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, Saga 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 Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Viking Ocean Cruises and Crystal 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 Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

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.

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Emma Smith
Emma has more than six years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for over a year. She loves learning of 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, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in diary for 2022! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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