Trip Type : Large Ship Cruise
Incredible chambers of Glasgow-Scotland-3508561-P

British Isles Medley

Road Scholar Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
90%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
15 days
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Overview

Highlights

  • Explore Henry VIII’s favorite palace, Hampton Court, and see Christopher Wren’s magnificent state apartments and gardens.
  • Gain an understanding of Irish shipbuilding heritage, political transformations, and achievements in literature and the arts at Dublin’s venerable Trinity College.
  • Experience the evocative cultural and historical landscapes of Scotland and Wales in Edinburgh’s Old Town and Caernarfon Castle where Princes of Wales are crowned.

Short Description

This trip has been discontinued. Instead see

 

Best of England in 14 Days Tour

The British Isles by Sea: Ireland, Scotland and England

Barging Ireland

 



From Romans and Vikings to seaports and seascapes, castles and kings — immerse yourself in the vibrant sagas, dramatic history, and colorful contemporary life of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales on this exceptional shipboard voyage.

This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Trip Type Large Ship Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City London
End City Southampton

Trip Includes

  • 13 nights of accommodations
  • 37 meals: 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 13 dinners
  • 3 Expert-led lectures
  • 13 Field trips
  • Free round-trip airfare from many US cities
  • Learning led by expert instructors who are authorities in the field of study.
  • An experienced Group Leader attuned to the needs of Road Scholar participants.
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program that you would normally pay yourself.
  • The Road Scholar Travel Assistance Plan, which is purchased on behalf of every participant and provides 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance services coverage.
  • Taxes
  • State-of-the-art QUIETVOX listening devices

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Itinerary

Day One: Overnight Flight from USA

In Transit: Overnight flight from USA.

Day Two: Arrivals London

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Club Quarters Trafalgar Square Hotel

Morning: Arrivals and airport transfers.

Lunch: On own.

Afternoon: Welcome orientation at 4:00 pm at the Club Quarters Trafalgar Square Hotel.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.

Day Three: London/transfer to Southampton/Embarkation

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Note: Most evenings aboard the ship there will be a brief post dinner briefing about the following day's schedule. Each night aboard the ship you will be free to enjoy one of the many activities including: live performances, movies, live music, ship library and spa.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Field trip to Hampton Court Palace built for Cardinal Wolsey but handed over to Henry VIII who extended it as did William and Mary through Sir Christopher Wren. Tudor turrets and the Great Hall sit alongside Wren's Classical State Apartments surrounded by Wren's formal baroque landscape.

Lunch: In a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Transfer to Southampton for embarkation.

Dinner: Enjoy a wide array of culinary choices during tonight's Welcome Dinner aboard the ship.

Day Four: Cruising the North Sea

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Enjoy a morning at leisure to explore the ship and its many amenities. Visit the library, listen to music in a lounge or relax on a sun deck.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon lecture from your Group Leader about the upcoming ports of call in England and Scotland. This is followed by an exclusive Road Scholar cocktail party.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Day Five: Newcastle, United Kingdom  

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: A delightful blend of ancient and modern, Newcastle is one of the liveliest cities in northern England. Originally built in the 11th century, the Castle Keep was the “new castle” for which the city is named. Stroll along the River Tyne and marvel at the different bridges that have transformed the face of the city. Learn about the history of Newcastle at the Great North Museum.

Lunch: Sample English regional cuisine in a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Newcastle on your own. Your group leader will provide you with some possible sites to explore.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Day Six: Edinburgh (South Queensferry), United Kingdom          

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Note: Please note that this port uses tenders. Staff will be available for assistance to get on and off the tender.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Take a panoramic city exploration of Edinburgh including: Old Town area (the Royal Mile, Greyfriar’s Bobby and Grassmarket); New Town area (Princes Street, Charlotte Square, St. Andrew’s Square and Heriott Row); Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle.

Lunch: Sample Scottish regional cuisine in a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Your group exploration of Edinburgh continues in the afternoon. Enjoy seeing marvelous Georgian and Victorian architecture and impressive Edinburgh Castle, high on its volcanic crag with a fabulous view.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Day Seven: Cruising the North Sea.        

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Enjoy a morning at leisure to explore the ship and its many amenities. Visit the library, listen to music in a lounge or relax on a sun deck.

Lunch: Lunch aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon lecture from your Group Leader about the upcoming ports of call in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Learn about how history has shaped the contemporary relations between these two countries and cultures.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Day Eight: Belfast

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: This morning, we transfer to the city center. En route, learn about the rich legacy of the Harland and Wolff shipbuilders where the "Titanic" was built. You will stop at Belfast's Jurys Inn for an illustrated lecture on "The Mural Tradition and Political Transformation in Northern Ireland". This will serve as an introduction to Belfast and a basis for understanding the expertly guided field trip of Belfast City later in the morning. Depart by Belfast's taxi cabs to the colorful and evocative murals of East and West Belfast. It has been said that a city can be defined by its taxi drivers and nowhere is this more true than in Belfast.

