Coastal cruising in the UK this summer

Date published: 06 Apr 21

150 people found this feature helpful

Portree, Scotland

Sometimes it takes extraordinary circumstances to appreciate the virtues of something right in front of us. The last year has not been easy, but many people have said how much more they have come to appreciate their local area, getting to know back-routes that in normal times go unnoticed and seeing the natural world around them with new eyes.

So it can be on board ship this summer and autumn, with the chance to cruise to amazing places you might never have seen before, which are right on your doorstep. A number of cruise lines have announced that they will offer both scenic UK sailings without stops and cruises which visit British ports of call creating a special opportunity to discover the places close to home. Britain is blessed by a coastline that offers so many delightful discoveries, from Scotland’s Western isles to the Cornish coves, which can offer the thrill of the new without being far away.

Cruising the British IslesWhile international travel hangs in the balance for the summer, exploring the glories of coastal Britain is something you can look forward to with more certainty, knowing that you will not have pass through an airport to start your holiday and won’t face quarantine restrictions on your return. And you will be sailing with lower than normal numbers of passengers on board with you.

It has been well-documented how high standards of hygiene and safety were on cruise ships before the pandemic. Now, the cruise industry is again ahead of many land-based operations, so you can set sail in the holiday mood and relax, reassured that every possible measure is being taken on board and off to keep you safe.

The weather may not always be perfect but without the occasional cloud, how would we appreciate the glory of the British sunshine? And just to be travelling again, in comfort and in company, with places to see and the sea breeze in your hair, will feel like such a treat.

So read on to find out just how many options there are. Prices quoted are based on two sharing accommodation. Look out for the asterisk (*): it shows this company offers permanent special offers to members of the Silver Travel Club. The quoted passenger numbers are based on normal carryings but please note that ships will be sailing below their full passenger complement on these cruises. Shore excursions are expected to be limited to those arranged by the cruise companies.

Celebrity Cruises

Sailing from and back to Southampton, starting 3 July 2021, the newly refurbished 2,886 passenger Celebrity Silhouette – with designs by Kelly Hoppen – offers a series of 6-8 night itineraries around Britain’s coastline including calls at Inverness, Kirkwall and Glasgow in Scotland, Portland in Dorset, Belfast and Liverpool. Wi-Fi, drinks and service charges are now Always Included℠ with Celebrity Cruises.

Health requirements: All guests aged 18 and over will need to be twice vaccinated against Covid-19 at least 7 days before departure, and those under the age of 18 will need negative PCR test results.

Portland, DorsetSample cruises include:

Celebrity Silhouette’s 8-night UK cruise from Southampton 23-31 July 2021, calling at Kirkwall, Inverness, Portland (Dorset) and returning to Southampton.  From £1,299pp including drinks, wi-fi and tips.

Celebrity Silhouette’s 7-night UK cruise from Southampton 21-28 August 2021, calling at Inverness, Kirkwall, Greenock (Glasgow) and returning to Southampton.  From £1,199pp including drinks, wi-fi and tips.

Celebrity Silhouette’s 7-night UK cruise from Southampton 28 August-4 September 2021, calling at Liverpool and Belfast and returning to Southampton.  From £1,049pp including drinks, wi-fi and tips.

Call 0844 493 2043 or visit website 
More about Celebrity Cruises

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines*

Noted for their friendly on board atmosphere, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines offers a programme of 11 ‘Welcome Back’ 3-7 night cruises in July and August 2021 with departures from Dover, Liverpool and Rosyth (Edinburgh), featuring a choice of scenic-only cruises (with experts from wildlife charity, ORCA on deck giving talks about the local wildlife) or sailings with UK ports of call, including the maiden voyages of new-to-the-fleet 1,360 passenger Borealis on 5 July 2021 and 1,338 passenger Bolette on 16 August 2021.

*Silver Travel Club members can enjoy up to 10% off sailings with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, on top of any offers being run by Fred. Olsen at the time of booking.

Health requirements: awaiting further government advice.

Sample cruises include:

Kilt Rock Waterfall, Scotland

Borealis’ 4-night S213 ‘Scenic British Isles & Summer Wildlife’ no port cruise, from and back to Liverpool on 8-12 July 2021.From £599pp plus up to £75pp to spend on board. Solos from £1,198.

Borealis offers a 5-night Scenic Orkney and Faroe Islands non-stop cruise, sailing from and back to Liverpool, 17-22 July 2021. Fares from £749pp. Solos from £1,149.

