- Silver Explorer
- Luxury Expedition Ship
- 132 Capacity
- 13 Days
- Price from
Summary : Explore the Celtic Coasts on an incredible voyage encompassing Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Faroe Islands, and Norway. Birders will delight in fantastic observation of seabird colonies, including guillemots, puffins and flocks of gannets. Explore historic areas from photographing the magnificent Caernarfon Castle ruins to seeing the world famous Book of Kells. Also, see the remarkable archaeological site of Jarlshof. Stunning views are seen along dramatic coastlines from Zodiacs, onboard, or while exploring on foot at ancient abbeys, historic churches, beautiful gardens, and Giants’ Causeway. Throughout the voyage, experience five-star service from aboard the luxury Silver Explorer.
$5,850 to $15,850
Embark the Silver Explorer this evening and depart on your exciting “Celtic Coasts” expedition. You will be introduced to your Expedition Team and receive a Zodiac briefing. Tonight, you're invited to attend a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party.
The first day ashore is filled with a variety of sights – each spectacular. Visit Bodnant Garden, situated above the River Conwy with stunning views across Snowdonia. Next embark on a scenic drive through magnificent Snowdonia National Park, passing through the lovely Betws-y-Coed, and taking in the stunning Llanberis Pass before arriving at the lunch destination in Caernarfon at the atmospheric Celtic Royal Hotel. Alternatively, guests can choose instead to join a private tour of Plas Newydd, an elegant 18th-century house with an interesting mix of classical and Gothic styles. Following some free time to wander in the splendid gardens, the outing continues with a scenic drive through magnificent Snowdonia National Park, passing through the lovely Betws-y-Coed, and taking in the stunning Llanberis Pass.
A delicious lunch awaits at Seiont Manor. Once a working farmstead, here you will be entertained by a cultural performance of traditional Welsh music. Following lunch, all guests can step inside the once impregnable Caernarfon Castle to explore its magnificent ruins with your guide. Dating back to 1283, Caernarfon Castle is said to have been designed to echo the walls of Constantinople, the imperial power of Rome and the dream-castle, ‘the fairest that ever man saw’, of Welsh myth and legend. It was here that the heir to the British thrown, Prince Charles, was crowned Prince of Wales in 1969. After the visit to the Castle, return to Holyhead harbour.
Have your camera ready for today’s scenic tour in the County of Wicklow, known as the “Garden of Ireland” for its domed granite mountains, deep glens and wooded valleys. Tour the 6th-century monastic ruins of Glendalough and learn of its history as a famous school with thousands of students. One of Europe’s finest examples of Round Tower architecture can be found here, as well as a cathedral, stone churches and decorated crosses. After lunch, visit the Mount Usher Gardens. Laid out along the banks of the River Vartry, Mount Usher has been designed in the Robinsonian style. Trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants have been introduced from all parts of the globe and are planted in harmony with woodland and shade plants, all elegantly set off by the crystal waters of the river.
Alternatively, join the onboard historian and local guides to see Dublin’s highlights. Dublin is the capital of the Irish Republic and particularly rich in 18th-century architecture. Visit the Old Parliament House, which is now Trinity College. Founded in 1592, it is Ireland’s oldest college and houses the world famous Book of Kells, a hand illuminated manuscript of the Gospels. Continuing the tour, pass Georgian squares and Dublin Castle en route to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Founded in 1190, St. Patrick’s is perhaps best known for its association with Jonathan Swift, who was Dean here from 1713 to 1745. Other tour sites include: The Customs House; River Liffey; National Gallery of Ireland; St. Stephen’s Green; The Mansion House; the Four Courts, Ireland’s courts of justice; and the General Post Office, scene of the 1916 rising and birthplace of the Irish nation. Enjoy some free time in Dublin city before returning to the Silver Explorer.
Some of the world’s most spectacular and unspoilt scenery is to be found in the county of Antrim. From the rugged cliffs of the coast to the magical beauty of the Glens, here is the best of what Northern Ireland has to offer. Traveling via the Coast Road, take in the dramatic views of seascape, towering cliffs, white sandy beaches, tranquil glens and lush forest parks, as you make your way northwards. Following lunch, visit the Giants’ Causeway of 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns that descend in a kind of pathway to the sea. Formed over 50 million years ago, UNESCO has recognized this unique site with World Heritage status. The return journey follows the inland route and includes a stop to photograph the medieval Dunluce Castle ruins, perched picturesquely on a rocky headland, high above the sea.
Alternatively, set off on an exploration of the beautiful Ards Peninsula, heading first to Grey Abbey, where you visit what remains of a Cistercian Abbey that had been founded in 1193. The next stop is in the historical seaside town of Donaghadee. Enjoy spectacular views across the Irish Sea, photograph the impressive 1836 lighthouse, and visit a local hostelry for an Irish coffee. Take some time to explore this pretty little hamlet on your own before heading back to the pier.
St Columba came here from Ireland in 563 AD and early Christianity spread through northern Britain from this remote island community. Forty-eight Kings of Scotland are buried here, including Duncan, Macbeth’s victim. This morning, visit Iona Abbey, one of Scotland’s most sacred and historical sites. The abbey was restored during the early 20th century, and today the Iona Community continues the tradition of worship first established by St Columba. This afternoon enjoy a lecture in The Theater or relax in one of the public rooms on board.
