British Isles Cruise – Scottish Whisky Trail & Irish Sea Expedition

British Isles Cruise – Scottish Whisky Trail & Irish Sea Expedition

British Isles Cruise – Scottish Whisky Trail & Irish Sea Expedition

British Isles Cruise – Scottish Whisky Trail & Irish Sea Expedition

Travel information 11 days MS Spitsbergen
Departure
March 23, 2023
Price from $ 5,278
$ 4,750
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Discover the highlights of the northern British Isles, from beautiful Scottish landscapes and historic Irish cities to ancient castles and exceptional whiskies.

History and heritage

Uncover a goldmine of cultural heritage, from medieval castles and ancient monoliths to celebrated feats of modern engineering. History abounds from the moment you set foot in Glasgow, where splendid Victorian architecture blends seamlessly with contemporary design. Witness the awesome Giant’s Causeway in Ulster, uncover Celtic and Viking history on the Isle of Man, and see Northern Ireland’s shipbuilding heritage in Belfast.

Irish cheer and Scottish whisky

Pop into one of the timeless institutions that are the bedrock of society in the British Isles: pubs. Find the ‘craic’ (an Irish word meaning ‘friendly talk and fun times) in Dublin’s cozy establishments of good cheer while sipping a pint of Guinness, and visit some of Scotland’s oldest whisky distilleries on the Isles of Arran, Mull, and Islay. Sample those famed distilled malts as you hop from port to port.

Wildlife and stunning scenery

We’ll will take you to scenic lochs with fascinating history and explore hidden gems few others visit. Sailing into Loch Linnhe, we’ll visit Fort William, a town surrounded by Scottish Highland scenery and a hub for outdoor adventures. Scan the seas for mammals throughout the cruise and keep an eye out for some of the over 200 species of birds in Islay alone before finishing back in Glasgow.

British Isles Cruise – Scottish Whisky Trail & Irish Sea Expedition British Isles Cruise – Scottish Whisky Trail & Irish Sea Expedition
  • Day 1
    Glasgow, Scotland

    Set sail from Glasgow

    Setting of from Scotland’s city of culture, get to know your expedition ship and crew.

    Glasgow is an elegant city filled with splendid Victorian and Art Nuveau architecture. If you have time before embarkation, discover its museums, galleries, and lively spots to eat, drink, and shop.

    Then, your comfortable expedition ship MS Spitsbergen will be waiting for you. Your friendly Expedition Team will be on hand to greet you. After attending a safety briefing and settling in, sit down for a welcome dinner to launch the cruise.

    Day 1
    Glasgow, Scotland

    Set sail from Glasgow

  • Day 2
    Portrush (Northern Ireland)

    See the Giant’s Causeway.

    Step out onto small Portrush and see a giant natural wonder.

    Portrush is a resort town that’s been popular since Victorian times. It features several fantastic walking itineraries and this section of coast features long sandy beaches. Birders should trek up to Ramore Head, just north of the town. A big draw is the UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway, which contains around 40,000 interlocking basalt columns rising mysteriously from the coast. All the while, the Dunluce Castle ruins sit dramatically at the top of a cliff overlooking the Atlantic, provide a stunning backdrop to this region’s savage beauty.

    • Included Portrush Sheepdog Demonstration
    • Included Dunluce Castle & The Giant’s Causeway
    Day 2
    Portrush (Northern Ireland)

    See the Giant’s Causeway.

  • Day 3
    Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Charming capital with historic industrial links

    Roam Northern Ireland’s historic industrial city and discover its proud heritage.

    Famed as the birthplace of the Titanic, Northern Ireland’s capital is a city of industry and elegance. Wander the Titanic Quarter and walk the Maritime Mile, a waterfront trail that showcases Belfast’s proud seafaring history.

    Elegant Victorian architecture abounds here. Admire the detailed mosaics of St. Anne’s Cathedral and the majestic façade of the Grand Opera House. Climb Cave Hill, near Belfast Castle, for great city views.

    There are tasty treats and great handicrafts for sale at St George’s Market, and the Ulster Museum will delight history buffs.

    • Included Castle Espie Wetlands Centre
    Day 3
    Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Charming capital with historic industrial links

  • Day 4
    Douglas, Isle of Man

    Viking history on a Celtic isle

    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 magnet; 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 4
    Douglas, Isle of Man

    Viking history on a Celtic isle

  • Day 5
    Dublin, Ireland

    Emerald Isle capital

    Discover the lively city on the Liffey River, famed for its culture.

