The best of Britain with Princess Cruises

Author: Lucy Abbott

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A British Isles cruise will surprise you at every port, and Princess Cruises expertly crafts these itineraries to showcase the best of Britain

When planning your cruise, which destinations come to mind? A cruise around the Mediterranean perhaps? Or maybe a cruise hopping around the Caribbean?

Well, there’s a hidden gem right under your nose – a British Isles cruise.

Just picture it, sail from the convenience of the UK and begin your explorations straight away with each port of call allowing you to see the British Isles in a new, glorious light.

After all, your fellow cruisers from America and beyond travel extensively to undertake these charming British Isles itineraries – so why shouldn’t you take advantage of already being here?

And Princess Cruises are experts in sailing the British Isles, with crafted and thoughtful itineraries bringing you to the likes of Cork, Edinburgh and more.

Discover a handful of the amazing ports of call you can explore on a British Isles cruise with Princess Cruises.

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Experience the stunning Liverpool Cathedral. Credit: Shutterstock

English gems


Come together and experience a day in the life in Liverpool – the home of The Beatles.

Okay, moving away from The Beatles puns, the first on your list to visit in Liverpool should be the Liverpool Cathedral.

As soon as you step inside this Cathedral, you’ll be blown away by the sheer scale of the impressive, vaulted ceilings and stunning stained-glass windows. You can also opt to go up the tower for views across Liverpool and Merseyside for £6.

Other highlights include Penny Lane, made famous by The Beatles, and the Anglican Cathedral – both of which you can see on Princess Cruises’ ‘Liverpool City Highlights’ excursion.


It’s more than just a cruise port, Southampton offers plenty of things to do and see.

Southampton Art Gallery is a must-do to appreciate the local talent that Southampton holds. Nestled in the city centre, the Art Gallery showcases local artists as well as other pieces borrowed from collections all over the country – the best of British.

If you are blessed with some sunshine, you can navigate your way from the gallery to the remains of the city walls via a gorgeous, large stretch of green.

Another crowd-pleaser is the Tudor House and Gardens, where you can step back in time and gain an insight into the lives of its residents across the last 800 years.

What’s more, the ancient capital of Winchester is only 12 miles away from Southampton and well worth a visit. Explore with Princess Cruises on the ‘Winchester’ excursion to learn about the town’s rich history, with the settlement dating back to 150 B.C. You’ll gaze up at the famous Winchester Cathedral and browse the extensive library containing over 4,000 books – including manuscripts from the Middle Ages.

You’ll have to ensure you pay a visit to Jane Austin’s grave before continuing on into the heart of the city to wander the Kings Walk Antique Market or grab a bite to eat in an award-winning pub.

So, if you’ve never considered it, how about arriving to Southampton a day early to experience everything Southampton has to offer?

Dublin Port is beautiful and filled with plenty of things to do. Credit: nicko cruises Schiffsreisen GmbH

Experience the Irish charm


Princess Cruises takes you to the home of Guinness and pub culture: Dublin.

And for fans of the ‘black stuff’, you can embark on the ‘Guinness Storehouse & City Drive’ excursion.

Here, you can enjoy an overview of the city, via a narrated city drive, before visiting the Guinness Storehouse at the St. James Gate Brewery – the birthplace of Guinness.

Of course, no tour would be complete without a taste of the creamy stout. So, after you see the ingredients making their way through a variety of processes to create Guinness, you can enjoy a smooth sample – yum.


As you sail into Cork, the first thing you’ll notice is the trendy waterfront, lined with pubs, artisan coffee shops and quaint shops selling local gems.

Stroll in leafy Fitzgerald Park, stargaze at the Blackrock Castle Observatory, climb to the top of St Anne’s Church and ring the Shandon Bells – the options are endless in Cork.

What’s more, with 24 annual festivals there’s always something going on, and the city is conveniently served by Cobh’s Port of Cork, the only port in Ireland with a dedicated cruise berth.

