Ex-U.K. Cruises Get Brits Out of Town on Bank Holidays

February 27, 2009
Spring is on the way -- which means well-deserved rest for Brits on upcoming bank holidays!

The first of these public holidays is Easter Weekend, which falls between Friday, 10 April and Monday, 13 April. After that, there are two May bank holidays, on Monday, 4 May and Monday, 25 May, followed by a final summer bank holiday on Monday, 30 August.

Here at Cruise Critic, we can't think of a better way to make the most of those extra days off than by setting sail from close to home. And cruise lines certainly seem to agree, with many offering mini-cruises from U.K. ports, making it even easier to get away.

Take a look at the port of Southampton, for example. On the final May bank holiday, there are four ex-U.K. departures. And, on the August bank holiday, there are five big-ships, including Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas, Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Princess Cruises' new U.K.-based flagship, Grand Princess, leaving the south coast port.

Here are a few of our favourite bank holiday escapes:

Fred. Olsen: five-night Iberia cruise on Black Watch from £381 per person (departing 13 April)
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 six-night trans-Atlantic crossing to New York from £615 per person (departing 2 May)
Royal Caribbean: four-night Independence of the Seas mini-cruise to Cork from £484 per person (departing 23 May)
P&O Cruises: two-night mini-cruise onboard Ventura to Brugge from £312 per person (departing 30 August)

Those are just a few of the many options available. We've rounded up additional holiday weekend cruise options departing from the U.K. in our Cruise Roundup: U.K. Bank Holiday Getaways. And be sure to check out Cruise Deals often for the latest sales.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor