Southampton, United Kingdom - British Isles & North West Europe Cruises

The United Kingdom's premier passenger ship port, Southampton was home to the great transatlantic liners of yesteryear. The port serves as your gateway to Southern England’s magnificent historic sites, national landmarks, charming villages as well as the great metropolis of London. Southampton is the ideal starting or ending point for a memorable voyage.

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Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Spring Colours of Exbury

    Absorb the tranquil atmosphere of Exbury Gardens as you wander around the stunning gardens which are bursting with beautiful colours.

    Spring Colours of Exbury

    Your journey will take you through the beautiful New Forest National Park, where you will have the chance to see the famous New Forest ponies which graze on the wild heathland, before arriving at Exbury Gardens. Created in the 1920’s, Exbury Gardens are a spectacular 200 acre site, world famous for the Rothschild collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, rare trees and shrubs. So spectacular are the gardens that the Queen of England enjoys private visits every year.

    The Gardens have been specially created to reflect the changing colours of nature throughout the different seasons. During the spring the magnolias, camellias, azaleas and wisteria burst into flower, whilst the Daffodil Meadow is a carpet of glorious gold. The spectacular collection of over ten thousand rhododendron specimens is at its best with its display of beautiful colours.

    During the tour there will be the opportunity to take a delightful 20 minute ride on a small narrow gauge steam railway to see parts of the Gardens not accessible on foot.

    The Gardens contain a quaint tearoom, which serves a delicious English cream tea (own expense), and an extensive gift shop selling an array of gifts and souvenirs.


    Guests who are embarking or disembarking the ship in Southampton should not book a shore excursion for this port.  Southampton excursions are available for guests visiting Southampton as a port call.

    This excursion will operate by coach, mini steam train and on foot. There is up to three hours of walking, which is at guests' discretion. The railway and main paths of the Gardens are wheelchair accessible. There is a buggy tour available on the day for those with limited mobility (additional expense, payable direct).

    Tour code

    SOU_010

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    • Family

      Especially suitable for families

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • London Panorama and Buckingham Palace

    View the wonderful capital city of London and visit Royal Buckingham Palace.

    London Panorama and Buckingham Palace

    Leaving Southampton, your journey will take you into the heart of London, where a panoramic drive will take you past spectacular sights, including The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

    The highlight of your day will be a visit to Buckingham Palace, the Queens official residence. The Palace is open to the public for just a few weeks of the year when the Queen is not in residence, and your cruise fortunately coincides with those dates.

    During your interesting audio guide visit, you’ll view the central courtyard and the main staircase. You will also see many of the state rooms including the remarkable picture gallery featuring works by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyke, the ballroom, the beautiful throne room and the white drawing room which is regarded as the grandest of all. At the end of your visit head to the garden café and shop, where you may wish to purchase luncheon or a refreshment and perhaps a souvenir.

    As you re-board your coach for the return drive, sit back and relax as you take in a few final views of London.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Luncheon is not included, allowing for more flexibility for the visit at Buckingham Palace. This tour may operate in reverse order. There may be a short wait outside before entering Buckingham Palace due to strict timed entry slots. The tour of Buckingham Palace will take around two hours over relatively flat surfaces with some steps to negotiate. Guests will be required to go through airport style security checks. Photography and video is not permitted and mobile phones must be switched off.

    Tour code

    SOU_026

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    7 hours

  • Royal Windsor Castle

    Enjoy a visit to the magnificent Royal residence of Windsor Castle followed by free time to explore the historic town of Windsor.

    Royal Windsor Castle

    Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world, is one of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. The Castle's dramatic site encapsulates 900 years of British history and dates back to the time of William the Conqueror.

    Enjoy an audio tour around the opulent rooms of the Castle including the splendid State Apartments and grand St Georges Hall where the Queen entertains visiting heads of states. The rooms are furnished with some of the finest works of art from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Reubens and Gainsborough. You will be able to admire the world famous Queen Mary's Dolls' House, which took three years to complete and involved 1,500 craftsmen, artists and authors. The house has electric lighting, hot and cold running water and even flushing lavatories.

    One of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England can be found in St George's Chapel. The chapel contains the tombs of ten sovereigns, including Charles I, Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour. After visiting the Castle, there will be around one hour of free time to explore the town of Windsor with its Georgian shops, houses and inns.


