Who sails to Britain?
From themed small-ship expeditions around the remote islands of Scotland to round Britain cruises with butler service and champagne on tap, there are a wide range of cruise companies operating itineraries around the British Isles. It’s time to set sail!
For all-inclusive luxury laced with historical landmarks, jump aboard the ultra-luxe vessels of Silversea, Crystal, Seabourn or Regent Seven Seas. Gourmet dining, fine wines, champagne, butler service, complimentary in-suite bars and suites with private verandas provide pampering in style. Silversea’s 12-day Southampton to London cruise visits England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (silversea.com).
A ten-day Leith (near Edinburgh) to Greenock (Glasgow) cruise explores the wee islands of Lewis, Shetland, Skye, Mull and Iona, off Scotland’s east and west coasts. Crystal Symphony’s 14-night Grand Britannia cruise includes an overnight in Edinburgh (crystalcruises.com).
Unlimited shore excursions are included in Regent Seven Seas’ ten-day round trip from Southampton (rssc.com). You will find plenty to explore at the ports it calls at, including the city of Newcastle on the north-eastern coast of England, Edinburgh, Belfast and Plymouth on England’s south coast.
The Isles of Scilly, an archipelago off the south western tip of England, and the Isle of Man, a British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland, make an appearance on Seabourn’s 16-day Jewels of the National Trust cruise out of Dover, south-east England (seabourn.com).
With just 30 cabins, Hebridean Island Cruises’ offers an intimate house-party-style of cruising around the Scottish islands of St Kilda, Orkney and Shetland on Hebridean Princess. Fine dining, wines, champagne, tour guides, entrance fees, Wi-Fi and even bicycles are included in the prices (hebridean.co.uk).
Fred Olsen offers British cruises from Newcastle, Southampton and Falmouth, as well as Gaelic Myths & Legends, Land’s End to John O’Groats. There is also the option for an 11night round-Britain UK & Ireland cruise (fredolsencruises.com).
Cruise & Maritime’s British Isles Discovery cruises, meanwhile, focus on Scotland and its islands, including Mull, Orkney and Hebrides on the west and north coasts. They also visit the Scilly Isles (cruiseandmaritime.com).
For larger-style cruises, Princess Cruises’ 3,000-passenger Caribbean Princess offers a 12-day round-trip British Isles cruises from Southampton and visits Inverness on Scotland’s north-east coast and Loch Ness. A trip to Edinburgh’s colourful Military Tattoo extravaganza is included in Princess Cruises’ 14day Irish Counties, Scottish Highlands & Edinburgh Military Tattoo on board the smaller Pacific Princess (princess.com).
Holland America’s 14-night Irish & Scottish Explorer includes a stop at the lesser-visited Portland, Dorset, 120 miles south-west of London (hollandamerica.com), while nature lovers wanting to get close to wildlife will find knowledgeable guides on cruises offered by Majestic Line and Noble Caledonia.
Majestic’s six-cabin traditional wooden fishing boats explore the Argyll coastline and the Hebrides, on the west coast of Scotland, with three-, six- and ten-night itineraries (themajesticline.co.uk).
Noble Caledonia’s expeditions include a Bird islands cruise, which visits Lundy, Skomer and Holy Island in Wales and Iona and St Kilda in Scotland, Castles and Gardens of the British Isles, and Island Hopping in the Hebrides (noble-caledonia.co.uk).
P&O has two British Isles cruises on Oriana this year – an eight-night around the Scottish isles of Scrabster, Kirkwall and Stornoway and a 12-night cruise that includes visits to Belfast, Glasgow and the Isle of Skye (pocruises.com).
© Visit Britain 2016
Find more resources about cruises to the UK.
-- Sailing to Northern England’s ports
-- Sailing to Southern England’s ports
-- Visiting Wales
-- Visiting Scotland
-- Visiting Northern Ireland.