Caribbean cruises from Southampton
Whilst the Caribbean may feel like a cruise that starts with a flight you can find some excellent cruises to the Caribbean which depart from Southampton. Some of the UK-based cruise lines such as Cunard, Marella, P&O Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Saga Cruises offer excellent voyages which explore the Caribbean in depth. Most of the cruises departing from Southampton to the Caribbean are in the UK's winter and tend to be fairly lengthy voyages as they will involve a transatlantic crossing in both directions. You may find positioning cruises that will cross to the Caribbean, explore the islands and then you fly home if that's what you'd prefer. Caribbean cruises from Southampton can be found with World of Cruising's cruise finder.
Cruises to the Caribbean - Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best cruise lines to the Caribbean?
Many cruise lines sail to the Caribbean. Here's a selection of the top 10 cruise lines cruising to the Caribbean.
Ultra-luxury cruises to the Caribbean
- Seabourn - ultra Luxury all-inclusive ships with a choice of departure ports.
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises - including what the line claims is the most luxurious cruise ship at sea.
- Silversea - small ship cruising for the international market.
Luxury and premium cruise lines to the Caribbean
- Oceania Cruises - known for its exquisite dining aboard small-medium sized ships.
- Celebrity Cruises - offering a range of departure ports including from Southampton.
- Saga Cruises - UK cruise line with brand new ships and cruises mainly departing from the UK.
- Princess Cruises - known for its innovative onboard technology and spectacular onboard entertainment.
Family cruises to the Caribbean
- Royal Caribbean - innovative resort-style ships with a range of activities and entertainment
- P&O Cruises - iconic British cruise line with ships mainly sailing from Southampton.
- MSC Cruises - groundbreaking stunning ships with a range of dining and accommodation.
Cruises to the Caribbean
What is the best cruise ship for the Caribbean?
It's hard to suggest any one ship is the best for a cruise to the Caribbean as there is such a big choice. Much would depend on how you want to get there.
If you want to cruise to the Caribbean from the UK, then Saga Cruises' new ships Spirit of Adventure or Spirit of Discovery would ideal choices or perhaps take a look at Cunard's stately ships or Fred. Olsen's homely British-style ships. If however, you're happy to fly then you have a great choice.
Looking for a family cruise to the Caribbean? We'd recommend one of Royal Caribbean's ships and make sure you get a cruise with a day or more at their private island Perfect Day. The ships are full of activities, restaurants and bars to suit all tastes and ages there's something to keep everyone entertained.
Celebrity Cruises or Princess Cruises have luxurious ships and can cater for all dining tastes and different ages and each offers excellent cabin choices and affordable fares. For something more opulent perhaps try Oceania or Azamara cruises.
Or maybe try NCL or MSC Cruises, the latter having a range of new ships offering a Caribbean-style of cruising. For something a little different, you may wish to choose one of Virgin Voyages' new ships Scarlet Lady or Valiant Lady and get the service, entertainment and onboard experience you'd expect from Virgin or calm down completely and sail aboard some to of the world's biggest sailing ships with Tradewind Voyages or Windstar Cruises.
If you're looking for the best all-inclusive Caribbean cruises then you could do much worse than looking at some of the ultra-luxury cruise lines such as Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas or Silversea where absolutely everything including excursions would be included in your fare.
Cruise lines including Celebrity Cruises or Saga Cruises will include drinks and gratuities and tips within their fares but expect to pay more for excursions and treatments onboard. Other cruise lines such as Princess Cruises will offer options such as Princess Plus where drinks, Wi-Fi and gratuities are included for a set daily supplement. Look out too for special offers when drinks packages may sometimes be included free of charge.
What is the best time to cruise the Caribbean?
The best time to cruise to the Caribbean is between December and June when you're likely to get some great weather and the calmest seas with differences in that period.
The Caribbean is known for its calm seas and being an excellent year-round cruise destination but despite this, there are some things to look out for. Hurricane season runs from July through to late November and storms can quickly make for rough seas. Of course, cruise ships will do their best to avoid any heavy storms and seas so no need to worry.
Early December tends to be quiet but can be busy over the Christmas period and you can generally expect excellent calm weather. January through to March will see the Caribbean at its busiest as UK and US-based ships ply their trade amidst the generally excellent weather.
In late March many of the UK and European cruise ships transit back to Europe leaving fewer ships sailing but you can still pick up a great cruise aboard some of the ships based in the US or Caribbean such as Princess Cruises, Seabourn, NCL or MSC. April, May and June tend to be excellent weather and calm seas, however, you may encounter some heavier rainfall in Antigua or Jamaica.
Will the seas be rough on a Caribbean cruise?
The weather is always changeable and calm seas cannot be guaranteed at any time of the year. Cruising in the Caribbean is generally on flat seas year-round and for the best chance of the calmest seas you should avoid the hurricane season between July and November. It's worth remembering that if you're cruising to the Caribbean from the UK you have to cross the Atlantic Ocean so you may encounter some choppy seas in the winter months.
What are the best places to visit on a Caribbean cruise?
The Caribbean offers a great range of places to visit from beaches, historic sights, hotels and rainforests. Here's a snapshot of some of the best.
- The beaches - there are glorious sandy beaches throughout the Caribbean. Wherever you travel you'll find somewhere to kick those sandals off and dip in the ocean.
- The glitzy west coast of Barbados - experience "The Platinum Coast" with its pristine beaches. Keep an eye out for famous faces and swanky restaurants.
- The historic sights of Antigua - visit Nelson's Dockyard and see how the British Navy made Antigua a key base.
- The rainforests of Dominica - travel through the canopy on a rainforest adventure amongst the natural wonders.
- Diving the reefs of the British Virgin Islands - whether you're happy to go fully scuba or snorkelling or just dipping your toes you can see some great marine life.
- The culture of Cuba - there overnight? Visit Havana and enjoy a mojito.
- The spice markets of Grenada - let the smells fill your nostrils and take some home to recreate those recipes.
What should I pack for a Caribbean cruise?
Your Caribbean cruise is likely to be warm whatever the time of year you travel so light clothes are the order of the day (and night) throughout. You'll need a few sets of bathing costumes, light wear for during the day when you're out and about exploring and relaxed clothing onboard the ship. Some cruise lines will have a very relaxed attitude to evening attire but you may still be expected to wear smarter clothes to dine in restaurants and some ships may require gentlemen to wear a jacket and collar and ladies to wear smart-casual attire. Remember too that if you're sailing to the Caribbean from the UK you will need some warmer clothing for your transit voyage. Keep your camera close to hand as you'll never know when that photo opportunity may arise or that whale may breach the surface and keep it fully charged. Some people may wish to take wildlife recognition books to keep abreast of what you've seen.
The best cruise lines to the Caribbean
Read our guides to the best cruise lines sailing the Caribbean.
Guide to cruising in the Caribbean
Our Caribbean cruise guide will give you all the information you need.
Guides to the best places to visit in the Caribbean
Which ports and islands in the Caribbean are the best? Read these guides to see which suit you best.