Southampton has been a major sea port since Roman times. The city from which RMS Titanic sailed on her ill-fated maiden voyage, Southampton’s unique double tides and deep, natural harbour means you can cruise from Southampton on some of the world’s largest and most impressive liners.
Known as the Cruise Capital of Northern Europe, Southampton is the largest and busiest cruise port in the UK. Size is no problem when you book cruises from Southampton, as the harbour allows unrestricted access by even the world’s largest cruise ships. These include the Independence of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean Line’s Freedom class behemoth, which now cruises from Southampton all year round. The even more massive Oasis of the Seas has also berthed here, while a 10m upgrade to the City Terminal was going on.
Cunard, Carnival and P & O all have their homes at Southampton, although Cunard is the only line to have ships registered here. Look at the RMS Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth or Queen Mary 2, and you will see the iconic city name painted across the bow. Other lines with which you can book a cruise from Southampton include Princess, Celebrity, Fred Olsen, Seabourn, MSC and Silversea.
Southampton is currently experiencing its busiest time ever. In 2003, the number of passengers visiting the port numbered 500,000. In 2010, the figure rose to 1.2 million. Currently, over 300 cruise ships use the port each year, but new names are being added all the time. Recent years have seen a champagne bottle break across the bows of P & O’s Arcadia and Oriana, and Cunard’s magnificent Queen Mary 2 (the largest ocean liner ever built) to name but a few.
Those booking a cruise from Southampton can now do so from four superbly equipped passenger terminals, with a possible fifth in the pipeline. Those booking a cruise from Southampton’s Ocean Terminal may be interested to know that the nearby Ocean Dock was the spot from which RMS Titanic sailed, almost 100 years ago. Be reassured, ocean travel is a lot safer today.
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