Trip Type : Small Ship Cruise
Stonehenge Prehistoric-England-1155706-P

Wild and Ancient Britain

Wilderness Travel
5.0 . Excellent
100%
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
From: $ 10,980 $ 732 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Witness some of Europe’s largest seabird colonies—puffins, gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes, and more
  • Visit Giant’s Causeway where some 40,000 closely-packed hexagonal columns descend like a staircase into the sea
  • Discover important Neolithic monuments—the Standing Stones of Stenness; the Ring of Brodgar; Skara Brae, a well-preserved Stone Age village; and Maes Howe, a tomb dating from 3500 BC
  • Explore a variety of architectural wonders, from Mousa’s Iron Age broch and 12th-century Iona Abbey to the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall

Short Description

On this adventure to the British Isles, we explore remote and isolated coastlines where windswept cliffs and promontories teem with some of the largest seabird colonies in Europe, all at the height of their breeding season. Exhilarating walks bring us through heather-clad moorlands and among the ruins of fortress-castles that echo the lore of the Celts and Anglo-Saxons. From the lovely sub-tropical gardens on the Isles of Scilly and the geological wonders of Giant’s Causeway to the sacred sites of the Inner Hebrides and the stark beauty of the Fair Isle, this exciting expedition captures the ancient spirit and wild heart of Britain.

Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Trip Type Small 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 Edingburgh

Trip Includes

  • All gratuities
  • Accommodations in hotel and on board the Sea Adventurer as outlined in the itinerary
  • All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore, including house wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows
  • All group activities and excursions
  • Landing and port fees
  • $50,000 of medical expense coverage and $75,000 in emergency evacuation insurance

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Itinerary

Days 1-2: Fly to London

Fly to London, England, arriving on Day 2. Upon arrival, check into the hotel, with the rest of the day at leisure to explore the city on your own. In the evening, gather for a welcome reception and dinner.

Day 3: London / Portsmouth / Embark the Ocean Adventurer

After breakfast, depart via train for Portsmouth. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before a tour of this famous port city. This afternoon board the Ocean Adventurer.

Day 4: Falmouth / Penzance

This morning take a stroll through Trebah Garden, a beautiful subtropical garden with a stunning coastal backdrop. After lunch on board, take a tour of the Eden Project in Penzance. This innovative complex of domes houses plants from around the world, with each emulating a natural biome. Or, take a walk through the expansive Trelissick Garden, noted for its impressive collection of camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas. The garden also offers glorious views of the Fal River and distant rolling hills.

Day 5: Isles of Scilly

Warmed by the North Atlantic Drift, the Isles of Scilly have given their fortunate inhabitants the luxury of turning a passion for growing flowers into a major industry. This morning board local boats and cruise to Tresco to visit the ruins and exquisite subtropical gardens at the medieval Tresco Abbey.

Day 6: Ballinskelligs, Ireland

The Ballinskelligs Priory was founded in the 12th century by monks who moved to the mainland from Skellig Michael after numerous Viking attacks. A number of buildings still survive, including a church, tower house, parts of the cloister, a large domestic hall, and cemetery, most of which date from the 15th century. On a clear day, views across the bay are simply spectacular.

Day 7: Dunmore East / Waterford / Saltee Islands

From the port city of Dunmore East, drive through scenic countryside to Waterford. Options today include a visit to the renowned Waterford Crystal glassworks to watch master craftsmen at work, or enjoy a tour of Mount Congreve, a magnificent estate with exquisite gardens. Return to the ship for lunch as you cruise toward the privately-owned Saltee Islands, which attract a variety of birds to their craggy masses. On Great Saltee Island search for puffins, murres, razorbills, gannets, and more of the 47 bird species recorded here.

Day 8: Port St. Mary, Isle of Man

Enjoy a leisurely morning on board, as the ship cruises to Port St. Mary on the Isle of Man. We board the Isle of Man Steam Railway, the single remnant from the extensive Victorian system that served the main centers on the island, and ride through quaint and picturesque villages to the southern resort of Port Erin.

