Which cruises offer the best views of the white cliffs of Dover?

The White Cliffs of Dover are a symbol of natural beauty, standing tall and bright against the English Channel. Located in the town of Dover, these iconic cliffs have been an emblem of England's resilience and historical significance for centuries. Should you wish to witness this breathtaking spectacle from the sea, a cruise is a fantastic option. Let's review some of the best cruises offering a unique perspective on these majestic cliffs.

I. The Importance of Choosing the Right Cruise

When you're planning a trip to Dover, it's essential to choose the right cruise. Some cruises offer a more extensive view of the cliffs, while others focus more on the nearby castle or the city itself. It's important to take into consideration what you want from the experience when making your choice.

Cruises that pass through the English Channel will undoubtedly offer an excellent view of the cliffs. However, you may also want to consider cruises that offer day trips from nearby cities such as London. Dover is a popular destination due to its proximity to London and France, making it a convenient choice for day trips.

II. Cruises Along the English Channel

One of the best ways to see the White Cliffs of Dover is to take a cruise along the English Channel. This body of water separates England and France, and its climate is perfect for cruises. From here, you can admire the cliffs' chalky white facades which contrast beautifully with the deep blue waters of the channel.

Some of these cruises will take you directly beneath the cliffs, giving you an unforgettable view of their grandeur. Other cruises follow a route past the city of Dover, providing a panoramic view of this quaint English town. It's also worth noting that some cruises offer guided tours, giving you insight into the cliffs' rich history and geological significance.

III. Day Trips From London

Located approximately 75 miles from the heart of London, Dover is an ideal destination for a day trip. Several cruises offer these day trips, allowing you to explore the town, visit the castle, and of course, see the cliffs.

You'll find that most of these cruises depart in the morning, providing ample time to explore the town's rich history before cruising past the cliffs in the late afternoon—when the sun's angle often casts a surreal glow on their white facades. Some cruises even offer on-board meals, allowing you to savor England's culinary delights as you relish the stunning views.

IV. The Dover to Calais Cruise

If you're interested in adding a dash of continental Europe to your English holiday, the Dover to Calais cruise is a great option. This cruise across the English Channel to the French city of Calais offers some of the best views of the White Cliffs of Dover.

Before setting off from the Dover port, you can explore the town and visit Dover Castle. Once on the cruise, you'll have plenty of time to admire the cliffs as the English coastline recedes in the distance. Upon reaching Calais, enjoy a French meal or stroll through the city before making the return trip—an experience that combines the best of England and France.

V. Cruises With Special Amenities

For those looking to add a touch of luxury to their trip, several cruises offer special amenities. These can range from on-board spa services to fine dining experiences, providing an added layer of comfort to your journey.

While these cruises might be a bit pricier, they often offer the best views of the White Cliffs of Dover. Whether you're sipping a glass of champagne on the deck or enjoying a gourmet meal in the dining hall, these cruises aim to make your journey as memorable as possible.

In conclusion, when planning your trip to Dover, remember to research and choose a cruise that aligns with your preferences. Regardless of whether you prefer a simple day trip from London or a luxury cruise with extra amenities, the White Cliffs of Dover are sure to leave a lasting impression.

VI. Shore Excursions and Historical Landmarks

A cruise visit to Dover wouldn't be complete without taking advantage of the shore excursions offered. Shore excursions are an excellent way to explore the various attractions in and around Dover. The fact that Dover is steeped in history is an added bonus for history enthusiasts.

The Dover Castle, a key historical landmark, is a must-visit attraction. The castle, which stands majestically on the highest point in Dover, has been at the heart of English history for over nine centuries. The tour of the castle includes the Great Tower, medieval tunnels, and the underground hospital, giving you a glimpse of England's glorious past.

The Dover Museum is another attraction that should not be missed. It houses the world's oldest known seagoing boat and exhibits detailing the story of the White Cliffs area from prehistoric times to the present.

For nature lovers, the National Trust's White Cliffs of Dover visitor center is a must-see. You can enjoy walks along the clifftops and capture some splendid views of the cliffs.

Finally, if you have a little more time, consider a day trip to the magnificent Leeds Castle. Located in Kent, about an hour's drive from Dover, this castle is famed for its beauty and is often described as 'the loveliest castle in the world'.

VII. British Isles Explorer Cruises

For those who have more time, a British Isles Explorer cruise is an excellent choice. These cruises give you the opportunity to explore the British Isles' sheer diversity and beauty, including stops at ports in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Of course, a highlight for most travelers on these cruises is the chance to see the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.

If you choose a British Isles Explorer cruise, make sure to select one that includes a stop at the port of Dover. This will ensure that you have plenty of time to soak up the striking views of the cliffs and explore the rich heritage of Dover itself.

Most of these cruises are offered by major cruise lines such as Viking, Princess, and Cunard. They offer a variety of itineraries, ranging from seven to fourteen days. So, whether you're seeking a quick getaway or a more extended exploration, there's a British Isles Explorer cruise for you.


The White Cliffs of Dover are truly a spectacle of natural beauty. Their striking white facades, contrasted against the deep blue waters of the English Channel, create a sight that is both awe-inspiring and humbling. And what better way to experience this sight than from the comfort of a cruise?

Whether you opt for a simple day trip from London, a Dover to Calais cruise, or a comprehensive British Isles Explorer cruise, Dover's white cliffs are a sight you'll carry with you long after your journey ends. Add in the rich history of Dover, epitomized by the Dover Castle and the Dover Museum, and you have all the ingredients for an unforgettable trip.

So, as you begin to plan your visit to the White Cliffs of Dover, consider the various cruises and shore excursions available. Take your time to select the options that align with your interests and schedule. And above all, remember to take a moment to simply stand, stare, and appreciate the sheer magnificence of this iconic natural wonder. After all, the journey is as important as the destination.