    Guests who are embarking or disembarking the ship in Southampton should not book a shore excursion for this port.  Southampton excursions are available for guests visiting Southampton as a port call.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The transfer time to Windsor is 1½ hours. There is a ½ mile walk from the car park to the Castle entrance and two hours walking within the Castle. If the Royal Family is in residence some of the state rooms will be unavailable. St George’s Chapel is closed on Sundays. Queues may be experienced due to the strict security procedures. Luncheon is not included to allow maximum flexibility. Please remember to carry local currency.

    Tour code

    SOU_001

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    7 hours

  • Beautiful Bath

    Discover the World Heritage City of Bath with its beautiful Georgian architecture, Roman history and stunning scenery.

    Beautiful Bath

    The Roman City of Bath and the beautiful countryside which surrounds it, has been described as one of England's most beautiful places to visit. Bath is situated within the south west of England and is a 2,000 year old fabulous spa town, built around Britain’s only hot mineral springs.

    Bath offers a multitude of fantastic places to visit and is very easy to navigate on foot. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, the city has some of the finest architectural sites in Europe and boasts a unique and diverse range of historic features, which attract people the world over.

    Your visit will begin with a panoramic tour of Bath, with your guide bringing the city to life as you pass the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, the Royal Crescent, the Circus and the parks, including Royal Victoria Park. Afterwards, you’ll have some free time to explore this historic city at your own leisure. Watch the many street performers, visit the Roman Baths Museum, discover Jane Austen’s connection to the city at the Jane Austen Centre, wander around the fabulous shops or simply sit back and enjoy the bustling atmosphere.

    Guests who are embarking or disembarking the ship in Southampton should not book a shore excursion for this port.  Southampton excursions are available for guests visiting Southampton as a port call.

    The transfer time to Bath is approximately 1¾ hours. Luncheon is not included to allow maximum flexibility. Please remember to carry local currency (pounds sterling). Any walking is at guests’ own discretion. Bath is relatively flat but some streets are cobbled. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. The allocated free time is around 2-2½ hours; however this may vary depending on local traffic conditions on the day.

    Tour code

    SOU_003

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    7 hours

  • Traditional England & Cream Tea

    This delightful tour offers all things traditionally English, including a delicious cream tea.

    Traditional England & Cream Tea

    On the outskirts of Southampton, within the New Forest, sits the charming 18th century ship building village of Bucklers Hard.

    Located on the banks of the River Beaulieu, this quaint and peaceful village allows you take a journey back in time. Step inside the Shipwright’s Cottage that tells the story of living standards and craftsmanship and take a look inside the tiny St Mary’s Chapel, the villagers’ place of worship. Many of the ships that fought in the Battle of Trafalgar were built at Bucklers Hard and today you can still see the slipways where these wooden ships were constructed. The Maritime Museum offers a fascinating insight into the nautical history of the area and you’ll discover the important part that Bucklers Hard played in British shipbuilding.

    Afterwards, you’ll take a drive to the lovely riverside town of Lymington. Here, you can take a leisurely stroll along the high street and down to the water’s edge pr perhaps browse the shops.

    For your final stop and one that will round off your tour perfectly, you will head to a local hotel for a classic British cream tea. Relax and savour a delicious scone with jam and cream, accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee.

    During the return drive, you’ll have the opportunity to admire more of the New Forest scenery, before arriving back to Southampton.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves around 1½ hours of walking over varying terrain including steps, cobblestones and uneven surfaces. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    SOU_028

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4¾ hours

  • Southampton Titanic Trail

    Discover Southampton’s historic buildings and its links with the legendary Titanic on this fascinating walking tour.

    Southampton Titanic Trail

    Titanic pulled away from the White Star dock in Southampton at the start of her maiden voyage on 10th April 1912. 5 days later in the early hours of 15th April she sank after striking an iceberg. The disaster had a devastating effect on the people of Southampton and of the 724 crew which lived within in the area only 175 returned home.

    . Your walking tour begins at Ocean Terminal, which is located adjacent to the site of the original White Star dock. A leisurely stroll will take you through Queen’s Park and past the old South Western Hotel where the First Class passengers stayed before embarking on the majestic liner. Close by are the old White Star offices where Southampton residents gathered in their hundreds, waiting day after day for news of loved ones.

