Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
No-fly cruises from the UK

No-fly cruises from the UK

More and more people are choosing to cruise direct from the UK, with no waiting for flights or dragging luggage across busy rail or airport terminals.

Departures from the UK now offer a wide choice of voyages from a range of different UK departure ports, including London, Portsmouth, Bristol, Hull and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020 / 2021 / 2022

About Cruises from the UK

Classic Cruises from the UK

We offer ex-UK no-fly classic cruises from 15 different ports on 1400-passenger Columbus, 800-passenger Marco Polo, 550-passenger Astoria and 1250-passenger Magellan.

Designed for UK passengers these more traditional cruises offer great value and personal service as well as a wide range of public facilities and stylish entertainment.

Cruise from a wide selection of UK ports including London Tilbury, Poole, Portsmouth, Bristol, Hull, Newcastle and Aberdeen. Astoria and Marco Polo are exclusively for adult passengers. Columbus and Magellan are operating a choice of multi-generational voyages where the minimum age is 6 months old.

Go in search of the spectacular Northern Lights, explore the picturesque Norwegian fjords, visit the fascinating Baltic cities, discover the dramatic landscapes of Iceland or cruise around the diverse British Isles. In addition to these popular itineraries, we also offer no-fly cruises to colourful South America and the Amazon, as well as the Arctic, including Spitsbergen and Greenland.

Saga Cruises from the UK

Saga offer a choice of no-fly cruises from Dover and Southampton. These cruises are exclusively for the over 50s market, although travelling companions can be over 40. The ocean ships are Saga Sapphire which carries 720 passengers, and Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure which both carry 999 passengers.

Saga's world-class service starts before you get on board the ship with a complimentary chauffeur service available to guests living with 250 miles of the UK departure port, either Dover or Southampton. Free car parking is offered at the port if customers prefer to drive themselves, whilst regional flights are also available, depending upon location.

Norwegian Fjords in Summer The Azores Tobermory, Scotland

Cruises from the UK Highlights

Alesund

Alesund is built across three islands and uniquely for Norway, is an Art Nouveau town, rebuilt in this style after a devastating fire in 1904. The KUBE Art Museum is housed in the former premises of the Norwegian Bank, and upmarket shops line Apotekergata. For good views of the islands, hills and coast, take the steps from Alesund's park up to Mount Aksla. Worthy of a visit is the magnificent 12th-century Borgund Stave Church in Laerdal.

Alesund (Norway)

Amsterdam

The cruise terminal in Amsterdam is a short distance from the city centre and its tall merchant houses and tree-lined canals. Chief sights are the prestigious Rijksmuseum and its large collection of important paintings, the Van Gogh Museum and Ann Frank's House. The attractive narrow streets are full of bars, coffee houses, quaint bridges and interesting shops.

Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Antwerp

Antwerp port is adjacent to the Steen and connected by metro to the city, which is an important centre of the diamond trade. Cobbled lanes criss-cross the city leading to art galleries, antique and chocolate shops, and the magnificent cathedral of Notre Dame, which holds paintings by Rubens, the tall Flemish buildings of the Grote Markt and the City Hall. Antwerp is also a fashion capital, and the forthcoming Port Authority HQ was designed by groundbreaking architect, Zaha Hadid.

Antwerp (Belgium)

Arrecife

The lunar landscape of Lanzarote is the result of heavy volcanic activity in the past, and there are 300 dormant volcanoes on the island known as the 'Mountains of Fire', where camel rides are offered through the petrified lava fields. Arrecife is the main port and capital and is close to the beach resort of Puerto del Carmen. Its pretty seafront is bordered by a promenade and gardens leading to the town's bazaar and the shopping district of Calle Leon y Castillo.

Belfast

The capital of Northern Ireland has fine Victorian buildings and a thriving port where the Titanic was built - Thompson Dock is a blueprint in stone of the ship's size. Belfast is divided into quarters, and Gaeltacht and the Falls Road are at the heart of its Celtic culture. Sights to visit from Belfast include the Giant's Causeway on the Antrim coast, and Mount Stewart house overlooking Strangford Lough.

Belfast (Northern Ireland)

Bergen

The old Hanseatic port of Bergen is within walking distance of the city centre and the famous Bryggen, the World Heritage listed waterfront area of gabled traditional buildings which dates back 900 years. The outdoor fish market is one of Bergen's popular tourist attractions, along with the Floibanen, the funicular which travels up Mount Floyen close to Skomadkerdiket Lake for views of the city and the sea.

Bergen (Norway)

Brugge

Bruges is a beautiful old town in Flanders crossed by a network of canals. It is famous for its chocolate and for diamonds, and has the Choco-Story centre and a Diamond Museum. Sights include Michelangelo's sculpture of the Madonna and Child in the Church of our Lady , the historic Markt Square, and the tranquil area of Le Beguinage, founded in the 13th century by the women of the Beguine movement.

Brugge (Zeebrugge, Belgium)

Cadiz

Cadiz is surrounded on three sides by the sea. The city is dominated by the gold dome of the Baroque Cathedral Nueva, and there are several historic buildings including the mansions around Plaza San Antonio, the Admiral's House and the Tavira Tower. Classical flamenco singing can be heard in the Santa Maria District, and recently opened to the public is the large Roman theatre discovered following a fire in the 1980s.

Cadiz (Spain)

Cork

Cobh is a charming town and port, and has an impressive cathedral with a commemorative statue to the millions of Irish emigrants who left here for North America between the 19th and mid-20th centuries. It is the port for Cork and visits to Blarney Castle and its famous stone. Also in Cork is the historic Beamish and Crawford Brewery, the English Market and the Crawford Gallery, which has a collection of Rodin bronzes.

Dublin

Dublin port is only a few minutes by bus from the city centre. Dublin sits beside the River Liffey and is renowned for its hospitality, pubs and literary heritage. Among the sights are Trinity College which houses the 8th-century Book of Kells, the Dublin Writers Museum and the Guinness Brewery, which offers tours.

Dublin (Ireland)

Edinburgh

The city of Edinburgh is visited from the ports of Rosyth and Leith, the latter being home to the Royal Yacht Britannia, now open to visitors. Elegant Princes Street is lined with shops, and overlooked by cliff-top Edinburgh Castle. The famous Royal Mile stretches from the castle to the Palace of Holyrood House. Tours can be taken by open-top bus around the city, which has an old town and numerous museums and galleries.

Edinburgh (Queensferry, Scotland)

Falmouth

Falmouth is Jamaica's newest cruise port, surrounded by sugar plantations and grazing land, and has many historic Georgian buildings which are currently being preserved. Greenwood Great House was once owned by Elizabeth Barrett Browning's family and now holds a collection of rare musical instruments, and offshore is the Luminous Lagoon, where microscopic organisms give off phosphorescent light.

Falmouth (Jamaica)

Falmouth

Falmouth has good sandy beaches, narrow alleys leading up from the waterfront, a variety of shops along the Kings Pipe and plenty of atmospheric old inns. Glendurgen Garden is a pleasant park with a subtropical garden and a laurel maze dating back to 1833 and nearby is Pendennis Castle, built by Henry VIII. The Eden Project, Mawes Castle and St Ives can be visited from Falmouth.

Falmouth (UK)

Flam

The approach to Flam through Sognefjord and Aurlandsfjord is spectacular. Flam itself is positioned between high cliffs streaked with waterfalls, and is the terminus of the Flamsbanen, the scenic railway which travels to Myrdal 2800 feet above sea level, twisting through the mountains. Flam has shops, banks and restaurants and a summer shuttle bus service to nearby villages.

Flam (Norway)

Gibraltar (UK)

The small British territory of Gibraltar is an interesting mixture of British and Spanish cultures, consisting of the famous Rock and a narrow spit of land between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It is famous for the cliff-top colony of Barbary Apes reached by cable car, the Siege Tunnels built during World War II, St Michael's Cave and its unusual auditorium and a variety of shops selling tax-free goods. There are buses and a shuttle service from the port to the town.

