British Isles Cruise – Queen Mary 2 – 25 May 2023
British Isles Cruises
With around 20,000 miles of coastline, the British Isles are perfect for cruising, offering an unbeatable combination of ruined castles, rugged landscapes, white sandy beaches, and world-class port cities, each one steeped in culture and history. There truly is a destination for everyone in the British Isles – but if you’re not sure of where to go, turn the page for our ultimate guide to everything that awaits around the UK and Ireland.
South coast & Isles of Scilly.
England’s south coast is the stuff of summer dreams, with miles of golden sands to satisfy even the most demanding of Med-loving cruisers. Leading the way are Devon and Cornwall, with more than 400 beaches between them.
In Cornwall, most small-ship cruises stop at Falmouth – the gateway to the Cornish coast, with its deep natural harbour and yacht-packed marina. The town is a jumble of winding lanes and traditional pubs, with four top-class beaches and Cornwall’s National Maritime Museum. Just a short walk away, west of Pendennis Castle, lies Gyllyngvase Beach, where you’ll find white sands, flora-covered green slopes, and the blue waters of the English Channel. On hot days, visitors should frequent Roskill’s Ice Cream Parlour for some classic West Country sweet treats.
Devon also offers an abundance of beaches, and many can be accessed from its main port of Plymouth, a thriving waterfront city steeped in maritime history.
The Channel Islands
Some of the most beautiful spots in the British Isles can actually be found closer to France than to the mainland.
Guernsey and Jersey, the two largest of the Channel Islands, are both home to proper cruise ports, and their proximity to the continent gives the feeling of escaping from Britain without actually leaving the country. Both islands offer a wide choice of activities for visitors, be it museums, abandoned forts, or miles of nature trails.
Just a short sail across the Irish Sea lies a land of Celtic history, national parks and windswept beauty. Home to the famous Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland is a dream destination for any lover of the great outdoors, offering travellers the chance to explore its rugged but verdant terrain.
The British & Irish mainland
The British Isles are home to some of the most vibrant, pulsating and cosmopolitan cities in the world, each with its own distinct culture, heritage and traditions. Better still, many of these cities can be found on or near the coastline, handily served by their own cruise terminals. On England’s south coast, Portsmouth and Southampton are the big-ticket cruise ports – Portsmouth with its naval history, iconic Spinnaker Tower and designer shopping at Gunwharf Quays; Southampton with its liner heritage (walk the Titanic Trail and visit the Sea City Museum to learn more).
Then there’s Liverpool, formerly one of the world’s greatest trading hubs, now a thriving city of art and culture where visitors can wander the stunningly redeveloped Albert Dock or pay homage at the Cavern Club, where the Beatles’ journey began.