Cruising from the UK
Joining your cruise from one of the popular UK ports is getting more and more popular - in 2009 over 594,000 Brits embarked a cruise ship sailing from a UKport - and this fact is backed up by more cruise lines positioning ships out of the UK - and by building new ships too for the UK market.
Queen Elizabeth launches this October - sister ship to Queen Victoria and Compagnie du Ponant will be sailing a number of cruises out of Portsmouth in 2011. Speaking of Pompey - a few cruise lines are now going to use this city as a cruise turnaround port - a change from the traditional Southampton. Hapag-Lloyds Europa, Voyages of Discovery’s Discovery, Silversea cruises Prince Albert II, Swan Hellenics Minerva and Hebridean Island Cruises Hebridean Princess (yes the one the Queen chartered) will all sail into and from Portsmouth next year.
Of course Southampton and Dover are still at the forefront of ex-UK cruising, and both offer easy parking and embarkation arrangements. It really is a breeze to drive up to the terminal, drop your car off an then board the ship - you can be in your cabin sipping champagne within 30 minutes of dropping your car off! You would still been the queue for security at an airport on a land-based trip!
Many luxury lines are now using the UK to sail from - The Yachts of Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea, Crystal Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and those mentioned above all offer ex-UK sailings - so there is something for everyone.
Popular destinations include the Baltic and Norwegian fjords in the summer, of course the Mediterranean and Canary Islands, round UK cruises, and transatlantic crossings. You can even take a voyage to New York- stay for a bit then get a ship back to the UK - and with no baggage allowance restrictions imposed like the airlines shop till you drop in New York!
Have you cruised from the UK? Would you consider it? If not, what are you main reasons for not going from a UK port? Or are you a convert and will never fly again? Let us know.