These are cruise lines operating cruises available to British passengers, or 'guests' as the cruise industry prefers to call us.
|Azamara Club Cruises||0844 493 4016||Luxury brand (launched spring 2007) of Royal Caribbean Cruises, offering worldwide cruises on two 710-berth ships Azamara Journey & Azamara Quest.|
|Carnival Cruise Lines||020 7729 1929||Carnival is the biggest kid on the block and many of the well-known big players in the cruise industry are wholly or partly-owned Carnival brands (eg Cunard, P&O, Princess, etc). The Carnival fleet of 19 'Fun ships' are very much US market focused.|
|Celebrity Cruises||0845 456 0523||Celebrity operates at the top end of the mainstream large ship cruise lines, with a well established reputation for good service, high-quality catering and facilities. Over the years they've increased their overall capacity by building bigger ships but keeping the fleet size more or less fixed at 10 ships (11 currently, with one smaller expedition ship in the Galapagos).|
|Club Med Cruises||08453 67 67 67||Club Med's own single ship cruise line. The Club Med 2 is a modern five-masted sailing ship carrying up to 392 passengers, whose stern opens up to create a small dock for water activities. Itineraries for 04/05 included the Grenadines, French West Indies, and the US Virgin Islands during the winter months, and Corsica, the French Riviera, the Italian coast, Turkey and Croatia during the summer.|
|Costa Cruises||020 7940 5398||Italian cruise line, with a fleet of 14 modern mid-to-large ships, that became a Carnival brand in 2000. The signs are they've bounced back from their unhappy 2012 incidents (Costa Concordia accident and Costa Allegra breakdown). Much of their cruise programme is European based, with other itineraries in the Far East, the Pacific, the Amazon River, U.S.A. & Canada and the Caribbean.|
|Crystal Cruises||020 7287 9040||Stylish cruising at the top-end of the market on two ships: Crystal Symphony (940-passengers, built 1995), and Crystal Serenity (1008-passengers, built 2003).|
|Cunard||0845 071 0300||Cunard is a three ship fleet again with the arrival of the 2,068-guest Queen Elizabeth. Queen Mary 2 is still the primary transatlantic passage-maker. Queen Victoria (1,968 passengers) is designed for worldwide cruising, as is their new sister ship.|
|Disney Cruise Line||0990 200 605||Disney have two large (2500-passenger) modern ships, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder catering for high-quality family holidays. The ships follow a regular pattern of short cruises sailing from Florida to the Bahamas and the Caribbean where they stop off at Disney's unique private island resort. Work has started on the first of two new 128,000-tonne/4,000-passenger additions to the fleet, Disney Magic and Disney Fantasy due to go into service in Jan 2011 and 2012.|
|easyCruise||0871 210 00 01||Low-cost cruising. easyCruise started out running fixed itineraries along the French & Italian Rivieras and the Caribbean. Now (May 07)they've switched their attention to the Aegean (Athens, Mykonos, Paros and Ios plus the less well known islands of Milos, Amorgos, Naxos, Folegandros, Sifnos and Serifos), and canal boat cruises in Holland.|
|Fred Olsen Cruise Lines||01473 292 222||Long-term favourite with British cruise passengers operating the 450-passenger Black Prince since 1966 (cabins have portholes!) from UK ports to the Mediterranean, Canaries & Scandinavia/Baltic. In 1996 they added Black Watch and Braemar in 2001, both carrying around 800-passengers, and their latest ship, Boudicca, will join the fleet in Feb 2006.|
|Hapag Lloyd Cruises||n/a||A four ship fleet specialising in expedition & polar cruises MS Bremen (164 passengers) & MS Hanseatic (184 passengers), in luxury themed cruises MS Europa (5-star, 408 passengers), and in small off-the-beaten-track destinations, MS Columbus (420 passengers).|
|Holland America Line||020 7613 3300||A twelve-strong fleet of five-star, premium ships sailing from 15 North American home ports, including new departures from Norfolk, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland; and Boston, Massachusetts.|
|Indian Ocean Cruises||0800 032 70 20||Indian cruise line launched in autumn 2006 operating a refurbished 4-star 250-passenger ship, MS Ocean Odyssey (formerly MTS Jason) from Goa with an Indian Ocean programme visiting Cochin, Mangalore, Trivandrum, Tuticorum, Colombo and the previously 'off-limits' protected islands of Lakshadweep in the Arabian Sea.|
|Louis Cruise Lines||0800 018 3883||Louis Cruise Lines are based in Cyprus. Until recently they owned nine cruise ships and managed one other, operating two and three-day cruises from Limassol to Egypt, Rhodes, Beirut and Syria, as well as five and seven-day cruises from Cyprus to the Greek Islands, and some cruises from Malta. However in April 04, MyTravel announced it was closing its cruise division (Sun Cruises) and selling its four ship fleet to Louis who will continue to operate the Sun Cruises itinerary for the 2004 summer season.|
|MSC Cruises||020 7637 2525||Italian cruise line with a 9-ship fleet. Although they were refurbished in the late 90s, some of their ships were getting a little 'worn around the propshaft', notably ms Melody built in 1982 and ms Rhapsody built in 1977, (though the much-loved ms Monteray built in 1952, has now finally been retired!) but in recent years they have embarked on a ship building programme which, when complete in 2010, will give them the most up-to-date fleet in the world. They operate year round cruises to the Mediterranean, plus North Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, South America and South Africa. MSC, by the way, stands for 'Mediterranean Shipping Cruises'.|
|Norwegian Coastal Voyage||020 7559 6666||There are ferries that make 'mini-cruises' out of long-distance crossings, but only a few, such as the 'Hurtigruten' really straddle the dividing line between being a ferry company and being a cruise line. The Hurtigruten fleet of 14 ships has been serving the coastal and offshore communities of Norway for decades. The nine larger and more modern ships of the fleet offer cruise line standards on voyages up to 11-days along the spectacular fjords (Bergen - Kirkenes and back).
