The county of Hampshire is where some of England’s finest countryside meets the sea. Both Southampton and Portsmouth ports are located within this historic county and whole world of unique and memorable attractions encompassing history and heritage dating back 1000 years awaits. There’s so much for cruise passengers to discover – all within an hour of each port.
Southampton is the embarkation cruise capital of Europe and for good reason – the city welcomes over 1 million cruise passengers a year. Portsmouth Port has developed a reputation for handling small to medium sized luxury vessels, and has become a favourite destination for explorer cruises.
Most passengers will arrive at Southampton and Portsmouth unaware of the wealth of fascinating heritage or special experiences that are available to them within a relatively small radius. There’s a vast array of stunning and memorable experiences to help you create innovative and unique excursions for the most discerning cruise passenger. History and heritage are found within minutes of each port and you’ll be spoilt for choice within 40 miles or one hour’s driving distance with places such as Stonehenge, historic Winchester, Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) and the ancient New Forest all within easy reach.
Here in the South, some of the most important seafaring and battle stories are brought to life for visitors from all over the world. From the 1545 sinking and raising of Henry VIII’s flagship Mary Rose, the pioneering journey to America of the Pilgrim Fathers aboard The Mayflower in 1620, departure of the Titanic in 1912, to planning of the World War II D-Day Landings in 1944, there’s plenty of opportunity to put together historical excursions which span centuries.
Hampshire’s a great place for pre- and post-cruise excursions to make the most of a visit and a guided tour is the most interesting and enjoyable way to explore a destination as it brings to life the place, the people and its history. There is an excellent choice of knowledgeable guides in the towns and cities of Hampshire and at many attractions. Venues, recognising the value of overseas visitors, look to meet their needs by offering printed information or audio in several languages.
We look forward to welcoming you!
Top 5 facts about Hampshire
1. Hampshire is the perfect blend of city, coast and country, blessed with natural beauty of two National Parks, thriving culture, with history and heritage at its heart.
2. Two cruise ports (Southampton and Portsmouth) 20 miles apart and both only 1hr 30mins from London and its major airports.
3. We’ve been at the heart of defending the nation over the centuries. The county is the traditional home of the Royal Navy and British Army and hosts dozens of castles, historic ships, museums and other outstanding military heritage attractions.
4. Hampshire is a leading foodie destination with famous vineyards, distilleries, breweries and farms producing some of the nation’s finest products.
5. This is where Jane Austen was born, wrote her famous novels and is buried. Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan-Doyle and Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, all lived and drew inspiration from the county.
Andrew Bateman, Tourism Manager, Economy, Transport and Environment
Rebekah Keeler, Head of Cruise
Ian Diaper, Head of Operations