Southampton Is 'Best UK Departure Port'

Two cities with links to the Titanic have won best port awards in the centenary year of the disaster.

Belfast, where the Titanic was built, has been named best UK cruise port of call by website Cruise Critic.

And Southampton, where most of the doomed Titanic passengers boarded, was named best UK departure port.

Cruise Critic said: ''Belfast has regained its former glory thanks to the ship that for many years defined its decay.

The stunning Titanic Belfast Centre has arguably done for Belfast what the Guggenheim did for Bilbao. The fact that more and more cruise ships are choosing Belfast as a port of call, seals its number one spot this year. ''

On Southampton, Cruise Critic said: ''We acknowledge the approach to Southampton is not as iconic as that of New York, but this year, the port excelled in two stand-out events - Cunard's Three Queens (the meeting of the Queen Victoria, the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth) and P&O's Grand Event, showing it can handle a large number of ships with ease.

It has also sealed its position as the number one cruise port in Europe, with a record 430 cruise ships due to visit next year.''