Answering FAQs about British Isle Cruises

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

beView of historic building on British coast

Cruising doesn’t always have to be about travelling to far-flung destinations and can be a way of exploring some wonderful locations that are just a stone’s throw from our front doors. The British Isles are simply stunning, from rocky outcrops to white-sand beaches and awe-inspiring white cliffs; there is so much to explore, so why travel further afield? 

Incorporating England, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland and some smaller islands you may have never heard of, our British Isle Cruises really are a voyage of discovery. This guide answers some of your questions about cruising around the UK, from whether you’ll need a passport to when the best time of year to cruise is. Read on to find out a little more.

What locations will you visit on a British Isles Cruise?

The locations you’ll visit on a UK or British Isle Cruise will vary depending on which itinerary you choose, but some standout ports of call feature on almost all of our cruises. Our destination choices allow you to see the best of the UK, from larger ports to quaint fishing villages.

Our cruises visit a range of destinations in England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, with some of the standout destinations being Cork, Orkney Islands, Isle of Mull, Belfast, John O'Groats, Isle of Skye, Isles of Scilly, Guernsey, Kirkwall and Invergordon.

If you want to find out about the destinations in a little more detail and which cruises travel to these locations, then make sure you browse all of our cruises around the British Isles.

READ MORE: What is Scotland known for?

Will I need a passport or a visa for a British Isle Cruise?

Some people may think that because you’re cruising around the UK, you won’t need a passport when travelling on an Ambassador Cruise. Well, this is a common misconception, and no matter where you are travelling on a cruise, you are required to bring your passport.

It is, in fact, a policy that all those travelling on an Ambassador Cruise, no matter their intended destination, must carry a full and valid passport that conforms with the entry requirements of each location that is being visited. Your passport will be checked at the security point at your destination port, so ensure you have it at hand.

What should I pack for a British Isle Cruise?

View of British coastline

What you should pack for a British Isle Cruise is very dependent on the time of year you are going and the weather forecast for your chosen dates, but there are some essentials you should ensure you have with you no matter the weather.

The British Isles is known for being slightly more unpredictable than some other cruise destinations, so make sure you are packing the following:

  • Waterproof coat
  • Warm jumpers
  • Jeans/trousers
  • A selection of tops for all weathers
  • Trainers
  • Suncream
  • A hat
  • Umbrella for your bag
  • A camera

When packing for your British Isle Cruise, you should be prepared to be adaptable and change what you are taking based on the forecast. However, unlike a holiday that involves flying, you’re not restricted to baggage limits, so why not pack for all occasions?

READ MORE: Great British castles you need to explore

What regions make up the British Isles?

The two main regions that make up the British Isles are Great Britain and Ireland, but the British Isles is also home to thousands of smaller islands, including the likes of the Isles of Scilly, Alderney, Sark, The Channel Islands, Isle of Wight and the Hebrides to name just a few. The term British Isles is a geographical term that encompasses all of these smaller islands.

The Isle of Man is an exception; although still sitting in the British Isles, it has its own Parliament and laws.

What is the best time of year to cruise the British Isles?

Cruising the British Isles is beautiful no matter what time of year you choose to visit. Our cruises run from March through to September to allow you to enjoy the cruise in slightly warmer climes. Spring is the perfect time of year for those who want to enjoy cooler but drier days and those who want to see the first signs of flora and fauna return after a cold winter.

Summer is a wonderful time to cruise due to the number of sunlight hours and the warmer temperatures it offers; it is also a wonderful time of year to enjoy amazing sunrises and sunsets onboard.

Autumn is a season of change, and these auburn and golden changes can be best seen on a cruise as the leaves fall and the countryside prepares for winter. British weather can be extremely temperamental, so matter what time of year you plan to take a cruise, you should be prepared for all elements.

Cruise Critic explains a little more about the time of year that is best for cruising around the UK, explaining more on her website: “With its four distinct seasons, Britain is best seen in spring through to autumn. Spring is generally mild and a beautiful time to see the countryside in full bloom and to visit towns and attractions when they're less crowded. Summer is the peak vacation period with the warmest weather. Days are long from May until late summer, with darkness falling well after 9 p.m.”

Does the thought of a British Isle Cruise or a mini cruise that explores some of your favourite European destinations sound like your idea of a great time? Head to our website to book your next cruise, or head to our blog for more articles and inspiration like this.