Approach St Kilda at first light. It is a remarkable uninhabited archipelago some 50 miles beyond the Outer Hebrides. For some this will be a moving experience and almost a pilgrimage as anchor drops off Village Bay on the island of Hirta. Weather conditions permitting, go ashore using Zodiacs to visit the westernmost landmass in the United Kingdom. St Kilda once supported a population of over 200, but the last islanders left in the 1930s. Recent restoration work on the village by the National Trust for Scotland offers a marvelous link with the past. Later, cruise past two of the largest gannetries in the world.
Reflections of a medieval past are nearly everywhere, still seen in villages clustered around old churches. This afternoon, visit Kirkjubour – once the residence of the Bishop of the Faeroes, Saint Magnus Cathedral with its West Norwegian Gothic-style architecture, and the decaying north wall of Saint Brendan’s Chapel, built in the mid-10th century. Also, have a chance to admire the displays of maritime, farming and religious artifacts dating to the Viking era at the new historical museum in Hoyvik, Fornminnisavn. Back in Tórshavn, you may visit the ruins of Fort Skansin, built in 1580 as a defence against pirates and used during World War II as headquarters for the British Royal Navy Command. Silver Explorer will stay late in port this evening, offering a wonderful opportunity for independent explorations.
After docking in the small town of Tvøroyri, set off with local guides, hiking across the tiny island to beautiful Hvannhagi, where you may see Atlantic puffins nesting. Alternatively, guests can choose to visit the art gallery of local sculpturist Palle Julsgart and tour of the historical and maritime museum.
Use Zodiacs this morning to explore the caves and rugged shoreline around the Vestmanna bird cliffs where you hope to get wonderful views of some of the migratory birds and resident puffins.
Geographically divided into two distinct areas, the miniscule 3.5 by 1.5-mile Fair Isle features high moorland areas and cliffs in the north and flatter, fertile lands in the south. Eighteen crofts ranging in size from 3-20 hectares are pretty much the mainstay of the 70 residents. Due to the island’s phenomenal seabird collection, Britain’s most isolated inhabited island is protected by the Fair Isle Marine Environment & Tourism Initiative. Find a population density and diversity of seabird species that may well be unequalled in all of Europe. With any luck, you might catch a glimpse at the Fair Isle Wren. Tonight, dock in Lerwick for an early start to the full day ashore tomorrow.
Charming sandstone buildings line the waterfront of this historic seaport. Lerwick, the northernmost town in Scotland, reflects its proximity to Norway with a delightful blend of Scottish and Scandinavian cultures. The morning excursion travels through 17th century Lerwick to the south of the Shetland mainland. See the fertile limestone community of Fladdabister, and pause for a photo of the world’s best-preserved Iron Age broch on the Island of Mousa. In the tranquility of Hoswick, enjoy some time at Laurence Odie Knitwear and the Hoswick Visitor Centre or wandering along the peaceful foreshore.
Then cross the 60-degree-north line of latitude and onto the rugged Atlantic coast. Learn of the Pictish treasure as you take in the vistas of St Ninian’s Isle, white sandy beaches and possibly seals. At Jarlshof – Europe’s most complex archaeological site – travel through 4,000 years of Shetland history ranging from the New Stone Age up to the 1600s. The local guide will describe Shetland’s culture and heritage in greater detail on your return journey to Lerwick. In the afternoon, Silver Explorer will depart Lerwick to cruise and explore the Shetland Islands. Exploring the isle of Noss via the Zodiacs, your Expedition staff will point out gannets, puffins, guillemots, shags, kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars and great skuas. Recognized as a National Nature Reserve since 1955, the Isle of Noss has one of Europe’s largest and most diverse seabird colonies.
Nestled among seven scenic hills, Bergen, with its gabled houses, is one of Norway's most beautiful cities. Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen, is a reminder of the town’s importance as part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire from the 14th to the mid-16th century, and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. After the guided exploration of Bryggen, visit the Hanseatic Museum. In the period between 1350 and 1750, the buildings on the wharf served as base for the German stockfish tradesmen of the Hanseatic League. The museum is the only house on the old wharf in which the original interiors have been preserved. The building dates from 1704 and provides insight as to what life was like for the Hanseatics of the wharf.
Before returning to the Silver Explorer, visit the reconstructed Fantoft Stave Church with its lovely setting, surrounded by beech trees. It is an exact copy of the original, which dated back to 1150, but was destroyed by fire in 1992. It has been rebuilt exactly as it stood in the Middle Ages. Study its interesting architecture, which shows how the original Norwegian builders, who knew little about constructing churches, employed their shipbuilding skill in the craftsmanship and design.
Disembark Silver Explorer after breakfast.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
All ocean-view suite accommodation; all onboard meals and entertainment; complimentary beverages served throughout the ship (an assortment of wines, champagne and spirits); all onboard gratuities (except spa); port charges and handling fees.
Airfare; government fees and taxes; transfers and luggage handling; passport expenses; items of a personal nature; fuel surcharge may apply.