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Cruises to Bristol (Avonmouth)

Bristol (Avonmouth) (Photo:stocker1970/Shutterstock)

About Bristol (Avonmouth)

Bristol is a natural choice for a cruise port in the South West of England thanks to its proximity to the Atlantic and strong maritime history. With the relatively new Bristol Cruise Terminal, built in 2013, at Avonmouth Docks, and located just six miles outside Bristol city centre, it's the perfect place to plan a day out before or after a cruise.

Whether it's Banksy, Blackbeard or the distinctive West Country accent that comes to mind when you think of Bristol, this city is surprisingly cosmopolitan, with exciting art, media and music scenes. Bristol (or 'Brizzle', as it's known locally) also boasts some beautiful architecture, with hundreds of listed and landmark buildings in a hotchpotch of styles from medieval to modern. Many of the city's old buildings have been given new identities-- the city centre harbour, for example, has become a buzzing modern development since the relocation of the docks to the larger, deeper water sites at Avonmouth and neighbouring Portbury.

The largest concentration of sights and landmarks is clustered within the city centre and medieval Old City areas. In the charming Old City you can wander back in time to tick off historic landmarks like St Stephen's Church, the Old Council House, Queen Square and St Nicholas Market. You then have gorgeous architecture on Park Street, where the independent shops and boutiques contrast with the big brand names of the Shopping Quarter.

Other areas worth exploring include the lively Harbourside development and charming Old Market and Redcliffe areas around the Temple Meads Railway Station -- look out for the rainbow of colourful houses that make up Redcliffe Parade and the gothic stunner that is St Mary Redcliffe Church.

For history lovers who want to venture further afield, beautiful Bath -- Britain's only UNESCO World Heritage City -- is just 30 minutes away, while the home of Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, takes just over an hour to reach. Shakespeare's home town Stratford-upon-Avon, the historic university town of Oxford and the mysterious, prehistoric site of Stonehenge are all 90 minutes away by road.

The new cruise terminal at Avonmouth Docks made cruising directly to and from the city possible. Cruise & Maritime Voyages is the main provider of cruises from Bristol, and made the docks its homeport in 2015. On CMV ships Astoria and Marco Polo, passengers can sail on varied itineraries ranging from two-night taster cruises and trips around the British Isles, to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords, the sunny Canary Islands and even as far away as the Amazon.

  • Why go to Bristol (Avonmouth)?

  • Bristol (Avonmouth) Cruise Port Facilities?

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Virgin Voyages

Why go to Bristol (Avonmouth)?


A vibrant city with its own distinct vibe and culture, good restaurants, long history and a revitalized waterfront


Some areas are run down; architecturally blighted city center

Bottom Line:

Worth exploring the waterfront, Clifton Downs and taking a day trip to historic Bath

Bristol (Avonmouth) Cruise Port Facilities?

As Avonmouth is an industrial port area there's not much to see in the immediate vicinity, and walking inside the dock estate is not permitted -- you need to have a car or arrange transport. There is a taxi rank to the right as you exit the cruise terminal, or you can arrange a pick up or organised excursion in advance. There are limited facilities including a seated waiting area, cafe and toilets.

Good to Know?

Banksy's street art is a massive boost to Bristol's cool, cultured credentials, and you shouldn't miss the chance to see his graffiti art up close if you're in what is widely thought to be his home city. There's information on the Visit Bristol website so you can easily do a self-guided walking tour.

Getting Around?

By Taxi: There's a taxi rank to the right as you exit the cruise terminal. Alternatively, you can pre-book a taxi in advance. North Bristol Cars is open 24/7 (32 High Street; 0117 966 6888.). Note: There is a very limited taxi service from Avonmouth train station.

By Rail: Avonmouth train station is two miles from the Bristol Cruise Terminal. There are one or two trains per hour connecting to Bristol Temple Meads Station, taking around 28 minutes. Because you need transport to get to Avonmouth Station, as there's no walking within the port area, it may be easier to use taxis between the cruise terminal and Bristol city centre instead. There are two train stations in Bristol -- Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads. Both provide good connections to London, Swansea, Cardiff, Birmingham and elsewhere in the U.K.

By Air: Bristol Cruise Terminal is 13 miles from Bristol Airport by road, and the airport provides direct flights to destinations within the U.K. and across Europe.

By Car: The cruise terminal is handily located for the M5 and M4, with access from the West Town Police Gate (no entry on foot). There are secure car parking facilities on site, which must be booked and paid for in advance, through a cruise line or travel agent. Baggage handlers collect bags from cars on arrival, before you park. There's also a drop-off area.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is pound sterling. Visit www.xe.com for current rates. There is no ATM in the terminal. The nearest ATM is outside a Premier shop at 186b Avonmouth Road. There's also a small branch of Barclays bank on Gloucester Road, just down from Avonmouth railway station.


English -- with a distinctive Bristolian twang!

Where You're Docked?

The Bristol Cruise Terminal sits within Avonmouth Docks at the Port of Bristol.

Baggage handlers (identifiable by high-vis waistcoats) greet arriving passengers and collect their cases from their cars. The port has secure car parking, which must be booked through a cruise line or travel agent and a drop-off point. These are a short walk from the terminal entrance.

Bristol Cruise Terminal also has a team of 'Guest Experience Crew' who are on hand to guide passengers through the terminal. They can also offer advice on tourist attractions in the area.

Bristol (Avonmouth) Cruise Reviews
Terminal is a big warehouse, but does its job well. Avonmouth is not pretty. Excellent transport service arranged by Saga.... Read More
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We spent 4 days prior to the cruise, discovering this town and enjoyed a train ride to Bath, England for an afternoon.... Read More
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Brilliant embarkation... Read More
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Ms Rolf
A little chaotic at drop off... Read More
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