While many of the world's bigger ships often depart from ports such as Southampton, Dover or Liverpool, there is also an increasing number of sailings available from smaller ports around the UK. Smaller cruise ports around the UK such as those in Hull and Dundee are well catered for by lines including Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Cruise and Maritime Voyages. The latter of these has gone one further by offering a range of cruises out of destinations including the Irish port of Cobh and the English south coast port of Poole.
In addition to these, it is also possible to embark on sailings out of the Welsh capital of Cardiff - which is the focus of this week's blog. Holidaymakers in Cardiff will be able to board Marco Polo, taking in a range of scenic destinations along the way. This week, Cruises from the UK takes a look at the featured destinations and offers an insight into to what you may be able to enjoy in each of them.
The charming village of Kollafjørður, in the Faroe Islands, may be home to less than 1,000 people, but the sights you can see along the way are filled with wild and dramatic landscapes. One of the main industries in the village and across the archipelago as a whole is fishing and you will notice signs of this during your visit. One fascinating building to factor in your visit is the local church, which comprises of a typical 19th century black-tarred wooden church complete with a turfed roof and a small white bell tower.
Your first Icelandic port of call is Seyðisfjörður, which is filled with breath-taking natural scenery. Towering snow-capped mountains surround you as you enter the area of Seyðisfjörður, while native bird and marine species will make their presence known. There are plenty of hiking trails within the area that will enable you to take full advantage of this breathtakingly beautiful area.
The next town on the itinerary is the Icelandic settlement of Husavik, which is renowned for being the whale-watching capital of Iceland. A journey around the surrounding waters may offer opportunities to see a range of whales including orcas, northern bottlenose whales, sperm whales, minke whales and even humpback whales. Onshore, the Husavik Whale Center offers a fabulous opportunity to learn more about these beautiful marine creatures.
Positioned just below the Arctic Circle, Ísafjörður is the largest town in the Westfjords region of Iceland. This beautiful town is surrounded by fjords on all sides and the only way to get in and out of the area by land is via one of three roads that take you through the mountains. You can choose to enjoy the leisurely pace of life in the town or you can head on an excursion to the nearby island of Vigur, which is home to a large elder duck colony and a vast population of birds.
The Icelandic capital is by far the largest settlement in the country, providing a home for more than 200,000 people. Reykjavik's small city centre is characterised by colourful and charming houses, while a stroll through one of the many parks and gardens offers a tranquil contrast to the urban culture. One of the most relaxing activities to partake in is a session in one of the geothermal swimming pools, which are naturally heated by underground volcanic activity. Other landmarks of particular interest include Hallgrímskirkja Church - a huge landmark which towers over the city.
Prior to returning back to Cardiff, you will have a chance to explore the beautiful Irish city of Cork. Friendly locals will extend a warm welcome as you wander around this charming city and explore its many attractions. These include Elizabeth Fort and St. Finbarr's Cathedral - a 19th-century Gothic style building which features a golden angel sat high upon a tower.
This roundtrip sailing out of Cardiff is one of three sailings available out of the Welsh capital in 2018. There are also four additional itineraries available in 2019, taking passengers to gorgeous destinations and hidden gems around the British Isles and into Western Europe.