British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature, and Wildlife Expedition

British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature, and Wildlife Expedition

British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature, and Wildlife Expedition

British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature, and Wildlife Expedition

Travel information 15 days MS Otto Sverdrup
Departures
April 14, 2023
April 28, 2023
Price from $ 7,427
$ 6,684
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Sail from Hamburg and explore the coast and islands along the length of the British Isles, discovering its wildlife, stunning natural beauty, and distinct cultural heritage.

Set sail from historic Hamburg

Beginning in Hamburg, this epic expedition cruise to the British Isles explores parts of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, and the Hebrides Islands. See how nature and heritage have distinctly shaped the culture of each destination as you explore medieval castles, ancient monuments, and stately cathedrals. Uncover Viking history in Douglas, Kirkwall, and Stornoway, and visit time-honored distilleries on the ‘whisky island’ of Islay.

Charming islands of legend

On Cornwall’s subtropical Isles of Scilly, you’ll visit Benedictine abbey’s gardens, while in Wales, you can explore the coastal footpaths and ancient ruins. Further north, Scotland’s Fort William is the gateway to spectacular Highland scenery. You’ll encounter towns rooted in Celtic and Viking history, along with picturesque landscapes, cozy villages, and wind-swept islands.

Perfect for nature lovers

Whether from the ship’s decks, our small boats (RIBs), or simply on foot, you’ll see wildlife throughout your cruise. Bird enthusiasts will be in awe of the birdlife on Rathlin Island and the largest seabird colony in Europe on tiny and remote St. Kilda. The Isle of Islay, known for its whiskies, is home to over 200 bird species, including Golden Eagles. The true meaning of an expedition cruise will become apparent as you join nature landings with our knowledgeable Expedition Team.

British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature, and Wildlife Expedition British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature, and Wildlife Expedition
  • Day 1
    Hamburg, Germany

    Your journey begins

    Your adventure begins in the bustling, historic city of Hamburg.

    We’ll set sail to the British Isles from the second-largest city in Germany. Hamburg was once part of the Hanseatic League and has forever been linked to trade and adventure, so it’s the perfect place to start our journey.

    Your expedition ship, MS Otto Sverdrup, will be waiting for you at the port, where your friendly Expedition Team will prepare you for the adventure ahead. Check out your cabin and get to know your new home away from home before sitting down to a departure dinner.

    Day 1
    Hamburg, Germany

    Your journey begins

  • Day 2
    At sea

    Relax and learn

    Enjoy an idyllic day at sea.

    Today, you’ll have plenty of time to unwind. Admire the views from the ship’s observation deck, settle into a good book with a cup of tea or coffee, check out the onboard Science Center, or take full advantage of the gym and hot tubs.

    The Expedition Team will happily share their extensive knowledge of the British Isles with you through in-depth lectures. These added insights will help turn your cruise into an adventure. Our professional onboard photographer will also be available to give top tips for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos.

    Day 2
    At sea

    Relax and learn

  • Day 3
    Portland, England

    A great island for birdlife

    Ruggedly beautiful and abundant in wildlife, Portland is ripe for exploration.

    As a key part of the UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast, the Isle of Portland boasts both natural beauty and historical heritage. Just four miles long, the island is connected to the mainland of Dorset by Chesil Beach—an 18-mile-long pebble beach.

    A haven for wildlife, Portland is home to nearly 300 species of birds, and it’s a significant migrating point. On previous visits, we’ve collaborated with a local nature conservation charitable organization and held beach and reserve clean-ups at three different locations—something we hope to repeat.

    • Included Portland Beach Clean Up
    Day 3
    Portland, England

    A great island for birdlife

  • Day 4
    Isles of Scilly, England

    Cornish subtropical beauty and island tranquility

    -Crystal clear waters, powdery white sand, and natural beauty—welcome to Scilly

    With palm trees and white, sandy beaches, this enchanting archipelago 30 miles off the tip of Cornwall looks like it could be in the tropics. If conditions allow, we’ll split our time between several islands. You can explore Tresco and its subtropical Abbey Garden or St. Mary’s and its wild landscapes, beautiful beaches, and handicrafts studios.

    Or, join a trip around the islands. We’ll visit shipwreck sites, see seals lying on the rocks, and cruise around the Annet bird sanctuary, where you’ll watch for puffins and other seabirds.

    • Included Beach clean-up and Tresco Abbey Gardens
    Day 4
    Isles of Scilly, England

    Cornish subtropical beauty and island tranquility

  • Day 5
    Fishguard, Wales

    The Welsh town with a long history

    Explore Fishguard and see its Iron Age settlements and the idyllic Dyffryn Fernant gardens.

    Nestled between the Preseli Hills and the Pembrokeshire coast is the charming Welsh coastal town of Fishguard. You’ll find the original town and harbor in Lower Fishguard and enjoy spectacular sea views from the ‘Main Town’ on the cliff-top.

    Explore the ruins of Fishguard Fort at Castle Point and watch for marine life on a coastal walk along the Pencaer Peninsula. Enter the reconstructed roundhouses of Castell Henllys to get a feel for life in the Neolithic period. And the Dyffryn Fernant gardens are a horticultural gem not to be missed.

    Day 5
    Fishguard, Wales

    The Welsh town with a long history

  • Day 6
    Douglas, Isle of Man

    Viking history on a Celtic island

    Explore the capital of the Isle of Man, a hotbed for Celtic and Viking heritage.

    The scenic approach to Douglas is not to be missed! We’ll head ashore to explore the capital of the Isle of Man; learn about the island’s Celtic and Viking heritage; trace its transformation into a Victorian tourist resort; and discover its stunning, rugged coastline.

    There’s so much to see and do in Douglas. Visit the Manx Museum, check out the murals in St. Thomas’ Church, and discover the impressively spooky Peel Castle, which was originally a Viking stronghold and is now said to be haunted.

    • Included Isle of Man Beach Cleaning
    Day 6
    Douglas, Isle of Man

    Viking history on a Celtic island

  • Day 7
    Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

    Seabirds, choughs, and corncrakes

    Rugged cliffs, peaceful lakes, and wildlife on Rathlin Island

    At just six miles long and one mile wide, Rathlin Island is ideal to explore by bike or on foot. Choose from scenic walks along the cliff-top or the winding trails where you can admire the natural beauty and take in the sights and sounds, including large colonies of breeding seabirds.

    Visit the RSPB Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre and the functioning ‘upside-down’ lighthouse perched on the cliffs. Pay a visit to the Boathouse Visitor Centre to learn about island life, local history, and the many historical shipwrecks that lie in nearby waters.

    Day 7
    Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

    Seabirds, choughs, and corncrakes

  • Day 8
    Fort William, Scotland

    Highland adventure town

    Visit Scotland’s outdoor adventure hub and take in the surrounding beauty

    After sailing into Loch Linnhe, we’ll arrive at Fort William. The town is known as the ‘outdoor capital of the U.K.’, and is a magnet for hikers, bikers, climbers, and skiers. As you’ll see, it’s nestled among some spectacular Highland scenery.

    The town’s whisky distillery offers its take on the national drink, and a scenic short walk awaits you at Glen Nevis. You can also visit Glen Coe, a valley formed from volcanic activity, sculpted by glaciers, and designated an area of outstanding natural beauty.

    • Included High in the Nevis Range
    Day 8
    Fort William, Scotland

    Highland adventure town

  • Day 9
    Islay, Scotland

    Scottish island life, distilled

    Idyllic Islay is an island paradise of wildlife, whisky, and wool garments

    Islay (pronounced “eye-la”) isn’t called ‘whisky island’ by coincidence. There are nine working distilleries here, and their peaty single malts are sold around the world. One of the larger Scottish islands, there are 130 miles of coastline here, along with numerous quiet, sandy beaches.

    Islay is also a wildlife paradise, with over 200 species of birds including Golden Eagles, oystercatchers, gannets, and Hen Harriers. What’s more, the mystical past is present in ancient monoliths, Celtic crosses, and a stone circle.

    • Included Islay Coastal Walk 
    Day 9
    Islay, Scotland

    Scottish island life, distilled

  • Day 10
    St. Kilda, Hirta Island, Scotland

    A UNESCO treasure reclaimed by nature

    One word sums up the tiny, rocky St. Kilda: wild.

    The most remote part of the British Isles, St. Kilda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site twice over and the jewel in the crown of the National Trust for Scotland. Once home to Britain’s most remote island community, its cliffs and sea stacks are now home to myriad seabirds, including the U.K.’s largest colony of Atlantic Puffins.

    Besides birdlife, you might also see Soay sheep roaming the island or minke whales in the sea. Explore the abandoned village and see the distinctive ‘cleits’, circular stone buildings used to store peat, eggs, and smoked puffins. Then, head back to the ship and happily indulge in more contemporary dining options.

    • Included St. Kilda Nature Landing
    Day 10
    St. Kilda, Hirta Island, Scotland

    A UNESCO treasure reclaimed by nature

  • Day 11
    Stornoway, Lewis, Scotland

    Welcome to the Outer Hebrides

    Picturesque harbor, ancient ruins, and tweed workshops

    Stornoway is the arrival port to the wild Outer Hebrides. Originally a Viking settlement, it has a beautiful waterfront with museums, art galleries, and charming shops. Don’t miss Lews Castle, while further afield you’ll find workshops where Harris Tweed is woven, folk museums, and ancient monuments.