Gibraltar

Giverny (France)

The small village of Giverny has outdoor cafés, narrow lanes, brightly-painted houses, the Impressionist Museum and Claude Monet's lovely house and gardens. Visitors to his green-shuttered house will see the yellow and blue rooms, and the tranquil Japanese water garden and bridge which were the subject of some of his most famous works.

Giverny

Greenock

The city of Glasgow is served by the port of Greenock. Glasgow has a variety of shopping areas - the new Buchanan Galleries near famous Sauchiehall Street, the elegant Argyll Arcade and open markets. The Glasgow School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintoch, offers tours, and Glasgow is also home to the magnificent Burrell Collection. The Museum of Transport has a fascinating collection of exhibits and Clyde-built ship models, and in the harbour visitors can board the restored Tall Ship Glenlee.

Greenock (Glasgow, Scotland)

Honfleur (France)

Lovely Honfleur was immortalised by Monet, and the brightly-painted boats and tall houses at Vieux Bassin are just as enchanting today. Quaint streets and artists' workshops lead to the medieval centre, and not to be missed is the oldest wooden church in France, St Catherine's.

Honfleur

Invergordon

Invergordon in Easter Ross is a gateway to the Scottish Highlands and lies on the Cromarty Firth, an area of natural beauty with a wide diversity of marine and birdlife, including a colony of bottlenose dolphins. Nearby are 14th-century Cawdor Castle and gardens, the site of the Battle of Culloden and several distilleries, including Glenmorangie. There is little of interest in Invergordon itself.

Invergordon (Inverness, Scotland)

Kirkwall

Kirkwall is the capital of the Orkney Islands which comprise over seventy islands, rocks and skerries. The town is dominated by the impressive cathedral of St Magnus, and beyond are the important archaeological sites of Neolithic Skarae Brae, the large Ring of Brodgar - both World Heritage Sites -and the Standing Stones of Stennes. Offshore, seals porpoises, whales and dolphins are often seen.

Kirkwall (Orkney Isles)

La Coruna

La Coruna is a busy port on the north-west coast of Spain in the province of Galicia and one of the gateways to the pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela. The port is close to the World Heritage listed Tower of Hercules, built by the Romans in 2AD and the oldest working lighthouse in the world. Leading off from La Coruna's seafront promenade are medieval churches and baroque palaces.

La Coruna (Spain)

Leith

Leith is the port for Edinburgh and its many attractions, including elegant Princes Street, the Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace, and the cliff-top castle. Prince's Quay in Leith is home to the Royal Yacht Britannia, and the town has the remains of a citadel built for Cromwell's troops, found on Dock Street. Dean Gallery holds works by Picasso, Dali, Man Ray and Giacometti, and Lamb's House is one of the oldest buildings in Leith, where it's said Mary Queen of Scots stayed after her arrival from France in 1561.

Leith (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Lerwick

Lerwick is the capital of the Shetland Islands, a remote archipelago north of Orkney on the same latitude as Anchorage in Alaska. In the rugged landscape around Lerwick are Neolithic and Bronze Age remains, including Jarlshof, an extensive network of 4000 years of settlement on the coast. In Lerwick town, winding alleys lead from the port to the upper town and Clickhimin Broch, a well-preserved Pictish round tower.

Lerwick (Shetland Isles)

Lisbon

Lisbon has three ports, all with taxi services and within 3 kilometers of the city centre. Lisbon is a sprawling city which has been occupied by Visigoths, Moors, Romans and Celts. Alfama and Barrio Alto are historic districts of cobbled streets, wrought-iron balconies and Moorish buildings. Its most famous landmarks are the World Heritage Sites of Belem Tower and the impressive 16th-century Jeronimos Monastery.

Lisbon (Portugal)

Liverpool

The famous skyline of Liverpool's waterfront consists of the Three Graces ' the Royal Liver, Cunard and Port of Liverpool Buildings, now a World Heritage Site. Liverpool has several attractions ' the Metropolitan Cathedral, Tate Liverpool at Albert Dock which houses works by Warhol, Dali and Anthony Gormley, and the former homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Boutiques and shops can be found in the historic Cavern Quarter and the large complex of Liverpool ONE.

