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.
Dover is a town and port on the Southern Coast of England, in the county of Kent. It is located right on the narrowest point of the English Channel and is only twenty-one miles from the coast of France. Naturally, Dover has been one of the main points of entry from Europe to the UK and today is a major ferry port, with an estimated 14 million passengers passing through each year.
The town’s long port and shipping history can be discovered at the Dover Museum, which is located in Market Square, in the centre of the town. There are artefacts dating back to the Bronze Age (most notably the Bronze Age boat) as well as glass and pottery dating back to the time of the Roman Empire. Dover played a vital role for Britain in both World Wars, and this is also documented in the museum. Opening hours are from 10:30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 12:30pm to 5pm on Sundays. Admission is £2.50 for adults.
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire, on England’s Southern coastline. The city has a rich boating heritage and is one of the major ports connecting Britain to the rest of Europe. It is here where the RMS Titanic originally departed from and today, some of the largest cruise liners leave from Southampton to travel all over the world.
Southampton is a city steeped in history, as can be seen from its wide array of architecture. It was originally a trading port for the Romans who settled here in approximately AD 43 and was a vital gateway to France and the rest of Continental Europe after the Norman Conquest of 1066.
Harwich is located on the South Eastern Coast of England and is one of the ‘Haven Ports’ (a group of three deep-water ports on the East Coast). It is part of the county of Essex and is approximately 28 kilometres from Colchester. The town has been built up around its port and shipping industry and has played an important role in the maritime and naval history on the East Coast of England.
Liverpool is one of England’s major cities, located in Merseyside, in the North West of the country. Its origins date back to 1207 and it became one of the country’s major ports, with ships sailing to and from Ireland and the United States as well as many other destinations.
Liverpool’s docks have become an integral part of the city’s history and culture and there are numerous attractions on the waterfront of interest to visitors. The most well known part is the Albert Dock area, which has the largest concentration of “Grade 1” listed buildings in the country.
Newcastle - UK
Newcastle is located in the North East of England and is situated on the Tyne River. It is the main city in the county of Northumberland. The city received its name when a Norman castle was built there in 1080 by Robert II, a son of William the Conqueror.
The most iconic image of the city is the Tyne Bridge (a compression arch suspended-deck bridge) that connects Newcastle with Gateshead on the other side of the river. It is part of the Quayside area of the city, which has recently been rejuvenated to become a centre for culture and recreation in the area. There is a Sunday market, from 9:30am to 2pm, with stalls selling crafts, artwork and fashion items. There are also public art installations along the promenade.
Portsmouth is a city on the South Coast of England, in the county of Hampshire; it is generally known by its nickname, “Pompey”. Portsmouth made its name as a naval port and is also the location for the oldest ‘dry dock’ in the world, which is still used to this day.
The earliest known history of the port dates back to pre Roman times, although most of these records were destroyed in the Norman Conquest of 1066. Portsmouth is one of the main ports for the Royal Navy in Britain. Some of their most famous ships can be found in the dockyard, such as the “HMS Victory” and the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s flagship, which sank off the coast and was raised by the Navy in 1982. These ships are part of the Royal Naval Museum and are preserved in immaculate condition. Visitors are allowed to walk onto the HMS Victory, where they can discover what it was like to be a naval officer during the 1800’s. There are also many artefacts and exhibits charting the history of the Royal Navy and its noted figures, including the Battle of Trafalgar and one of its most celebrated heroes, Admiral Nelson. Another popular attraction among tourists is the D-day Museum, which displays artefacts from the Second World War.
Tilbury is a town in the county of Essex, situated on the north bank of the River Thames. The area on which the town is built was originally a salt marsh and was settled upon in the 12th Century.
Today, Tilbury’s main economy is built around its large container port, which is the main port for London. It is located approximately twenty-five miles from London Bridge, towards the Thames Estuary, where the river narrows to a width of around eight hundred yards. It is the main port for the importation of paper, cars, and grain in Great Britain.