Enjoy a long summer weekend break exploring Belgium and France on an American style ship.

Independence of the Seas, a popular haunt for Brits, will sail on a three-night mini cruise from Southampton in the school summer holidays.

Step aboard on Saturday 25th August 2018 in Southampton. The party atmosphere takes grip as soon as you get on the ship. This ship suits everyone from the very young to the young at heart. While the service is American-style and the currency used on the ship is the United States Dollar, modifications make Independence of the Seas ready for the British season. Creature comforts like kettles in cabins, familiar dishes on the menu, and tailored entertainment ensure Brits feel right at home.

The first stop for this family-friendly ship is Zeebrugge. You may want to explore Bruges but you may need to tempt the kids with delicious Belgian chocolate to part them from the children’s clubs, the rock climbing wall, the FlowRider surfing simulator, the ice rink, the water park, or the pools, especially if the sun is out in full force.

The second port of call is Le Havre, for optional excursions to Paris. If you are taking the kids on this trip, brace yourself for a couple of hours each way. Alternatively, explore Le Havre or the nearby towns. Or stay onboard and have a fun or lazy day instead.

Early on Tuesday morning you will dock back in Southampton.

I have sailed on Independence of the Seas, opting for a budget-friendly inside cabin. On another sailing, I opted for the quirky cow-themed cabin – the only one on the ship.


  • This cruise departs on a Saturday and returns on Tuesday morning during the school summer holidays.
  • Tick off France and Belgium for your travelling wish list.
  • There’s something for everyone to enjoy on this family-friendly cruise ship.

The Route

The map above shows point-to-point lines which may cross land. Do not worry, your cruise ship will stay on water all the way! Mapping is approximate and the markers are based on city locations and not necessarily the ports. The itinerary for this mini cruise is:

1Saturday 25th August 2018Southampton4.30pm
2Sunday 26th August 2018Zeebrugge7am to 4pm
3Monday 27th August 2018Le Havre7am to 9pm
4Tuesday 28th August 2018Southampton5.30am

Times are estimates, and itineraries are subject to change. Occasionally, cruise lines alter itineraries based on the weather or prevailing events at the time of the cruise.

The Price

When I last checked, prices for this cruise started from £398 per person, based on two sharing an inside cabin. This price excludes gratuities, shore excursions, and any applicable flights and transfers (if needed). As prices change far too quickly for me to keep up-to-date by hand, please use the link below to get the latest prices.

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Last updated on 10th May 2017 by David Fiske

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