NCV have further blurred the lines by introducing cruises in Scotland, the Seychelles, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.
|Norwegian Cruise Line||0845 658 8010||NCL have an up-to-date fleet of 11 ships cruising worldwide, with two 4,000-guest ships (Project Breakaway) due for delivery in spring 2013 & 2014. Their ships are known for their 'Freestyle' dining options and private all-suite decks.|
|Oceania Cruises||0845 505 1920||American 5-star cruise line launched July 2003. They began operations in April 04 with two 30,000-ton, 684-passenger ships, Regatta and Insignia (formerly Rennaissance Cruises), and a third, Nautica. In Feb 2011 their first purpose-built ship, Marina, will join the fleet and shortly after, her sister ship, Riviera. Oceania have deliberately focused on mid-sized ships where their "country club casual" style mixes the personal attention of small ships with the wider range of facilities offered by large ships.|
|Ocean Village||0845 358 5000||A Carnival cruise brand created in May 2003 offering 'informal cruising' aimed at 35-55 year olds - no formal dress codes, no fixed restaurant times, lots of gym facilities, coffee shops and alternative entertainment. It's proved a successful formula. Nearly 60% of their passengers to date have never cruised before. Their first ship Ocean Village (formerly P&O's Arcadia) is being joined by Ocean Village Two (formerly AidaBlu from German sister line, Aida Cruises).|
|Orient Lines||020 7591 8200||Orient Lines is a two-ship brand (part of NCL/Star Cruises) that specialises in upmarket crusing to destinations that bigger ships don't visit. Their flagship, Marco Polo (826 passengers), is ice-strengthened and operates a series of Antarctic cruises Dec - Feb alternating with cruises around South America & up the Amazon. During the summer she moves to Scandinavia & Russia. Her sister ship, Crown Odyssey (1,026 passengers), covers the Far East during the winter and moves to the Mediterranean for the summer. They also trade on being 'singles-friendly' with singles supplements from 25% above the twin rate and a cabin share programme.|
|Orion Expedition Cruises||020 7399 7620||Small ship expedition cruises (2 ship fleet) to remote spots mostly in the Pacific and East Asia.|
|P&O Cruises||0845 678 00 14||Undeniably British cruising. Sail from a cold damp day in Southampton and find yourself days later soaking up the Caribbean or Mediterranean rays. No aeroplanes involved, at least not for most of their cruises. P&O now has seven ships mostly around the 2000-passenger mark.|
|Peter Deilmann Ocean Cruises||020 7436 2931||Single ship German cruise line. The Deilmann name is well-known for luxury river cruises; this is the 5-star ultra-luxury ocean brand. The 520-passenger/80-cabin Ms Deutschland is designed in 1920's style decor, furnishings and fittings. Her programme for 06/07 covers the East & West Mediterranean; Scandinavia, the Baltic, Greenland, Spitsbergen & Iceland; Caribbean & Central America; South America (Atlantic & Pacific coasts); Indian Ocean, South Africa, Namibia & Kenya.|
|Princess Cruises||020 7800 2468||The American part of the P & O/Princess partnership - although it's all owned by Carnival Cruises these days. There are 11 ships in the Princess fleet, mostly mid to upper market. They range from the giant 2700-passenger Grand Princess, Golden Princess & Star Princess, to the pair of 670-passenger Pacific Princess & Tahitian Princess (formerly Rennaissance Cruises).|
|Regent Seven Seas Cruises||02380 682 280||Regent (formerly Radisson Seven Seas Cruises) have a 3-ship fleet. Two 700-passenger sister ships Seven Seas Voyager (2003) and Seven Seas Mariner (2001). All cabins on both ships have balconies, while the smaller, 490-guest, Seven Seas Navigator (1999) has balconies for most cabins. Regent's style is 'elegant casual' (no jeans), 6-star luxury cruising for hundreds, rather than thousands, of guests.|
|Royal Caribbean International||0800 018 2020||Middle-market cruising, strong for families. An enormous fleet of 21 large ships (1800-5400 passengers) offers a huge range of global cruising opportunities and value-for-money, quality cruising. The 220,000 grt Oasis of the Seas, now entering service (Nov 09) is the first of RCI's next generation "Genesis Project" ships carrying 5,400 passengers.|
