5 of the best ports in the British Isles

Kelly Ranson rounds up the most popular ports of call for cruise ships docking around the UK

1. Isle of Skye, Scotland

It can be easy to forget just how stunning our country is, but on arrival to the Isle of Skye, you’ll be hit with rugged coastlines, medieval castles and an abundance of wildlife. Most ships dock at Portree (pictured), the island’s capital – and from here clients can visit Dunvegan Castle or join a wildlife cruise. But since Skye is a paradise for walkers and hikers, it’s worth suggesting they get out on foot and enjoy nature at its best.

Book it: Ambassador Cruise Line offers an 11-night British Isles & Ireland cruise from Tilbury, departing on August 13, 2022, with prices starting at £1,049.

2. Portland, England

Along the coast from the cruise hub of Southampton sits the quieter, windswept isle of Portland. A great hopping-off point to explore the Jurassic Coast, the island is connected to the mainland via the 18-mile Chesil Beach. Cruisers can also visit nearby Weymouth, with its sandy beaches and quaint harbour. Farther afield, take in excursions to Salisbury Cathedral or the iconic Unesco World Heritage Site of Stonehenge.

Book it: Princess Cruises offers a 12-day British Isles cruise on board Emerald Princess, departing from Southampton on June 14, 2022. Prices start from £899.


3. St Peter Port, Guernsey

This Channel Island is a popular cruise call and its main harbour town, St Peter Port, makes for a charming arrival by sea. It may be small, but the bustling harbour, winding streets and historic attractions (including the 19th-century home of Les Misérables author Victor Hugo) mean there’s a lot to fill the day. If time permits, suggest a short trip to sister islands Herm or Sark.

Book it: P&O Cruises offers a three-night break to Guernsey on Aurora, departing Southampton on July 5, 2022, priced from £329.


4. Liverpool, England

Bursting with culture and a friendly buzz, Liverpool has long been an adored city – and cruise ships can dock right on its historic waterfront. Many shore excursions focus on The Beatles. Add to this a host of museums and galleries (Liverpool has more than any UK city outside of London) and there’s plenty to delight.

Book it: Silversea Cruises’ Silver Whisper calls at Liverpool on a 14‑day Hamburg to Greenwich cruise around Great Britain, departing on June 1, 2022, with prices starting at £7,200.


5. Portsmouth, England

Portsmouth makes an ideal pre or post-cruise stop, and 2022 is shaping up to be a bumper year for the south coast city as it plans to host maiden calls for a number of ships and lines. Home to the famous HMS Victory, the city is rich in maritime history. And it’s 40 years since the wreckage of the Mary Rose was raised from the Solent, with the remains still displayed at the historic dockyard.

Book it: Oceania Cruises is offering a 14-day Baltic cruise round-trip from Portsmouth on Sirena departing on September 17, 2022. Prices start at £3,329.


PICTURES: Shutterstock/Allard One, Helen Hotson, Nataliya Hora, Panya Sinsuebphol, Trabantos

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