Cruises to Bristol

Bristol, England

Take a memorable Alaska cruise adventure to Bristol, England. Nestled in the heart of South West England, Bristol graces the banks of the River Avon with its vibrant charm and rich history. As your cruise ship sails into Bristol's Portbury Dock, you're greeted by a panoramic view of the city's diverse architecture, beautifully contrasted against the lush surrounding hills. Bristol's unique landscape, blending urban development with natural beauty, makes it a fascinating port of call. From the historic Clifton Suspension Bridge to the harborside’s modern innovations, Bristol promises an exciting array of experiences. Its proximity to the Bristol Channel also offers an interesting array of marine life.

Cruise ships dock directly at Bristol's Portbury Dock, a convenient gateway to the city and its surrounding regions. Most ships tend to arrive early in the morning, providing ample time to explore. While the length of stay varies, a day's layover is typical. The port area offers facilities such as car rentals and taxis for easy access to Bristol's center, just a short drive away. Nearby, you can explore the picturesque coastal town of Portishead with its marina, open-air lido, and nature reserve.


An aerial view of Bristol reveals a city of contrasts: modern urban structures seamlessly blend with historic buildings, framed by green spaces and the shimmering river. The city center boasts the Bristol Cathedral and the vibrant St Nicholas Market. Explore the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge for breathtaking views or venture to the renovated harborside with its array of shops, eateries, and cultural venues. Street art enthusiasts will appreciate Bristol as the home of the renowned artist Banksy, with several of his works adorning the city walls.

Bristol's rich history and culture are palpable throughout the city. Known for its maritime past, the city was a key player during England's era of exploration and trade, evident in landmarks like the SS Great Britain. Bristol's culture is also deeply influenced by its diverse population, reflected in its music, food, and festivals. Local traditions and events, such as the Bristol Harbour Festival and Bristol Balloon Fiesta, encapsulate the city’s unique spirit.

Attractions and Activities

Bristol's location offers ample outdoor adventures. Explore the scenic beauty of the Avon Valley by cycling or walking its trails, or visit the nearby Mendip Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Try your hand at fishing on Chew Valley Lake, or sail on the Bristol Channel for a different perspective of the city. For history enthusiasts, excursions to the medieval Berkeley Castle or the ancient Roman Baths in nearby Bath offer fascinating insights.

Local Speciality

Bristol's culinary scene reflects its multicultural heritage. Traditional British fare is readily available, but don't miss trying some local specialties like Bristol-spiced lamb or Cheddar cheese from the nearby Cheddar Gorge. Foodies will enjoy exploring the city's many food markets, and a visit wouldn't be complete without trying local cider, a West Country staple.

Shopping in Bristol offers a diverse array of local products. From independent shops selling Bristol Blue Glass to markets featuring local artisans, there's something for everyone. Consider buying Banksy prints as a memento of Bristol's vibrant street art scene. Additionally, locally made cider and craft beer, or sweet treats like Clifton Rocks—a Bristolian fudge—are great ways to take a taste of Bristol home with you.

Festivals and Events

Bristol's events calendar is bursting with lively festivals. From the Bristol Harbour Festival celebrating the city's maritime history, to the International Balloon Fiesta offering spectacular views of hot air balloons over Ashton Court, there's always something happening. Other notable events include the Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival and St Paul’s Carnival showcasing local Caribbean culture.

Best time to visit Bristol

Bristol is a city for all seasons, but visiting between June and September allows you to enjoy the city's outdoor events and festivals. The Bristol Balloon Fiesta in August is a particular highlight. However, spring and autumn also provide pleasant temperatures for exploring, and the changing colors of Bristol’s many parks and gardens make for a picturesque visit.

Bristol Cruise Schedule

As your visit to Bristol draws to a close, you will carry with you the city's indomitable spirit, cultural richness, and historical depth. Whether you've spent your time exploring the eclectic city center, the verdant landscapes, or delving into Bristol's maritime past, the city leaves an enduring impression. Your memories of Bristol might be of its innovative art scene, its gastronomic delights, or its friendly locals. Regardless, it's a place that invites you to return, with the promise of new experiences and discoveries each time.