Although the whole concept of cruising for leisure was born in Great Britain, the idea of sailing round the British Isles is relatively new. American visitors, however, find the idea fascinating and British passengers wanting to learn more about their homeland are becoming increasingly interested in cruising at home.
The idea of not flying, no long periods at sea and no borders to cross is appealing to many. The Scottish Islands provide the chance to view amazing wildlife while some of the UK's culturally rich attractions may be seen in cities accessible on a cruise holiday.
Itineraries around the British Isles can include stops at all five of the UK & Ireland's capital cities. There are cruises departing from London and the port of Tilbury is only 21 miles from the city, while excursions to the English capital are now possible from numerous ports in the south including Southampton, Dover and Portsmouth. In addition, some of the British Isles' most culturally rich attractions may be seen in Dublin, Edinburgh and Belfast, all of which are available on a round Britain cruise.
Cardiff offers a splendid blend of old and new with its enormous Millennium Stadium, ancient castle, Norwegian Church and magnificent concert hall. Edinburgh is served by the port of Leith and The Royal Yacht Britannia is moored very near the cruise terminal. Visitors may see the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood House and the stunning Edinburgh Castle on a trip here.
Dublin is a favourite port of call on many British Isles itineraries and some operators offer an overnight stay in the capital. Temple Bar is Dublin's 'old city' and is one of the most vibrant locations in the Irish capital and offers an ample supply of trendy bars, boutiques, cafes and a truly bohemian atmosphere. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of ships calling in at Belfast in Northern Island. From the port, Stormont Castle and the Giant's Causeway are in easy reach, as is the magnificent modern shopping centre in the heart of Belfast.
Most itineraries also include a call at St Peter Port on the Channel Island of Guernsey, where tax free shopping is possible whilst at the same time giving the ship duty free status, while occasionally, an additional French port of call may be offered, usually Honfleur or Cherbourg.
The islands off the coast of Scotland provide the chance to view wildlife such as otters, seals, dolphins and even whales, while also offering the very popular itineraries around the famed Scottish whisky producing islands. On most Round Britain voyages cruise lines will endeavour to bring in interesting and enlightening lecture series from experts increasing the attractive proposition of this itinerary.