMO, the 'cruise air' feature that is now available thru most cruise lines has replaced the charter program of several years ago.  'Cruise air' often has fares that are very attractive, especially when traveling internationally.

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Some of the small luxury lines, such as Ponant, will use charters on occasion to more remote places, such as from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, or from Svalbard to Oslo, but major carrier cruise ships in the premium category line do not use charter flights any longer.

I was not aware of the LAX to Tahiti flight last year with HAL. This reminds me of sailing Renaissance in Tahiti, before they went belly up several years ago, they had great deals on charter flights they ran between LAX and Papeete. I loved that service. 

Edited by terry&mike
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As mentioned above, P&O (UK) use charters for the majority of their cruises,  as do Marella who obviously use TUI aircraft.

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1 hour ago, wowzz said:

As mentioned above, P&O (UK) use charters for the majority of their cruises,  as do Marella who obviously use TUI aircraft.

 

The UK (and to a lesser extent Continental) travel markets have traditionally had much higher penetration by the "package" vacation market than in the USA.  Also, the brick & mortar travel agencies have generally been more prevalent in the UK.

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