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 you can join as you please, meals, drinks, and 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 repositioning cruise 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 a better value than staying at home.

While that may be debatable, the fact 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. Whichever way you choose to do it, you can have a great adventure traveling over the Atlantic ocean in style.

Cruise Inspiration for a Transatlantic Adventure

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

When is the best time for a transatlantic cruise?

Most transatlantic crossings take place due to a repositioning of a cruise ship. They are also known as reposition cruises. Many big passenger cruise ships are repositioned from, for example, the Caribbean after the winter cruise season ends to the Mediterranean when the summer season begins.

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

There is, however, a cruise line that regularly makes a scheduled transatlantic sailing many times each month. The elegant Cunard Line, with its luxury ocean liners, offers a traditional cruise experience. Most notably, their flagship Queen Mary 2 sails westwards and eastwards between Southampton and New York. This transatlantic voyage is for seven nights sailing without any stops.

Activities on board such as guest lectures, ballroom dancing, and wellness programs are the norm during the ship’s crossing, and the average age of guests is around 60 years old and over. While families are welcome, a cruise on Queen Mary 2 is very much an adult experience.

Most repositioning transatlantic cruises are 14 nights on cruise ships with plenty of activities for the whole family. Some take up to 28 nights with more ports of call on both sides of the Atlantic ocean.

Transatlantic cruise package: Southampton to Fort Lauderdale

Transatlantic cruises offer a lifetime of memorable moments. Many sea days give you time to 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 is 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 instead 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), Rome to Miami, or Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale.

23-night Transatlantic Cruise package

This package suggestion includes:

  • 5 hotel nights in Southampton, your embarkation port, 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

While 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 – is 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 considerable number of cruise ships. It is one of the world’s largest and deepest cruise ports and is still growing. Made famous in 1912 as the home port of The Titanic, Southampton’s maritime history stretches back hundreds of years.

Southern England has vast areas of outstanding natural beauty. Its spectacular countryside, vast coastline, cozy pubs, and welcoming villages make it famous. Southampton is an ideal place 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 your cruise from Southampton

These are our recommended hotels in Southampton, ideal for cruise travelers:

  • 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 center of Southampton, where you can see the remains of the city’s medieval walls. Shopping is excellent in the town, 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 cozy cobbled streets and Tudor timber-framed buildings reminiscent of famous visitors such as William Shakespeare and Jane Austen.

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

Before starting your cruise from Southampton, you will need a car for local day trips to make the most of the spectacular south coast. Europcar is reliable and has a pickup center at the cruise terminal if you are not driving to the port and need to rent a car.

Please read our detailed itineraries 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 four passenger cruise terminals. And a 5th terminal, built in partnership with MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, will open soon. Check your cruise ticket to see which terminal your cruise ship is berthed for boarding. Here are the current four passengers terminals:

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

You can walk to the cruise terminal if a hotel is booked near the port. But if you are staying in central Southampton or coming into the main 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 accessing 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 having a “wow” experience. And the center of this ship is a glittering piazza. The grand atrium is both elegant and beautiful. There are a selection of bars, a gelato shop, a jazz bar, and many dining options.

From here, explore the ship’s facilities such as shopping, theater, casino, wine bars, Princess Live lounge, fitness centers, pool areas, kids clubs if you are a family, and 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 place to enjoy relaxing sea days, this is perfect. Dress on board 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 seven different cabin categories to choose from, allowing you to find suitable 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 in the cabin. Choose between two single beds or one 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 private balcony, with a table and two chairs so you can sit and breathe in the sea air or eat al fresco in your personal space.

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

Club Class cabins Club-class rooms are 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 wait time. You will be given priority embarkation and disembarkation at the start and end of your cruise.

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

Sky Suite – this is the best suite class offering the largest suites onboard. They are located on deck 18 and include all the above perks. You also have a 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.

Is cabin location important?

Remember that a transatlantic repositioning cruise is a long journey. Conditions can change from calm to rough seas at any time. If you suffer from travel sickness, choose the location of your cabin carefully.

Midship cabins are often the best, as movement is less obvious in the middle of ships. You may also want to choose a cabin around decks 7,8,9, or 10. The lower decks tend to feel more movement than the higher decks.

In addition, make sure you pack the sea sickness tablets or the remedy that works best for you.

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 four 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, the 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 vineyards and tobacco fields with small villages dotted along the roads, it is like stepping back to an unspoiled 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 with 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 canoeing trip. This is your first port of call after your cruise ship crosses the Atlantic. So disembark, enjoy dry land, and the 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 for cruise guests. It’s easy to explore the island on your own, and there is excellent information on the official tourist website for cruise visitors or to join in one of Princess Cruises’ group excursions.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

The old town of San Juan, the capital of the island of Puerto Rico, is within 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 walking trails in the El Yunque rainforest with a group excursion, or explore the rare ecosystem of Mosquito Bay, 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 excellent beaches and colonial heritage. The official 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 firsthand what a fantastic destination this is for a vacation and a great way to finish your cruise. You may find that three days is not enough in this sunny, relaxed destination.

Here are tips on spending three days in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area!

Day 1:

Check in to your hotel, 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 in the morning for fantastic art, murals, paintings, and a beautiful tropical garden. It’s a remarkable tranquil space within walking distance from the beach. Follow up with a walk through Hugh Taylor Birch State Park nearby. 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 its 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 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 or Miami Airport after your stay is easy and we recommend booking a taxi.

Fort Lauderdale Airport is 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 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..