10 of the best British cruises for summer staycations - Cruise International

10 of the best British cruises for summer staycations

By Claire Benktander | 16 Feb 2022

Isle of Skye-unsplash-british-isle-cruises

Isle of Skye. Credit: Tim Russmann via Unsplash

The British Isles led the resurgence of cruising last summer, as travellers jumped at the chance to book the first sailings to depart when travel restrictions were lifted. This year’s likely to be just as popular – discover our pick of the best British cruises for summer staycations for summer 2022 below.

New ship MSC Virtuosa set sail from Southampton on May 17, 2021, as well as Viking Venus a few days later and P&O Cruises’ new flagship Iona, which sailed around the Inner Hebrides on its maiden voyage.

Yet it seems that wasn’t enough to sate our appetite for sailings closer to home, with many more British Isles cruises slated for this year as we seek to make the most of the treasures on our doorstep. Here are 10 of the best British cruises for 2022.

Best British cruises for summer staycations

British Isles: England, Ireland & Scotland, Norwegian Cruise Line

NCL Norwegian Prima Ocean Boulevard

Norwegian Prima

The classic round-Britain route takes in the big cities, so if you fancy walking the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, tracing the footsteps of the Fab Four at The Beatles Story in Liverpool or exploring the origins of the Titanic in Belfast – where locals will proclaim “she was alright when she left here” – a great option is Norwegian Cruise Line’s British Isles cruise on Norwegian Dawn.

Sailing from Southampton, you’ll call in at all the favourites, from Edinburgh and Inverness to the remote Kirkwall on the Orkney Isles before exploring city life in Northern Ireland and Ireland with stops in Belfast, Dublin and Cork, touring the historic Cahir Castle, all while enjoying Norwegian’s signature range of bars, restaurants and spas on board.

From £1,259 pp based on May 2023 departure. Find out more & book or call 0333 2412319.

British Isles Cruise, Cunard

Grand Rocques Bay guernsey

Grand Rocques Bay, Guernsey

If you want to explore smaller spots, look out for sailings that stop off at St Peter Port, where the cobbled streets and sedate pace of the Guernsey capital are an antidote to the bustle of bigger cities, such as Cunard’s British Isles voyage on Queen Victoria.

You’ll also explore the remote Isle of Skye – home to an abundance of seabirds such as puffins and guillemots – and the Isle of Mull, where excursions to the Sound of Mull are on offer as well as exploring the Emerald Isle alongside nightly evening entertainment, live music and gourmet dining. Plus, if you book by 28 February 2022, you’ll enjoy additional money to spend on board, a low 5% deposit and Cunard’s flexible transfer policy.

From £1,649 pp based on May 2022 departure. Find out more & book or call 0344 338 8641.

Springtime in the British Isles, Crystal Cruises

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St Martin’s, Scilly Isles. Credit: Don Lodge via Unsplash

The Isles of Scilly are a highlight of Crystal Endeavour’s spring sailing from Greenwich with Crystal Cruises, when the famed gardens of Tresco Abbey will be awash with colourful blooms.

Navigate the scenic Isles of Scilly, discover UNESCO treasures from the Giant’s Causeway to the isolated St. Kilda archipelago, and explore the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and the windswept Shetlands before an overnight in Edinburgh. All accommodations feature a private verandah and personalised butler service.

Call for price – May 2022 departure. Find out more & book.

Scenic Isles of the UK, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

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Neist Point, Isle of Skye. Credit: Piotr Musiol via Unsplash

Explore Scotland with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Scenic Isles of the UK on board Bolette. Explore the remote isle of Staffa, with its wildlife – think puffins, razorbills, guillemots and more – and the famed Fingal’s Cave.

You’ll call in at the Isle of Skye’s ancient castles and natural wonders as well as Orkney’s UNESCO-listed villages and fascinating Norse villages in Shetland. The smaller ship allows you to take in some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery, away from well-sailed routes such as Duart Castle in the Sound of Mull and the beautiful Small Isles, as well as the Isles of Scilly’s palm-lined beaches and rugged landscapes.

