Cruise holidays have surged in popularity, offering a unique blend of travel, leisure, and adventure. Whether you're exploring the Caribbean's azure waters, the Mediterranean's historical coasts, or the icy wonders of Alaska, cruises provide an unparalleled experience. However, a crucial question often arises: should you fly to your cruise destination, or opt for a no-fly cruise? 

This guide will help you navigate this decision by weighing the pros and cons of each option, considering factors such as convenience, cost, travel time, and the overall experience. Whether you're a seasoned cruiser or planning your first voyage, understanding these aspects will ensure you make the best choice for your dream holiday.

What is a Fly Cruise? 

A fly-cruise is a holiday where you fly to your port of embarkation, board the ship, and then sail to multiple destinations. This type of adventure offers the convenience of reaching far-flung locations without enduring long periods at sea. For example, you might fly to a Canadian or American port, and explore the beautiful cities and coastlines of Alaska and Canada, all within a week or two. Fly-cruises are perfect for travellers who want to maximise their time exploring new places and minimise the time spent travelling between them.

What is a No-Fly Cruise? 

A no-fly cruise, on the other hand, starts and ends at the same port in your home country, eliminating the need for air travel. This type of cruise is perfect for travellers who prefer to avoid the hassles and stress of flying, such as long security lines and potential flight delays. Additionally, it allows them to explore closer-to-home destinations, offering a more relaxed and leisurely holiday experience. From local coastal towns to nearby exotic destinations, no-fly cruises provide a convenient and enjoyable way to travel.

The Fly or No-Fly Decision

Choosing between a fly-cruise and a no-fly cruise depends on your personal preferences and travel priorities. This section will help you analyse key factors like convenience, cost, and travel experience to determine which option best aligns with your holiday goals.

Pros and Cons: Fly Cruise


More Itinerary Options: Flying expands your range of departure ports, allowing access to more exotic and distant destinations that might be otherwise unreachable. This means you can explore a wider variety of cultures, landscapes, and experiences, enriching your travel opportunities in ways that ground travel cannot match.

Time Efficiency: Flying can significantly reduce travel time and the number of days at sea. This enables you to spend more days exploring and enjoying your chosen destinations, making the most of your holiday. 

Convenience: Most fly-cruises offer a full package, including flights and transfers to the ship. This takes the hassle out of planning and booking your transportation, making for a stress-free holiday experience.


Flight Hassles: Dealing with airport security, potential delays, and the stress associated with air travel can be a downside. Long lines at security checkpoints, unexpected flight cancellations, and the constant rush to make connections can add to the overall frustration, making travel a less enjoyable experience.

Higher Cost: Typically, fly-cruise packages are more expensive than no-fly cruises due to the added cost of flights and transfers. This additional expense can include not just the airfare, but also taxes, baggage fees, and transportation to and from the airport. Additionally, you may need to also fork out for accommodation before and after the cruise, depending on when your flight lands and your cruise departs. 

Environmental Impact: Cruising can be detrimental to the planet due to the significant emissions produced by large ships, which contribute to air and water pollution. Adding a flight to your itinerary further increases your carbon footprint, as air travel is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases. By choosing more sustainable travel options, we can help reduce these environmental impacts and protect our planet for future generations.

Pros and Cons: No-Fly Cruises


Convenience: No-fly cruises eliminate the need for airport transfers and baggage handling, simplifying the travel experience. This means you can start your holiday the moment you step on board, avoiding the stress of long security lines and the hassle of coordinating transportation to and from the airport.

Reduced Stress: Embarking from a local port can be less stressful and more relaxed than flying, as it eliminates the hassle of airport security, long check-in lines, and the potential for flight delays. This allows travellers to start their journey on a more positive note.

Jet Lag: Flying across time zones can result in jet lag, impacting your energy levels and ability to enjoy the first few days of your cruise. Adjusting to a new time zone can take a toll on your body and can detract from the overall enjoyment of your holiday, needing time to recover and fully acclimate.


Limited Destinations: No-fly cruises may limit your destination options, often focusing on closer ports within your region. This means you might miss out on some far-flung, exotic locations that require air travel to reach, potentially reducing the variety of cultures and experiences available on your trip.

Longer Travel Times: Sailing from a local port can significantly extend the travel time required to reach distant destinations. This means you may have to spend more days at sea, which may not be ideal for those looking to maximise the time spent exploring on land. While the additional days at sea can offer more opportunities for relaxation and enjoying onboard activities, they can also mean less time for sightseeing and experiencing the culture of the destinations you are visiting.

Less Variety in Itineraries: No-fly cruises may offer fewer ports of call and limited itinerary options compared to fly cruises. This could limit your opportunities to visit multiple destinations within a short period. Often, no-fly cruises focus on regions relatively close to the departure port, which might mean missing out on more distant, exotic locations. Additionally, the duration of the cruise might be longer, restricting the flexibility to explore diverse cultures and experiences in a single trip.

