How to find a UK cruise that stops at secluded islands?

When you think of a memorable vacation, what do you envision? For many, the answer may be a cruise - the ultimate blend of luxury, adventure, and relaxation. With the wind in your hair, the sun on your skin, and the ocean as your backdrop, cruises offer an unparalleled travel experience. But have you ever considered a cruise around the British Isles, with stops at secluded islands that are off the beaten path? If you're interested in a distinct sailing experience that blends impressive sights, rich history, and tranquil seclusion, then a British Isles cruise may be just the adventure you're seeking.

Scope out Your Options

When considering a cruise, it's essential to start by exploring all available options. There are countless cruises around the British Isles, each offering a unique experience that caters to different preferences and interests. Whether you're a seasoned cruiser or a first-timer looking to test the waters, there is undoubtedly a cruise out there that fits your needs.

One factor to consider when selecting a cruise is the duration. Cruises can last anywhere from a few nights to several weeks. A shorter cruise may be perfect for those with limited vacation time or those who are new to cruising and want a taste of the experience. Longer cruises typically stop at more ports, providing guests with a more comprehensive view of the British Isles and the opportunity to explore secluded islands.

Another aspect to review is the cruise line itself. Each cruise line has its unique personality and style, and some are known for their itineraries around the British Isles. For example, Celebrity Cruises is renowned for its luxurious ships and exceptional customer service. On the other hand, smaller cruise lines may offer a more intimate experience, with fewer guests on board and more personal attention.

Look for Special Deals and Packages

When planning your cruise, don't forget to look for special deals or packages. Many cruise lines offer early bird discounts for those who book in advance, while others may have last-minute deals for unsold cabins. Additionally, some companies offer free amenities or upgrades as part of their packages, which can significantly enhance your cruising experience.

One type of special deal to look out for is onboard credit. This is essentially free money that you can use on the ship, whether for specialty dining, spa treatments, shore excursions, or even gratuities. Onboard credit can be a valuable perk that can help you enjoy your cruise even more.

Also, look for packages that include pre or post-cruise hotel stays. This can be a convenient option if you're flying into the UK from another country, as it allows you to relax and settle in before your cruise begins.

Research the Itinerary

Once you have a list of potential cruises, it's time to delve deeper into the itineraries. While all British Isles cruises will give you a taste of the region's charm and beauty, the specifics can vary widely.

Some cruises focus primarily on the major cities and tourist hotspots, such as Edinburgh, Belfast, and Dublin. These cruises will provide a whirlwind tour of the British Isles' history and culture. But if you're specifically interested in visiting secluded islands, you'll want to find a cruise that includes more off-the-beaten-path stops.

For instance, some cruises will visit the Shetland or Orkney Islands in Scotland, which are known for their rugged beauty and rich Viking history. Others may stop at the Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown Dependency in the Irish Sea known for its medieval castles and rural landscapes.

Set Your Sights Beyond the UK

If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you could even consider a cruise that extends beyond the British Isles. For example, some cruises combine a British Isles itinerary with a visit to the stunning Norwegian Fjords or the rugged beauty of Iceland. Or you could even opt for a transatlantic crossing, ending your voyage in the Caribbean for a blend of culture and relaxation.

Remember, the key to finding the perfect cruise is research. Take the time to explore your options, consider what you want from your cruise, and read reviews from other guests. With the right approach and a sense of adventure, you can find a UK cruise that not only stops at major cities but also brings you to secluded islands that offer a unique, tranquil experience.

Making the Booking

Once you've thoroughly researched and found a suitable British Isles cruise that stops at secluded islands and meets your preferences, it's time to proceed to the booking. The process can differ depending on the cruise line you choose. However, most cruises allow you to book online, over the phone, or through a travel agent.

Take into account when the cruise sets sail. This information is critical as it will determine your travel dates. It's wise to consider booking your cruise several months in advance, especially if you're planning to cruise during peak season. This not only provides peace of mind but also increases your chances of securing the best cabin.

If you've chosen a cruise such as those offered by Royal Caribbean, you might find attractive deals like reduced rates for the second guest or kids sail free promotions. Other cruise lines might offer discounts for senior citizens, military personnel, and first-time cruisers.

If you are booking from outside the UK, ensure you take into account your travel arrangements to the UK. Some cruises offer packages that include flights and transfers. Others might start from London Greenwich, which is easily accessible from most international airports.

Lastly, don't forget to review and understand the cancellation policy before you book. Some cruises offer flexible cancellation policies, while others may not. This is critically important, especially in uncertain times or unforeseen circumstances.

Embarking on Your Journey

As the day of your cruise approaches, it's time to turn your attention to the details of your travel. If your cruise is during Oct-Nov, remember to pack warm clothing as these are colder months for Northern Europe. If your cruise includes destinations such as the Falkland Islands or the Orkney Islands, you may want to pack waterproof clothing and sturdy shoes for the shore excursions.

If you are a member of cruise loyalty programs like the Captain Club, don’t forget to take advantage of any additional amenities available. These can include priority check-in, extra onboard credit, and exclusive events.

Once on board, remember to participate in the safety drills and familiarize yourself with the ship's layout. Each small ship will be different, so take the time to explore your new surroundings.

As you sail from port to port, remember to take full advantage of what each stop has to offer. That could be a guided tour around the rugged landscapes of the Orkney Islands or a peaceful day at a secluded beach. And don't forget to enjoy the onboard amenities. Whether it's a relaxing spa treatment, a gourmet meal, or a night of entertainment, there's always something to do onboard.


In sum, finding a UK cruise that stops at secluded islands involves careful research, planning, and booking. From assessing your options to embarking on your journey, each step is crucial in ensuring a memorable trip.

Whether you're setting sail for a few nights or embarking on a longer journey, a UK cruise that combines the captivating major cities with tranquil secluded islands is an adventure you won't soon forget. The blend of culture, history, and relaxation that these cruises offer is truly unique.

No matter which cruise line you choose, whether it's a small ship experience with Hurtigruten Expeditions or a luxurious voyage with Royal Caribbean, all offer an unforgettable journey around the magical British Isles. Your adventure awaits, and it begins with the simple act of booking. So why wait? Start planning your perfect UK cruise today! Remember, the world is yours to explore, one cruise at a time.