No-fly cruises, which sail from and arrive back at a UK port, are great options for those who don't want to take to the sky.Credit: Shutterstock

Set sail from Southampton for the holiday of your dreams

Author: Kaye Holland

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Step aboard and explore the world without having to step foot in an airport

Whether you want to explore the Mediterranean, with its ancient ruins, colourful cities, clear waters, and sunny weather, or discover the pristine natural beauty of Norway, a no-fly cruise from the south-coast city of Southampton is plain sailing.

On a cruise that starts and ends in the UK, you’ll get to skip the security checks and packed flights, and, with airfares omitted from the budget, it's better value, too – what’s not to love?

Our friends at Iglu Cruise have picked the best 2024 itineraries leaving from Southampton, for those who want to skip the flight.

Lisbon is one of Europe's loveliest cities. Credit: Shutterstock

The Canary Islands from Southampton

Board Cunard’s Queen Victoria next November to soak up some sun ahead of the festive season.

Departing from Southampton on November 19, 2024, you’ll call at Lisbon – Portugal's charismatic capital – Arrecife, Tenerife, the Canary Islands, and Madeira during this 12-night itinerary.

Three sea days afford plenty of time to make the most of your ship: expect endless entertainment, luxurious accommodation and an array of dining choices spread over the spacious decks.

Departs November 19, 2024. Fares from £892 per person.

The Norwegian fjords are known for their outstanding natural beauty. Credit: Shutterstock

The Norwegian Fjords from Southampton

A cruise to the Norwegian Fjords takes in spectacular scenery and beautiful cities and, onboard the 2,900-passenger Celebrity Apex, you can enjoy the views from the Magic Carpet – a covered movable, glass platform found on Celebrity’s Edge class ships.

Sailing out of Southampton on August 16, 2024, this seven-night cruise calls at Stavanger aka the gateway to the Fjords, Geiranger, Flam – synonymous with its splendid mountain railway journey – and Haugesund.

Back on board, if you’re feeling flush, splurge on The Retreat – an exclusive section of the ship featuring luxury accommodations as well as access to a private restaurant, sun deck and lounge.

Departs August 16, 2024. Fares from £964 per person.

The riverside city of Bordeaux will appeal to oenophiles. Credit: Shutterstock

Spain & France from Southampton

If the kids are in tow, Royal Caribbean’s family-friendly Anthem of the Seas will spend seven nights exploring Spain and France next May.

Departing from Southampton, you’ll visit destinations including Bordeaux – the world capital of wine – Bilbao, the Basque City famed for its Moorish architecture and world-class tapas, La Coruna and Paris before returning to Southampton.

On the two sea days, get the whole family’s adrenaline pumping with bumper cars, roller skating and a skydiving simulator.

Departs May 19, 2024. Fares from £831 per person.

Lerwick is the chief town of Scotland's Shetland Islands. Credit: Shutterstock

Norwegian Fjords from Southampton

MSC Cruises’ glitzy ships with their celebrated Swarovski staircases, are ideal for anyone after a good time while savouring the striking Norwegian scenery.

This seven-night round-trip itinerary from Southampton takes in the Shetland Islands – with its dramatic scenery – Haugesund, Flam, and Kristiansand.

An extensive choice of excursions range from guided walking tours to e-biking and paddleboarding.

Worked up an appetite? Refuel in Virtuosa’s specialty restaurants. World of Cruising favourites include HOLA!, a Mediterranean-inspired tapas joint from twice Michelin-starred Chef Ramón Freixa, and the stylish Kaito Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar.

Departs May 11, 2024. From £553 per person.

Lively Las Ramblas is Barcelona's most famous street. Credit: Shutterstock

Western Mediterranean from Southampton

This two week itinerary onboard Arvia, P&O Cruises' new flagship, represents great value with fares starting from just £690 per person.

Ports of call include La Coruna, Palma De Mallorca, La Spezia – gateway to the Cinque Terre and Tuscany – Marseille, and Barcelona, the colourful Catalan capital.

The sailing also features a plethora of sea days so that you can take full advantage of Arvia’s luxurious swim-up bar, infinity pool, immersive simulation escape room, and Altitude Skywalk ropewalk experience.

Departs April 14, 2024. Fares from £678 per person.

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About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]