Ocean Scene Blue Funnel Cruises - Boat trips Southampton

The Best Boat Trips in Southampton

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There are a few great choices of Southampton boat trips that offer stunning scenic cruises in and around Hampshire’s rivers and coastline. Explore Southampton Water with its gigantic cruise ships coming and going, lined with pretty shingle beaches, coastal and riverside towns and villages, opening up into the beautiful Solent; a stretch of water with 360-degree stunning views.

If you are looking for historical boat tours or something more family friendly, check out boat trips from Portsmouth. There are more to choose from, and it’s the hub for Hampshire’s popular boat trips and tours.

Head 30 minutes southwest of Southampton, and you’ll find Buckler’s Hard River Cruise. This beautiful village is worth a visit for its tranquillity, a traditional Hampshire village with the slow flowing Beaulieu River right on its doorstep.

Have you considered hiring your own boat from Southampton? There are more options than public boat trips available, so why not start planning your next adventure!

What are the benefits of taking a boat trip? Firstly, they allow you to unplug. In a digital world, stress, insomnia and depression have been connected to our inability to power down. Boat trips create bonding experiences with family and friends and are the perfect reason to switch off, even if it’s just for a few hours.

The lasting memories you can make whilst out on the boat are priceless. Broaden your range of experiences and try or explore something new. A boat trip is an adventure in itself; hopefully, if the sun is shining in Blighty, you’ll get a good dose of Vitamin D too! Perfect!

Boat Trips from Southampton

Here’s what to expect from this best of list:

Blue Funnel Cruises

This is one of the best Southampton boat trips available!

Blue Funnel Cruises (Red Funnel’s Baby Brother) offer popular day and evening cruises throughout the year. Get onboard their Ocean Scene vessel and be entertained whilst exploring the local waters. Public and private services are available with fully heated areas, sundecks and full facilities on board.

They offer many themed cruises, including the Hamble River Cruise, Beaulieu River Cruise, 3 River Cruise, Hythe Market Day Cruise, Isle of Wight Day Cruise, Lunch Cruise, Cruise Ship Spotting Cruises (Sail Away Cruises) and more! There are also themed nights, including 80s Nights, Caribbean Party Nights and Sounds of the Summer Nights. Just be thankful for calm waters on Southampton Water when you are strutting your stuff on the dancefloor!

This experience is perfect for anyone who enjoys being out on the water for a few hours.

Ocean Scene Blue Funnel Cruises - Boat trips Southampton
Explore Southampton Water, rivers and The Solent on this popular boat trip – Image credit: Blue Funnel Cruises

Hythe Ferry

Departing from Town Quay, close to the city centre, to Hythe Pier and vice versa, Hythe Ferry provides a car free and fun boat trip to enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling port of Southampton. The trip takes about 15 minutes and offers some of the best views of the cruise liners in port. It sails right past the berth of Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth when they are at home.

Hythe’s historic Pier is one of the ten longest piers in the UK. You’ll be met by the World’s Oldest Pier Train to take you closer to Hythe town centre. From there, explore the high street and boutique shops, enjoy one of the many waterfront restaurants or take a scenic open top bus tour around the New Forest.

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Wet Wheels Hamble

Wet Wheels approach to enabling every disabled person a chance to experience the excitement of powerboating is refreshing. Why shouldn’t everybody enjoy this amazing experience?

“Wetwheels enables disabled participants and their carers the restorative, olfactory, auditory, and calming sensory experience of being on the water. In addition to the excitement of traveling at speed across the sea.” – Iain James, Director (Wet Wheels Foundation/Hamble)

Their boats are truly unique by being fully accessible, not just as a passenger, but also as a skipper taking the helm. Everybody gets a chance to drive if they wish! Wet Wheels Hamble offers a River Taster Trip, The Full Hamble Experience, Ocean Village Southampton Taster Trips and Full Experiences and Ocean Village River Breezes – ranging from 1 hour to 1 hour round trips.

Steamship Shieldhall

Take to the seas on the largest working steamship in Britain. Known as one of the most popular and memorable boat trips in Southampton, experience the golden age of steam with her impressive engine room with the original steam engine at work. Admire the traditional instruments, gleaming brasswork and ship’s steam-assisted steering gear (similar to that used on Titanic), talk to the Captain and the crew and listen to the commentary as you pass the sights of Southampton Water and The Solent.

SS Shieldhall is open for open days, public sails, private hire and group bookings throughout the year.

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Boat Trips from Southampton to the Isle of Wight

Red Funnel Ferries

Another favourite Southampton boat trip, with a stunning destination!

Enjoy a boat ride to the Isle of Wight from Southampton with Red Funnel. Choose from being a foot passenger on the Red Jet that takes less than 30 minutes to reach West Cowes. Or take your vehicle and be across The Solent at East Cowes within an hour.

Taking the Red Jet to West Cowes is perfect for a day exploring this fantastic seaport town located at the very northern tip of the island. The town has a true holiday vibe to it. There is a lovely high street to explore, gorgeous eateries and world-class marinas to discover. Cowes Beach is a short pebble and shell beach with views looking back onto Hampshire’s coastline that are breathtaking.

Whichever ferry you take, you’ll sail down Southampton Water and into the picturesque Solent. The views as the water opens up are magnificent. You’ll pass many Southampton beaches along the way, and don’t forget to look back at the gorgeous beach huts lined up along Calshot Beach. You actually won’t be able to miss them!

Red Funnel Ferries Instagram - Red Funnel Ferries at Cowes on the Isle of Wight
Both Red Funnel Ferries at Cowes on the Isle of Wight – Image credit: Red Funnel Ferries

Do you have a favourite boat trip from Southampton? We’d love to know in the comments below.

Feature image credit: Blue Funnel Cruises, Southampton Boat Trip

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