(7 a.m. EST) – Perhaps Cruise Critic should launch a Hurricane Zone-inspired "bad weather impacts cruising" special series for U.K.-oriented travel as for the second time this week rough conditions here have impacted a cruise ship.
This time the ship in question is Fred. Olsen's Boudicca. The ship, on a 23-night Mediterranean cruise which departed from Newcastle, was already sidelined by bad weather in the Bay of Biscay (no surprise there; that's a notoriously rough stretch of sea). Then it was unable to return to Holyhead yesterday to disembark passengers as the port was closed due to strong winds and rain.
Instead the ship headed to Dublin where the cruise terminated today.
A spokesperson for Fred. Olsen told Cruise Critic this morning that the 809 passengers on the current cruise will be returned to Liverpool or Newcastle (the nearest airports to Holyhead) via a chartered plane and transferred by coach to the port car park or the city centres, depending on individual travel arrangements.
A statement from the line said: "Guests have been given free access to communications on board to contact relatives, friends and private taxi companies. Separate arrangements will be made for any guest unable to fly owing to a medical condition."
Passengers due to join the ship in Holyhead for its next cruise have been told to go to the port as planned and they will be transferred by coach to Liverpool airport for a flight to Dublin to join the ship. Boudicca will be sailing under charter on an Iberian cruise, arriving back in Holyhead on 20 November 2010.
On Monday, P&O Cruises' Artemis was delayed leaving Southampton, as was Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth, which had to sail revised itineraries due to the weather. Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas also had a delayed departure, but this has not impacted the ship's itinerary.
The good news is that the weather in the U.K. looks set to improve. Black Watch, which is due out of Southampton today, is on schedule at this point.
--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor
Bad Weather Impacts UK Cruising -- Again!