UK Cruise News Shorts: Back to Belfast, Battle of the Vouchers, Free Flights with Hurtigruten and more

March 14, 2014
Belfast (11.30 a.m. EST) -- Every week we catch wind of so much cruise news, we don't always know what to do with it all, but a few standout bits sometimes catch our attention. Here are some interesting snippets we think you might like to know about.

Back to Belfast
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is returning to Belfast later this year -- the second year it has sailed from the city. The 880-passenger Boudicca will be offering an eight-night Norwegian Fjords with Shetland cruise, departing on 29th August 2014, and a ten-night Morocco, Spain & Portugal cruise, departing on 6th September 2014.

The battle of the vouchers
Both P&O Cruises and Cunard are offering vouchers if you make a booking before the end of April. P&O is offering up to £1,400 of M&S vouchers while Cunard is offering a similar amount in John Lewis vouchers. The P&O bookings need to be made before April 30, 2014 and are available on a range of cruises departing between June 1, 2014 and April 23, 2015. The Cunard ones are available on select cruises again booked before April 30 to the Baltic and the Fjords.

Portland expands port
Portland Port will be extending its cruise berth in a bid to attract bigger ships to the West Country port. The berth, which will be extended to 340 metres, is part of a raft of works the port has planned including new bollards and floating fenders. Works will start this spring and should be completed by 2016.

Free flights with Hurtigruten
Hurtigruten is offering free direct flights and a £250 saving when you book a 12 day 'Classic Round Voyage' along the Norwegian coast, departing in April 2014. Depart on 1 or 12 April from London Gatwick or 23 April from Manchester, and join the voyage from Bergen up to Kirkenes and back, stopping at 34 ports along the way.

MSC offers 'experiences'
MSC Cruises is ditching its old pricing structure and launching a new fare system which will reflect both what cabin grade you book and also what onboard experience you prefer. So if you're a foodie, a spa junkie, a fitness fan or you just want the luxury of MSC's exclusive Yacht Club, you can now pick n' mix your preferences for winter 2014/15 cruises.

--By Adam Coulter, UK Editor