Guide To Southampton Cruise Port
Southampton, England's Cruise Capital
Southampton is known as the 'Cruise Capital' of England and is home to many of the top cruise lines. Southampton's natural deep harbor, double tidal system and effective and efficient Ship Traffic Services enable the port to welcome the largest vessels, from large container vessels to the new mega cruise ships.
Southampton port is split between the Eastern Docks and Western Docks. The Western Docks are the location for the Mayflower and City Cruise Terminals, the Eastern Docks the location for the QE2 and Ocean Cruise Terminals.
The Eastern Docks were pivotal probably Southampton's biggest moment in history. In 1912 RMS Titanic departed from White Star Dock (close to today's Ocean dock) on its first voyage. When the ship went down, of the 1500 dead, 500 were crew who lived in Southampton and the impact on the city's communities was huge.
Cruise Ship Facilities at Southampton
Queen Elizabeth II Terminal
The QE2 terminal was opened in 1966 by Her Majesty the Queen. The dock is home to Cunard's vessels, Queen Mary II, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. Facilities include a bar, a short stay car park, a taxi rank, and a cafe. The viewing gallery is not open to visitors.
Ocean Cruise Terminal
The original Ocean Cruise Terminal was an iconic Art-Deco building. Unfortunately it was removed in 1983 The replacement building, finished late in 2009, is a total change from its namesake, being a huge up-to-date design with simple curved lines. Facilites are a short stay car park, a taxi rank, a bar and cafe.
City Cruise Terminal
The City Cruise Terminal has recently undergone a major renovation to increase its size. It can now manage the large 'Freedom Class' ships of Royal Caribbean International. Facilities available are a short stay car park, a taxi rank, a bar and cafe. The nearby Mayflower Park makes a great viewing point to watch cruise ship sailings.
Mayflower Cruise Terminal
The Mayflower Cruise Terminal, opened in 1960, has long been associated with the P&O fleet of ships. Facilities include a taxi rank, a bar and cafe, and viewing gallery.
The Port Ship Schedule, which covers all cruise terminals, is available Southampton Port.
Itineraries on Offer
Southampton offers a fantastic variety of cruises, without doubt more than any other port in the world. Cruises from Southampton go to the Baltic Sea, Canary Islands, round Britain, Norwegian Fjords and the Mediterranean. Transatlantic and longer cruises are also on offer. For a calendar of cruises from Southampton see Cruises From Southampton.
Things to Do in Southampton
The city's main shopping center, Above Bar, is where you'll find the main high street brands. An alternative destination is Ocean Village with its undercover shops, a peaceful marina and many bars and excellent restaurants. Another option is the new West Quay shopping mall which offers leading shops.
In medieval times, the city was surrounded by a fortified wall with massive gate buildings. The 'Bargate' at the northern entrance to the old town, iseven today Southampton's most famous landmark. The building is a excellent point to start the walk of walls. Visit the wall's towers, the ruins of the castle, the West Gate, the remains of the and God's House Tower which houses the Archaeological Museum (free). Other noticable places include the fully restored Medieval Merchants House, the Maritime Museum in the Wool House (free entrance), with its moving Titanic exhibition, and the beautiful Tudor House, another (free entrance) museum with gorgeous grounds.
Southampton City Art Gallery is renowned for its exhibitions of Renaissance art.
The Titanic Trail
Stroll around the trail finding out about places with connections to RMS Titanic. The walk starts at the Musician's Memorial and includes the Maritime Museum, situated in the Wool House, which showcases the history of the ill-fated voyage.
The Solent Sky Aviation Museum commemorates the innovative work of the WW2 Supermarine Spitfire's creator, RJ Mitchell.
Journeying To/From the Port of Southampton
From London Heathrow There is a National Express coach to and from Heathrow Terminal every hour.
From London Gatwick Airport Take the train to Southampton Central rail station.
From Southampton Airport Catch a cab to the port. The airport is well served, with scheduled flights arriving from all parts of Great Britain.
The M27 motorway, linking places bordering the south coast of England, passes to the north of the city. The M3 motorway joins Southampton to London and also, by linking to the A34 road at Winchester with the Midlands and North. The M271 motorway, a spur of the M27, connects it with the Docks and city centre.
Direct train services connect Southampton with London, and many places in England. There is an every 30 minute service between London Waterloo and Southampton Central. Rail routes run east towards Portsmouth, north to the Midlands, and west to cities such as Salisbury, Bath, and Bristol. From outside the train station you can either use a taxi, or take the free CityLink bus service between the rail station and Town Quay every fifteen minutes.