A common misconception of a cruise holiday is that to catch the ship you need to fly to a foreign city, transfer to its port and start your adventure from there. Many cruises now leave directly from the UK, an easy drive away and the most popular centre is Southampton. Situated on the south coast, with great public transport links, it has become the cruise capital of the UK.
So, what are the cruising options; are there many routes to choose between and what type of vessels use the port? Here is a small selection of the available options:
– A Mediterranean cruise is on the bucket list of most people. Now you can experience it from one of the most iconic names in cruising history – The Queen Mary II, a ship that oozes sophistication, style and upholds the traditions of cruising. Destinations include Barcelona, Rome and Sardinia.
– Perhaps you would prefer the scenic wonders of Scandinavia, exploring the rugged coastline and intricate system of fjords? Among the many cruises from Southampton, you can choose between exploring the Baltic and visiting the capital cities of Norway, Sweden and Finland – Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki. Otherwise, if you want nature rather than culture, consider a cruise of the Norwegian Fjords, following the North Atlantic coast and exploring deep into the fjord system.
– There was a time when crossing the Atlantic was only possible by cruise liner, before air travel the shipping companies vied with each other to be the quickest, biggest and best. The same is true today, but schedules are more relaxed. If you only do one cruise from Southampton then consider the classic transatlantic cruise. Not only will you enjoy the glamour of yesteryear, but you will also get to explore the cities and coastline of this stunning region. Boston and Quebec, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Its all there to be savoured from the comfort of your ship.
– If that sounds a bit chilly for your blood then cross the Atlantic and head further south. The Caribbean is visited by many ships departing from Southampton. You can head to Port Lauderdale, taking in such idyllic islands as St. Maarten, Grand Turk and Antigua. You can head further south, cruising to Barbados with visits to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and St. Lucia. Some departures even reach Central America with stopovers in Belize.
– If you want a taste of the really exotic then consider a cruise to South America. Cartagena in Colombia can be combined with a Caribbean cruise. If you’ve got the time then consider a tour of the continent, taking in such iconic cities as Rio de Janeiro, Santiago and Lima. You can visit the Falkland Islands, sail through the Straits of Magellan as you round Cape Horn and experience passing through the Panama Canal. Leaving from Southampton and arriving back to Southampton.
– Not far enough? The really intrepid travelled can reach Auckland in New Zealand, stopping at Fiji and Hawaii, all without having up leave your cabin! If you have 80 days (I’ve read about going around the World in that time before somewhere..) you can do just that, starting and finishing in Southampton.
So, if you don’t like flying you now have the opportunity to see the whole world without ever having to get on a plane. Not just that you will see it in style, with great food, entertainment and guides. All from the comfort of your own cabin. Consider a trip from Southampton when you next book a holiday.