Cruises From Southampton

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Cruising from Southampton, the UK’s cruise capital, offers an unrivaled way to experience the world in luxury. They give you the chance to wake up in a new destination every day, leaving you free to discover and savor every moment of your holiday.

Southampton is packed with captivating attractions and an exciting events programme, providing plenty of activities to do here. Notable landmarks include the iconic Mayflower Memorial, maritime heritage sites, as well as excellent shopping and dining options.

Port of Southampton

Southampton cruises offer an enjoyable way to experience the UK and its coastline in comfort. With so many ships departing Southampton each year, you’re sure to find a cruise that meets both your interests and budget.

Southampton Port is one of England’s largest ports, situated on the south coast between the Itchen and Test rivers. It boasts excellent road and rail connections to major cities throughout the UK.

Southampton is a cargo port that handles an array of goods such as bulk commodities like perishable foodstuffs, wheat, rock and gravel, metals and fertiliser. Furthermore, it hosts the major oil refinery at nearby Fawley which handles 2000 ship movements per year along with 2 million tonnes of crude oil.

Vehicle handling is another significant aspect of Southampton’s operations, serving over 820,000 vehicles annually. With its 100 ha of vehicle storage and distribution compounds, Southampton offers value added services like predelivery inspections and vehicle enhancement works.

Five passenger cruise terminals are operating in Southampton, offering a diverse selection of cruises to destinations throughout the UK and beyond. Many top cruise lines sail from here, such as P&O Cruises, Cunard Line, Royal Caribbean International, Fred Olsen Cruises and Princess Cruises.

For those who don’t feel the need for a cruise, there are plenty of activities to enjoy while exploring Southampton. Visit one of its acclaimed museums or historic buildings; attend one of the local galleries or theaters; or venture off into the New Forest National Park or Stonehenge for some outdoor adventure!

Southampton offers a variety of shore excursions that include tours of London. These trips last anywhere from one day to several days and are typically accompanied by an experienced local guide who can point out some of the sights in this fascinating city.

For travelers staying in London before or after their cruise, there are plenty of hotels and B&Bs to suit all budgets. The city itself boasts numerous shops and restaurants, especially those found in the medieval Old Town area. Plus, London boasts some of the country’s most renowned music venues.

SeaCity Museum

SeaCity Museum, situated in a Grade II listed Magistrates Court adjacent to Southampton Civic Centre, celebrates Southampton’s vibrant maritime history through engaging experiences suitable for all ages. Conveniently situated within walking distance of the cruise terminal, it’s easy to locate and open seven days a week.

The main draw of the museum is its Titanic-themed exhibition, featuring a 1:25 scale model, original artefacts and an recreation of 1930s inquiry into Titanic’s sinking. Additionally, visitors can explore different perspectives on Chicago’s connection to Titanic through various perspectives.

Visit the Solent Sky Museum to celebrate Southampton’s aviation history through models, aircraft and other displays. There is an impressive collection of historic aircraft as well as a large library with reference material on various topics.

Another must-see attraction in Old Town is Tudor House, a medieval timber-framed building located at its core. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in 800 years of history through its striking timber architecture and fascinating displays that appeal to all ages.

Plan ahead and don’t miss out on all that Southampton has to offer, such as exploring ‘Gateway to the World’ exhibition or ‘Stories of Southampton’ exhibit.

The museum features three different exhibition spaces that change regularly. Titanic-themed one is especially impressive, though it lacks many real artifacts from the doomed ship. Plus, there’s a pleasant cafe inside and an efficient management team to boot!

SeaCity Museum is an affordable option for Titanic fans and makes for a perfect pre or post cruise treat. However, it’s best to book ahead of time as there is usually a long waiting list!

Additionally, there’s a large modern pavilion for temporary exhibitions that attracts many visitors. It resembles three interlocking bays on a ship’s bow and offers them an immersive experience both enjoyable and educational.

Its collection of over 5000 works from eight periods is widely considered one of the finest in South Carolina. It features regular changing exhibitions and features national touring exhibits as well as influential artists. A wonderful art museum and well worth a visit if you want to gain insight into European art from an Eastern perspective.

Titanic Trail

Cruises from Southampton provide ample opportunity to discover this historic city and its fascinating heritage. Take the ferry out to Stonehenge or the idyllic Isle of Wight; visit New Forest National Park or Jane Austen’s favourite haunts; or simply relax and take in some of Southampton’s top museums.

Southampton will always be associated with Titanic, and there are memorials all around the city to remember the thousands of passengers who perished when the ship sank in 1912. Join a guided tour that visits some of these memorials as well as other points of interest along the way.

You can download the Titanic Trail, a self-guided walk of memorials and locations associated with the liner that takes around an hour to complete. Along the way you’ll pass by SSE Arena, W5, Belfast Habour Marina, Buoy Park, Hamilton Dock, Cassion Gate, SS Nomadic and Titanic Hotel before returning to Civic Centre.

There are also a couple of museums worth visiting to learn more about the ship and her story. Titanic Experience in Belfast, for instance, boasts nine galleries with interpretive displays and interactive games that help visitors comprehend the tragedy.

Belfast museum is a popular tourist destination and can get busy. To avoid the lines, try visiting when it’s not at its busiest. You’ll need to book a timed ticket; for best results, visit in the morning or early afternoon if possible.

In the city centre, the Canute Building was the former headquarters of White Star Line and where families gathered after the sinking to receive news of their loved ones. Across the street from it stood South Western House – White Star’s first-class hotel before the disaster.

On the waterfront you’ll find numerous commemorative plaques, most notably at the dock where Titanic set sail. There are tributes to musicians and postal workers as well as a simple yet dignified stone dedicated to Titanic passengers and a memorial garden with 123 stones commemorating Titanic’s victims.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is one of the most iconic landmarks in the UK and a must-see for any cruise passenger. Built around 5, 000 years ago, its sarsen (stone) standing stones with connecting lintel stones draw millions of visitors from around the world each year.

Salisbury Plain, approximately 8 miles north of Salisbury in Wiltshire, England, is home to this archaeological monument and site of several burials that can be seen within its barrows as well as wider henges and earthworks surrounding it.

Archaeologists believe the stone circle was an important religious and ceremonial site, possibly used for astronomical or farming calendars. It also served as a sacred location for ancestors and served as a healing hub.

It is widely considered to be the largest stone circle in the world, featuring its outer ring of vertical sarsen stones and inner oval of bluestones. These bluestones were cut so they could be locked together into trilithons for long distance transport by hand – each stone being quite heavy!

Although the exact engineering details behind Stonehenge’s construction remain a mystery, it is believed to have taken great skill. In 1963, astronomer Gerald Hawkins published a book entitled Stonehenge Decoded which suggested that alignment of sun and moon at the site may have been used to predict eclipses.

Other theories have been proposed, such as that the site served as a solar calendar to determine farming cycles. It’s widely believed to have been an important site for ritual and ceremonial activity with graves of kings, aristocrats and priests interred there.

The construction of the Stone Circle occurred over 2,000 years, in several stages. During the initial stage, an outer ring made of sarsens was created and then an oval filled with bluestones was completed – setting it as a forerunner to other Neolithic stone circles.

Stonehenge was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 and has undergone significant development and refurbishment since then, including the closure of A344 road between Stonehenge and its Avenue which will reunite the Stone Circle with its Avenue and enhance the setting. This project is expected to be completed by 2013.

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