London

Cruises visiting London berth at Tilbury, 22 miles south of Tower Bridge which has a rail link to Fenchurch Street station. London's attractions are numerous and spread throughout the city. Shoppers head for Oxford Street and upmarket Knightsbridge for Harrods, and there are numerous galleries for art lovers ' the Tate Modern, National and Portrait Galleries. Among the many other sights are the London Eye, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, parks, theatres and restaurants.

Newcastle

Ships and ferries visiting Newcastle berth at Royal Quays, where there is a large shopping centre a short distance from the city centre. The city is famous for its modernist tilting Millennium Bridge, the spectacular Sage building, and the Angel of the North to the south. Visits to Newcastle are an opportunity to see Hadrian's Wall, Durham and the historic castles and wild coastline of Northumberland.

Ny Alesund

Ny Alesund has a population of less than one hundred, and is a former coal-mining town situated on the west coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard Archipelago. It was from here that Raold Amundsen's successful airship flight over the North Pole began, and today it is home to the most northerly, permanently-inhabited Arctic Research Station.

Ny Alesund (Norway)

Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel is the pretty and historic capital of the Azores In the former monastery of Santo Andre is the Carlos Machado Museum, and Porta Delgada is a good base for tours to the lush interior, the extinct volcano of Caldeira das Sete Cidades and its two lakes. Also worth a visit is the botanical garden of Jardim Jose do Canto and Praca Goncala Velho Square, where there are shady cafes and the remains of the city walls.

Ponta Delgada (Azores, Portugal)

Portsmouth

Portsmouth has long been an important naval port and is still a Royal Navy base. It is the home of HMS Victory and the 19th-century HMS Warrior, and the new Spinnaker Tower, built to resemble sails at the former site of HMS Vernon. This area has been re-named Gunwharf Quays, a new waterfront development of restaurants, bars and designer shops. In Old Portsmouth there are fish markets, tea rooms, cobbled streets and traditional pubs.

Portsmouth (England)

Rouen (France)

Rouen is the capital of Upper Normandy, and has a picturesque medieval quarter of glaze-tiled and timbered houses. Joan of Arc was imprisoned in a tower and burnt at the stake in the marketplace in Rouen. The city is well-known for its astronomical clock and the famous cathedral which was painted several times by Monet

Rouen

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is the capital of the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife. It is a modern city with several attractions including Garcia Sanabria Park where there are sculptures by Joan Miro and Henry Moore, the colonial church of La Concepcion and the modernist Opera House. In Loro Parque there are tropical gardens and an aquarium housing sea lions, sharks and penguins.

Santa Cruz (Tenerife, Canary Islands)

Spitsbergen

Spitsbergen is the largest island in the remote Svalbard archipelago and the only one with a permanent population. For travellers continuing north, it is the gateway to the High Arctic and the last stop before the North Pole. This harsh habitat supports polar bears, reindeer and hardy flora, and is home to international research stations and the Global Seed Vault. Its dramatic scenery includes Advent Fjord, the Monaco Glacier and jagged granite mountains.

Spitsbergen (Norway)

Stockholm

Most cruise ships berth within a 20-minute walk of Stockholm's old town, Gamla Stan, giving easy access to the museums, galleries, shops and restaurants of Sweden's capital. Spread across 14 islands connected by 50 bridges, its sights include the Royal Palace of Drottningholm which can be reached by steamer boat from the City Hall, the Wasa Museum which holds an ancient ship, and the futuristic Ericcson Globe where you can take a SkyView Gondola outside its huge dome.

Stockholm (Sweden)

Tenerife

Tenerife is dominated by 3718-metre high Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain, which can be accessed by cable car for stunning views of the other Canary Islands. The large variety of landscapes range from lush valleys, banana plantations and the moon-like white rock formations of the Lorno Blanco. In the Ethnographic Park are the mysterious stepped pyramids of Guimar, built along the same lines as those of Mexico and Peru.

Tenerife (Canary Islands)

Tobermory

The colourful waterfront houses of Tobermory are instantly recognisable. It is a small harbour town on the island of Mull, with galleries selling artwork and jewellery by local craftspeople and a choice of cafes. There is a short coastal walk to Aros Park and to the lighthouse where there are views to the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Further afield on Mull are Glengorm, Torosay and Duart Castles and gardens.