    A walk along Oxford Street will take you past some of the drinking establishments used by the ill fated crew including The Grapes pub, which is where filming took place for the famous ‘Titanic’ movie. At the end of the street are the ruins of Holyrood Church where a memorial to the Titanic crew stands. As you wander past the ancient Southampton walls and through the main shopping precinct, with its eclectic mix of shops, you’ll hear poignant tales of the Titanic heroes and survivors.

    The highlight of the tour is a visit to the SeaCity Museum. This interactive Museum is filled with information and interesting memorabilia of the fateful disaster and illustrates the impact the liner has had on the city.

    This excursion will operate on foot.There is two hours walking on varying terrain, including uneven ground, steps and some slight inclines. Guests who opt to remain in the city centre after the tour will be responsible for making their own way back to the ship. If the ship docks at a different berth a short bus transfer will be involved.

    There is two hours walking on varying terrain, including uneven ground, steps and some slight inclines. The return journey will be by shuttle bus. Guests can opt to remain in the city centre and make their own way back to the berth by shuttle bus at their own convenience. If the ship docks at a different berth a short bus transfer will be involved.

    Tour code

    SOU_022

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    3 hours

  • New Forest Scenic Drive

    Discover the history and natural beauty of the New Forest with its famous ponies, quaint villages and picturesque landscapes.

    New Forest Scenic Drive

    A short drive out of Southampton will bring you to the New Forest. The New Forest, originally created by William the Conqueror for deer hunting, is a mixture of open grazing, woodland and heath. The Forest has remained almost untouched for 1,000 years and is famous for its tiny villages with traditional thatched cottages and wild ponies which roam free on the land. Today it is managed by the Forestry Commission and in 2004 was designated a National Park.

    Your scenic drive will take you through the heart of the New Forest, with its famous New Forest ponies, past a variety of beautiful landscapes to three of its prettiest villages; Hythe, Beaulieu and Lyndhurst.

    The historic marina village of Hythe is located alongside Southampton Water and on a clear day you can see across to where your cruise ship is berthed. The village also boasts the world’s oldest operating pier train.

    The picturesque village of Beaulieu dates back to the 13th century and is renowned for its Abbey, Motor Museum and Palace Manor House. Admire the lovely views across Beaulieu River as you pass through this quaint village.

    The New Forest capital, Lyndhurst is a bustling village containing tea rooms, pubs, souvenir shops, local stores and ice cream vendors. You will have the chance to visit the New Forest Visitor Centre to view its exhibits, browse the local shops or relax in one of the tea rooms.


    Guests who are embarking or disembarking the ship in Southampton should not book a shore excursion for this port.  Southampton excursions are available for guests visiting Southampton as a port call.

    This excursion will operate by coach. The sightseeing is conducted from the comfort of your coach with a photograph stop at Hythe and Beaulieu. There will be approximately 45 minutes free time in Lyndhurst.

    Tour code

    SOU_015

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Prehistoric Stonehenge

    Discover the mystery surrounding Stonehenge, Europe's most remarkable and intriguing prehistoric monument.

    Prehistoric Stonehenge

    Stonehenge is the most important prehistoric monument in the whole of Britain. This mighty symbol is a wonder of the world drawing thousands of visitors each year to witness its awesome majesty and mystery. It stands as a timeless tribute to the people who built it and is now a richly deserved UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    The natural and historical stone circle was erected between 3,000 BC and 1,600 BC (earlier than the Egyptian pyramids) by no less than three different cultures. Its extraordinary features include its orientation on the rising and setting sun, incredible geometry, unique jointing and the fact that some stones were dragged over 100 miles to the site.

    As you wander around the encircling pathway, your audio guide will provide an insight into the huge significance of Stonehenge. This stone circle also provides many photographic opportunities and with so many theories about its usage and uniqueness, Stonehenge is one of today’s wonders of the world and an absolute must to visit. There is also new visitor centre which includes exhibition galleries, Neolithic Huts, a café and a gift shop.


    Guests who are embarking or disembarking the ship in Southampton should not book a shore excursion for this port.  Southampton excursions are available for guests visiting Southampton as a port call.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The transfer time to Stonehenge is approximately one hour. Audio guides are available at the entrance if you wish to explore Stonehenge independently. A shuttle is used for the 10 minute transfer from the visitor centre to the Stonehenge monument. All areas are wheelchair accessible. The area immediately around the stones is cordoned off to protect them. Please remember to carry local currency (pounds sterling).

