The chaos surrounding the grounding of flights due to volcanic ash has meant that cruise ships are being deployed to help stranded holidaymakers, it has been reported.
Among the companies to help out is Thomson Cruises, which has sent out the Island Escape to bring back hundreds of passengers from Madeira to the UK.
All the passengers on the ship were originally going to fly back from the Portuguese islands, although the company has said that they will be brought back on board.
In addition to this, approximately 300 extra passengers, who had been on holiday in Madeira, have been given spaces on the ship to get them back home.
The Island Escape is capable of carrying 1,606 passengers and regularly takes holidaymakers around the Canary Islands and the western Mediterranean.
A seven-night journey in May will take the vessel to destinations such as Mahon and Villefranche, with passengers able to visit Florence and Pisa during the course of the trip.