Here is the list of big UK cruise ports of departure. Reading it is a must if you're planning a cruise from UK ports only. Share your time with us to find out what are the major UK cruise ship ports and what are their regular best "clients". The review is integrated with UK cruise companies and no fly cruises from UK.
UK Cruise Ports
The Southampton cruise port (in England, the largest city in Hampshire, located 75 ml (120 km) southeast of London) is the largest UK cruise port, with the best UK cruise lines ships sailing from there. Ship cruise deals from Southampton generally pertain to itineraries in Baltic Sea, like the so called "Baltic Capitals Tours" to Scandinavia and Russia, UK Fjords cruises to Norway, Mediterranean Sea cruises, trips to Canary Islands.
Most of the Transatlantic crossings also start here - the regular crossings by the Cunard's Queen Mary cruise liner to New York, also 3-4 sailings per year by some of the P&O ships (to Canada and Caribbean), and several relocation cruises in Fall (usually to Florida). The list with best Around the World cruise ships from Southampton includes all P&O world cruise liners (Aurora, Arcadia, Adonia) and the Cunard's ships (RMS Queen Mary 2 and ms Queen Elizabeth). The Southampton port is operated by Associated British Ports (ABP), and here's a link for Southampton travel info.
Dover cruise ship port (England)
The Denver cruise port is the second largest in UK (2 passengers terminals, over 200,000 passengers a year), with modern facilities located on the western docks. Terminal 1 is the old Marine Railway Station, the new Terminal 2 is farther down the pier. As a pre-sailing option you can take the shuttle bus to see the city center or the Dover Castle above the "White Cliffs of Dover". For more info - the official Dover Port website and the official Dover city website.
Leith/Edinburgh cruise ship port (Scotland)
The Edinburg cruise port is the Port of Leith (located three miles from the city center) and one of the largest in Scotland. The majority of UK cruise ships from Dover sail to Scandinavia and Northern Europe (to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Germany), smaller lines offer tours of the British Isles with one-way and round-trip cruises from Scotland to Ireland and England. For more info - the Edinburgh official website.
Greenock/Glasgow cruise ship port (Scotland)
The Greenock cruise port of Glasgow) is the old Greenock's Ocean Terminal (a container ship terminal, operated by Clydeport). Nowadays, the Greenock port is one of the best cruise ports of call in Scotland, constantly increasing the number of passenger ships calling on it. The port of Greenock is visited mostly by big UK cruise lines ships, like those of Cunard, P&O and Princess, with over 40 passenger ships booked to call there per year. The list with famous small UK cruise companies with ships visiting Greenock includes Fred Olsen and Hebridean.
Harwich cruise port (England)
The Harwich cruise ship port (Essex) is the England's main car-cruise-ferry port for the the North Sea. Harwich (located 70 ml (130 km) northeast of London) is also a historical place, famous with with its amazing lighthouse (now a maritime museum) and the Redoubt Fort. Cruise lines ships from Harwich - mostly from the fleets of Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Holland America lines.
Cruise port of Hull (England)
The Hull cruise port is the only one on the Humber River, offering mostly short and mini cruises from UK to Holland (Amsterdam, Rotterdam), to Finland (Helsinki) or to Belgium (Bruges).
Liverpool cruise port (England)
The Liverpool cruise port (located close to the Pier Head) is also one of the best Europe cruise ports of call for short UK city cruise breaks. The majority of departures from Liverpool offer Around Britain cruise tours of British Isles, UK cruise travel deals to Canary Islands, Transatlantic crossings. The Liverpool cruise port offers disembarkation right in the city center - an unique feature, common only to few other places in the world. Liverpool highlights - the Beatles, numerous museums and art galleries, and year-round cultural events. For more travel info - visit-Liverpool.
Portsmouth & Newcastle (Port of Tyne) cruise ports (England)
The Newcastle cruise port (the Port of Tyne) is the only passenger ship port between Harwich and Leith. Itineraries - Baltic Sea cruises to Scandinavia.
The Port of Portsmouth (England, the 2nd largest city in Hampshire, located 19 ml (30 km) southeast of Southampton) handles ferries, cruise liners and cargo ships. This embarkation/disembarkation point is easily accessible by train and car (the Southampton airport is close to it). The cruise terminal is located 1 mile north of the city. The list of UK cruise lines leaving from Portsmouth includes Fred Olsen, Voyages of Discovery, Hapag Lloyd, Hurtigruten and Linblad Expeditions. City highlights - the Historic Dockyard (the oldest dry dock still in use), museums (like D-Day and Royal Marines), the Southsea Castle, an Aquarium, the Portsmouth Cathedral, the Portchester Castle.
