Cruising from the UK is a great option for people enjoying cruises in Europe, around the Mediterranean or even further afield. When it comes to convenience and cost, it can't be beaten. But how many of these little-known facts about UK cruising were you aware of?
There’s a wider choice of cruises than ever before
The number of cruises departing from the UK is increasing every year, with record numbers of passengers departing from UK shores . The cruise lines are keen to meet this demand, sending more and more of their best ships on exciting new itineraries.
International cruise line Princess Cruises have announced that 2018 will be their biggest year yet for cruises from the UK – with over 1 million cruise nights available. Embracing all things British, their flagship, Royal Princess, will offer cruises around the UK with overnight stays in Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh. They’ll also have a host of other new itineraries available, including cruises from Dover which call at some of the most popular capital cities in Europe.
You have a choice of ports to cruise from
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the port of Southampton is your only option when taking a cruise from the UK. It’s true that a whopping 90% of passengers set sail from Southampton when departing from the UK, but there are other options available.
The London Cruise Terminal, located in Tilbury, is a popular choice for cruisers living in the capital. Those living in the North East of England may opt for Newcastle International Cruise Terminal. When heading to Northern Europe, you can save a day’s sailing each way compared to travelling from the South.
A variety of smaller ports offer cruises from the UK too, including departures from Scotland and Northern Ireland.
It’s cheaper than a fly-cruise
As you don’t need to pay for a flight, the majority of cruises from the UK will come at a cheaper cost than a fly-cruise. Great news for those on a budget, you can often get UK cruises for under £500 per person. When you consider how much you’d spend on accommodation, food and entertainment on a week-long hotel break in the UK, a cruise can be a much cheaper option.
You have no restrictions on luggage
If your cruise doesn’t include flights, you can generally bring as much luggage as you like! But before you get carried away with the packing, remember that you’ll need to store your cases in your stateroom, and depending on which grade you book, space may be limited. Also, if you’re planning on travelling by car, taxi or coach, you’ll need to make sure that your cases can fit.
Most of your fellow passengers will be Brits
If you prefer the company of fellow Brits whilst on holiday, then a cruise departing from the UK is the way to go, as you’ll find that the majority of passengers tend to be British. Exceptions to this may be cruises around the UK itself, which are popular with other nationalities, especially Americans, who like to explore the UK and enjoy our rich history.
The proportion of UK cruisers to other nationalities on-board will vary by cruise line. Some cruise lines, such as MSC Cruises, are popular with Europeans who may board the ship at various points along the itinerary. If you’re determined that you’d prefer British cruisers on your ship – opt for P&O cruises – this British-owned cruise line sells the vast majority of its cruises to Brits. You’ll even find a 94-metre Union Flag painted on the bow of most ships.
You can have two holidays in one
Cruising from the UK gives you the option to create your own personalised cruise and stay holiday – and take advantage of the attractions that our homeland offers. Close to Southampton you’ll find the historic monuments of Stonehenge, the New Forest National Park with its wild ponies and the beautiful the Isle of Wight to name but a few. Those travelling with children could take the opportunity to visit Peppa Pig World or the seaside town of Bournemouth.
If you’re travelling a distance by car to start your cruise, you might opt to break up the journey with an overnight hotel stay or two along the way. Visit a new city, or admire the rolling countryside views, the UK is your oyster!
You can get fly-cruise packages on cruises sailing from the UK
When sailing from Southampton, you'll need to consider how to get to the port. If you live a few hundred miles away, flying to Southampton Airport could be a cheaper option than driving or taking the train.
Here at Cruise118, we have a team of dedicated cruise concierge who can put together a package cruise holiday that's tailored to your needs. So if you'd like to get a price that included flights from your local airport to the city that your cruise departs from, be sure to mention this when you call, and we'll help you weigh up the options.