    Tour code

    SOU_011

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • Historic Beaulieu

    Enjoy the scenic delights of Beaulieu Estate including the National Motor Museum and Palace Manor House with its beautiful grounds.

    Historic Beaulieu

    Embark on a drive through the breathtaking scenery of the New Forest to Beaulieu, one of England’s top visitor attractions. On the journey, you will pass by a quaint village and glimpse some of the wild ponies and livestock which the New Forest is famous for.

    Beaulieu has many highlights including the National Motor Museum, an Ancient Abbey, Palace Manor House and a variety of gardens including a Victorian, kitchen and wilderness garden.

    Within the fascinating National Motor Museum you can see some of the earliest examples of motoring from the 1890s through to legendary world-record breakers, such as Campbell’s jet powered Bluebird which broke the world land speed record in 1964. The museum has a 1930s street scene which shows the shops, vehicles and tradesmen of the period which will bring back memories of a bygone era.

    New for 2014, is the Land Speed Record Gallery containing a dramatic display of four iconic record breaking vehicles and an emotive audio-visual experience. This exhibition is complimented by ‘The Story of Speed’ with its tales of men who have confronted the boundaries of speed over the decades.

    Admire the remains of the lovely 13th century Abbey with its timeless beauty and tranquil atmosphere. One of the buildings now houses a monastic exhibition which illustrates the daily life of the Cistercian Monks.

    The grand Palace Manor House has been the stately home of the Montagu family since 1538. With its combination of 14th century Gothic and 19th century Scottish Baronial architecture, the House offers an insight into the past with many fascinating family treasures, portraits and photographs.


    Guests who are embarking or disembarking the ship in Southampton should not book a shore excursion for this port.  Southampton excursions are available for guests visiting Southampton as a port call.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The grounds are spread out over a vast area, however there is a monorail which connects the main attractions. There will be approximately three hours of free time to explore the Beaulieu Estate at your own leisure.

    Tour code

    SOU_005

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Shopping at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth

    Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth is the optimum place to enjoy some retail therapy!

    Shopping at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth

    Take this simple transfer to Gunwharf Quays to enjoy over 90 discount outlets with brands that include Ralph Lauren, L.K Bennet, Paul Smith, Nike and Hugo Boss, to name but a few.

    In addition to the numerous clothing stores, you’ll also find over 30 cosmopolitan bars and restaurants and a contemporary art gallery. The atmosphere is often livened up with street music and theatre and seasonal events. Close by, you’ll also find the Gunwharf Quays Marina, where you can take a stroll and admire the waterside setting. You may even choose to visit the Spinnaker Tower that soars 170 metres above Portsmouth Harbour.

    After your shopping spree, you’ll meet back at the designated time and place for the return drive to the port of Southampton.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour is an unguided and unaccompanied transfer only. Your driver will provide direction upon arrival. The drive to Portsmouth is approximately 45 minutes, depending on local traffic conditions on the day. The time spent at Gunwharf Quays is around 2½ hours. The level of walking at Gunwharf Quays is at the guest’s discretion. Guests must be able to negotiate steps on to and off the coach. Flat, comfortable shoes are advised. Please take careful note of the return meeting point and time as buses cannot be held for latecomers.

    Tour code

    SOU_025

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Stonehenge & Historic Salisbury

    Combine a visit to Europe’s most intriguing prehistoric monument, with the enchanting medieval city of Salisbury.

    Stonehenge & Historic Salisbury

    Stonehenge is Britain’s most remarkable and intriguing prehistoric monument. It is as old as the great temples and pyramids of Egypt and remains as compelling today as it was to the people who built the first phase over 5,000 years ago. This mighty symbol is a wonder of the world drawing thousands of visitors each year to witness its awesome majesty and mystery.

    The stone circle of shaped stones, lintels, unique jointing and perfect geometry make it the most sophisticated stone circle in the world. The stones are fenced off for their preservation and protection. As you walk along the encircling pathway for close up views, your audio guide will explain the significance of the different stones and the discovered archaeological evidence, which is displayed in the new exhibition galleries. There is also a new visitor centre which includes Neolithic huts, a café and a gift shop.

