Cruise Ports London (Southampton), UK

London (Southampton), UK

London is a city full of fascinating history, stories and charm. One of the most well-known cities in the world, it is a city every traveller should visit at least once!

London is serviced by 5 cruise ports, the London Cruise Terminal (Tilbury), Dover, Greenwich, Portsmouth, and the Southampton Cruise Terminal. Tilbury, Dover, Greenwich, and Portsmouth mostly cater to the smaller ships including Azamara, Viking, Seabourn and Oceania with most cruises including the Cunard voyages (Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Mary II) departing from the Southampton Cruise Terminal which is 2 hours southwest of London.

No matter where you are based in London you will be able to explore the city with ease due to its extensive underground train network known as “the Tube” which handles up to five million passengers per day. Most of the international hotels are located in central London primarily in the districts of Covent Gardens, Kensington, Westminster, Soho, and Mayfair which allows easy access to a lot of the cities main attractions and sites.

Among some of the main sites of the city are The British Museum, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey.

The British Museum, located in the Bloomsbury area of the city and not far from St. Paul’s Cathedral, houses a collection of some eight million works which is among the largest and most comprehensive collections in the world. Most pieces in the museum were obtained during the era of the British Empire as a result of British colonisation and include many famous historical objects including the Elgin Marbles of Greece and the Rosetta Stone of Egypt. A whole day could be spent wandering the rooms of the museum viewing artifacts from across the globe.

The Tower of London was built by William the Conquerer in 1070 as part of his fortress and since then has taken on many roles including a palace, prison, and now tourist site. Today the Yeoman Warders or “Beefeaters” guard the visitors but still carry out ceremonial duties such as unlocking and locking the tower every day in a ceremony known as the Ceremony of the Keys.

Hear stories of murdered kings, imprisoned traitors and feuds of the past as you tour the tower and its surrounding area. For the brave, the tower offers a twilight tour where you can discover the secrets of the tower's history and maybe have the chance to encounter some of the area's alleged famous ghosts who haunt the area including Anne Boleyn!

When one thinks of the British Royal family Buckingham Palace is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Bordered by Green Park, Buckingham Palace Garden, and St. James’s Park, Buckingham Palace is the London residence of the monarch of the United Kingdom and is a focal point for the British nation at times of national rejoicing or mourning. The palace is open to the public over December and January for a limited number of tours but a good portion of the day can be taken up wandering the beautiful parks next to the palace.

Westminster Abbey is a large, Gothic abbey church that is the traditional place of coronations and burial site for British monarchs. According to historical writings, the site has been home to a church from the seventh century with the construction of the currency church beginning in 1245. Since the coronation of William the Conquerer in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have occurred in Westminster Abbey. Visitors can tour the Abbey by booking a ticket directly through the Abbey website or in person on arrival.

A great way to see the above sites and many more is on one of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours that operate around the city. It allows guests the chance to get an overview of the city and the ease to get off at sightseeing stops to explore an area before getting back on the next bus to continue your journey.

Whether it is 2 days or 7 you are spending in London, the options are endless and it truly is one of the great cities of the world!

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