When it comes to cruising from the UK, over 90% of passengers cruise from Southampton. It’s the cruise capital of the UK and has been since 1840 when the first P&O Cruises passenger vessel set sail. The port handled over 2 million passengers in 2017.

Southampton has four dedicated cruise terminals, which play host to all the major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises, Cunard, Princess, Celebrity, MSC, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Fred. Olsen.


Dover cruise port is the second largest in the UK, welcoming over 200,000 passengers per year. Passengers sailing from here have the option to take a shuttle bus from the port to see the city centre or Dover Castle.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines offer a range of sailings from Dover. Other options include Saga, Princess, Holland America Line, Crystal Cruises and Seabourn.


The port of Tilbury, also known as the London Cruise Terminal, is another popular choice for UK cruisers. It’s located on the Thames Estuary in Essex, 22 miles downstream from Tower Bridge.

Tilbury has become increasingly popular for cruises to Northern Europe. It can’t handle the larger ships, which have to dock at Southampton. The cruise lines with ships small enough to depart from Tilbury are mostly Ambassador Cruises.


Newcastle International Cruise Terminal, also known as the Port of Tyne, is a good choice UK cruisers who live in the North of England.

This port is handy for sailings to Northern Europe, the Baltics and the Norwegian Fjords as you can save a day’s sailing each way compared to travelling from the southern ports such as Southampton. Cruise lines available from here include Fred. Olsen and Ambassador Cruises.

Other ports

There are several other smaller ports in the UK which are available to take your cruise from. These are Liverpool, HullBristol, Dundee, Rosyth, Poole, London Greenwich, Cardiff and Portsmouth.

These can provide handy options for people who don’t want to travel too far from home to begin their cruise. However, your choice of destinations and cruise lines will be limited.

If you’d like more information on cruising from a particular port, or any help in booking your next cruise, our dedicated cruise concierge team will be happy to help. Just give us a call on 0808 1234 118.

Emma Smith
Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

2 Responses to “Which UK ports can you cruise from?”

  1. Ronald Fairfax

    Emma Smith. may i ask your opinion on the establishment of a cruise port in Hull. What contribution do you think the port could make to the “culture” of cruises?
    There is a significant lobby in Hull to make it a “Cruise” port.
    Ronald Fairfax HU5 3Jl 01482346754


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