Concordia rises as Kuoni offer more cruise holidays… and spare a thought for those in Mexico

Cruise lines are back in the news this week following the successful raising of the Costa Concordia cruise liner from the reef on which it ran aground off Giglio Island 19 months ago.  The 19 hour operation managed to return the cruise ship to its upright position through the use of huge steel cables, pulleys and counterweights, until gravity took over as the ship went into the final phase of hauling the vessel to its vertical stance.  Now begins the task of removing the ship from the island’s shores, then there’s some decisions to be made…

Whilst all this was going on, Kuoni, the luxury tour operator, announced the launch of a new range of ‘Cruise and Stay’ holidays.  In conjunction with their launch partners, including Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Seabourn and Compagnie du Ponant, the French cruise operator, the new range will take passengers to destinations in North America, the Caribbean and Australia.  Available from November, Kuoni draw on their well-known experience in provided tailor-made cruise itineraries. 

The new range will feature a 23-night cruise to Australia incorporating a 17-night voyage to Australia’s Top End and calling at ports in Indonesia and Australia.  There will also be a ‘hand-picked’ selection of no-fly trips including a sailing from Southampton to New York on the QM2, and a summer voyage to the Norwegian fjords.

On a different note, as we endure yet more wet weather in the UK, spare a thought for the hundreds of holidaymakers that are stranded in Acapulco, Mexico, following a tropical storm in the country which not only left the airport, hotels and holiday homes flooded, but also cut off the access roads due to as many as 13 landslides and floods of water, turning the end of many dream holidays into nightmares.  Supplies were being airlifted into the area as Federal officials are working day and night to coordinate evacuations and clear access routes.  This terrible tragedy, caused by Tropical Storm Manuel hitting the country first, followed immediately by Hurricane Ingrid, has left at least 57 people dead, many  homes destroyed, and a clean-up operation that will take months.

Just one word of caution; anybody thinking of claiming for compensation for their flight being delayed due to bad weather under the new EU ruling will probably find their claim rejected.  Two major storms – one tropical and the other a hurricane – hitting the same coast within a 24 hour period would be considered an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ and therefore outside the realms of a claim.  Indeed, the last time it happened in Mexico was 50 years ago!  There isn’t a lot an airline can do about their airplanes sitting in 3 feet of water, and there’s not a lot the airport can do either!  So, be sensible…

At Heathrow Gatwick Transfers, we aim to provide the best, most comprehensive service we can in our airport and seaport transfer service, whatever the weather may throw at us!  Whether you are travelling to or from any airport or seaport in the South East, you can rest assured that our Meet and Greet service is handled with the utmost care and attention by our professional chauffeurs, and you don’t have to worry if your flight or cruise ship is running late, we’ll be there ready and waiting, at no extra cost!  The best all inclusive prices, well maintained luxury cars that are able to carry up to eight passengers including hand and check-in luggage, without any extras… that’s Heathrow Gatwick Transfer’s legacy to you.