Bolette’s 5-night T217 ‘Touring Scenic Orkneys & Shetlands’ cruise sails from and back to Dover 24-29 August 2021. Fares from £749pp, Solos from £1,499.

Call 0845 314 2222 or visit website
More about Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Hebridean Island Cruises

Elegant and stylish, like a luxury country house hotel, the 50-passenger Hebridean Princess is offering 4-8 nights sailings from May until November 2021 from Oban, Greenock (for Glasgow) and Inverness to the Scottish Western Isles and Hebrides, with fully all-inclusive fares.

Health requirements: All guests must have had at least one vaccination and test negative prior to departure.

Sample cruises include:

Isle of Raasay Distillery, Scotland7-night Gaelic Heritage cruise, 7-14 September 2021, from and back to Oban.  From £4,930pp including two Gala dinners, drinks, tours, wi-fi and tips.

7-night Hidden Isles and Highland Gems sailing, 21-28 September 2021, from and back to Oban. From £5,700pp including two Gala dinners drinks, tours, wi-fi and tips.

7-night Land of Myths and Legends cruise, 26 October - 2 November 2021, from Oban and back to Greenock.  From £3,750pp including two Gala dinners, drinks, tours, wi-fi and tips.


Call 01756 704704 or
visit website

More about Hebridean Island Cruises

Hurtigruten

Expedition cruise specialist Hurtigruten offers small-ship sailings with active and interesting excursions from July to September 2021, from Dover.

Health requirements: awaiting further government advice.

Sample cruises include:

British IslesMS Maud’s 13-day British Isles, Remote Islands, Natural Wonders and a Diverse Coastline departures,  sailing from and back to Dover from £3,535pp including drinks, wi-fi and activities ashore. 15-28 August 2021 and 10-23 September 2021.

MS Maud’s 15-day British Isles, Picturesque Ports, Isolated Islands and Wonderful Wildlife departures, sailing from and back to Dover, from 4-19 July 2021 and 1-16 August 2021 from £3,569pp including drinks, wi-fi and activities ashore.

Call 020 8003 9582 or visit website
More about Hurtigruten

Noble Caledonia

Expedition-style cruises on small, informal ships. Superb for nature and wildlife. 

Health requirements: proof of vaccination will be required.

Sample cruises include:

Noble CaledoniaThe 95-passenger MS Serenissima’s 15-night Circumnavigation of the United Kingdom departs from and returns to Portsmouth, 13-29 August 2021 with all-inclusive fares from £6,495pp including drinks with meals, excursions, wi-fi and tips.

With just over 100 passengers, Hebridean Sky’s 7-night Summer in the Isles 2021 Channel Islands and Scilly Isles sailing departs from and returns to Portsmouth 30 June-7 July and 7-14 July 2021. Fares from £3,595pp, including drinks with meals, excursions, wi-fi and tips.

The 95-passenger MS Serenissima’s 9-night Love of Country, 24 July- 2 August 2021 sails to the northern and western isles from and back to Aberdeen with all-inclusive fares from £3,995pp including drinks with meals, excursions, wi-fi and tips.

Call 020 7752 0000 or visit website
More about Noble Caledonia

Princess Cruises

Take the opportunity to enjoy the fabulous on-board lifestyle, entertainment and dining amenities offered by big-ship balcony-room cruising.  Sail from and back to Southampton on 3-7 night ‘Seacation’ cruises, mixing non-stop and UK ports-of-call options aboard Medallion-class, 3,600 passenger Regal Princess (July-September 2021) and Sky Princess (August-September 2021). Fares quoted feature Princess Plus with premium drinks, wi-fi and tips included. Bookings can be made with £50pp deposit.

Health requirements: All guests must be aged over 18 and will need to be twice vaccinated against Covid-19 at least 7 days before departure.

Sample cruises include:

Edinburgh3-day Summer Seacation sailing non-stop from and back to Southampton aboard Regal Princess, 31 July-2 August 2021. Balcony fares from £309pp with premium drinks, wi-fi and tips included.

5-day Summer Seacation, sailing non-stop from and back to Southampton aboard Sky Princess, 17-22 September 2021. Balcony fares from £549pp with premium drinks, wi-fi and tips included.

