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Traditional Cruises

Traditional cruising evokes the golden era of cruise holidays, with intimately-sized ships; a decadent history; and a character that exudes heritage and sophistication.

While there are many cruise lines which offer the modern-style of cruising with a fleet of mega-ships, there are still some cruise lines which offer the traditional cruising holiday. These include the truly British cruise lines, alongside some of the luxury and premium luxury lines too.

What is a traditional cruise?

A traditional cruise offers plenty of benefits that modern-style cruising simply can't. As traditional cruises often take place on much smaller ships, this means your itinerary is likely to feature more unique ports of calls, the ones the mega-ships cannot reach. This means you can visit more hidden gems throughout your itinerary, making for a much more interesting cruise.

As traditional cruising is about the on-board experience as much as the shore experience, you will find that your choice of ships is older than usual. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - as traditional cruising is all about enjoying the heritage and history of that ship.

Other things you can enjoy on your traditional cruise includes set dining times, meeting with like-minded passengers, black tie and ball gown evenings as well as enforcing dress codes, and the feeling of being part of an iconic piece of cruising history.

Traditional British Cruising

There are a few cruise lines which cater to British cruisers, offering a traditional experience reserved just for us. These cruise lines appeal to our British tastes and preferences with ease, meaning we can enjoy a cruise holiday in familiar surroundings.

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises are one of the UK's most popular cruise lines, with brand partners, bars, decor, food and more all tailored to British cruising life. Watch Strictly Come Dancing, dress up for a Black Tie night and Gala Dinner, and feel at home as all ships in the fleet use the British Pound (GBP £) on-board.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages

Other traditional British cruise lines include Cruise & Maritime Voyages, these ships sail from 15 British and Irish cruise ports, more than any other cruise line! With wraparound teak decks and classic British fare, this cruise line conjures up an image of the quintessentially traditional cruise experience.

Fred. Olsen

Fred. Olsen is another great choice, with kettles in cabins and a traditional Sunday roast available on-board! Each of the line's four ships offer British cruisers the chance to sail closer to the world in their smaller ships, visiting destinations typically unable to be visited by larger vessels. Life on-board offers purchases in British Pounds (GBP £), West End-style shows, and afternoon tea.

Traditional Luxury Cruising

If you're looking for a little more indulgence, there are alternative cruise lines which exude a more luxurious style and sense of traditional cruising.


Possibly one of the first cruise lines which may come to mind when you think of traditional cruising is Cunard. This cruise line offers the sophisticated traveller the chance to experience an authentic ocean voyage aboard liners. With attentive crew, afternoon tea, gala balls and more, it's a great choice for your traditional cruise.


Other traditional luxury cruise lines include Saga Ocean, offering the over 50s an indulgent home-from-home within a boutique and uniquely British-style cruising.

Holland America Line

Holland America Line is a fantastic choice for traditional cruising, as the line supports an exploratory cruising style where guests are introduced to new places and cultures as they have been for years.

Traditional premium luxury Cruising

For the truly indulgent cruisers, there are cruise lines which offer the extra-luxurious cruising experience. Oceania Cruises are an intimate cruise line, with boutique ports of call, uncrowded spaces and some of the finest cuisines at sea. Meanwhile, Azamara offers authentic service and immersive itineraries, expertly crafted alongside overnight stays and less-travelled ports to make for an extra-luxurious traditional cruising experience.

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