Day 9: Portrush, Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland / Rathlin Island

Disembark at Portrush and travel overland to the World Heritage Site of Giant’s Causeway. This three-mile section of coastline is a geological masterpiece—some 40,000 closely-packed hexagonal columns of varying heights line the coast and descend like a staircase into the sea. In the afternoon, visit the rugged cliffs of Rathlin Island, where you are greeted by colonies of guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills, and puffins. After lunch, go ashore on the Isle of Islay for a tour of the world-famous Lagavulin Distillery.

Day 10: Staffa, Inner Hebrides, Scotland / Iona

Weather permitting, spend the morning exploring the uninhabited island of Staffa by Zodiac and its most famous feature, Fingal’s Cave. The cave’s peculiar rock formations and unusual coloring are a delight to behold, and the wonderful echo of the sea from within served as the inspiration for Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture.

In 563 AD the Christian missionary St. Columba built a monastery on Iona and spread Christianity throughout Scotland. Though it suffered repeated attacks by Vikings over the centuries and the original was destroyed, the monastery was rebuilt each time, and some of these later buildings still stand. Visit the monastery site; the nearby cemetery of St. Oran, where numerous Scottish kings are buried; and the 12th-century Iona Abbey.

Day 11: St. Kilda, Outer Hebrides / Flannan Islands

Spend the morning at St. Kilda, once home to a small community, evidenced by abandoned houses and cleits, beehive-shaped cells where goods were stored. Cruising among the Flannan Islands this afternoon, puffins, fulmars, murres, and kittiwakes should be plentiful. Of special interest to birders is the Leach’s petrel colony on the grassy slopes of Eilean Mor beneath the lighthouse.

Day 12: Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Arrive in the capital city of Kirkwall on Mainland Island in the Orkneys for visits to the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral and some of the island’s major archaeological sites. Maes Howe, a chambered tomb dating from 3500 BC, is known for its runic hieroglyphs left by visiting 12th-century Vikings. Then visit the enigmatic Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, and Skara Brae, a remarkably well-preserved Stone Age village buried in sand some 4,500 years ago. Return to Kirkwall for an afternoon walking tour of this charming city.

Day 13: Lerwick, Shetland Islands / Isle of Noss / Mousa

This morning enjoy a guided walking tour of Lerwick, capital of the Shetland Islands, which are steeped in Norse heritage. After the tour there will be free time to stroll the narrow streets and browse the many shops, or raise a pint at the local pub. After lunch on board, cruise by Zodiac to the Isle of Noss, where spectacular cliffs support a large and diverse seabird colony, home to 80,000 seabirds—guillemots, razorbills, gannets, shags, and more. This evening go ashore at Mousa to view one of Britain’s finest Iron Age ruins, an unusually well preserved 40-foot broch, a dry stone structure, dating from about 200 AD.

Day 14: Fair Isle

One of the most isolated settlements in the British Isles, this island is renowned for the quality and intricacy of its handmade sweaters using local wool. It is also famous as a haven for seabirds including gannets, murres, black-legged kittiwakes, numerous gull species, and a large colony of puffins. After a short walk, join some of the 70 islanders at their community center for tea and cakes, and a visit to the local museum.

Day 15: Aberdeen / Disembark / Edinburgh

Disembark in Aberdeen this morning, and enjoy a scenic train ride to Edinburgh. Check in to the Balmoral Hotel for a special farewell dinner and overnight.

Day 16: Edinburgh / Depart

Transfer to the airport for your independent homeward flight, arriving in the USA the same day.

Note: This cruise is not an exclusive Wilderness Travel departure. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

Availability

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Price From $ 10,980
Price Per Day: $ 732 per day
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Start DateEnd DateDouble StandardAvailability 
May-11-2020May-26-2020$ 10,980Limited Reserve

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Wilderness Travel.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Trip ID#:

wilandwil

Trip Excludes

  • All air transportation
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature 

Meals Included:

All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore, including house wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard

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