The UK’s largest cruise port and where many will begin their cruise holiday, Southampton has no shortage of maritime and historical attractions. Discover local landmarks on a walking tour including 30 ancient monuments, learn about the tragic story of the Titanic and escape to the great outdoors at the New Forest National Park. With numerous options for seafood dining and even a free art gallery, Southampton is an undoubtedly great destination for a pre- or post cruise stay.
Things to do in Southampton:
Dedicated to the tragedy of the Titanic, SeaCity Museum excellently portrays the aftermath through interactive exhibits. Featuring a 1:25 scale model of the ship, visitors learn about life onboard as well as the disaster that deeply affected Southampton in 1912.
Solent Sky Museum
Home to over 20 aircraft that were integral to the war effort, Solent Sky Museum is dedicated to the history of the RAF. Southampton itself played a large role in producing Supermarine Spitfires, which you’ll learn all about here.
The New Forest
If you’re looking to escape the busy port city, the New Forest National Park is just a short distance away with native New Forest ponies and lush heathland. Visitors can also catch events, activities and workshops throughout the year.
Tudor House and Garden
As Southampton’s most important historic building, this restored home holds over 800 years of history after having numerous owners. Now a museum, it showcases many artefacts once belonging to past residents of Southampton, as well as a Tudor House Café.
Southampton City Art Gallery
Since opening in 1939, this free art gallery has showcased exhibitions of sculptures, photography and traditional paintings. Thanks to an ever-changing programme of activities, you’ll find something here that the whole family will enjoy.
DAY 4 - 31 Jul 2023
Considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe, Cádiz charms every visitor who sets foot there. It’s 3,000 years of history are just waiting to be discovered through its monuments, museums, and winding streets, with Cadiz Cathedral being a real highlight. Families will love Playa La Caleta which has all the amenities needed to spend a whole day on the sand and in the water, but don’t forget to check out which festivals and celebrations are going on during your visit.
Things to do in Cadiz:
Built between 1722 and 1838, the iconic yellow-domed Cadiz Cathedral is an impressive example of Baroque-neoclassical construction. When taking a look around inside, be sure to check out the wood-carved choir, and listen out for the sound effects in the crypt below.
Castle of Santa Catalina
This free-to-enter monument is a real hidden gem on La Caleta beach. The exterior of this 17th-century fortress is impressive itself, and visitors will find art exhibitions inside as well as craft workshops and concerts.
Filled with swaying palm trees, blooming flora and lush, green fauna, Genovés Park is a brilliant place to escape the faster pace of the city. Boasting plants from all over the world as well as waterfalls and wildlife, people of all ages will love this tranquil garden.
Playa la Caleta
It’s no wonder Playa La Caleta is Cadiz’ most popular beach. Visitors will find everything they need close to the golden sand, including restaurants, bars and flamenco clubs, as well as toilets and showers.
On a small islet at the end of La Caleta beach sits the Castle of San Sebastian. Construction began in 1706 to fortify the bays defence, and in 1985 the structure was declared a cultural landmark. Explore the grounds and discover the long, rich history of this well-preserved fortress.
DAY 6 - 02 Aug 2023
This vibrant seaside city is home to unforgettable architecture and creative scenes from renowned artists. The buildings you’ll find here are unlike anything you’ve ever seen, such as Park Güell and Casa Batllo, while foodies will be spoilt for choice with 20 different Michelin star restaurants. At the end of a busy day of shopping enjoy the energetic nightlife, or relax on the beach with newfound friends. Whatever your interests, Barcelona has the perfect itinerary for you.
Things to do in Barcelona:
Visiting Las Ramblas is an absolute must when in Barcelona. Visitors can experience the weird and the wonderful, from the Museu de l’Erotica to the Miró Mural, in between trying a range of authentic tapas bars and cafes before a much needed siesta.
Although the Sagrada Familia is not technically complete, it’s still an impressive sight to behold. Designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí, this spectacular Basilica hosts many masses, events and a place to simply marvel at in wonder.
Barcelona City History Museum
Home of the cultural heritage of Barcelona, the Barcelona City History Museum manages several sites of interest including archaeological sites and historic houses. Visitors will discover the Roman colony, prehistoric Spain, Barcelona’s Jewish community and more.
Comprising of vibrant gardens and beautiful architecture, Park Güell was designed by Antoni Gaudí and officially opened in 1926. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding showcase of Gaudí’s genius design, Park Güell makes a wonderful place to go for a walk.
Another one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces, Casa Batllo is a truly eye-catching building to explore. Visitors are able to explore this fantastic showcase of the designer’s work, and even enjoy live music and other events on the roof terrace.
This modernist building was the last residence to be designed by Antoni Gaudí and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore the building with an audio guide, and even enjoy rooftop shows on a romantic evening.
One of Barcelona’s oldest beaches, Sant Sebastià Beach features everything you need for a fantastic day in the sun. With indoor and outdoor pools, changing rooms and amenities for lounging, visitors can go for a dip, enjoy an ice cream and find dinner all in one area.
Camp Nou Stadium
With capacity for over 99,000 people, Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Spain and cathedral to the Catalans’ second religion- the beautiful game! Visitors can catch an exciting game of football here or take a guided or un-guided tour of the grounds.
DAY 7 - 03 Aug 2023
A popular holiday resort with people from all over Europe since the 19th century, Nice is one of the top spots on the beautiful French Riviera. A stroll down the Promenade des Anglais is a great way to admire the scenery and pebbled beach before heading to the pleasant harbour - a fantastic spot to enjoy some seafood in the sun. After dining, head up to the gorgeous gardens atop the old castle for unrivalled views out over the whole city and bay.
