Top 10 Cruise Ships You Simply Have To See!

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Read on for our list of Top 10 Cruise ships sailing from the UK…

If you wish to travel in style – and most people would when it comes to embarking on a cruise – it’s good to know you have a wealth of cruise ships to choose from if you wish to depart from the UK. Here we have listed our personal top 10 in this respect, along with some fascinating information about each ship. Which one would be your personal favourite?





1 – Discovery: Cruise & Maritime Voyages


This ship is about to join the fleet of Cruise & Maritime in 2013. The ship will be fully refurbished and take to the seas with passengers from February onwards.

Facts about HM Discovery:

  • Passenger capacity – 700 people in 354 cabins
  • Passenger decks – 8
  • Gross tonnage – 20,186

The eight decks to enjoy while on board the Discovery range from the Coral Deck, the lowest placed deck open to passengers, up to the Sky Deck. This is one level above the Sun Deck.

Where can you go on board Discovery?

If you are considering a cruise on board this charming ship, you will have plenty of options to choose from. Here are some highlights to consider:

  • Land of the Northern Lights 15 night cruise
  • Spain and Portugal 8 night cruise
  • Celtic Landscapes 6 night cruise

2 – Azura: P&O Cruises

Azura Belonging to P&O Cruises

Azura Belonging to P&O Cruises

Azura is the largest of the ships operated by P&O Cruises. It also sets sail on many different cruises from Southampton in the UK. The price for a cruise on this ship could be as low as £199 per person depending on cabin and destination.

Facts about Azura:

  • Passenger capacity – 3,100
  • Passenger decks – 14
  • Gross tonnage – 115,000

Azura offers passengers an ocean view gym, a theatre and no fewer than four swimming pools to enjoy. Every deck is packed with countless features and facilities.

Where can you go on board Azura?

Here are some suggestions:

  • 2 night round trip cruise to Zeebrugge
  • 2 night round trip cruise to St Peter Port
  • 12 night Canary Islands cruise

3 – Oriana: P&O Cruises

P&O's Oriana

P&O’s Oriana

Another ship from the P&O stable, this one is smaller than the Azura, but perhaps more intimate for that. Billed as a mid-sized ship, she offers a chance to enjoy a cruise from just £599 per person.

Facts about Oriana:

  • Passenger capacity – 1,818
  • Passenger decks – 9
  • Gross tonnage – 69,000

Among the perks you can enjoy aboard this ship are a cinema, a nightclub and a casino. There is also an al fresco restaurant and three swimming pools to dip into.

Where can you go on board the Oriana?

There are plenty of options available here, many of which are longer cruises to foreign destinations:

  • 12 nights to the Western Mediterranean
  • 12 nights to the Atlantic Coast
  • 14 nights to the Canary Islands

4 – Queen Elizabeth: Cunard

The Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ship

The Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ship

Cunard has three ships in the UK, all of which earn a place in our top ten. They are very different from each other but they all offer outstanding surroundings.

Facts about Queen Elizabeth:

  • Passenger capacity – 2,547
  • Passenger decks – 12
  • Gross tonnage – 90,901

Among a wealth of delights offered by the Queen Elizabeth there is a games deck, a garden lounge and a Royal Spa.

Where can you go to on board the Queen Elizabeth?

If you want a cruise to remember, you may consider these destinations on board this ship:

  • 14 nights to the Fjords and Waterfalls
  • 7 night to see Norwegian Wonders
  • 12 nights on an Iberian Adventure

5 – Queen Mary: Cunard

Cunard's Queen Mary

Cunard’s Queen Mary

This is another sumptuous ship from Cunard. In line with many of the cruises to be enjoyed on board the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mary also regularly departs from Southampton in the UK.

Facts about Queen Mary:

  • Passenger capacity – 2,620
  • Passenger decks – 13
  • Gross tonnage – 148,528

Among the daytime activities offered on board this ship are a number of programmes and talks, as well as various sporting activities and the use of a spa. You can also enjoy a wine programme if you wish.

Where can you travel to on board the Queen Mary?

Many cruises depart from Southampton on the Queen Mary, including these:

  • 15 nights Northern Highlights
  • 4 nights Winter Getaway
  • 5 nights Summer Getaway

6 – Queen Victoria: Cunard

The Queen Victoria Cruise Ship

The Queen Victoria Cruise Ship

Completing the set of three stunning ships operated by Cunard and sailing regularly from Southampton is the Queen Victoria.

