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7 Reasons To Sail From Your Local Cruise Port

There are many great reasons to sail from your local cruise port. If you can find a suitable itinerary and ship that will suit you, it’s something that might be worth considering.

While many people like to fly away to find the sun in far-flung destinations, for a hassle-free cruise, the advantages of sailing from your home port can’t be underestimated!

In this article, we look at 7 reasons why you might want to consider sailing from closer to home.

emma cruises with p&o iona
I sailed to Northern Europe from Southampton on P&O’s Iona. I had a great time!

Some of the great reasons to sail from your local port are:

#1 It’s Easier

Rather than booking and planning your journey to the airport, checking flight times, and organising airport parking, you can just drive to your local port – usually on roads you are familiar with.

You will know where the ship will be sailing from and can make arrangements for car parking or arrive by taxi or public transport.

If your local port isn’t too far away, there is less chance of something going wrong or encountering delays. You can check online in the days before the journey to make sure there are no road closures or road works that might hold you up.

southampton cruise parking triangle car park
Lots of nearby parking options at my local cruise port of Southampton

#2 Stress-Free

If you are anxious about travelling, you might find a cruise from a local port far less stressful than travelling through an airport!

You could get a taxi to the local port, which will drop you off by the ship. Once you board, you can relax.

No worries about missing flights or connections, losing your luggage – or whatever it is you normally worry about!

taxi gatwick airport to southampton cruise port

#3 Easier Security

Security is far easier and quicker to get through at ports.

Your suitcase can be handed to the porters outside the terminal and will magically re appear at your cabin later that day.

There are no restrictions about liquids in your hand luggage.

The queues/lines are normally far shorter than those in airports. The port authorities know exactly how many passengers they are expecting to board the ship and can employ security staff accordingly.

I once left my laptop in security at Southampton when they asked me to take it out and put it in a separate tray. I wasn’t allowed to return for it, but they kept it safely until my return…

cruise airport luggage

#4 Fewer Luggage Restrictions

If you are heading off on a cruise, particularly one with formal or elegant nights, you might want to pack suits and evening dresses. These can take up a lot of room in your suitcase!

This is no problem if you are sailing from your local port. There aren’t the same luggage weight restrictions as when checking luggage for a flight.

At my local cruise port, Southampton, you can take as many pieces of luggage as you want, as long as none weighs over 20kg. That is quite understandable, they wouldn’t want their porters and crew to damage themselves lifting a heavy suitcase – just take two smaller ones instead!

You can’t take certain things onto a cruise ship with you, though, and they will be confiscated. Find out what those things are here:

These Are The 5 Items Most Regularly Confiscated by Cruise Lines

Emma and suitcase
Your suitcase will magically arrive in your cabin

#5 Flight Delays

One of my main worries when flying is problems beyond my control at the airport.

Flights seem to be often delayed – or even cancelled, and you may worry about missing your ship altogether

I always advise flying out the day before if possible, when fly-cruising, just in case of problems or delays

I once very nearly miss my flight for a Christmas cruise. This wasn’t because of the airline though – it was because our car’s engine blew up on the way to the airport! Something we never could have planned for, it happened completely without warning!

It wouldn’t have been so stressful if I had been sailing from Southampton. I could have left the car and taken a taxi to the port instead.

This goes to show why it is important to have cruise-specific travel insurance in case something unforeseen happens. Find out why you need it and how to get it here:

Cruise Travel Insurance – Why You Need it and How to Get It: (Step by Step Illustrated Guide)

#6 It Can Be A Lot Cheaper

There are lots of costs associated with fly-cruising. You may need to pay for:

  • Cost of car parking or public transport to the airport
  • Costs of the flights
  • Cost of luggage upgrades, if it isn’t included
  • Expensive food and drink at the airport and on the flights (I often fly Easy-jet or other budget airlines where everything is chargeable!)
  • Costs of a hotel at the other end if you don’t want to risk flying and cruising on the same day.
  • Transfers to the port or hotel from the airport

Once you have added all those “extras” up, you might decide it’s better to save yourself money and sail from a local port. You could put that extra money towards a drinks package – or speciality meals instead!

I had some friends who wanted to try a first cruise but were on a very limited budget. I found a bargain cruise on MSC Preziosa from Southampton for only £320/$360 dollars for six nights. (That included all gratuities.)

Find out whether that cruise was a success and whether they would cruise again here:

#7 Your Cruise Holiday Starts The Moment You Step Onboard

For me, this is the best thing about cruising from my home port.

As soon as you step onboard that ship, your holiday can begin.

Once I have attended my Muster station, I like to go and get lunch in one of the main restaurants – if they are open. I feel like I am starting my holiday with a lovely meal out – but no nasty bill to pay at the end! (The buffet is often very busy on embarkation day, so I like to avoid it if possible.)

Find other great tips about what you should do as soon as you embark on your ship here:

5 Things You Should Do on Embarkation Day – Straight After Boarding

Enjoying lunch onboard P&O’s Arvia – Captain Hudson appears to be having an afternoon nap…

I sailed down to Barcelona from Southampton on P&O’s newest and largest ship Arvia. Find out about that eventful cruise here:

Before You Go

Still thinking about whether a cruise would suit you? Find out why skipping a cruise would be a big mistake here:

Don’t Miss Out: 7 Reasons Skipping a Cruise Is a Big Mistake!

Find out what the cruise line actually spends your cruise fare on in the post below:

Costa Smeralda – Inside Cabin Photo Guide and Honest Review

Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide

Ever wondered how the mainstream cruise lines compare? Cruise lines won’t tell you this, but I will.

This FREE guide shows you everything you need to know to find your perfect cruise line.