    Founded by Vikings, and later becoming the Kingdom of Dublin, Ireland’s capital has a remarkable history. But as one of Europe’s most youthful cities, ‘Dubs’ is also a lively cultural center of live music and pubs, and a very modern tech hub.

    Today, you’ll explore this fascinating city and visit places such as Trinity College, the oldest university in Ireland. Here, you’ll can see the medieval manuscript the Book of Kells. Dublin Castle is also worth a visit—and don’t forget to sample a pint of Guinness!

    • Included Clean Coasts
    Day 5
    Dublin, Ireland

    Emerald Isle capital

  • Day 6
    Isle of Arran, Scotland

    a microcosm of Scotland

    See dramatic mountains and wild landscapes on beautiful Arran.

    Warmed by the North Atlantic Current, the sheltered isle of Arran is a haven for wildlife. As you travel around the island, keep an eye out for Scotland’s ‘big five’ wildlife draws: Golden Eagles, red deers, red squirrels, otters, and seals.

    Feel like stretching those legs? Try the popular Goatfell hiking trail and visit Brodick Castle to understand the aristocratic life of yesteryear. Discover Neolithic treasures across Machrie Moor and sample distinctive malt whisky in the local distillery.

    • Included Brodick Castle with Shuttle
    Day 6
    Isle of Arran, Scotland

    a microcosm of Scotland

  • Day 7
    Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland

    Colorful fishing port

    Explore colorful Tobermory and discover its many quiet delights.

    Tobermory is the main town on the Isle of Mull. As you approach the waterfront, a row of distinct and brightly colored Georgian houses will come into view. Explore this small town, packed with cafés, restaurants, and handicraft stores. It even has its own whisky distillery.

    If conditions allow, we’ll go to Loch Sunart, a beautiful seawater loch that few others visit. As a Marine Protected Area, the clear waters shelter a rich ecosystem and are a stronghold for otters. This is also a great place for spotting dolphins and porpoises.

    • Included Visit to Tobermory and Loch Sunart Landing and Small Boat Cruising
    Day 7
    Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland

    Colorful fishing port

  • Day 8
    Fort William, Scotland

    Scottish Highlands adventure town

    Visit Scotland’s outdoor adventure hub and discover 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 Scottish Highland scenery.

    The town’s whisky distillery offers its take on the national drink, and a scenic short walk awaits us 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

    Scottish Highlands adventure town

  • Day 9
    Oban, Scotland

    Gateway to the Isles

    Experience Scotland’s west coast in this small and charming town.

    The little town of Oban is called ‘Gateway to the Isles’. It reached its heyday when the railway arrived, adding to its life as a busy fishing port. The port is surrounded by a cluster of Victorian buildings, as ferries come from and go to the Hebrides.

    A 20-minute walk from town passes beaches and through woodland to reach Dunollie Castle, the ancient seat of the Clan Chiefs. Fancy a wee dram? The tiny Oban Distillery is one of the smallest and one of the oldest in Scotland.

    • Included Oban Walking Tour
    Day 9
    Oban, Scotland

    Gateway to the Isles

  • Day 10
    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 isles, 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. These include Golden Eagles, oystercatchers, gannets, and Hen Harriers. What’s more, its mystical past is present in ancient monoliths, Celtic crosses, and a stone circle.

    • Included Islay Coastal Walk 
    Day 10
    Islay, Scotland

    Scottish island life, distilled

  • Day 11
    Glasgow, Scotland

    Return to Glasgow

    Finish the cruise where you started… But why not stay a bit longer?

    Our island-hopping expedition ends where we started: in Glasgow. Even though you’ve spent the past 10 days enjoying wonderful experiences, why not stay and catch some of the things you may missed before you set sail.

    Day 11
    Glasgow, Scotland

    Return to Glasgow

Departures

2023

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
March:
23.

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!
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    Young Explorers Save up to 50% off
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  • New Season

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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in the cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune
  • 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 organizes and guides activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

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 and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • The Citizen Science program, which 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 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 photographers help you 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

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities are expected
Longyearbyen, Svalbard - MS Spitsbergen
Photo: Genna Roland
A large ship in the water
A large bed in a room
Your Ship

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Shipyard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 180
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54 m
Beam 18 m
Speed 14.5 knots
Longyearbyen, Svalbard - MS Spitsbergen
Photo: Genna Roland

MS Spitsbergen will take you on a cruise beyond the ordinary. She cruises along the Norwegian coast from September to May and becomes part of our Global Expedition sailings the rest of the year.

Read more about MS Spitsbergen

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Photo: Stefan Dall / Hurtigruten

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