Tobermory (Isle of Mull, Scotland)

Customer Reviews

My sister and I loved our 10 day cruise around the British Isles.

The ship Columbus was friendly, comfortable, and the food was excellent.. The shops troupe of entertainers were brilliant.

The Scottish Islands of Orkney, Skye and Mull were wonderful, I have wanted to see them for years. They did not disappoint.

Our day on the Scilly Isles was particularly lovely.

Blue Water Holidays were very friendly and helpful during the initial booking, and in all subsequent dealings. This was my 5th cruise, and I really enjoyed being on a smaller ship.

We have friends who have been on several cruises with different companies and they recommended that we try it out. We therefore all booked onto the Shetlands, Faroes, Orkneys and Scotland cruise on the Marco Polo with CMV.

Pleased to say our first experience at sea was good, the cabin was clean and the steward made sure it stayed that way! The catering was first class and I can honestly say we didnt have a bad meal throughout the cruise and I must comment the catering staff and waiters in the dining room for a first class service. There was plenty of variety with the entertainment which ranged from ABBA, Divas to the Rocky Horror Picture Show and the dancers/comperes were very professional.

As it was our first time at sea we decided to go on an excursion every day and there was a wide choice available. The most enjoyable trips ashore for our party was the Faroes (Mountain Scenery Pancakes), the Orkneys (South Island Scapa Distillery) and Invergordon - in particular Dunrobin Castle. However, as Im a bit of a history buff the highlight of the cruise for me was the excursion around Scapa Flow and the Italian Church on the Orkneys. Although I have to say St Magnus Cathedral and the Earls Bishops Palaces in the islands capital Kirkwall were impressive.

We were blessed with good weather throughout the cruise which made a big difference as we understood from local people that it can be cold and windy in some of the places we visited even during this summer period. The sea was also calm all adding to the enjoyment of our time at sea.

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and if we could change only one thing it would be to have a cabin with a window as we didnt get any natural daylight down on the Baltic deck

I thoroughly enjoyed being on the vessel, from the mechanics of it all. It is such a large ship and it was fascinating seeing it leave the harbours and dock, anchor at sea and everything that was involved with it. I loved being on the deck seeing the the ship plough through the sea, and loved seeing the shore from the sea - especially at night when you could see harbour lights and the light from the lighthouses.

My cabin was wonderful, the window being under the deck so I was right beside the sea. It was all so clean and the cabin staff worked tirelessly to make it all a great stay.

The ship was spotlessly clean - again the staff working all day to keep it so.

The entertainment was good and the facilities of all the lounges and bars. I didnt like eating the formal dinner every night (the staff were wonderful, so friendly, but being a solo passenger with no choice of whom to be with, I found some of the other table members somewhat difficult to get on with). I found the dinner went on for so long, there being so many courses (the food was wonderful but too much for me to eat) that I found I could eat in the bistro instead. I found that much better as I could be more independent, eating when I wanted and how much I wanted. Also, it meant I was free to go up on deck and watch the ship as it left the ports.

I liked the library and games room. I found peace and quiet in both places and like minded people occupying them. It was great to have jigsaw puzzles that everybody could join in with.

The information sheet that we got each night in our cabin was invaluable. It was all so well organised. I also loved the little newspaper each day and the puzzle sheets - so many people used them.

It was lovely having free tea and coffee all day long. The food was superb in both the restaurant and the bistro, with super afternoon tea as well - I especially liked the pastries.

I did a couple of excursions but after that decided to do my own thing rather than having to be organised on and off buses. I enjoyed walking off into the towns, and enjoyed the tender journeys. We visited some lovely places.

I did feel at times like I was in a floating care home, so many elderly and infirm people. That is all fine but a lot of moaning went on as well! I thought the staff were very patient and friendly at all times when having to deal with such passengers and their complaints.

I applaud the captain and his staff on looking after us all so well and delivering us safely from place to place. I am in awe of how they handle such a large vessel.

All in all a very interesting, enjoyable experience. Although my next sortie at sea will be with 34 passengers.

Total Reviews: 12 Read More Reviews...