Destination Considerations

Choosing the right destinations for your cruise is a critical aspect that can significantly impact your overall experience. Whether opting for a fly cruise or a no-fly cruise, understanding the geographical and cultural offerings of various regions ensures that you maximise your time and enhance your journey. In this section, we will explore different destinations that are popular for each type of cruise, highlighting key attractions, regional climates, and unique experiences they offer. This will help you make an informed decision tailored to your interests and preferences.

READ MORE: Our Top 5 Cruise Destinations For Every Traveller

Caribbean Cruises

Fly Option: Perfect for those wanting to explore the Caribbean islands extensively, offering convenient and frequent flights to a variety of breathtaking destinations, ensuring you get the most out of your tropical adventure.

No-Fly Option: This option is limited to cruises departing from nearby ports, which may result in fewer island stops. However, it can offer a more convenient and relaxed start to your holiday without the hassle of air travel.

Mediterranean Cruises

Fly Option: Gain access to a broad range of Mediterranean cities, allowing for enhanced cultural exposure, diverse cuisine experiences, and the opportunity to explore historical landmarks unique to each destination.

No-Fly Option: Ideal for travellers who prefer a leisurely journey through European waters, this option allows you to unwind and take in scenic beauty at a relaxed pace without the hassle of airports and flights. Enjoy the tranquillity of the sea and explore various European destinations at your leisure.

Alaska Cruises

Fly Option: Direct flights to ports like Vancouver or Seattle maximise time spent exploring Alaska. These flights offer the convenience of quick travel, allowing you to dive into your Alaskan adventure without delay. Once you arrive, you can immediately begin enjoying the breathtaking landscapes, vibrant wildlife, and unique cultural experiences that Alaska has to offer.

No-Fly Option: Finding a cruise that departs from the UK and sails to Alaska can be challenging. Such a journey is likely to be either expensive or extremely long, possibly even part of an around-the-world itinerary. Additionally, you might not have as much time to explore Alaska compared to a Fly Cruise.

Travel Experience

The overall travel experience is an essential factor when deciding between fly cruises and no-fly cruises. Each option offers distinct advantages and potential drawbacks, impacting everything from the ease of boarding to the type of amenities available during the journey. In this section, we will delve into various elements that define the travel experience, including boarding processes, onboard activities, accommodation quality, dining options, and customer service. Understanding these aspects will help you choose the cruise type that best suits your preferences and ensures a memorable and enjoyable holiday.

Flying and Embarking

Flying to your cruise port can offer the excitement of starting your holiday in a different country, immersing yourself in new cultures and environments right from the start. However, this comes with the added burden of navigating busy airports, dealing with potential travel delays, and managing luggage. 

Despite these challenges, the moment you arrive and see your cruise ship, the anticipation builds. Once on board, the adventure truly begins as you embark on a cruise to various exotic ports, each with its own unique attractions and experiences, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Embarking from a Local Port

Starting your cruise from a local port transforms the journey into a seamless and stress-free experience. From the moment you board, your holiday begins. No-fly cruises allow you to unwind and enjoy onboard amenities immediately, extending the holiday vibe right from the get-go. There's no need to worry about airport hassles, long security lines, or potential flight delays. 

Instead, you can spend that extra time exploring the ship, sampling delicious cuisine, participating in various activities, or simply relaxing by the pool. This convenience not only enhances your overall travel experience but also maximises the time you have to fully immerse yourself in your holiday.

Tips for Making the Best Decision

Assess Your Priorities: Take the time to consider what you value most in your decision-making process. This could include convenience, cost, time efficiency, or the environmental impact of your choices. Reflecting on these priorities will help guide you toward making informed and satisfying decisions.

Research Destinations: Start by determining if your desired destinations are accessible by no-fly cruises or if they require flying. Look into the various ports of call, the duration of the cruise, and the amenities offered. Check whether the cruise lines provide interesting shore excursions, cultural experiences, and opportunities for relaxation and adventure.

Budget Wisely: Calculate the total cost of both options, including hidden fees, taxes, and additional expenses such as maintenance or travel costs, to make a well-informed and comprehensive choice.

Plan for Flexibility: When travelling, especially by air, always be prepared for potential disruptions such as delays or cancellations. Have backup plans in place, including alternative routes or accommodations, and keep important contact information handy. Cruise travel Insurance is a must, it will give you peace of mind, knowing that you are prepared for the unexpected.

Choosing between flying to a cruise destination or opting for a no-fly cruise depends on your preferences, priorities, and values. Both options come with distinct advantages and drawbacks, and the best choice will align with your travel goals and lifestyle.

Get a quote

Making Insurance a Cruise

Our cruise insurance comparisons make waves, not headaches.


Fast & Efficient
Quotes quicker than you can say 'anchors aweigh'!


Save Money
We've rounded up the best deals from our panel.


Smooth Sailing
All of our quotes include cruise cover as standard.

Get On-Board!

Subscribe to our newsletter for a regular dose of the latest news, expert advice, travel tips, and inspiring destinations, exclusively tailored for cruise enthusiasts.