    After a short drive from Stonehenge, you’ll arrive at the magnificent medieval city of Salisbury, with its historic streets and alleyways, charming half-timbered buildings, traditional eating houses and medieval Cathedral. Salisbury Cathedral is a beautiful masterpiece of early English Gothic architecture which also boasts the tallest spire in Britain, Europe’s oldest working clock and the world's best-preserved original copy of the Magna Carta. Enjoy approximately 2 hours’ free time to explore this lovely city at your leisure.


    Guests who are embarking or disembarking the ship in Southampton should not book a shore excursion for this port. Southampton excursions are available for guests visiting Southampton as a port call.

    This excursion will operate by coach, Stonehenge shuttle and on foot. The transfer time to Stonehenge is approximately one hour. A shuttle is used for the 10 minute transfer from the visitor centre to the Stonehenge monument. All areas are wheelchair accessible. Luncheon and the Cathedral entrance fee are not included to allow maximum flexibility. Please remember to carry local currency (pounds sterling) for any additional purchases.

    Tour code

    SOU_023

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    6½ hours

  • Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

    Step aboard the HMS Victory; the oldest commissioned warship in the world and view the raised Mary Rose built for Henry VIII.

    Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

    Head to the town of Portsmouth, home to one of the most important ports for the British Royal Navy.

    The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a great place to experience maritime history. HMS Victory was the former flagship of the British Navy at the Battle of Trafalgar and where Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson lost his life in 1805, fighting against the Spanish Armada. As you explore the HMS Victory, you’ll see the exact spot where he fell, walk the quarter deck and go below to the gun deck to see the cramped conditions that accommodated up to 800 sailors.

    Your visit to the Historic Dockyard will also include the Mary Rose Museum, dedicated to the infamous ship that was raised from the sea bed in 1982. The Mary Rose was the first ever vessel to be specifically built as a fighting machine for Henry VIII the then King of England. It capsized during battle against the French in 1512 and the reason for its sinking remains a mystery. The Mary Rose has been part of a remarkable restoration project and the museum holds the most comprehensive collection of Tudor naval artefacts in the world, from leather shoes to two tonne guns.

    < This excursion operates by coach and on foot. This tour includes a visit to HMS Victory and The Mary Rose Museum only. The drive to Portsmouth is approximately 45 minutes, depending on local traffic conditions on the day. The time spent at the Historic Dockyard is around 2-2½ hours. Each visit requires leisurely walking over varying terrain, some of which is uneven and cobbled. The HMS Victory has 15 steps up to the ship. There are steep steps between decks and in the lower decks there are height restrictions and some areas of darkness. Flat, comfortable shoes are advised.

    Tour code

    SOU_024

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Cathedral City of Winchester

    Discover the beautiful and historic city of Winchester.

    Cathedral City of Winchester

    The city of Winchester was established by King Egbert as the capital of England in 827. Its rich history is evident in the bronze statues of past heroes, the old cobbled streets and the magnificent cathedral that dominates the city centre.
    Upon arrival, you’ll visit Winchester Cathedral, one of the most remarkable Gothic cathedrals in Europe. Buried in the cathedral are early monarchs of England including King Canute and it is also the resting place of one of England’s greatest novelists, Jane Austen.

    Afterwards, you will have around 1½ hours to explore Winchester independently. The charming city centre offers excellent shopping and a selection of cafés where you may wish to purchase a refreshment. You will also find numerous places of historical interest, particularly the Great Hall, the last of what remains of Winchester Castle. Here hangs King Arthurs Round Table, its true origins of which remain a mystery.

    After your visit to Winchester, you’ll take the return drive back to Southampton.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The drive to Winchester is around 45 minutes, dependent on local traffic conditions on the day. This tour involves one hour of guided walking at the Cathedral, which is over relatively flat ground with some steps. Walking during free time is at guest’s discretion. There are some cobblestones in the city centre. Flat, comfortable shoes are advised. Appropriate dress for a cathedral visit is required.

    Tour code

    SOU_027

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

Our Ships

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Christened by her namesake, Her Majesty The Queen in October 2010, Queen Elizabeth is the newest Cunard ship and the third to bear the name. Modern and spacious, she has everything you’d wish for on board.

Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2

The newly Remastered Queen Mary 2 is the epitome of a luxury liner. The flagship of the Cunard fleet offers the last word in travel luxury – from the largest ballroom at sea to the sumptuous Commodore Club.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria is exactly what a Cunard ship should be. She’s sleek and contemporary, with a traditional red and black exterior. Inside is all about warmth and luxury, privacy and comfort.