Most popular cruise embarkation ports: UK and Europe


There are dozens upon dozens of cruise embarkation ports around the world, and in this 2-part series, we’re going to be looking at some of the best from around the world.

Why are they the best? They are the best for various different reasons, including what they offer, what there is to see and do, and how you can use them to extend your cruise holiday. Or simply use for ease of getting there and the hassle-free process of embarkation.

This is part 1 and we’re focussing on embarkation ports in the UK and Europe.

Stayed tuned for part 2, where we will also look at ports in Australia, Asia, and the USA.

Most popular cruise embarkation ports: UK and Europe

Civitavecchia cruise port (Rome)

Popular UK cruise embarkation ports


It had to be top of the list, really. The UK’s major cruise embarkation port and one that’s easy to get to via road, rail, and air. Southampton is the gateway to many other places, including the New Forest and even the capital of London.

With a plethora of things to see and do, and numerous hotel choices for those wishing to spend a night or two in the city before embarkation, Southampton will always be number 1 for UK embarkation ports.


Dover is another popular UK departure port and is also within easy reach of London, however, it’s a great choice for a pre-cruise stay, as there is a lot of history contained within this destination.

We would highly recommend a visit to Dover Castle – you could easily spend the entire day there, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Most popular cruise embarkation ports: UK and Europe

Southampton Cruise Port

Popular European cruise embarkation ports


Probably the most recognisable and popular embarkation port within the Mediterranean, and for good reason. Barcelona is the ideal embarkation port to also factor in either a pre-or-post-cruise stay, as there’s just so much on offer.

Explore the city and its surroundings or go further afield on day trips to places such as Montserrat.


The eternal city and one of the most unreal cruise experiences on earth. If you’re looking for an embarkation port that offers above and beyond, then in Europe, Venice is one of them!

On both sides of the Grand Canal, you will find historical palaces and bridges. The city, along with its famous lagoon, is listed as a World Heritage Site. Places of interest include St. Mark’s Square, Ducal’s Palace, and St. Mark’s Basilica. Bordering the islands via Della Giudecca canal you will find Lido Island, famous for hosting the Venice Film Festival.

Note that not all cruise ships can now sail into Venice, so check your itinerary for your precise docking location. Other ports include Marghera.


Although Civitavecchia itself isn’t exactly a massive hive of activity, it is your gateway to Rome and therefore a fabulous pre-or-post-cruise option.

From here, the Eternal City lies before you, with historically important sites. such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and Vatican City. Take a walk through the Plaza of Spain and rest on the steps of Trinita dei Monti before heading to Via Condotti, a wide avenue lined with shops.

Most popular cruise embarkation ports: UK and Europe

Port in Venice

Other popular UK and European cruise ports to consider for embarkation

The above are not the only ports we recommend, but they are some of the best.

Others we would highlight also include: Liverpool and Tilbury, in the UK, and Piraeus, Valletta, Palma de Mallorca and Malaga, in Europe – respectively in Greece, Malta and Spain.

Check back in with our blog for Part 2, coming soon…

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