More cruise lines than ever are deciding to offer cruises from Southampton. The port is one of the most popular ports in the UK, especially for cruise departures. With 16 cruise ships sailing from the port, cruises from Southampton offer guests a welcome alternative from the airports.
With flight cancelations, long lines, and delays the norm now at airports in Europe and the UK, Southampton has managed to create itself a niche market for those who want to avoid the hassle.
Even for many Europeans, a trip through the channel tunnel to take a cruise is becoming an increasingly good idea.
Cruises from Southampton are a popular option
With 95 departures in June, July, and August 2022, Southampton is quickly becoming a significant player among the cruise ports in Europe. Taking a cruise from the UK has taken flight, especially after the pandemic as more cruise lines than ever decided to homeport in Southampton.
The worldwide surge in cruise bookings is not just felt in the United States; in the United Kingdom, travel agents and cruise lines have been extremely busy, especially with last-minute bookings.
Dave Mills, VP of Global Supply at Planet Cruise, says: “This summer we are spoiled by the range and quality of cruises available from UK ports including departures from Southampton, Dover, Tilbury, Liverpool, Newcastle and Rosyth. We have seen a trend for late bookings as demand for travel goes from strength to strength as the world re-opens.”
Planet Cruise reports that 65% of all cruise bookings in the last two weeks have been no-fly cruises from the UK, primarily from Southampton.
Airport troubles Boost Cruises
The trend towards late bookings partly has its roots in the problems that many thousands of holidaymakers have experienced at European and UK airports in the last couple of months.
As the world re-opened and the travel boost came into full effect, airports have struggled to achieve the staffing levels needed to streamline the thousands of people passing through. Here, Southampton has managed to take a slice of the pie from places such as Greece, Portugal, and Spain.
“Cruising from a UK port has always been a very civilized way to start your holiday. Embarkation times are usually late morning or early afternoon and once you arrive at the port you can be onboard your ship enjoying your holiday in no time,” said Dave Mills.
Guests can arrive at the port shortly before embarkation, with a set embarkation time booked well in advance. This speeds up the process and ensures there are no lines, and guests can be onboard in minutes.
And even for those from the European mainland, a cruise from the UK makes sense. By car, the channel tunnel is an excellent alternative to the airports and is only a two-hour drive from Southampton.
8 Cruise Lines, 16 Ships
There is certainly no lack of choice with cruises from Southampton. Eight cruise lines currently operate sixteen cruise ships from the port. Most ships come from UK-cruise line P&O Cruises, operating Iona, Ventura, Aurora, Arcadia, and Britannia.
This summer, Princess Cruises has four ships operating from Southampton, Enchanted Princess, Sky Princess, Emerald Princess, and Island Princess.
Other ships sailing from Southampton this summer include MSC Virtuosa, Bolette, Anthem of the Seas, Celebrity Silhouette, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Oceania’s Sirena (Oceania).
The relaxing manner of travel that cruise ships offer is becoming more and more popular. As international air travel is becoming harder and harder to do stress-free, there is no reason not to drive down to Southampton, park the car, and take a cruise.