European Port of Departure - Southampton, England

1 Introducing Southampton

Southampton is the 'Cruise Capital' of the UK and is home to some of the finest cruise lines. Southampton's natural deep-water harbor, one-off double tide and effective Ship Traffic Control allow the port to welcome the largest ships, from enormous container vessels to today's huge cruise ships.

Southampton Docks witnessed perhaps Southampton's biggest moment in history. In 1912 RMS Titanic left from White Star Dock (near Ocean dock) on its maiden voyage. When the ship went down, of the 1500 lives lost, 500 were Southampton based crew members and the effect on the city was long-lived.


2 The Cruise Port of Southampton

Southampton is the UK's busiest cruise port - for a full calendar of cruises from the port, see Cruises from Southampton. The cruise terminals are split between the Eastern and Western Docks:

Eastern Docks
Queen Elizabeth II Terminal - Berth 38/9
The QE2 terminal was opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1966. The cruise terminal is home to Cunard's ships, Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2, and Queen Elizabeth. Facilities include a bar, a short stay car park, a taxi rank, and a cafe. The viewing gallery is closed to visitors.

Ocean Cruise Terminal Berth 46
The original Ocean Cruise Terminal was an iconic Art-Deco building. Unfortunately this was demolished in 1983 The replacement building, finished in 2009, is completely different from its earlier namesake, being a huge up-to-date design with curved lines. Facilites available include a cab rank, a short stay car park, and a restaurant and bar.

Western Docks
City Cruise Terminal Berth 101
The City Cruise Terminal has recently completed a 7 year renovation to increase its capacity. It can now handle the large 'Freedom Class' ships of Royal Caribbean International. Facilities include a short stay car park, a taxi rank, a bar and cafe. Close by Mayflower Park is a great point to watch cruise ship sailings.

Mayflower Cruise Terminal Berth 106
The Mayflower Cruise Terminal, opened in 1960, is home to the P&O fleet of cruise ships. Facilities include a taxi rank, a bar and cafe, and viewing gallery.

The official port site is at Southampton Port.

3 Out and About in Southampton

Old Town
During the medieval era, the city was encircled by a high wall with massive gateways. Bargate at the northern end of the old town, is the city's most well-known landmark. The building is a excellent place to begin the walk of walls. Stop at the wall's towers, the remains of the castle, the West Gate, the remains of the and God's House Tower where you'll find is home to} the Archaeological Museum (free). Other noticable places include the restored Medieval Merchant's House, the Maritime Museum found in the old Wool House (free), with itsabsorbing Titanic exhibits, and the remarkable Tudor House, a (free entrance) museum with peaceful garden.

Shopping Malls
The city's foremost shopping street, Above Bar, is where you'll find major high street chains. An alternative is Ocean Village which has undercover outlets, an attractive marina and many bars and good restaurants. Another possibility is the modern West Quay retail mall which offers leading shops.

Art Exhibitions
Southampton City Art Gallery is renowned for its collection of modern art.

4 Travelling to the Southampton Cruise Terminals

By Air
From London Heathrow There is a National Express coach running to and from Heathrow Terminal every hour.
From London Gatwick Take the train to Southampton Central rail station.
From Southampton Airport Catch a taxi to the docks. The airport is well served, with scheduled aeroplanes arriving from Belfast, Newcastle, Edinburgh,Jersey, Guernsey, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Alderney, Liverpool, Aberdeen.

By Road
The M27 motorway, linking places bordering the southern coast of England, runs just to the north of Southampton. The M3 motorway joins the city to London and, by connecting to the A34 road with the Midlands and North. The M271 motorway, a spur of the M27, connects it with the Docks and city centre.

By Rail
Direct train services connect Southampton with London, and many other places in the UK. There is an every 30 minute service between London Waterloo and Southampton Central station. Rail routes run eastwards to Portsmouth, north towards the Midlands, and westwards to cities such as Bournemouth and Bristol.
From outside the train station you can either use a taxi, or there is a free CityLink bus service between the rail station and Town Quay every quarter-hour.

5 Other Useful Information
Language English
Currency GBP
Timezone GMT+0

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