|SeaDream Yacht Club||020 8248 2355||Two 55-cabin luxury cruise yachts (SeaDream I & SeaDream II). They call themselves a 'yacht club' rather than a cruise line because in between the start & finish date their cruises have flexible itineraries. The Berlitz guide - one of the top two guides to cruising - gives them top rating. In fact they've now created a special category, 'Utterly Exclusive' just for Seadream.|
|Silversea Cruises||0870 333 7030||Medium sized all-inclusive stylish and luxurious ships with a high ratio of both space and crew for each passenger. Most cabins have balconies. Silver Cloud and Silver Wind carry 300 passengers, Silver Shadow & Silver Whisper carry 400.|
|St. Helena Line||01326 211 466||One-ship cruise line that 'reaches parts other lines cannot reach'. The Royal Mail Ship (RMS) St Helena, takes freight, mail and passengers to two of the remotest islands in the world, St Helena and Ascension.|
|Star Clippers||01473 292 029||A fleet of three stunning fully-rigged traditional clipper sailing ships comprising two barquetines - the original Star Clipper and her sister ship, Star Flyer, both carrying 110 passengers - and the 228-passenger flagship, Royal Clipper, the first five-masted sailing ship to be built in nearly a hundred years and the world's largest sailing ship. Informal luxury cruising under sail.|
|Star Cruises||01293 422 244||Only 12 years old (in 2005) and already the world's third largest cruise company. Star Cruises tapped into the cruise potential of the Asian Pacific region and has since aquired Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Orient Lines. Star cruise has eight ships operating in Asia Pacific, two of which - Superstar Virgo and Superstar Leo - are sold through UK tour operators/agencies.|
|Swan Hellenic||020 7800 2200||SH have been operating upmarket cruises focusing on the arts, culture and history of destinations from the Arctic Circle to South America, backed up with on board lecturers and experts, for over 50 years. In 2006 their parent company, Carnival UK, decided their single ship Minerva II could be run more cost-effectively under one of their sister-brands, Princess Cruises, and offered the brand for sale. It was picked up by the All Leisure group who now operate Swan Hellenic cruises in the traditional style.|
|Thomson Cruise||0871 231 4691||Thomsons (part of TUI) have five ships operating summer cruises in the Mediterranean, offering a range of cruise styles from family-friendly to adults-only.|
|Voyages of Discovery||01444 462 150||Single ship cruise line operating mv Discovery, formerly Island Princess. She was extensively refurbished for VoD in 2003 and cruises from the UK to Scandinavia, the Baltic, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Red Sea. Actually VoD is not really a cruise line, they are an agency that charters the Discovery for much of the year. When she's not with them she becomes the only ship of an American "cruise line" called Discovery World Cruises.|
|Windstar Cruises||020 7739 5414||A fleet of three luxury sailing ships operating Caribbean and European itineraries in the winter and summer. The give-away is the enormous V-shaped funnel among the masts, these ships may have sails but neither the passengers nor the crew do any ropework. It's all controlled by computers (purists look elsewhere for the romance of sail). Wind Star and Wind Spirit are sister ships carrying 150 passengers. The 308-passenger Wind Surf was originally Club Med I and was acquired by Windstar in 1990.|
|Yachts of Seabourn||0845 070 0500||Small luxury all-suite ships carrying 200 passengers - Seabourn Legend, Seabourn Pride & Seabourn Spirit) - and 450 passengers - Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourne Sojourn & Seabourn Quest (due Sunner 2011). Seabourne is a Carnival Corp brand.|
- Cruise Critic with its up-to-the-minute news and reviews is a brilliant resource for cruise enthusiasts and newbies
- CruiseTraveller.com is the online presence of Cruise Traveller magazine and a good place to pick up news & reviews.
- Viking River Cruises is building a fleet for its sister brand, Viking Ocean Cruises (no website yet). Viking announced in April 2012 that it had ordered two small cruise ships (45,000 GRT/998 passengers) from the Italian shipyard, Fincantieri, to be delivered in late 2014 and late 2015. Such is their commitment to small ship destination cruising, they then announced in Dec 2012, two more sister ships from Fincantieri, and 'options' on a further two.