    If you feel like taking a nice walk, there are plenty of routes to choose from, with Lewis being less hilly. As you explore the island, look out for red deer, eagles, otters, gannets, and butterflies. No wonder why nature lovers from around the world flock to the wild side of this peaceful island.

    • Included Lews Castle Walk
    Day 11
    Stornoway, Lewis, Scotland

    Welcome to the Outer Hebrides

  • Day 12
    Kirkwall, Orkney (Scotland)

    Ancient Viking town

    Explore an ancient Viking town in the enchanting Orkney Islands

    Kirkwall is the capital of the Orkney Islands and one of Scotland’s most attractive and well-preserved towns. Dominated by St. Magnus Cathedral, the old part of Kirkwall is one of the best examples of an ancient Viking town. The Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces just across the road from the cathedral complete Kirkwall’s trio of must-visit landmarks.

    The Viking theme continues at the Highland Park Distillery, founded by a direct descendant of the Vikings. The traditional Talisker Distillery will intrigue you, whether you like whisky or just want to soak up some local history.

    • Included Kirkwall on Foot
    Day 12
    Kirkwall, Orkney (Scotland)

    Ancient Viking town

  • Day 13
    Edinburgh (Leith), Scotland

    Scotland’s crown jewel

    Discover the many charms of the much-loved city of Edinburgh

    After London, Edinburgh is the most visited city in the United Kingdom, and you’ll soon see why. With streets steeped in history and a thriving cultural scene, the Scottish capital offers the perfect balance between traditional and contemporary.

    Explore mysterious winding alleys and elegant terraced houses, and check out some of the many shops, bars, and restaurants. Get a great view of the city from majestic Edinburgh Castle, where you can see the Scottish Crown Jewels and the famed Stone of Destiny.

    • Included Walking tour of Edinburgh’s Historic Royal Mile
    Day 13
    Edinburgh (Leith), Scotland

    Scotland’s crown jewel

  • Day 14
    At Sea

    Reflect on your Journey

    After departing Edinburgh the night before, we’ll be well on our way across the North Sea toward Hamburg. As you leave Britain behind you, spend this last day at sea reflecting and unwinding from the excitement of the past two weeks.

    Relax with panoramic views of the Explorer Lounge and make the most of the ship’s amenities, whether having a work-out in the gym or a session in the sauna. The onboard photographer will be on hand with tips on how to edit your scenic photos. You’ll likely have some stunning scenery and wildlife photos to play with to bring out the best in every shot.

    Day 14
    At Sea

    Reflect on your Journey

  • Day 15
    Hamburg, Germany

    Return to Hamburg

    This is the end of your adventure around the British Isles

    After breakfast, it’ll be time to say goodbye to MS Otto Sverdrup and the crew, and your new friends.

    As you head ashore, reflect on the fantastic memories from your trip that you’ll treasure for a lifetime. Along the way you’ll have seen unique nature, fascinating towns and cities, and, of course, all the friendly people you’ve met along the way. We hope you’ll join us for another adventure soon!

    Day 15
    Hamburg, Germany

    Return to Hamburg

Departures

2023

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
April:
14.
28.

Available Promotions on This Itinerary:

  • Save up to 10% + $500 Air Credit

    Book an expedition cruise aboard the world’s first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship or any of our other ships to destinations, and you’ll save up to 20% as well as receive up to a $1,000 air credit per person!
    See Special Offer
  • Kids Save up to 50%

    Young Explorers Save up to 50% off
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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in the Aune and Fredheim restaurants
  • Fine-dining in À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with very limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included excursions

Onboard activities

  • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center, which has an extensive library, biological and geological microscopes, and samples
  • The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna with a view, and an outdoor and indoor gym
  • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations

Landing activities

  • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographer to help configure your camera settings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
  • Spa treatments

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities are expected
Hjorundfjord, Norway MS Otto Sverdrup
MS Otto Sverdrup
Photo: Trym Ivar Bergsmo/Hurtigruten
Cabin M4
Photo: Espen Mills
Your Ship

MS Otto Sverdrup

Year built 2002
Year of refurbishment 2020
Shipyard Kleven Verft (N)
Passenger capacity 526
Beds 554
Gross tonnage 17,295 tons
Length 454.4 ft
Beam 70.5 ft
Speed 15 knots
Hjorundfjord, Norway MS Otto Sverdrup

MS Otto Sverdrup is designed for exciting, sustainable expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast.

Read more about MS Otto Sverdrup

Aune Restaurant
Photo: Espen Mills

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