We have created an infographic that explores Southampton’s cruising history since it’s humble beginnings in the 19th century.
From examining historic cruise ships, exploring new 21st century liners and celebrating the anniversary of world’s most extravagant cruise operator, we hope that this article and infographic will be of use to those looking to set sail from Southampton.
Since 1840, passengers and cargo passing through Southampton has underpinned the city’s economy providing thousands of jobs for local people. Today Southampton is considered to be the cruise capital of the UK and as the infographic shows, over 400 ships dock in its ports every year. Major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Cunard and P&O Cruises operate from Southampton’s 5 terminals serving over 70 countries across the world. The city also boasts the titles of the UK’s second largest container port, is the sole port of entry for fresh produce form the Canary Islands and a major exporting port of UK cereals.
As 1.5 million cruise enthusiasts descend onto Southampton every year, the city offers a wide selection of sights, attractions and shopping opportunities. From Southampton’s Tudor House and Gardens, the famous Titanic museum, and West Quay shopping centre, visitors to Southampton are never short of things to do. The city also acts as a popular gateway to the Isle of Wight as Red Funnel Ferries take over 800,000 people to the island each year.
As shown in the infographic, Southampton is soon to be home to the Quantum of Seas, the world’s second largest cruise ship. Operated by Royal Caribbean, their most ambitious cruise ship yet includes a sky diving simulator and the ‘North Star’, which lifts passengers 300ft above sea level for stunning views across the ocean. The Quantum of the Seas is the same length as 3.5 football pitches and vastly out-performs Independence of the Seas, the largest ship using Southampton’s port. The arrival of the Quantum of Seas is expected to increase passenger figures and revolutionise cruising for British passengers as it allows guests to enjoy holidays in the Bahamas without having to fly to a different country first.
Titanic History & The SeaCity Museum
Perhaps Southampton’s most famous liner, the RMS Titanic set sail from berth 44 at Southampton’s White Star dock in 1912 sailing to New York on it’s fateful maiden voyage. Sailing swiftly across the waves, her engines as powerful as 50 Lamborghini Diablos, the Titanic carried aboard 2,223 passengers and only 20 lifeboats. The SeaCity museum based in the heart of Southampton brings the story of the Titanic to life through interactive presentations and exhibitions.
Visitors to the museum can gain an in depth understanding of how Southampton has flourished as a port. From the home of only 23 steamship companies in 1912 to the 21st century international cruising dock it is today.
Cunard’s 175th Anniversary
As explained in the infographic, Cunard will be marking their 175th anniversary with a special celebration. The legendary cruise operator will be sailing three historic ships, Queen Mary II, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria into Southampton’s port on May 3 2015.
Cunard’s most famous cruise liners will be taking part in some of the biggest maritime commemorations Southampton has seen for decades. Members of the Royal Family are expected to attend the celebrations which will include a re-enactment of the cruise-line’s first ever voyage in 1840. Cunard President, Peter Shanks told the York Press that ‘there’s so much history in Cunard and it’s very important that we recognise and celebrate this history as we head to the 175 anniversary.”
Sailing from Southampton is great way to see the world and save some money in the process. Not only will UK travellers save on airfare, but can also benefit from adding on return coach transfers to the port and ample parking facilities. Perfect for those seeking to take both long and short breaks, cruise destinations include the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Caribbean and Scandinavia. As the city offers plenty of sights and attractions for tourists to get their teeth stuck into, every holiday can start before even boarding the ship.
You can find our latest cruise deals from Southampton here.
Some of our top deals at the moment include:
- Channel Island Mini Cruise: 24th May, 2nts, £230
- Weekend Cruise to Paris: 29th August, 2nts: £249
- Norwegian Getaway: 16th Jan, 13nts, £699
- Mediterranean Cities: 31st May, 14nts, £1124