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The Ultimate Guide To Cruising From Bristol

The Ultimate Guide To Cruising From Bristol

Known as the maritime gateway of the South West, Bristol Cruise Terminal is well connected via motorway and rail to some of England’s most fascinating cultural sites and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). Situated by the mouth of River Avon, it provides cruise ships with easy access to destinations in Europe, North Africa and the rest of the world. Let’s explore what you need to know when sailing from here.

Interesting to know

  • Despite popular belief, John Cabot is actually the original documented person to discover North America, setting sail from Bristol in 1497 with the intention of seeking a new route to the Orient. This fact has led Bristol to be described as ‘the Birthplace of America’.
  • Bristol’s Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Docks are fully protected inside locks, providing passengers with safe and easy access.
  • World-famous graffiti artist Banksy was born in Bristol, and many of his works can be seen on a walking tour of the city. 

Getting to the Bristol Cruise Terminal 

Bristol Cruise Terminal is located in the Avonmouth Docks. Driving to the terminal is the easiest way to get there. Use the postcode BS11 9DB. From the M5, leave the motorway at junction 18 and follow the signs for ‘A4 Bristol & Airport’. Signs for Park & Ride and Docks (West Town Gate) will then lead you to the cruise terminal. 

The Avonmouth Cruise Terminal has secure private parking close to the port, but this must be booked and paid for in advance. Your cruise representative will be able to arrange this for you. Enter the dock area at the West Town Police Gate and head to the Drop Off/Car Park area. Baggage handlers will take care of your bags once at the terminal; then, you can park at the car park, just a short walk away.

If you are travelling by rail, the best option is to take a train to Bristol Temple Meads (8 miles away) or Bristol Parkway (10 miles away) and get a taxi from there. Avonmouth station is nearer but does not have a taxi rank. 

Inside Bristol Cruise Terminal

Inside Bristol Cruise Terminal, you will find a seated waiting area, café and toilets. There are also several car hire companies. However, there are no left luggage facilities. 

You cannot access the port on foot, and it is not within easy walking distance of shops or other facilities. So, if you want to buy snacks or access an ATM before embarkation, it’s worth stopping nearby the station before driving to the terminal. 

Cruise Lines departing from Bristol

Ambassador Cruise Line is currently the only cruise line with holidays sailing from Bristol. However, Bristol is a popular stop-off port for many other cruises, such as Saga, SeaDream and Silversea. 

Where can you sail to from Bristol?

You can enjoy a cruise holiday from Bristol to a range of gorgeous destinations, including the Canaries, Madeira, Northern Africa, the Mediterranean and locations around the British Isles.

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Visiting Bristol

Bristol is a vibrant city. It has a buzzing music and art scene and several exciting musical heritage festivals. Bristol’s infamous Clifton Suspension Bridge and Brunel’s 1843 ocean liner, SS Great Britain, are also a must-see. 

Moreover, there are many tourist highlights within easy reach of the city. Take a day trip to Bath, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage City, enjoy the glorious rolling countryside and charming English villages in the Cotswolds or visit the renowned home of Downton Abbey, Highclere House. 

Bristol goes green

Bristol Port has a proven track record of delivering eco-friendly initiatives. In 2020, its Port fleet was converted to electric vehicles and electric charging points were installed at both of the docks, promoting sustainable travel around them. Its work on its Air Quality Strategy continues with the aim of building on the current environmental and clean air initiatives in the wider area.

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