Why travel far to embark on a cruise when you have some of the most beautiful harbours right around the corner? Starting your cruise in the United Kingdom has many benefits.
When you have ports like London, Liverpool, Southampton and Edinburgh around the corner, why travel to other places to embark on your cruise? These harbours not only give you the possibility to decide where you want to depart from but also give you many options for amazing routes & destinations. One of the greatest benefits of starting close to home is the ease with which you travel. Not only do you get to your starting port faster, but it is also a lot more comfortable than sitting on a plane for hours.
NO RESTRICTION FOR YOUR BAGGAGE
Not taking a plane to the city of departure, when going on a cruise, allows you to be more flexible when it comes to what you bring on the cruise. When going on a cruise you want to maximise the room in your luggage. Why not just bring more of it? A shipping company does not limit you, but an airline does. Depending on the airline and the destination, you may only be allowed to bring 23 kgs. If you wanted to bring any additional baggage, you would have to pay for it. Therefore, not flying to your destination, will allow you to bring everything you want and not worry about what to wear. That is why getting to your departure port by car or train may be better suited for you.
In general, choosing a cruise that starts close to home is convenient. There is no language barrier when checking-in and no need to exchange any money for buying snacks or paying the taxi driver in a different currency.
Of course, in some cases you may prefer to fly to your city of departure, which is fine, too. In that case just remember to pack accordingly. Not sure how to do so? We have the ultimate packing hack compilation for you. If you are looking to get the most out of your holiday, search for flights that are as short & convenient as possible.
Cruises from the United Kingdom in 2019
We have a number of upcoming 2019 cruises departing from the UK. If you want to experience the beauty of France, Spain & Portugal, you could start your 7 night cruise with Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas on the 24th May 2019. After starting in Southampton, you will visit Paris, Vigo and Lisbon before returning home. Get to know the beauty of Canada & New England, starting your cruise with Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 on the 23rd June 2019. In only 21 days you will see New York, Halifax and Boston before returning to Southampton. How about a cruise around Norway for 9 nights with the Explorer of the Seas starting on the 31st May 2019? Depart from and return to Southampton and see what beautiful places like Bergen and Olden are all about!
Another benefit to starting your cruise in the UK is the beauty of the harbours. Although Southampton is the most popular, there are other amazing ports out there. Discover our top picks below and explore the cities prior to your departure.
Southampton – Port of Southampton
When you get to the Port of Southampton you can drop off your baggage before you park your car. (The port offers parking.) After parking your car or leaving the taxi and going through security, you can check-in. In the departure lounge, one will find comfortable seating, a fully licensed bar serving hot and cold food and drinks. A selection of complimentary magazines & bathroom facilities, including a disabled toilet are also available for use. If you don’t arrive just outside of the terminal, there are also dedicated Taxi ranks. If you have never been to Southampton before and find some time prior to departure, you can also visit the Stonehenge. Otherwise you could also visit the Westquay Shopping Centre or explore the wonderful city of Southampton. Southampton offers many beautiful green spaces, museums, theatres and other attractions from which to choose.
Newcastle – Port of Tyne International Passenger Terminal
One of the advantages of departing from Newcastle is the location. If you decide on a route that includes the Baltic’s, Fjord’s or Scandinavia, you could save as much as a day’s worth of cruising. Any means of transport can be used quite easily. However, if you use the train, you will have to take the metro afterwards and then walk for another 15-20 minutes. Otherwise you can use a Shuttle that is provided by the DFDS (you do not have to be a DFDS passenger to use the shuttle). For the shuttle you must factor in about 75 minutes, whereas the taxi ride may only take you 30 minutes. The Port of Tyne International Passenger Terminal provides parking close to the terminal, with facilities including a shop, café and licensed bar for drinks and food. If you desire an improved shopping experience, visit the Royal Quay, which is located just a few minutes from the terminal. The terminal is also perfectly situated for passengers who want to explore the city of Newcastle, as the harbour is near the main transport.
Portsmouth – Portsmouth International Port
Taking a cruise from Portsmouth International Port is quite a unique experience. Before you board the ship, you can look out over the port on the outdoor terrace and enjoy the relaxing view. But it doesn’t stop there. Admire Portsmouth’s rich history combined with its contemporary beauty as the ship sets sail. Portsmouth’s history includes literary greats, such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens. Attractions you could visit include the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the Mary Rose Museum, the Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum, Gunwharf Quays and the Emirates Spinnaker Tower. From a geographical standpoint, the harbour is very suitable for cruises to France and Spain. The infrastructure allows you to get to the port by car, train, coach and of course taxi. The Portsmouth International Port offers a multi-storey car park, which can be used for long-term parking.
