Cruising in Europe? Ash Causes Delays to Transatlantic Flights

May 8, 2010
Update, 12:30 p.m. EDT: Eurocontrol has said that Barcelona, Girona and Sabadell airports in Spain will remain shut until 2 a.m. local time.

(6:30 a.m. EDT) -- Cruisers flying across the Atlantic to Mediterranean cruise ports may face some travel delays due to the latest ash cloud impacting parts of Europe.

This morning, Europe's air safety agency, Eurocontrol, announced that 15 airports in Northern Spain, including Santander and Bilbao, were to close due to ash clouds from the Icelandic volcano.

Eurocontrol has warned that later today the cloud could spread and extend as far as Portugal and to Barcelona and Marseille -- which are both popular Mediterranean cruise ports.

Some transatlantic flights are being rerouted to avoid the affected area, which is causing delays.

Earlier this week the ash cloud forced airports in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland to shut down.

This follows April's six-day airspace closure across much of Europe -- which heavily impacted air travel to and from the U.K. During this time a number of cruise ship itineraries were impacted, while other ships -- such as Celebrity Eclipse and Island Escape -- came to the rescue of ash-stranded travellers who couldn't return home to the U.K.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor