Transatlantic Cruise Package – is it the right cruise for you?

A transatlantic cruise means wide open horizons and countless sunsets over great oceans. Add to that a luxury cruise ship, endless activities that you can join as you please, meals, drinks and well, just about everything catered to you. Include pre- and post-cruise hotel nights and you can create an unforgettable transatlantic cruise package.

Of course there’s a price tag. But a transatlantic cruise package may not be as expensive as you think. Indeed for many guests, a transatlantic cruise is part of a lifestyle. Some say that this type of long cruise works out better value that staying at home. Whilst that may be debatable, the truth is, if you have the time and a spirit for adventure, a transatlantic cruise is a fantastic way to get you over to your neighboring continent. Cruise there, fly home. Or fly there and cruise home. Which ever way you choose to do it, you can have a great adventure travelling in style.

Cruise Inspiration for a Transatlantic Adventure

We have put together a transatlantic cruise package suggestion that we think will tick the needs and wants of many cruise guests who are interesting in a cruise from Southampton in southern England to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Read on to find out more about what to expect, and how to plan and book your own transatlantic adventure.

When is the best time for a transatlantic cruise?

Most transatlantic crossings take place due a repositioning of a cruise ship. They are also known as reposition cruises. Many of the big passenger cruise ships are repositioned from, for example, the Caribbean after the winter cruise season comes to an end, over to the Mediterranean it time for the summer season to begin.

This means that a transatlantic cruise will be available for booking for what is known as the shoulder sesaons, in the Spring and in the Autumn.

There are however, a few cruise lines that regularly make the transatlantic crossing each month. The most well known of these is the elegrant Cunard Line with their luxury ocean liners. Most notably their flagship Queen Mary 2 which each month sails westwards and eastwards between Southampton and New York.

Most transatlantic cruises are around 14 nights onboard your cruise ships, with some taking up to 28 nights with more ports of call both sides of the atlantic ocean.

Transatlantic cruise package: Southampton to Fort Lauderdale

Transatlantic cruises offer a lifetime of memorable moments. With many sea days giving you time to really enjoy top class facilities such as the fitness center, the casino, or the spa. Be entertained in the theater or with live music on deck, or choose to unwind watching endless sweeping views across the Atlantic ocean while you stroll around the deck. Cruise staff are always on hand for all your travel needs.

Transatlantic cruise guests are most likely experienced cruise travellers. After all, if you are new to cruising it's unlikely you will choose a long cruise with many sea days. You will already know what to expect from a cruise and be prepared for a longer sea journey with fewer port stops. The whole point of your journey on a transatlantic cruise will be to travel in style from one continent to another.

Common transatlantic routes include a cruise from Southampton to New York (or New York to Southampton), or from Rome to Miami or from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale.

Your 23-night Transatlantic Cruise package

This package suggestion includes:

  • 5 hotel nights in Southampton before your cruise
  • 4 days exploring Southern England
  • 15 night luxury transatlantic cruise onboard Sky Princess from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale
  • 3 hotel nights in Fort Lauderdale after your cruise
  • 3 days exploring Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida

Whilst your destination is Fort Lauderdale, your ports of call onboard Sky Princess along the way are:

  1. Southampton, England
  2. Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada) Portugal
  3. Antigua
  4. St. Maarten
  5. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  6. Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos
  7. Fort Lauderdale

Southampton – an ideal base to explore Southern England before you start your cruise

Located in the middle of the southern coastline of England, Southampton is a regular port of call for a huge number of cruise ships. It is one of the largest and deepest cruise ports in the world, and is still growing. Made famous in 1912 as the home port of The Titantic, Southampton’s maritime history stretches back hundreds of years.

Southern England has sweeping areas of outstanding natural beauty. It is made famous by it’s spectacular countryside, vast coastline, cosy pubs and welcoming villages. Southampton is a an ideal place from which to explore this part of Great Britain. The longer you stay the better, as the further west you travel, the more riches you will discover. We urge you to spend time here before you set off on your cruise. We promise you will want to come back again.

Where to stay before you cruise from Southampton

These are our recommended hotels that offer service and convenience to Southampton Cruise Port.

  • Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour
  • Novotel Southampton
  • Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa
  • Premier Inn Southampton City Centre Hotel
  • Holiday Inn Southampton
  • The Elizabeth House Hotel

Walk into the centre of Southampton where you can see the remains of the city’s medieval walls. Shopping is excellent in the city, with all your high street favorites including the iconic British department store John Lewis, whose flagship store is on Oxford Street in London. Restaurants of all price ranges are abundant as are cafés and pubs in the city.

To walk the city start at Town Quay and walk along the medieval town walls through the Old Town. You’ll find cosy cobbled street and Tudor timber framed buildings, reminiscent of their famous visitors such as William Shakespeare and Jane Austen.

How to spend 4 days in Southampton and see the best of the south coast of England

You will need a car for local day trips before you start your cruise from Southampton to really make the most of the spectacular south coast. If you are not driving to the port, and need to rent a car, Europcar is reliable and has a pickup centre at the cruise terminal.

Read our detailed intineraries here to make the most of Southern England. They include these fabulous destinations:

Isle of Wight and The Needles

Stonehenge – one of the most popular cruise excursions

The New Forest, Lymington and Beaulieu

The Jurassic Coastline

Getting to the port for your cruise from Southampton

The Port of Southampton currently operates 4 passenger cruise terminals. And a 5th terminal which is being built in partnership with MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line is going to open soon. Check your cruise ticket to see which terminal your cruise ship is berthed for boarding. Here are the current 4 passengers terminals:

  1. City Cruise Terminal
  2. Mayflower Cruise Terminal
  3. Ocean Cruise Terminal
  4. QE II Cruise Terminal

If you have a hotel booked near the port then you can walk to the cruise terminal. But if you are staying in central Southampton, or if you are coming into the centrally located train or coach station, you will need a private transfer or taxi to take you to the port.

Your transatlantic cruise onboard the beautiful Sky Princess

Cruise Line: Princess Cruises
Name of Ship: Sky Princess
Cruise Name: 15-day Tropical Passage
Start Date: November 2023 (Tip! Cruise dates and itineraries are subject to change at any time check with Princess Cruises at the time of booking)
Cruise Port: From Southampton, England to Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Sky Princess is the newest member of the fleet of Princess Cruises. It offers what Princess Cruises call a MedallionClass cruise. That means you can get reliable and fast WiFi at sea, touchless experiences onboard such as getting into your cabin, ordering food and drinks, plus more. For further information about Medallion Class, see our article here.

Welcome to the Piazza, the central atrium of Sky Princess

There’s nothing better than getting onboard for your cruise and immediately have a “wow” experience. And the center of the ship is a glittering piazza, The grand atrium, both elegant and beautiful. There are a selection of bars, a gelato shop, a jazz bar, and many dining options.

From here explore the ships facilities such as shopping, theater, casino, wine bars, Princess Live lounge, the fitness centers, pool areas, kids clubs if you are a family, and of course the restaurants for all your dining options. New to Princess cruise line is the infinity pool at the back of the ship (aft).

The complimentary retreat is an adult only area with a pool. So if you are looking for a calmer area to enjoy relaxing sea days, this is perfect. Dress onboard is mainly casual-formal so you don’t have to dress up each night for dinner but you will not feel out of place if you do.

Accommodation onboard Sky Princess – which cabin category suits you best?

Sky Princess has 7 different cabin categories to choose from giving you the opportunity to find the right accommodation at sea that suits you and your family. And there are of course wheelchair accessible rooms for guests with limited mobility

Interior cabins – the lowest price class without a window of a well furnished rooms offering complete relaxation. Choose between 2 single beds or 1 queen-size bed

Premium Oceanview cabins – floor to ceiling windows let the sunlight stream in so you can enjoy the view

Balcony cabins – a standard size room with the addition of your own private balcony, where there is a table and 2 chairs so you can sit and breath in the sea air, or eat al fresco in your own private space.

Mini-suite cabins – this is larger than a standard cabin and includes a seating area and your own balcony, plus a free glass of bubbly in your room. A good option for those who want a little extra space

Club Class cabins Club class rooms are basically a mini-suite with extra perks. Your cabin will be in a good location onboard, you will have access to an exclusive dining area where you will be seated without waittime, and at the start and end of your cruise, you will be give priority embarkation and disembarkation.

Suite – this next class of accommodation includes everything a Club class mini-suite offers, plus a more spacious cabin. You have separate seating areas in your room and a free mini-bar. Your balcony furniture also includes two loungers.

Sky Suite – this is the best of the best for suites accommodation offering the largest suites onboard. They are located on deck 18 and include all the above perks. You also have continuous fully furnished balcony and enough space to do your own entertaining at sea! You also will have excellent service as you will be allocated a dedicated suite manager during your cruise.

Ports of Call On Your Transatlantic Cruise

Sailing from the origin port of Southampton, there is just one port of call in Europe, at Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands, before your journey over to the Caribbean which gives you 4 more stops before sailing to your final destination of Fort Lauderdale, in Florida.

Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada) Portugal

Ponta Delgada is located on the Portuguese island of São Miguel, capital of the Azores. This cosmopolitan city is full of architectural heritage and the picturesque, lush countryside will take your breath away. As you journey past endless vinyards and tobacco fields with small villages dotted along the roads it is like stepping back to an unspoilt time.

We recommend that you book a ship excursion for this port of call. Combine a visit to Crater Lakes with a wine tasting experience, and then enjoy the city where you can taste the local cuisine which has a big focus on fresh seafood.

Antigua

Nestles in the Caribbean Sea, Antiqua has 95 miles of beautiful sandy shoreline. Choose to snorkel in the clear blue water or zipline through the rainforest canopy. Enjoy the wildlife and unique birdlife, or join a group hike, or a canoing trip. This is your first port of call after your cruise ship crosses the Atlantic. So disembark, enjoy dry land and feeling of being your own Robinson Crusoe.

St. Maarten

St. Maarten, a little paradise island in the heart of the Caribbean Sea is a much-loved destination of cruise guests. It’s easy to explore the island on your own and there is some excellent information on the official tourist website for cruise visitors, or join in one of Princess Cruises group excursions.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

The old town of San Juan, captial of the island of Puerto Rico, is located walking distance from the port, so it’s easy to explore the Spanish colonial architecture and the cultural heritage of the city yourself. But if you’re interested in nature, seek out walking trails in the El Yunque rainforest with a group excursion, or explore the rare ecosystem of Mosquito Bay, said to be the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world.

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

Tucked between the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, the island of Grand Turk has great beaches and a colonial heritage. The offical website of the island gives information about the cruise center at Sun Ray beach, next to the port where your ship will dock, and what to see and do on the island.

How to spend 3 days in Fort Lauderdale

Finish your transatlantic crossing by disembarking at Port Everglades and heading to your hotel in Fort Lauderdale, just a few kilometers from the port.

Having lived in Fort Lauderdale, we know first hand want a fantastic destination this is for a vacation, and a great way to finish off your cruise. In fact you may find tha 3 days is not enough in this sunny, relaxed destination.

Here are our tips on how to spend 3 days in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area!

Day 1:

Check in to your hotel and then start your day at the fantastic beach and enjoy the boardwalk shops and cafes. Walking distance is the Galleria shopping mall located on East Sunrise Boulevard, a perfect place to escape the heat and enjoy a little retail therapy. After lunch hop in a taxi for a short ride to downtown Fort Lauderdale and Los Olas Boulevard – you’ll find elegant shopping and fantastic restaurants and bars for the evening.

Day 2:

Visit the historical landmark Bonnet House to amazing art, murals and paintings and well as a beautiful tropical garden in the morning. It’s a amazing tranquil space walking distance from the beach. Follow up with a walk through Hugh Taylor Birch State Park closeby. After lunch if you want to get in the water, there is excellent snorkeling at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

Day 3:

Rent a car for the day or take the Brightline train and explore Miami with it’s fantastic shopping, endless events, glorious beach and year-round sunshine. Start at South Beach’s Art Deco District and walk the boardwalk. There are numerous boat rides to choose from at Biscayne Bay to visit Millionaires Row or head to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens at Coconut Grove. There you’ll find great art shops and local restaurants to try out.

How to get from Fort Lauderdale to Fort Lauderdale Airport or Miami International Airport

Heading back to either Fort Lauderdale Airport of Miami Airport after your stay is easy and we recommend booking a taxi.

Fort Lauderdale Airport is located about 10 minutes from downtown Fort Lauderdale. Fares are regulated and the prices are around $20. Uber is also allowed to operate at the airport so if you like using Uber you can travel this way too.

Miami International Airport is located south of Fort Lauderdale, about 30 minutes by taxi costing around $80. Also confirm prices with your driver before departing.

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Meet the author: With more than 20 years experience from the travel industry, Mattias offers tips, expert advice and a unique perspective anchored in having worked with market leading cruise lines, tour operators, consolidators, airlines and hospitality suppliers. Read more..