Which cruise lines sail from Great Britain?

Author: Niamh Payne

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Having to book a flight just to get onto a cruise can be exhausting, costly and oftentimes not worth the hassle. So, why not avoid all that bother and simply leave from closer to home?

Since the pandemic first hit in 2020, British ports have slowly been building themselves back up.

Many have seen an increase in their ship circulation over the last 12 months, not to mention an influx of cruise passengers.

As a result, numerous cruise lines have returned to their popular itineraries and now offer voyages departing from Great Britain. Popular choices include P&O Cruises, Cunard and MSC Cruises, only to name a few.

A large number of cruises will sail from the country's most popular ports, including the Port of Southampton and the Port of Dover.

In 2022, Southampton’s port won the Best Port Award at the Wave Awards for the second year in a row, as well as received its tenth win for the Best UK Departure Port in the Cruise Critic UK Editor’s Pick Awards.

Being one of the biggest ports in the UK, even considered the “cruise capital” of the UK, the Port of Southampton sees many ships come through, in particular cruise ships.

Last year proved to be a very successful year for them with 489 ships and over 1,800,000 passengers passing through.

The port hopes to continue this triumphant streak this year, estimating that it will welcome around two million passengers.

With Covid restrictions on travel virtually nonexistent at this point, cruise bookings for 2023 are selling out faster than it has in recent years, making this moment the prime time to reserve your upcoming journey.

To help, here is a list of some of the cruise lines that sail from Southampton with a few of their offered destinations for the upcoming few months.

Arvia is set to join P&O Cruises' fleet. Credit: P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises is offering a wide selection of destinations to choose from for this year and 2024, all round trips from Southampton.

The cruise line’s fleet will have two new additions, Iona and the freshly named Arvia, its two largest ships, that will all sail out of the port sometime in the upcoming months.

A few of the major destinations included are the Norwegian Fjords, the Mediterranean, the British Isles and Europe.

There are still many openings available for countries like Spain, Portugal, Amsterdam and France.

Voyages to the United States, Canada and the Caribbean are also scheduled for the end of the year, and a few select voyages to Guernsey are open for 2024.

The Cunard Queens are soon to be joined by a forth addition - pushing the fleet beyond a trio and into the annuls of history. Credit: Cunard

Cunard

If you’re planning on visiting the United States and Canada, then Cunard, which is based in Southampton, is the perfect place to book your next trip.

Compared to other cruise lines, Cunard offers a large selection of roundtrips and New York-bound voyages, all leaving from Southampton.

If the bustling streets of New York City and the valleys, lakes and mountain ranges of Canada aren’t really your speed, Cunard also has many journeys from Southampton to Northern Europe, Iceland, the British Isles, the Mediterranean, the Norwegian Fjords and the Caribbean.

In 2024 Cunard will also be offering long trips from Southampton to Hong Kong, Sydney, Auckland, Rio De Janeiro and San Francisco, as well as a full world voyage lasting 108 nights.

Cunard even has a few themed cruises leaving from Southampton and disembarking in New York, such as a seven-night ballet-themed cruise in which passengers can enjoy performances by dancers from English National Ballet, and a Literature Festival at Sea voyage.

Depending on what you’re looking for, whether that be a short or long trip, Cunard has a range of voyages of all lengths, from as short as two nights to as long as 63 nights.

Families aboard Sky Princess or Island Princess can have fun solving High Seas Heist mysteries. Credit: Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises will be taking passengers from Southampton to countries throughout Europe, a few such destinations being Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, France and Belgium.

The cruise line is also offering voyages a bit closer to home in Ireland, Scotland, Liverpool and Wiltshire to see Stonehenge.

Its longer cruises to destinations in Australia, such as Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane, which typically last for around 50 days, leave from Dover, rather than Southampton.

MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises offers voyages to countries all over the world, from Korea, to Brazil, to Mozambique.

Though most of its cruises depart from other countries, MSC Cruises has a selection of Northern European journeys that depart from the UK, or, more specifically, from Southampton.

From the Port of Southampton, passengers can go around Northern Europe and discover places like France, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, exploring cities like Paris, Helsinki, Stockholm, Bruges, or Hamburg.

These voyages range from one night to 27 nights.

Royal Caribbean offers "VOOM Internet Service" which is known as "the fastest Internet at sea." Credit: Shutterstock

Royal Caribbean

Similarly to MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean also has cruises departing from all over the world, with some leaving from Southampton.

There are not as many options as say, Cunard or P&O, but Royal Caribbean still has a diverse selection of journeys to France, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, the Norwegian Fjords and New York.

Enjoy some of these shorter cruises, which all range between 7-14 nights, Royal Caribbean not having any longer transatlantic or world voyages leaving from Southampton.

Regent Seven Seas

Though a bit pricier than some of the other cruise lines on this list, guests that book with Regent Seven Seas will be able to choose from destinations like Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Bruges, Barcelona, and various other cities in Europe.

The cruise line also has a unique collection of themed cruises from Southampton.

One such cruise takes passengers around some of the historical battle sights from World War II, like Dunkirk, while also allowing them to explore cities like Paris and Cherbourg.

Another one titled Vikings and Viceroys makes stops in various cities throughout Ireland, Scotland and Norway, allowing passengers to observe the history of these areas.

Other cruise lines that are worth checking out and currently have voyages leaving from the UK include:

  • Marella Cruises
  • Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Hurtigruten
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Norwegian Cruise Line