Southampton

The giant glass-and-steel West Quay
The Civic Centre and the City Art Gallery
The medieval Western Esplanade

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Southampton/London

Thousands of years of trade

Despite its pummelling by the Luftwaffe and some disastrous postwar urban sprawl, the thousand-year-old city of Southampton has retained some of its medieval charm in parts and reinvented itself as a twenty-first century shopping centre in others, with the giant glass-and-steel West Quay as its focus.
 
Core of the modern town is the Civic Centre, a short walk east of the train station and home to the excellent Southampton City Art Gallery that’s particularly strong on contemporary British artists. The Western Esplanade runs alongside the best remaining bits of the old city walls.

Rebuilt after a French attack in 1338, they incorporate God’s House Tower, at the southern end of the old town in Winkle Street, which currently houses the Museum of Archaeology. Best preserved of the city’s seven gates is Bargate, at the opposite end of the old town, at the head of the High Street; it’s an elaborate structure, cluttered with lions, classical figures and defensive apertures. A shore excursion on your MSC Northern Europe cruise from Southampton can be the opportunity to discover the capital of England, London.

For the visitor, London is a thrilling place. Monuments from the capital’s glorious past are everywhere, from medieval banqueting halls and the great churches of Christopher Wren to the eclectic Victorian architecture of the triumphalist British Empire. You can relax in the city’s quiet Georgian squares, explore the narrow alleyways of the City of London, wander along the riverside walks, and uncover the quirks of what is still identifiably a collection of villages.

The capital’s great historical landmarks – Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and so on – draw in millions of tourists every year.

Must see places in Southampton

  • Westminster cathedral

    Westminster cathedral

  • Salisbury Cathedral

    Salisbury Cathedral

  • Stonehenge

    Stonehenge

Discover our excursions

11 results found

  • Southampton by Bike

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    SOUBKT

    Your bike ride through the appealing port city of Southampton will see you cycle through the main shopping area en route to West Park - we stop at the Titanic Postal Workers’ Memorial to share the story of Titanic) passing the City Art Gallery,(these are in the historic downtown) on the way. Through the biggest green park Southampton Commons; through University campus.The return route then takes you along small rivers and through green parklands close to river Itchen; stop at Southampton hall of aviation (Spitfire airplanes inside the hangar); Ocean Village promenade with yachts in harbour, to reach the city centre again: old Bargate, Queen’s Park, God’s House Tower and the city walls, Tudor House.St. Michael´s Church Break near Central Park halfway between the shopping street and historic remains/ ruins. After some free time to enjoy on your own, you’ll return to the ship.A paying adult must accompany guests under 18 years of age. Guests must be 16 years or older to participate. An adult must sign a waiver form for all guests under the age of 18.
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      3:30 h

    • Adults$72.00Price per person

    • ChildrenNot available

  • A DAY IN THE BRITISH CAPITAL

    CITY TOUR

    SOU18

    Get off the ship, meet your guide at the pier, leave the port and prepare to spend a day in one of the most iconic and important cities of the world: London, “The Big Smoke”. An enjoyable 2.5-hour coach drive will take you to the British capital city. Nex
    • Shopping

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • Best seller

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      7 h

    • Adults$115.00Price per person

    • Children$85.00Price per person

  • DISCOVER THE CITY OF BATH

    CITY TOUR

    SOU06

    The elegant city of Bath with its stately, honey-coloured Georgian architecture and which nestles amid quintessentially English rolling countryside, features among England’s most beautiful places to visit. The Romans transformed Bath into England’s first
    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      7 h

    • Adults$99.00Price per person

    • Children$72.00Price per person

  • LONDON ON YOUR OWN

    CITY TOUR

    SOU10

    Independent travellers will love this non-guided trip to London, which makes for a splendid day off the ship. Set your own sightseeing itinerary, discovering all the iconic spots that you always wanted to see, or go shopping in London’s many fabulous stor
    • No guide available

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      8 h

    • Adults$89.00Price per person

    • Children$62.00Price per person

  • PORTSMOUTH

    CITY TOUR

    SOU15

    Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the important naval and commercial port of Portsmouth is home to The Historic Dockyard, a fascinating complex that charts 800 years of naval history. Amid the working docks and historical buildings, the tour includes a guided walk
      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        5:30 h

      • Adults$99.00Price per person

      • Children$72.00Price per person

    • WINCHESTER

      CITY TOUR

      SOU12

      If one place lies at the centre of English history and embodies the romantic vision of an English heartland, it is Winchester. Leave the port for a coach drive to this beautiful city; here, among other monuments, we will visit the Cathedral, which dates b
      • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

      • Best seller

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults$69.00Price per person

      • Children$52.00Price per person

    • ARUNDEL CASTLE

      CULTURE AND HISTORY

      SOU16

      The first leg of this all-day tour will take you on a 1.5-hour coach ride through scenic southern England to the pretty market town of Arundel and the imposing Arundel Castle. Founded in 1067, the castle later became the seat of the family of the Duke of
        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          7:30 h