London cruise port of Tilbury (England)
The Tilbury cruise port (England, Essex, Thurrock) is a modern purpose-built deep-water port, and the cruise port of London. The London Cruise Terminal (at the head of the River Thames) serves passengers and big cruise liners from all over the world. The Tilbury cruise departures offer mostly Northern European (Baltic Sea) destinations. The very presence of the name London here is sufficient to mark the Tilbury port as one of the most preferable UK cruise ports of departure. Tilbury also handles ferries, bulk cargo ships, cars-container ships as one of the UK's 3 major container ports.
UK Cruise Lines
Get to know what are the UK cruise companies selling deals from UK, accepting the UK's £, serving the ceremonial Afternoon Tea, and employing staff that speaks the (proper) British English. This survey (integrated with our cruise companies list) also shows a list of ships operating predominantly on the UK cruising market.
Cruise Maritime Voyages (CMV Cruises)
Cruise and Maritime Voyages (official website, line review) is based in Kent, UK, with associate office in Sydney, Australia. It is independent company specialised in brokering charters of cruise ships. Cruise & Maritime Voyages also offers a range of management and operational services to charterers and owners, as well as to other important players in global cruise industry. Cruise & Maritime Voyages are ex-UK cruise specialists with vast choices of convenient sailings- from ports near you - Edinburgh Leith, Bristol Avonmouth, Glasgow Greenock, Hull, Harwich, Liverpool, Newcastle Tyne, London Tilbury. CMV carried thousands of cruise passengers and 95% of guests rated the enjoyment of cruise experience either good or excellent.
- CMV is among the best UK cruise lines, Ex.UK representative of the based in German Transocean Tours- after the company filed for bankruptcy, started by Cruise & Maritime Services International.
- Current fleet: MS Marco Polo; MS Ocean Countess; MV Discovery; MS Astor.
Cunard Line (official website, line review) is among the world's most famous ocean liners. It is recognized in ocean travel with British heritage and as part of PLC and Carnival Corporation. PLC and Carnival Corporation also includes AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line. These member lines have a commitment to value and quality, thus offering cruises which attract different budgets and lifestyles and sail to the world's most thrilling destinations.
- Fully owned by Carnival Corporation & plc
- Fleet: rms Queen Mary 2; ms Queen Elizabeth; ms Queen Victoria.
Fred Olsen Line
Fred Olsen Cruise Line (founded in 1848, official website, line review) is part of the Fred. Olsen Group, UK based, Norwegian-owned, with four cruise ships. The headquarters of the company are in Ipswich, Suffolk- United Kingdom. In 1848 the three Olsen brothers bought their first ships, thus beginning international shipping company. The company is fifth generation of Olsen’s, operating various companies within cruise shipping trade, as well as aviation, ship building, offshore industries. The group has business interests in estate management, luxury hotel sector, property development.
Thomson Holidays Cruises
Thomson Cruises history includes Thomson Holidays- a UK based travel company, part of TUI Travel PLC. Originally it was named Thomson Tour Operations and founded in 1965 as part of Thomson Travel Group. Thomson UK headquarters are in Luton, England. Thomson Travel Group was acquired by Preussag AG in 2000- a transportation and industrial conglomerate. After in 2002 Preussag was received its new name- TUI AG, Thomson Travel was renamed TUI UK. Thomson Holidays, Thomson Lakes and Thomson Ski, together with Britannia Airways are members of that new group, which is part of TUI Travel PLC.
- Fleet: Thomson Celebration; Thomson Dream; Thomson Majesty; Thomson Spirit.
- Official website
- line review
P and O UK
P&O Cruises (UK and Australia are separate lines and different brand names).
- Fully owned by Carnival Corporation & plc.
- UK fleet: Adonia; Arcadia; Aurora; Azura; Oceana; Oriana; Ventura.
- AU fleet: Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel, Pacific Pearl.
- Official website
- line review.
Swan Hellenic is a British cruise line which is specialized in tours of cultural or historical interest. The company is aiming upper end of cruise market. Swan Hellenic headquarters are in Burgess Hill, United Kingdom. In 1950s Swan travel agency organized a tour for interested in Greece antiquities visitors. Thus was developed a full cruises program, featuring well known writers, academics, clergymen, as guest lecturers on board ship or on site.
Big-ship cruise lines with round-trip departures from UK ports are Royal Caribbean, NCL Norwegian, Celebrity and Princess, MSC.