Cruising is a great way to discover new places and experience new cultures without the hassle – the itinerary is set and the transportation all taken care of, so all you need to do is relax and explore at your own pace
From decadent meals to on board entertainment and exciting excursions at each port, a cruise is a great way to see each destination at its best. Out at sea there’s plenty to keep you busy, and the luxury of a comfortable state room means you can avoid taking your luggage with you each time you move from place to place.
While today you can cruise to almost any coastal destination in the world, many British travellers are searching for convenience and want to avoid long periods of travel to reach the ship. It’s no surprise then that cruises leaving from the UK are growing in popularity every year.
- Ocean crossings: Particularly with travellers over 50, ocean crossings, or Transatlantic cruises, are a popular choice for a longer adventure. Cruise lines like Cunard offer upmarket Transatlantic cruises departing from Southampton and arriving in New York City.
- The Mediterranean: Thanks to its close proximity to Britain the Mediterranean is another popular itinerary with travellers departing from the UK. You have the option to tour the eastern or western Mediterranean, or a combination of both, and many cruise lines like Princess and P&O offer cheap and last minute cruises for anywhere from 3 to 16 nights. Popular destinations range from France to Italy, Spain and Greece, and will vary from city to city depending on the size of ship, time of year and cruise line.
- Scandinavia: Sailing directly from ports like Southampton, Liverpool and Norwich, cruise lines like Thomson offer exciting cruises through Scandinavia and Russia, including ports of call like Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen and St. Petersburg.
Choosing a cruise
There are a few things to consider when you’re searching for a cruise but with a little research online you can find one that suits your needs. Decide on your budget and take into consideration the itinerary of each cruise as well as anything in particular that’s important to you – a large boat, casino or several on-board dining options, for example. Websites like Cruise Deals make it easy to explore what’s on offer from the top cruise lines. You can also find a similar service on Travel Supermarket, which lets you compare deals and options all in one place.
Once you arrive at each port you’ll have the opportunity to disembark and go exploring – you can do this on your own or with the help of planned excursions organised on board. Think about destinations you would like to see or whether you have any particular interests, for example visiting old palaces or spending several hours in chic shopping districts.
If you want to book a spot on the most popular cruises, check out the Telegraph’s list of its best cruises from UK ports, or Cruise Critic’s list of best cruise lines for first time cruisers in the UK.
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