Whereas once the only real departure point for cruise holidays in the UK was in Southampton, it is now possible to find to leave from other regional ports across the country if you are thinking about setting sail on your next holiday. This means that those who don’t live in the south of England have somewhere closer to them to get onto their boat – meaning you are relaxing on board and taking advantage of the fine experiences onboard much earlier than they would have been had they needed to travel.
One cruise that sails regularly from Liverpool is the Ocean Countess, which is chartered to UK company Cruise and Maritime Voyages. Built in 1976, the Countess is considered a more ‘intimate’ ship than many of its modern counterparts and houses just 800 people. This helps it to appeal to an older market, who want to feel a sense of community on their trip, as well as those who do not want to encounter children for the duration.
There are a number of price grades for the ship, which match to the exclusivity of the cabins. Those with a sea view come at an extra premium, while the deluxe cabins at the pricier end offer far more space to the passengers to enjoy; particularly beneficial when the voyage is of a longer duration.
When it comes to deciding on accommodation, consider the needs of yourself and any fellow travelers – would you be disappointed if you had to spend a week without a view? If so, it is probably worth the spending the extra money to be on the outside of the ship. Alternatively, you could save money by downgrading to an inside cabin, so if you planning to be outside of your room most of the time then saving yourself money here means you will have more to spend ashore or in the bars and restaurants on board.
There are a couple of places to sit down and eat on the ship, including the Kensington Restaurant which seats 487 at any one time, and where a banquet style service is the norm. Themes often cater meals from the countries which are being visited on the tour.
There is also a more ‘casual’ buffet-style restaurant called The Boathouse, which usually specialises in breakfasts and lunches, though does sometimes do dinners depending on the itinerary.
For a small ship by modern-day cruise standards, the Ocean Countess certainly has plenty of entertainment. From a gymnasium, health club and pool for those who like to relax during the day, to a cinema and a piano bar to help wind away those evenings as you sail along the waters to your next point of call, there really is something for everyone here.
One of the highlights of the ship is the 400-seater Holyrood Show Lounge, which plays host to various shows and cabaret entertainment. It also includes a dance floor, while there is an additional nightclub which incorporates both indoor and outdoor spaces and is very popular in the warmer months of the year.
Sail on the Ocean Countess
Cruise agency Cumbria Cruises offer some great deals sailing from Liverpool on the Ocean Countess. Visit the website today for more information.