The ports of the United Kingdom and Ireland are commonly featured on a number of European cruise itineraries, as well as making the ideal cruise mini-break for British nationals and visitors alike. A short trip around the region is a perfect way to spend a long weekend, rediscovering a beautiful region you thought you already knew.
London is the always the first city that springs to mind when one considers this region. Unfortunately, very few cruise liners will dock on the Thames; ships most commonly port at Dover for its proximity to Europe to the south and east, and London to the north.
Liverpool is England's second major city port and a popular destination on a cruise around the United Kingdom, especially since being named European Culture Capital 2008. This vibrant city is full of northern charm, with more than 2,500 historic buildings and monuments.
Further up on the east coast of the United Kingdom lies Edinburgh, the thriving and decadent capital city of Scotland. The old town at the heart of the city is home to the major historic attractions and is well worth taking the time to explore.
Across the water, Belfast has seen a transformation in recent years from a war-torn city into a trendy capital with a selection of chic boutiques and stylish bars, eateries, as well as some classic Victorian architecture and décor.
The Republic of Ireland's capital, Dublin, has a well-deserved reputation as a flourishing and cosmopolitan city, with its curious mix of winding cobbled streets and old buildings, modern museums and buzzing restaurants.
Popular ports of call in the United Kingdom and Ireland include Belfast; Cork; Cowes; Dover; Dublin; Edinburgh; Falmouth; Guernsey; Holyhead; Liverpool & Southampton.
Most routes that cruise around the United Kingdom and Ireland begin and end at either the English ports of Southampton and Dover, or at Scandinavian ports such as Copenhagen. Several cruises include Scandinavian ports in their itineraries.
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