Six fantastic cruises straight from – and back to – the UK

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There are so many reasons not to fly – cramped economy seats, the stomach-churning, white-knuckle sensation of turbulence… 

And here are six more reasons. Half a dozen speciality cruises that pick you up and drop you off in the UK that cater for everyone from foodies to twitchers to snappers. 

Scroll down for waves of inspiration for your next getaway.

Best for: History buffs 

In-spiring: The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood (above) in St Petersburg is among the sights to be savoured on the Baltic Discovery Cruise and Walk itinerary

In-spiring: The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood (above) in St Petersburg is among the sights to be savoured on the Baltic Discovery Cruise and Walk itinerary

In-spiring: The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood (above) in St Petersburg is among the sights to be savoured on the Baltic Discovery Cruise and Walk itinerary

13-night Baltic Discovery Cruise And Walk 

Round trip: Southampton, May 26. 

Calling at: Copenhagen, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Ronne, Travemunde, and the Kiel Canal. 

USP: Walk around beautiful cities including St Petersburg with expert guides. The Ship: Fred. Olsen’s Braemar has 485 cabins, a fitness centre and a beauty salon. 

Book it: From £2,125pp, ramblersholidays.co.uk.

Best for: Foodies

Nature's larder: A kaleidoscope of produce at a Spanish market. Shopping excursions to such places are a feature on the Gourmet Spain cruise 

Nature's larder: A kaleidoscope of produce at a Spanish market. Shopping excursions to such places are a feature on the Gourmet Spain cruise 

Nature’s larder: A kaleidoscope of produce at a Spanish market. Shopping excursions to such places are a feature on the Gourmet Spain cruise 

14-night Gourmet Spain 

Round trip: Dover, August 3. 

Calling at: Gibraltar, Cartagena, Sete, Barcelona, Alicante and Lisbon. 

USP: Wine tastings, tapas bar, tapas cookery classes, shopping excursions and a visit to a Spanish family-run liqueur makers. 

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The Ship: Spirit of Discovery has 540 all balcony cabins, including 100 single cabins. Book it: From £4,150pp, including wine and door-to-door travel service, travel.saga.co.uk.

Best for: Music lovers 

Si si senoritas: Dancers demonstrate flamenco in Cadiz (above) for music aficionados   

Si si senoritas: Dancers demonstrate flamenco in Cadiz (above) for music aficionados   

Si si senoritas: Dancers demonstrate flamenco in Cadiz (above) for music aficionados   

14-night Canary Islands, Spain And Portuga

Round trip: Southampton, October 20. 

Calling at: Madeira, La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Cadiz, Lanzarote and Lisbon. 

USP: Shows from musicians and singers, music quizzes and interviews hosted by personalities from TV, radio and stage. 

The Ship: Aurora has 936 cabins, a luxury spa and salon. 

Book it: From £1,349pp, pocruises.com.

Best for: Bird watchers 

Caveman chic: The Standing Stones of Stenness in Orkney (above) are  the sites you'll visit on the Wild Scotland tour  

Caveman chic: The Standing Stones of Stenness in Orkney (above) are  the sites you'll visit on the Wild Scotland tour  

Caveman chic: The Standing Stones of Stenness in Orkney (above) are the sites you’ll visit on the Wild Scotland tour  

11-day Wild Scotland 

Departing: Oban to Aberdeen, June 22.

Calling at: Iona, Staffa, Skye, rubh’ Dunain, Canna, St Kilda, Shetland Isles,  Orkney archipelago, Aberdeen. 

USP: Neolithic sites, haunted castles Europe’s largest sea bird colonies. 

The Ship: Polar Pioneer has 26 cabins. 

Book it: From £4,300pp, auroraexpeditions.com.au.

Best for: Wildlife watchers 

In beak condition: Two Puffins (above), alongside whales, are among the attractions passengers on Fred. Olsen's Boudicca are likely to see on the Wildlife and Wonders of Iceland cruise

In beak condition: Two Puffins (above), alongside whales, are among the attractions passengers on Fred. Olsen's Boudicca are likely to see on the Wildlife and Wonders of Iceland cruise

In beak condition: Two Puffins (above), alongside whales, are among the attractions passengers on Fred. Olsen’s Boudicca are likely to see on the Wildlife and Wonders of Iceland cruise

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14-day Wildlife And Wonders Of Iceland 

Round trip: Dover, June 18. 

Calling at: Reyoarfjõrour, Eskifjõrour, akureyri, Ísafjõrour, reykjavík and Kirkwall. 

USP: Look out for whales and puffins, spend two days exploring Reykjavik. 

The Ship: Fred. Olsen’s Boudicca has 462 cabins, with five restaurants and a spa. 

Book it: From £2,249pp, including Titan Holidays’ VIP door-to-door travelservice, www.titantravel.co.uk

Best for: Photographers 

Flim Flåm: Photographers will be beguiled by the jaw-dropping scenery on the Land of the Midnight Sun cruise, which includes this fjord in Flåm

Flim Flåm: Photographers will be beguiled by the jaw-dropping scenery on the Land of the Midnight Sun cruise, which includes this fjord in Flåm

Flim Flåm: Photographers will be beguiled by the jaw-dropping scenery on the Land of the Midnight Sun cruise, which includes this fjord in Flåm

14-night Land Of The Midnight Sun 

Round trip: Southampton, June 15. 

Calling at: Stavanger, Flåm, Hellesylt, Geiranger, TromsØ, Trondheim, Honningsvåg, Lofoten Islands, Ålesund and Bergen. 

USP: Photograph Norway’s beautiful fjords, cascading waterfalls and snow-capped mountains late into the evening under the midnight sun. 

The Ship: Sapphire Princess has 1,337 cabins. 

Book it: From £1,299 per person with a £50 deposit pp, princess.com



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