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Decidedly British

Cruising from the United Kingdom has become easier and easier in recent years as more cruise lines have positioned ships on that side of the Atlantic. Some of these cruise lines, such as P&O and Fred Olsen, pretty much serve the UK market exclusively, while others such as Celebrity, Royal Caribbean International, Cunard and Norwegian Cruises serve both the US and UK markets.  

A variety of itineraries are available that can be sailed from the UK, without any need to fly across the pond to America. For example, Cunard anf P&O offer a wide variety of voyages on all of their ships that are round trip Southampton and will take passengers throughout Europe to visit countries up and down the Mediterranean and in all other accessible parts of the continent. For example, they travel to Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and Gibraltar on one of their voyages that is billed as a “Taste of the Mediterranean” cruise.

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Some really varied itineraries are available from the UK

Some really varied itineraries are available from the UK if one doesn’t mind returning by air. These are called Transatlantics, and they can take passengers by ship from the UK, through points in Europe, and then even to the U.S. to visit some Caribbean ports. Passengers would then fly from Fort Lauderdale to New York, where they could either return to the UK via a Cunard “crossing” (if one was going back to the UK within the appropriate timeframe) or they could pick up a flight back to the UK from New York.  

Even more “exotic” itineraries are offered from the UK if one has the time and money to take advantage of them.  

UK passengers taking cruises out of the UK, especially on those cruise lines that serve exclusively the UK market, have the advantage of an experience that is tailored to UK residents. For example, the onboard currency will be the British Pound, as opposed to the US dollar traded onboard American based vessels. This could be an advantage or a distinct disadvantage, especially in these days of a weakening US dollar value.  

Additionally, on some vessels the flavour of the entire cruise experience will be tailored to the culture of the United Kingdom. For instance, take a Cunard or P&O cruise and you will find everything onboard having a decidedly British flavour, including the entertainment, food offerings and activities programmes.  

On other ships sailing out of ports in the UK the language and culture could be German or Dutch or even Asian. Even cruise lines that have historically served the US market are jumping on the bandwagon to cater to passengers of different nationalities. For example, Royal Caribbean International is basing some of their sailings out of European or Asian ports, and offering what they have billed as “total immersion” cruises. What these cruises offer is an entire onboard experience that is tailored to the country being served. For example, a British total immersion cruise will sail out of the UK and will visit various ports in Europe. Everything onboard will be tailored to the British market. Entertainment will be of a British flavour, food served in the dining rooms will be similar to what British folks would eat at home, and even the onboard activities offered will be ones that the British market would particularly enjoy.  

In fact, on some total immersion cruises, such as those taking place in the Far East, even the official onboard language will be that of the target market; for example, Chinese. In fact, all menus, daily activity planners and other written communication will be delivered in Chinese. Announcements too will be primarily in that language.  

Whether you opt for a round trip sailing from the UK a British “total immersion” cruise on Royal Caribbean, or even a longer, exotic voyage one-way from the UK, there is always a ship going somewhere interesting at pretty much any time of the year. There is no reason to put yourself through the rigours of flying to America to board a ship; not when there are so many these days exclusively serving the UK market.

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