TUI UK will increase flight capacity to Barbados for Winter 2022/23, soaring above the levels of their last full winter season to reach over 54,000 planned seats. Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Lisa Cummins made the announcement recently, noting that the move reconfirms TUI UK’s commitment to Barbados and underpins their confidence that Barbados is a key destination for UK holidaymakers.
“We are pleased with the news that TUI UK will increase their Barbados programme for the 2022/23 winter season. From the additional flight capacity and extended schedule to the home porting of two of their largest cruise ships, and new hotel partners, this sheer size of this expansion underpins TUI UK’s confidence in Barbados,” she said.
Increased flight capacity
TUI, which previously chartered seven flights per week to Barbados, have increased this to eight weekly flights to cater for growing demand. Six of these weekly charter flights will depart from Birmingham, London Gatwick, and Manchester airports, as well as two ‘Rover’ flights which will depart from various UK airports weekly. The extra flight boosts capacity above TUI UK’s previous full winter season, bringing total capacity to nearly 54,000 seats for winter 2022/23.
Larger cruise ships and extended schedule for winter
“For the winter 2022/23 season, TUI have not only increased their presence in Barbados from one to two cruise ships, but two of their largest cruise ships at that: Marella Explorer 2 and Marella Discovery,” Cummins said. “And what’s special is that this is not an air-to-sea charter, but has evolved to incorporate a dedicated land-based programme for Barbados.”
And for the first time, both ships will homeport in Barbados and will operate a total of 40 sailing rotations until April 2023, adding a month of additional cruising to the previous season, which ended in March.
The Marella Explorer 2, with a capacity of 1,850 passengers, will operate weekly on Sundays, from November 20th to April 16th. The Marella Discovery will operate weekly on Thursdays from December 22nd to April 20th, with a capacity of 1,800 passengers.
Increased Barbadian hotel partners
TUI UK has also increased the number of hotel partners in Barbados, now supporting the majority of Barbados A class and B class hotels. This will cater to the approximately 30 per cent of their customers who will book their entire holiday in Barbados and, those booking pre and post cruise.
Tremendous growth with TUI over 11 years
Director of UK and Ireland for Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Cheryl Carter welcomed the announcement.
“We are thrilled that this relationship, which began in 2011, continues to flourish and we hope to continue to build on this by developing further opportunities in the future. We look forward to welcoming even more UK and Irish holidaymakers to our island through TUI UK,” she said.
Carter added that since the inception of the programme with TUI UK, Barbados has seen a 189 per cent growth in cruise passengers over the past 11 years. The programme started in winter 2011/2012 with only one vessel and has now grown to incorporate a number of hotels, and offer extensive pre and post cruise destination experiences in Barbados.