Call for price – June 2022 departure. Find out more & book or call 0800 086 1597.

Scottish Cruises, Hebridean Island Cruises

 Hebridean Island Cruises

Hebridean Princess. Credit: Hebridean Island Cruises

The Scottish islands still hold sway for many lines, not least small luxury operator Hebridean Island Cruises, which has expanded its fleet with the acquisition of 40-passenger Lord of the Highlands. It will be sailing a series of five and seven-night voyages along the Caledonian Canal, Great Glen and around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, from April to October.

 Call for options. Find out more & book or call 01756 704704.

An Irish Interlude, Saga

ireland-british-isles

Achill Island, Co. Mayo. Credit: Rizby Mazumde via Unsplash

Meanwhile, Saga is setting its sights to the west with a range of British Isles and Ireland cruises starting in May on board Spirit of Adventure, taking in fishing towns such as Cobh – another spot with Titanic connections – and Killybegs in Donegal, complete with sweeping views of the rugged scenery along the west coast’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Their four-day Irish Interlude cruise is perfect for combining with a summer staycation that encompasses Bantry Bay and maritime Cobh.

From £1,656 pp based on May 2022 departure. Find out more & book or call 0800 096 0079.

British Isles, P&O Cruises

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Faroe Islands. Credit: Eric Welch via Unsplash

Explore classic destinations and hidden gems with P&O Cruises on board Arcadia, that will start and end in the port of Southampton, trailing their way along the UK shoreline as you observe the rich and rugged Jurassic Coast.

You’ll then tour the remote Faroe Islands, Outer Hebrides and stop off in historic Kirkwall and Lerwick as you enjoy gourmet dining, poolside bites, shopping, spas, shows and more. 

From £1,699 pp based on July 2022 departure. Find out more & book or call 0344 338 8003.

British Isles Explorer with Norway, Viking Cruises

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Puffin, Shetland Islands. Credit: Federica Bisso via Unsplash

Viking Cruises will be navigating the glittering shorelines of the south west of England across the spring and summer. Pair British Isles exploration with overnight stays in Bergen in Norway on Viking’s 15-day British Isles Explorer cruise discovering Scotland’s legendary Highlands, the Shetland and Orkney Islands, modern Belfast, traditional Dublin and Wales’ Snowdonia.

All guests will also experience the cruise line’s superior health and safety programme. This is specifically inclusive of PCR tests, air purification technology, health checks, sanitisation and customary physical distancing measures. 

From £4,790 pp based on departures between March-September 2022. Find out more & book or call 0800 298 9700.

British Isles with Stonehenge, Princess Cruises

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Stonehenge. Credit: Sung Shin via Unsplash

Join Princess Cruises for its exciting British Isles cruises with stops in Liverpool and Stonehenge or focus on Ireland and Scotland. Our top pick is the 12-day round trip starting and ending in Southampton, with a mid-way stop in Portland to explore Stonehenge.

Explore the dramatic coastline of England from the comfort of the ship’s deck and spy historic sites and national landmarks whilst enjoying the lavish amenities on board.

From £899 pp based on June 2022 departure. Find out more & book or call 0344 338 8663.

British Isles Cruise from Dover, Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruises Domestic

Disney Cruises

A firm family favourite, Disney Cruise Line has also jumped on board with their own lively and colourful version of the UK staycation. For this journey, passengers are able to enjoy a seven-night cruise from Dover, stopping at Stonehenge, historic Cork and Greenock.

Book now for a chance to experience that beloved Disney magic and prepare yourself for an itinerary filled with classic onboard entertainment, immersive dining experiences and convivial recreational activities for the whole family.

From £3,074 pp based on September 2022 departure. Find out more & book or call 0800 171 2317.

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