We love the sound of the ‘Best of Cork & Countryside’ excursion, which is a day-long tour crafted for those who are visiting Ireland for the first time. You’ll visit Kinsale, have a tour of Cork city and visit the ruins of Blarney Castle (and kiss the famous Blarney Stone if you are feeling brave).

Don’t just take it from us, fellow cruisers Laurel and Brad commented: “Full day sampling of Irish charm - organized early arrival to the Blarney castle allowed for a complete experience of this treasured site. Afternoon seaside adventure allowed us to enjoy the best of the Irish countryside after having enjoyed a delicious lunch”.

Holyhead is full to the brim of history. Credit: Shutterstock

Wandering Wales


Full to the brim of history, Holyhead is known as the last stronghold of Druids resisting the Roman invasion as well as being the last refuge of the Welsh princes who resisted English conquest and dominion.

So, it’s clear that much more meets the eye than just the beautiful sea cliffs in Holyhead, take the Ffestiniog Railway for example. As the oldest railway company in the world, you can still ride one of the 150-year-old original locomotives and antique carriages today.

And, to take in as much of Wales as possible during your time here, the ‘Best of Northern Wales: Porthmadog & Ffestiniog Railway’ excursion is a great way to do so.

On this excursion, you’ll start your day admiring views from Anglesey to the Menai Strait and Beddgelert.

You’ll then board the Ffestiniog Railway to arrive at the depot at Blaenau Ffestiniog, tucked into the mountains of Snowdonia, where you will travel through the northern part of Snowdonia National Park. Enjoy lunch in the town of Betws-y-Coed and continue to admire quaint farms on your way back to port.

Edinburgh old town offers impressive Georgian and Victorian architecture. Credit: Shutterstock

Scotland excellence


Often billed as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Edinburgh is home to a wealth of historic and cultural attractions, from the Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace to the Royal Yacht Britannia.

As you walk down the picturesque, cobbled streets, just admire the beautiful Georgian architecture, keeping an eye out for Edinburgh Castle - with its looming presence dominating the skyline from a volcanic outcrop, you really can’t miss it.

For amazing views across the city, visit Carlton Hill which is only a five-minute walk uphill – and well worth it. While you’re up there, snap a picture of the Napoleonic War memorial inspired by the Parthenon as well as the City Observatory.

For an excursion with a difference, opt for the ‘Royal Mile Walking Tour’ where you’ll embark on a guided walking tour along the historic Royal Mile.

Orkney Islands

Located just north of Scotland, the Orkney Islands are made up of over 70 islands, each offering dramatic landscapes.

Any keen birdwatcher will most likely already be aware of the flocks of sea birds in the Orkney Islands, whereas divers can explore the wrecks lying in the waters of Scapa Flow.

There are countless points of interest here, including Skara Brae, a Neolithic village which dates back a staggering 5,000 years and has well-preserved features even including beds in the houses.

A must-do is to see the ‘Ancient Standing Stones’ in person, and Princess Cruises has crafted an excursion to do just this – with a guided tour no less.

Guests sailing on the 3,560-guest Regal Princess can enjoy effortless and personalised cruising. Credit: Princess Cruises

Our top three British Isles Princess Cruises itineraries

  1. 12-day ‘British Isles’, as a roundtrip from Southampton, visiting eight ports of call including Cork, Dublin, Holyhead and Edinburgh onboard Regal Princess. Departing July 26, 2024.
  2. 10-day ‘British Isles’ as a roundtrip from Southampton, visiting six ports of call including the Orkney Islands and Belfast onboard Regal Princess. Departing August 25, 2025.
  3. 11-day ‘British Isles’ as a roundtrip from Southampton, visiting seven ports of call including Portland, Edinburgh and Dublin onboard Regal Princess. Departing April 28, 2025.
Read more about Princess Cruises

About Lucy Abbott

Lucy is a cruise journalist who has sailed on a variety of ships, from expedition to river – with her favourite being expedition cruising.

Lucy is interested in new sustainable ways to cruise as well as how cruising is becoming accessible for all.

She works together with Kaye Holland to keep the World of Cruising website up to date with all the latest cruise news.