Dundee – Port of Dundee
The port of Dundee is very special in that it is a natural harbour dating back 800 years. The Scottish port is the easiest and quickest way for passengers to visit Scotland. Just in 2018 Scotland’s first design museum, the V&A Dundee, has opened its doors, which is why you should not miss the chance of visiting. Another definite highlight is Dundee Law, an extinct volcano that offers a tremendous view over the city. Don’t miss out on learning more about Captain Robert Falcon Scott either. The British Royal Navy officer discovered the Antarctic Plateau. On arrival at the port, first drive to the Cruise Terminal where your luggage will be collected. If you plan to park your car, keep in mind that you will need to pre-book. If you decide to get there by train, you are best off to take a taxi when you arrive at the Dundee Railway Station, as it is about 2.5 kms away from the port. Taxis are situated right at the exit of the railway station.
Dublin – Dublin Port
Dublin, as one would think, is Ireland’s most popular port for cruise liners. Internationally it compares very well, welcoming over 150 cruise ships in 2018, which is roughly half of the cruise ships docking in Sydney (with Sydney having 2 dedicated cruise ship passenger terminals). The city itself has plenty to offer with its 18th century fine Georgian buildings, wide streets and spacious squares. Trinity college, which was founded by Elizabeth I in 1591, is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. The temple bar district offers a great mixture of food, drink, shopping and music and is centrally located. A visit to the Guinness Storehouse is also recommended.
The port is situated only 2.7km from the city centre. Both, short and long term parking parking is available. Alternatively, you could take the Dublin Bus route 53, which serves the port. Taking the Luan or tram does not take long but be aware of the walking distance from the stop to the terminal (up to 45 mins).
Dover – Port of Dover
Dover offers an amazing view when departing the port, particularly of the famous white cliffs. Dover Castle and the Dover Museum are also worth a visit. When you get to the terminal you will be amazed by the space & comfort the departure lounges provide. In addition, you will also find stylish café bars, as well as washrooms for utmost comfort. Dover Port has a unique parking situation in that it offers on-site parking, including the option to park outside or undercover. The car park has more than 1,000 spaces available, which is why a shuttle transfers passenger from the facility to the passenger terminal. Another option is taking the train from London, which takes just over an hour, with a 25 mins walk or few mins taxi ride afterwards.
London – Port of Tilbury
Of course, London has so much to offer that you wouldn’t even know where to begin. There are some basics that you must see, such as Big Ben, the London Eye & Buckingham Palace. Westminster Abbey is astonishing, too. It really comes down to your preferences. Some might want to spend their time in museums like Tate Modern, others might prefer Warner Bros. Studios or Madame Tussauds. Maybe you’re a football fan. You could visit the Emirate Stadium, FC Chelsea Stadium or even the famous Wembley Stadium – or all of them. Or maybe just walk through the city and see what happens. There is never a dull moment in the beautiful city. If you have a chance to see London at night, we recommend you do so. The city of London has a cruise port named the Port of Tilbury. The Port of Tilbury offers both short term and long-term parking. You can take a taxi or train, where a shuttle bus takes you from the train station to the cruise terminal.
Edinburgh – Port of Rosyth
Being located only 25km out of the city of Edinburgh, the Port of Rosyth offers phenomenal views of the Forth Road and Forth Rail bridges. Not only that, but you must also visit Edinburgh Castle. The city has a rich history, which is why visiting the museums and galleries is more than worth it. If you feel like shopping or enjoying the rich food culture, that’s fine, too. There are more than enough great restaurants and bars, as well as fabulous shopping opportunities. The city with all its wonderful Georgian terraces and amazing buildings are the perfect complement to the natural setting that you encounter in the Scottish capital. The port is situated only 10 minutes from Edinburgh Airport, so if you do decide to fly into Edinburgh, you are very close. The port itself does not have public transport, however, taxis will get you there from the closest railway station.
Liverpool – Port of Liverpool
The Port of Liverpool is rather unique. From the berth it is only a 3-minute walk to the Pier Head, where in the summer there is a fair with many rides. That is when the area becomes even more lively than it already is. If you keep walking south, you will find yourself at the Beatles Story Museum in less than 10 minutes. This combined with great restaurants would already make up for a special port. As if that wasn’t amazing already, the Wheel of Liverpool is situated right there too. The Huge Ferris wheel offers views that are stunning. If you do not want to relax, you need to visit the city centre of Liverpool. Soon you will see that Liverpool is not only birth place of the Beatles, but also the cultural capital. It has more national museums, theatres and galleries than any other city in the UK, except London. Football enthusiasts will know about Liverpool F.C., of course. The Port of Liverpool offers parking possibilities; however, passengers will need to contact their cruise operator about a space beforehand. As the cruise port is pretty much situated in the heart of the city everything is in walking distance. A truly special port!