When it's safe to travel again, there's one type of holiday we'll be taking as a more sustainable and stress-free alternative to explore Britain and beyond: a no-fly cruise from the UK.
Cruising from the UK is becoming a more popular way to travel as we look for more ways to reduce our carbon footprint and avoid busy airports, while continuing to discover our beautiful planet after lockdown.
No-fly cruises from the UK also offer a memorable staycation, giving you the chance to see incredible Britain and its wildlife by sea.
And not only does it cut out the hassle of airport queues, liquid restrictions and baggage allowances, it also allows you to see more.
Get to know Britain and Ireland’s spectacular coastlines
We’re growing increasingly curious about what Britain has to offer since the pandemic forced us to look local and experience the wonders on our doorstep.
For travellers looking to see Blighty from a different angle and explore spectacular landscapes closer to home - like the unspoilt Scilly Isles, the sparkling Cornish coast and subtropical gardens of Guernsey - a no-fly cruise is the answer.
Cruising allows you to visit more remote locations too, like the lesser-explored Inner and Outer Hebrides with their spectacular scenery, cultural wonders and amazing wildlife. Did you know that Scotland’s coastline alone is home to 800 islands?
With better views and quieter travel, you are also more likely to spot rare wildlife on a cruise. Off the UNESCO World Heritage island of Hirta, it’s possible to see mesmerising minke whales and on Northern Ireland’s Rathlin Island you can experience sightings of rare seabirds like puffin, guillemot, kittiwake, razorbill and fulmar. Not only is the island home to Northern Ireland's largest seabird colony, but you can also spot seals bathing here.
Visit multiple cultural cities
Slower travel means taking in more destinations, and exploring more of the UK and Ireland could mean retracing your roots in its cities and museums, or revisiting cherished childhood memories with fish and chips on the beach.
Britain and Ireland are home to cosmopolitan cities full of history and culture like Edinburgh and Dublin, Liverpool, Belfast and Glasgow - as well as smaller holiday favourites like Falmouth, where you can enjoy a pasty and cream tea or visit the sublime St Michael’s Mount.
Our northern coast is full of ancient culture too, like the Harris tweed woven on the Hebridean Isle of Lewis and the Viking and Celtic history of the Isle of Man. On a no-fly Hurtigruten cruise in 2022, you can taste signature whiskies in remote distilleries and discover the ancient links between the Scottish Isles and Scandinavia.
Travel further afield without flying
Departing from the UK doesn’t mean missing out on travel overseas if you're keen to see more of the world. Seafaring adventures can take you to Norway or even further north to Iceland, and unlike on a flight, you can take in the spectacular sights along the way.
If you travel to Norway during the summer months, the sun lights up the landscapes for up to 24 hours a day and you can celebrate the midnight sun phenomenon. You can even travel from Southampton all the way to the North Cape, without wasting a minute on a plane.
Country Living's exclusive midnight sun cruise from the UK reveals mother nature in all her glory, on the uninhabited island of Skjoldungen - home to bearded seals, killer whales and rare birds.
As open-air activities have become a lifeline for us during lockdown, you'll want to check out our exclusive Icelandic itinerary with TV's Kate Humble. It takes walking in nature to the next level, with world-class bird watching, stunning nature trails in Thingvellir National Park and natural wonders like Gudafoss waterfall and the Blue Lagoon.
Eco-conscious travel on stylish ships
Tradewind Voyages’ Golden Horizon is set to be a popular ship for cruising from the UK when it launches this year. It has a focus on sustainability, luxury services and a wide offering of exciting itineraries that don’t require flying.
On Golden Horizon, you can enjoy a series of fascinating onboard lectures, talks and Q&As, with some of Britain’s best environmental speakers - like Countryfile presenter Kate Humble, environmental broadcaster Liz Bonnin and champion yachtswoman Dee Caffari.
The sail ship takes 70% of its power from natural sources, using the currents and prevailing winds to carry you across the seas. This allows you to see the world but leave a smaller carbon footprint.
And despite its green credentials, Golden Horizon doesn’t compromise on luxury - with delicious sustainably-sourced produce used in the kitchen, three swimming pools, a beauty salon, gym, spa and five bars.
You can depart the UK for destinations like Norway and Iceland - where bucket-list activities abound, including bathing in restorative geothermal pools, sailing through beautiful fjords, and soaking up the sights of breathtaking volcanoes.
Hurtigruten’s biodiesel-powered MS Maud also offers sustainably-focused cruising, from Dover all the way around the British Isles, including unique cultural sites like Buckfast Abbey in Dartmouth, and Scotland’s most famous island, Staffa, which has been visited by Queen Victoria, Sir Walter Scott and Samuel Johnson.
With so many inspiring destinations within reach, 2021 is the ideal time to try out a no-fly cruise.
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