There has been a surge in inquiries by Australians about cruises to/from Britain in the wake of the Brexit decision to leave the EU.
Until now many Aussies have put off a holiday in the UK due to it being one of the most expensive overseas destinations. However, it has just become a great travel bargain – at least in the short-term – with the British pound plunging (at one stage) to its lowest level since 1985 in the wake of the EU referendum.
australiancruisingnews.com notes that many cruise aficionados who tend to take a one-way cruise to or from a favoured destination, were quick to start checking cruise lines for ships with the UK on their schedules this northern hemisphere summer.
Most of these travellers – with time on their side – tend to fly into London’s Heathrow Airport, to explore the British Isles, and then relax on a cruise for all, or part of the journey home to Australia.
Even before Brexit shook the world there was a noticeable increase in the number of cruise ships heading to UK ports.
Southampton remains the UK’s cruise capital for passengers arriving, or leaving the UK, with the port of Dover not too far behind, especially for nostalgic travellers who want to see “The white cliffs of Dover” (aka the Vera Lynn song that was a huge hit with British servicemen in World War 2).
Both these ports are many kilometres from London which is central in most travellers minds, Southampton is about 130km (80 miles) and Dover about 120 km (75 miles) away.
A new development on the Southern England cruise scene is the up-grading of the port of Greenwich on the River Thames, where a new terminal is under construction for completion in a year or so. This will allow mid-size ships such as Holland America Line’s Ryndam and Veendam (both carry 1200 –plus passengers and around 580 crew) will be able to berth there, hollandamerica.com
For now Tilbury, 40km (25miles) east of London, is the busiest deep water port on the River Thames for mid-size cruise ships (those carrying around 1000 passengers).
A rare thrill for cruise passengers is to dock at Tower Bridge Upper, which faces the Tower of London, but sadly only small cruise ships such as Silversea’s Silver Wind and Ponant’s L’Austral (both carry around 250 passengers) can dock there, silversea.com; ponant.com