Facts about Queen Victoria:

  • Passenger capacity – 2,014
  • Passenger decks – 12
  • Gross tonnage – 90,000

The Winter Garden offers somewhere nice and relaxed to enjoy drinks and socialise. Elsewhere there is a library to browse round and a Royal Spa to relax in.

Where can you sail to on board the Queen Victoria?

You have some tempting choices to opt for here:

  • 15 nights to the Geysers and Glaciers
  • 14 nights Atlantic Isles Discovery
  • 14 nights Mediterranean Medley

7 – Balmoral: Fred Olsen

Fred Olsen Balmoral

Fred Olsen Balmoral

This is the first of two ships to feature on our list from Fred Olsen. It offers outstanding accommodation for anyone on board a cruise.

Facts about Balmoral:

  • Passenger capacity – 1,350
  • Passenger decks – 10
  • Gross tonnage – 34,242

The Balmoral offers two swimming pools and an on board spa for additional indulgence. You can also enjoy dining in one of the restaurants – the Ballindalloch, the Spey or the Avon.

Where can you cruise to on board the Balmoral?

Try these delightful cruises for size:

  • 14 days on a Baltic Capitals cruise
  • 14 days to the Arctic Circle
  • 10 days on the Highlands and Ireland cruise

8 – Boudicca: Fred Olsen

Fred Olsen Cruise Ship: The Boudicca

Fred Olsen Cruise Ship: The Boudicca

One of the highlights of the Boudicca is its lower passenger capacity. No facilities have been skimped on however: you can enjoy dining at the Four Seasons Restaurant or perhaps sink into one of the two on board Jacuzzis.

Facts about Boudicca:

  • Passenger capacity – 900
  • Passenger decks – 8
  • Gross tonnage – 28,372

With so many delightful activities to look forward to, it shouldn’t surprise you to find there are plenty of shops on board Boudicca to wander round. For entertainment, head for the Lido Lounge or enjoy some live music in the Neptune Lounge.

Where can you cruise to on board Boudicca?

Boudicca regularly departs from Liverpool on these assorted cruises:

  • 9 days Norwegian Experience
  • 14 days Scandinavia and Russia
  • 14 days Morocco and Canaries

9 – Brilliance of the Seas: Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean's Brilliance Of The Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance Of The Seas

This is one of Royal Caribbean’s Radiance Class ships. It offers a superb range of facilities and features, including rock climbing, spa treatments and even pool on tables that constantly level themselves.

Facts about Brilliance of the Seas:

  • Passenger capacity – 2,501
  • Passenger decks – 12
  • Gross tonnage – 90,090

This ship also boasts a theatre and a solarium you can relax in when you really want to make the most of the facilities. Watch as the roof retracts, giving you an uninterrupted view of the sky above. If you’re set on going somewhere hot, you may want to have a read of our helpful guide to Caribbean cruises as well as our Barbados cruise guide.

What cruises are available when sailing on Brilliance of the Seas?

Brilliance of the Seas embarks on a selection of cruises from Harwich, including the ones below:

  • 12 nights Scandinavia and Russia cruise
  • 11 nights Fjords and Iceland cruise
  • 15 night westbound Transatlantic cruise (arriving in Boston Massachusetts)

10 – Independence of the Seas: Royal Caribbean

Independence of the Seas

Independence of the Seas

There are some stunning facilities on board the second of our two ships from Royal Caribbean to be included in the top ten. Make no mistake this is a beautiful ship when viewed from any angle.

Facts about Independence of the Seas:

  • Passenger capacity – 4,370
  • Passenger decks – 15
  • Gross tonnage – 154,407

This ship includes such delights as a water park, an opportunity to try your hand at surfing (yes really) and also a rock climbing wall. There are plenty of more sedate experiences too, such as wandering round the on board shops and relaxing in your stateroom.

Where can you travel to on board Independence of the Seas?

Consider these possibilities departing from Southampton:

  • 3 nights sampler cruise to Belgium and France
  • 6 nights to Norway
  • 12 nights Mediterranean cruise

To Conclude Our Top 10 Cruise Ships Feature…

The Choice of Cruises for 2013 is Yours!

The Choice of Cruises for 2013 is Yours!

Everyone will have their own preferred cruise ship they feel is better than all the others. A lot depends on the type of cruise you like and how many facilities you wish to have.

However there are certainly plenty of outstanding cruise ships to step onto that depart from the UK.

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