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Ancient Isles: England, Ireland, and Scotland

British Isles Ireland Cruise

  • National Geographic Explorer
  • Luxury Expedition Ship
  • 148 Capacity
  • 15 Days
  • 2019, 2020 View Departure>
    • 2019
    • May 7 Tue
    • 2020
    • May 26 Tue Offer
  • Price from
  • $14,890
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Summary : Embark on a journey that encompasses Britain, Ireland, and Scotland. Discover the wild, rugged, seldom-seen islands of the west, as well as historic Portsmouth, and dramatic Iona and Skellig Michael. Walk through Stone Age village ruins 5,000-years-old, Zodiac cruise around the stunning island of Staffa, and hoist a pint or two with spirited natives in cozy pubs throughout the land. You’ll explore ancient sites in moody landscapes to learn about culture and history in lands that have been continuously inhabited since Stone Age times. Trace a maritime thread around the isles, exploring the wild and beautiful places where Celtic and Viking influences still thrive in local languages and customs. Sail around magical Skellig Michael, which is crowned with a seventh-century beehive monastery. See the stunning 12th century Iona abbey, and Zodiac into Fingal’s Cave in Scotland. Explore wild, windswept outer isles; search for whales, dolphins, and seals; and see vast, and important seabird nesting sites.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Prices from
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Itinerary
Day 1
Depart the U.S. for London

Fly overnight to London.

Day 2
London, U.K

Arrive at the airport in London and transfer to the city center. Embark the ship in time for lunch as you set sail down the Thames.

Day 3
Portsmouth

Visit the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and climb inside the HMS Victory, and visit the partially restored Tudor warship Mary Rose, deployed by King Henry VIII. Alternatively, join your naturalists for a drive to the lively estuary at Titchfield Haven to walk the trails and look for visiting birds.

Day 4
Fowey

Stroll the medieval streets of Fowey before visiting the Eden Project, a botanical garden with vast biomes. In the afternoon, visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan, left derelict after WWI and recently restored; or choose to explore the quaint town center.

Day 5
Isles of Scilly

See Tresco Abbey Garden’s flourishing garden, filled with historic ruins and subtropical plants.

Day 6
Cobh, Ireland

Arrive in colorful Cobh, a place steeped in maritime history. Visit the fascinating Heritage Centre and walk in the footsteps of the many Irish who fled the hardships of the 19th century Ireland and immigrated to America.

Day 7
The Skelligs / Valentia Island / Dingle

Sail by Skellig Michael, a Celtic Christian hermitage where beehive huts and remains of a 7th-century monastery still stand. Visit Valentia Island for its dramatic cliffs and a visit to The Skellig Experience Visitor Centre. Spend the afternoon discovering the picturesque seaside town of Dingle.

Day 8
Inishmore / Exploring Aran Islands

Visit Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. Known for its religious and cultural heritage. Make a visit to Dun Aengus, a Celtic stone fort perched on a cliff’s edge.

Day 9
Exploring Northwestern Ireland

Discover northwestern Ireland—a wild and windswept region where Gaelic is still spoken. Steeped in history and folklore,
the dramatic landscape of counties Sligo and Donegal inspired the works of W.B. Yeats.

Day 10
Iona / Staffa Island, Inner Hebrides, Scotland

Visit the sacred island of Iona and its 12th Century abbey, believed to be the origin of the Book of Kells. Explore Staffa Island, famed for its geometric basalt columns, and Zodiac into dramatic Fingal’s Cave.

Day 11
St. Kilda, Scotland

Visit the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, boasting incredible seabird colonies. Conditions permitting, you may make a landing at uninhabited St. Kilda, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Later, see the Neolithic Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis.

Day 12
Orkney

Discover the Stone Age megaliths of the Ring of Brodgar and the 5,000-year-old stoneslab village of Skara Brae. Step into medieval St. Magnus Cathedral, crafted from local red and yellow sandstone.

Day 13
Shetland Islands

The Shetland Islands archipelago is characterized by incredible cultural traditions and dramatic landscapes. Experience this for yourself as you step ashore at one of the many remote islands in the region.

Day 14
Shetland / At Sea

Drive through a rolling landscape with Shetland ponies. Explore the ruins at Jarlshof, which reveal 4,000 years of near continuous settlement.

Day 15
Bergen, Norway

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Notes

This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes

Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.

Optional Pre-Trip Extension: Scotland
 
Included:
Transfer to/from ship if booked on group flights; shipboard accommodations; kayaking; certified photo instructor; video chronicle of your trip; all meals onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship; crew gratuities. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; passport, visa, and immigration fees; baggage/accident/travel protection plan; premium alcoholic beverages; items of a personal nature, such as Internet, laundry, etc.; fuel surcharge may apply.

Photos ©: Stewart Cohen, Sven-Olof Lindblad, Michael S. Nolan, Jim Richardson

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