        • Adults$89.00Price per person

        • Children$62.00Price per person

      • STONEHENGE & SALISBURY

        CULTURE AND HISTORY

        SOU04

        Leave the pier and prepare to immerse yourself in a day of mystery and antiquity. We are heading to the circle of Stonehenge, one of the most intriguing and ancient sites in the U.K. Situated on a vast plain, the site is truly impressive; shrouded in magi
        • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

        • Best seller

        • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Easy

        • Duration
          5:30 h

        • Adults$89.00Price per person

        • Children$62.00Price per person

      • WINDSOR CASTLE

        CULTURE AND HISTORY

        SOU19

        The fortunes of the Berkshire town of Windsor have been closely linked to its castle for more than 900 years and it is to this famous stronghold – built by order of William the Conqueror in the late 11th century – that this all-day excursion will take you
        • Long route by bus

        • Shooting videos and/or taking pictures is not allowed or subject to fee

        • Limited seats

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          8 h

        • Adults$102.00Price per person

        • Children$75.00Price per person

      • ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE & CORFE CASTLE

        SCENIC ROUTE

        SOU11

        Leave the port and enjoy a scenic drive through the delightful countryside of Dorset County to the village of Corfe. Nearly all periods of history are celebrated in and around the village, which is unequalled in the UK. We will visit the ruins of Corfe Ca
          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Moderate

          • Duration
            5 h

          • Adults$89.00Price per person

          • Children$62.00Price per person

        • BEAULIEU PALACE & MOTOR MUSEUM

          SOMETHING SPECIAL

          SOU08

          Enjoy a coach drive through the beautiful wooded New Forest which lies between the River Avon and Southampton to reach the picturesque village of Beaulieu. At the head of the Beaulieu River, the Cistercians constructed an imposing abbey, which, at the tim
          • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

          • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Easy

          • Duration
            3:30 h

          • Adults$99.00Price per person

          • Children$72.00Price per person

        The excursions in the program above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this program is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
        Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

         

        Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

        Reach the port

        Port of Southampton

        This section contains information on how to reach the port.

        Cruise Terminal:

        City Cruise Terminal
        Western docks

        Reach the port by

        • Car

          From the North, East and London 
          OPTION 1: Travelling on the M3 South motorway, follow the signs for Southampton. Merge onto the M27 and follow the signs for the M27 West. Leave the M27 at the Junction 3 roundabout and take the exit signposted M271 towards Southampton/The Docks (first exit). At the Redbridge roundabout, take the first exit left and continue along the A3024 towards Southampton, then follow the signs to the dock gate for your cruise shown below.  

          OPTION 2: From the M3 motorway, follow the signs for Southampton. Leave the M3 at Junction 14 and follow the signs for Southampton Docks, which will take you onto the A33. Keep on the A33 and follow the signs to Southampton Docks. This route will bring you out next to Dock Gate 4.  

          From the South West
          From the A31 Poole/Bournemouth road join the M27 motorway and exit at Junction 3. Take the exit signposted M271 and then turn onto the A3024, following the signs for Southampton Docks. 

          City Cruise Terminal: Use Dock Gate 8 or 10. City Cruise Terminal is adjacent to Dock Gate 8 and less than ½ mile from Dock Gate 10.
          Car
        • Train

          Southampton Central Station is a short taxi  ride away from the port area. 
          Travel time: around 10 minutes, depending on traffic.
          Train
        • Plane

          Southampton Airport is the closest to the city. Located approximately 6 miles away, it takes just 20-30 minutes by taxi to reach the terminals. Southampton Airport Parkway train station is just a few minutes walk away.
          Regular services to Southampton Central run throughout the day. With both national and international flights landing daily, the airport offers a range of services, from left luggage to car rentals.
          Plane

        United Kingdom

        God Save the Queen
        God Save the Queen

        The United Kingdom is not just one country but four – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and a multitude of cultural identities: God forbid you should call a Scot or a Welshman English for example.


        Don’t miss the true London experience during your holiday to the United Kingdom; the capital is the one place that features on everyone’s itinerary. 

        Brighton and Canterbury offer contrasting diversions – the former a lively seaside resort, the latter one of Britain’s finest medieval cities. 


        The southwest of England holds the rugged moorlands of Devon, the rocky coastline of Cornwall, and the historic spa city of Bath, while the chief attractions of central England are the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge

        Further north, the former industrial cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle are lively, rejuvenated places, and York has splendid historical treasures, but the landscape, especially the uplands of the Lake District, is the biggest magnet. 


        The finest of Scotland’s lochs, glens and peaks, and the magnificent scenery of the West Coast islands, can be reached easily from Glasgow and Edinburgh – the latter perhaps Britain’s most attractive urban landscape. Finally, a cruise to the United Kingdom isn’t complete without a stop in Northern Ireland with its capital city Belfast and the spectacular Giant’s Causeway.

         
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