Things to do in Villefranche, France:
Castle of Nice Park and Garden
Founded by the Phoenicians before being all but destroyed in 1706 by Louis XIV, this once mighty fortress dominates the bay with fantastic views out over the city and coast. Nowadays you’ll find a pleasant stroll in the gardens and a gorgeous waterfall.
Full of artisan shops and charming streets, Nice’s old town district is the perfect place to sample some Socca - a local salad Niçoise speciality made with chickpeas. A wander around the flower market is a must too, with intoxicating smells and dazzling colours.
Marc Chagall National Museum
Named after Belorussian artist Marc Chagall, this art museum boasts his 17 “Biblical Message” paintings, and most of the other works follow this religious theme too. Make sure to follow the audio guide to truly immerse yourself in his works and their tales.
Located in a beautiful 17th-century Genoese villa, the Matisse Museum is a must for all art fans. The highlights are the paintings of Henri Mattisse himself, with which you can follow his life through his works, as well as temporary exhibitions.
Situated in Nice’s old town, La Sainte-Réparate Cathedral was built in the 17th century in a predominantly Baroque style. The ceilings and walls are decorated with gold, marble and a myriad of colourful hues throughout as well as carvings and artworks.
Promenade des Anglais
Named after the English holiday makers for whom the French Riviera became a popular destination in the 19th century, this gorgeous seafront boulevard is lined with pretty palm trees and luxury hotels, and is now the place for a pleasant seaside stroll.
DAY 8 - 04 Aug 2023
One of the most famous cities in the world, Rome has been an epicentre of politics, art, architecture, and food for thousands of years. It is home to some of the most well-known historic sites such as the Colosseum, the pantheon, and Vatican City. It’s easy to spend a day in a hundred different ways in Rome, whether you’re looking to sip on incredible wine and people-watch, indulge in decadent pasta, pizza, risotto, and gelato, or if you’re eager to wander around the streets soaking in all the history you can. Rome is one capital city which will always leave you wanting more.
Things to do in Rome (Civitavecchia):
Found in the heart of Rome, Vatican City is the smallest independent state in Europe at just 0.44km² with a population of 1,000 people. It acts as headquarters to the Roman Catholic Church and is home to The Apostolic Palace - the Pope’s residence –the Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel.
St Peter's Basilica
Within Vatican City is one of the biggest churches in the world; St. Peter’s Basilica. Accommodating up to 20,000 people, this is where the Pope delivers services. Its 136 metre high dome was designed by Michelangelo, and was completed in 1614.
The colosseum was opened in 80 A.D. with 100 days of exciting games. It was mostly used for gladiatorial combat and fights with animals until around the 6th century when it began to fall into disrepair. It was then used to store building materials until the 18th century, when the papacy decided it should be preserved. As it stands now, however, more than two-thirds of the structure has been destroyed.
Known the world-over for its elaborate, 15th century artwork courtesy of Michelangelo, Botticelli, Luca, and Perugino, the Sistine Chapel is where new Popes are elected and ordained. It is located within Vatican City, inside The Apostolic Palace.
This Michelangelo sculpture is located inside St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It depicts the body of Jesus after he has been crucified, being held by the Virgin Mary. The statue was originally commissioned by Jean de Billheres – a French cardinal – as a memorial for his tomb.
This is one of the most iconic buildings in Rome. There are myths surrounding the building of the original Pantheon, but the structure we see today was built in 120 A.D. by Emperor Hadrian. It was created as a Pagan temple to “honour all Gods” – which is the translation of “Pantheon”. In the year 609 it was converted to a Christian church, although it is still widely known as the Pantheon.
This popular public square is located where the (now fallen) Stadium of Domitian once stood, in 86 A.D. Since then it has been developed into a social gathering spot, adorned by three magnificent fountains that were commissioned in the 16 and 17th centuries. These are Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro, and Fontana del Nettuno.
DAY 10 -
Customer reviews for Queen Mary 2
Based on 239 reviews
Value for money
It was a lovely holiday & we couldn't fault the ship or the staff.
We thoroughly enjoyed it!
2-5 cruisesBalcony (Obstructed View)
7 Dec 2022
Queen Mary 2 is a stunning cruise ship that's beautifully furnished with great spaces, dining and on board activities.
2-5 cruisesBalcony (Obstructed View)
1 Nov 2022
We really enjoyed our cruise on the Queen Mary 2. The ship, service, dining and entertainment was great.
10+ cruisesStandard Inside
21 Oct 2022
In my opinion the Queen Mary 2 is best suited for cross Atlantic cruises. To explore Europe I find it preferable to use a cruise ship and not a liner. The food served in the Queens Grill was of a high standard as was the service. Our room was very spacious but the carpet could have done with a good clean. Enjoyed our excursion although a little expensive for a four hour trip. My overall opinion is that a lot of corners have been cut, I realise that business are trying to make up for the monies lost during Covid, but that’s their problem not ours.
All offers and prices are subject to change and availability at time of enquiry. Prices are based on two passengers sharing unless otherwise stated and are subject to the Tour Operator's terms and conditions. Cabin and Flight supplements may apply. Other supplements may apply in addition to the price shown above. Flight details, timings and routing may be subject to alteration. Other tour operator charges may also apply. Any Onboard Spending money or drinks package value shown will be per cabin, again based on two sharing.
Note: On 13 January 2018, new European legislation is being adopted in the UK which as result will mean that we may change our required method of payment at our discretion, irrespective of how any deposit or prior payment was made.