7-day Summer Seacation with Regal Princess 23-30 September 2021 sailing from and back to Southampton with calls at Belfast, Liverpool and Greenock (for Glasgow). Balcony fares from £689pp with premium drinks, wi-fi and tips included.


Call 0344 338 8660 or
visit website
More about Princess Cruises

Riviera Cruises

ObanThe 164 passenger MS Seaventure offers a small ship cruise experience exploring smaller harbours, such as Kirkwall and Stornoway, on two sailings between Leith (Edinburgh) and Greenock (Glasgow) in July 2021. 

Health requirements: awaiting further government advice.

8 days Cruising Scotland’s Highlands and Islands, sailing from Leith to Greenock 5-13 July 2021 with calls at the Orkneys and Outer Hebrides.  Fares from £1,999pp including excursions and wi-fi.

Call 01283 880 172 or visit website
More about Riviera Cruises

Saga Cruises

Saga offers all-balcony, all-inclusive mid-size ship cruising, combining excellent on board amenities with an intimate atmosphere. Door-to-door chauffeur service and insurance included in the fares quoted.

Health requirements: All guests should be aged over 50 and will need to be twice vaccinated against Covid-19 at least 14 days prior to travel. 

Douglas Lighthouse, Isle of ManSample cruises include:

5-night Celtic Escape sailing aboard Spirit of Discovery from and back to Southampton featuring calls at Greencastle for Londonderry and Belfast 24-29 September 2021. Balcony fares from £1,383pp with door-to-door chauffeur service, drinks, wi-fi, tips, insurance and selected excursions included.

13-night A Taste of the British Isles sailing aboard Spirit of Discovery 12-15 August 2021 from Tilbury and back to Southampton featuring a circumnavigation of the UK. Balcony fares from £3,845pp with door-to-door chauffeur service, drinks, wi-fi, tips, insurance and selected excursions included.


Call 0800 092 9083 or visit 
travel.saga.co.uk
More about Saga Cruises

St Hilda Sea Adventures

Personal, very small-ship voyages reaching places that bigger ships can’t in Argyll and the Hebrides. The three ship fleet carrying just 6-11 passenger operates from May-October 2021, sailing from and back to Oban.

Health requirements: awaiting further government advice.

Isle of MullSample cruises include:

5-night The Inner Hebrides Wildlife Cruise aboard the 11 passenger former Norwegian ferry Seahorse II sailing from and back to Oban, 7-12 September 2021. Fares from £1,400pp

7-night Isle of Mull and Small Isles Explorer aboard the 6 passenger former tall-ship St Hilda, sailing from and back to Oban, 7-14 July 2021. Fares from £1,155pp.

8-night Scottish Island Mini-Cruise: Isle of Skye and the Small Isles aboard the 8 passenger former lifeboat Gemini Explorer sailing from and back to Oban, 20-28 August 2021. Fares from £1,760pp.

Call 01776 810802 or visit website
More about St Hilda Sea Adventures

Tradewind Voyages

Tradewind Voyages’ stunning tall ship Golden Horizon sails under canvas when possible, following the ocean’s currents. The ship offers 4-10 night UK sailings, including its maiden voyage, from and back to UK ports with a selection of calls en route, June-August 2021.

Health requirements: awaiting further government advice.

WhitbySample cruises include:

5-night Eastern Coastal Contrasts aboard Golden Horizon for her maiden voyage, sailing from Harwich to Leith with calls at Whitby, Newcastle and Berwick Upon Tweed, 1-6 July 2021. Fares from £1,149pp (singles from £1,549).

6-night
West Coast Gems of Scotland sailing from and back to Greenock (Glasgow) 15-21 July 2021. Fares from £1,449pp.

10-night
English South Coast and Islands coinciding with Cowes week, sailing from and back to Harwich, 4-14 August 2021. Fares from £2,849pp.


Call 01473 932060 or visit website  
More about Tradewind Voyages

Viking

Hugh Town, Isles of ScillyViking’s sailings from Portsmouth to Portsmouth aboard the 930 passenger Viking Venus in May and June 2021 sold out on the day they went on sale – but they have just announced two more opportunities:

8-day England’s Scenic Shores sailing from and back to Portsmouth 19-26 June and 26 June - 3 July 2021 calling at Liverpool, Tresco (Scilly Isles), Falmouth and Portland (Dorset). Fares from £1,690pp including drinks with meals, shore excursions, wi-fi and tips.

Call 020 8780 7900 or visit website
More about Viking

 

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