Lunch: During lunch, meet with a member of the Sinn Fein political party and former Lord Mayor of Belfast Tom Hartley. During this Q&A session, learn about life as a politician during The Troubles.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Belfast. Your group leader will provide you with some possible sites to explore.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: The ship will remain in Belfast until the late evening. Enjoy the late summer sun of the British Isles with a stroll in the city or a relaxing view from the ship.

Day Nine: Glasgow

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Offering some of the finest Victorian architecture in the UK, Glasgow is a major center of commerce and culture. Glasgow Cathedral is one of the only cathedrals in Scotland to have survived the Reformation in tact and houses a celebrated collection of stained glass windows.

Lunch: Sample some regional cuisine and Scotland's famous single malt whiskeys during lunch on your own. Or return to the ship for lunch.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Glasgow. Your group leader will provide you with some possible sites to explore.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Day Ten: Liverpool

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: A wealthy port city since the 19th century, Liverpool is noted for its rich architectural heritage, diverse communities and innovative infrastructure, as well as being the birthplace of The Beatles. Learn about the history of the city as one of the world’s greatest seaports at The Merseyside Maritime Museum.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Liverpool. Your group leader will provide you with some possible sites to explore.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Day Eleven: Dublin, Ireland

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Disembark for a guided field trip of the city of Dublin, which includes a visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch in a real Irish Pub. You will be joined by a duo of young Dublin traditional musicians who will share their knowledge of Irish music with you and play a few jigs, reels & airs!

Afternoon: Visit Historic Trinity College in the company of current undergraduates - Trinity College builds on its four-hundred-year-old tradition of scholarship to confirm its position as one of the great universities of the world. It has been the educator of many of Ireland's great writers from Swift to Wilde. Part of the tour will include the Trinity College Library which houses 200,000 antique texts, marble busts of scholars and the oldest surviving harp in Ireland as well as the Book of Kells. This illuminated manuscript of the Gospels was created by Irish monks around the year 800.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: The ship will remain in Dublin until the late evening. Enjoy the late summer sun with a stroll in the city or a relaxing view from the ship.

Day Twelve: Holyhead, United Kingdom

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: One of the busier ports on the Irish Sea, Holyhead has long been a hub for transit between Great Britain and Ireland. Enjoy the beautiful Welsh countryside with its charming towns and farms and visit the imposing Caernarfon Castle begun by Edward I in 1283. This mighty fortress was a residence and seat of government as well as a military stronghold. The current Prince of Wales received his title here in 1969.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Holyhead. Your group leader will provide you with some possible sites to explore.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Day Thirteen: Waterford, Ireland

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Note: Please note that this port uses tenders. Staff will be available for assistance to get on and off the tender.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Take a guided walk through this 1,100-year-old Viking town and admire Rodney's Tower, still in use, and see the exquisite treasures in the museum. Visit the Waterford Crystal Centre, where you can see how the artisans cut their famous designs.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Waterford. Your group leader will provide you with some possible sites to explore.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Day Fourteen: Portland, United Kingdom

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Oceania Marina

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: After disembarktion, we leave Portland and head to the village of Wool. We proceed to the town of Dorchester, a Roman town, where we will visit The Dorset County Museum, which offers more of the Thomas Hardy connections, Roman connections and Jurassic Coast information.

Lunch: In a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch we head west along the Jurassic Coast to Lyme Regis with its wonderful harbour, Jurassic Coast and literary connections. We will walk along the seaside to the Cobb which Jane Austin used in her novel "Persuasion," where we will admire the wonderful view. We return to Portland along the Jurassic Coast, via Abbotsbury, with its thatched cottages, and back on the Isle of Portland. Drive around Portland looking into quarries where the famous Portland Stone has been quarried for 2,000 years. Visit Portland Bill and its lighthouse for views of the infamous Prisons on the Island.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: A brief recap of the program will follow dinner. Prepare for your journey home tomorrow.

Day Fifteen: Southampton/London/Departures

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: The ship arrives in Southampton at 6:00AM and disembarkation will begin later this morning. Disembark/transfer to the airport for flights to the US.

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Stride Featured in

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41 Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings

90%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 34
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 2
Value
4.6
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.5
Meals
4.5

British Isles Medley

Write a Review

A peaceful and green country with lots of history revealed by motor coach travel.

4.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging3.0
Transportation3.0
Meals3.0
The trip was a good overview of the country. The Road Scholar guide was very knowledgeable. The motorcoach was very comfortable. The accommodations and meals were fine. Couldn't ask for a better overview of the place.
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Company Reviews

Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Best trip I ever took!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
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Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography

5.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
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Thank you Road Scholar

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
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Thank you Road Scholar!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Trip ID#:

BriIslRoa

Trip Excludes

  • Passport and visa charges
  • Any kind of insurance
  • Personal Expenses

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