Southampton isn’t just a bustling port city with a rich maritime history and a fantastic medieval center, but also a gateway to an incredible variety of exciting cruise adventures. As one of the largest cruise ports in the UK, it is the perfect launching pad for exploring the joys of continental Europe and the Mediterranean and demonstrates the advantages of booking a last-minute cruise perfectly.
If you are planning to visit the UK and want to explore further afield, why not consider crafting a perfect cruise itinerary that adds some of the magic of the best of Europe to the joys of the United Kingdom?
Here is your guide to mapping out an amazing cruise journey from the port of Southampton.
Embarkation Excitement in Southampton
Of course, Southampton itself is worth getting excited about, so before you set sail it is worth exploring the city in a little more detail. The SeaCity Museum is a great way to learn about the city’s maritime heritage, while a stroll through medieval Bargate and around the surviving city walls brings the rich history of Southampton to life.
Channel Crossings to Cherbourg, France
The first port of call on most cruises leaving from Southampton will be Cherbourg in France. Just a short hop across the Channel, this charming French port offers the chance to taste authentic Norman and Breton cuisine as well as an opportunity for a day trip into the French countryside.
Irish Charms in Cobh
From Cherbourg, a trip to Cobh in Ireland is just the thing. This picturesque town boasts gorgeous Georgian architecture and a delightful seaside ambiance, as well as a wealth of cozy pubs, perfect for enjoying an evening of traditional Irish music.
Norwegian Fjords: A Nature Lover’s Dream
No European cruise from Southampton would be complete with an exploration of Norway’s breathtaking coastal landscape, including the stunning fjords. The astonishing natural beauty of the Norwegian coastline is genuinely breathtaking, and a Norwegian cruise offers the opportunity to navigate narrow waterways hemmed in by towering cliffs, explore charming villages, and hike over glaciers and mountains.
Danish Delights in Copenhagen
The Danish capital is renowned as a center of style, design, and modern cuisine, combining cutting-edge cool with fairy-tale charm. From the iconic Little Mermaid statue and the beautiful Tivoli Gardens to historic Nyhavn and counter-cultural Christiana, Copenhagen offers a cavalcade of delights and its blend of history and flair makes it a must-visit port of call.
Cultural Immersion in Lisbon, Portugal
Portugal is one of Europe’s underrated gems, and Lisbon is the jewel in the crown. This vivacious, vibrant city offers a unique combination of history, culture, and cuisine, to the mournful tune of Portugal’s traditional fado music. Explore the delightful Alfama district and the medieval São Jorge Castle, visit crumbling mansions and cobbled and tiled streets, and gorge yourself to your heart’s delight on mouthwatering custard tarts in the shadow of Belem Tower.
Historic Iberia in Vigo, Spain
Before returning to Southampton you can get a final hit of Spanish sunshine in the northern port of Vigo in Galicia. This delightful town is soaked in history, as one of the landmarks of the famous Camino de Santiago, and also serves up some of the best seafood to be found in the entire country. Its blend of old maritime charm and Iberian allure makes it the perfect way to bring the curtain down on your European cruise.
With so many destinations to visit from the city, crafting the perfect cruise itinerary from Southampton is an art, not a science. The above destinations are just a taste of what is on offer, and wherever you choose to visit you are guaranteed a fascinating, exciting, and memorable experience.