IF YOU’VE always had a yearning to experience the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo or uncover the mystery of the Loch Ness monster, then The Senior’s Celtic Cruise could be just the ticket.
Leaving in August 2019, the 17-night fully-escorted tour circumnavigating Britain includes a cruise of the British Isles and visits the ancient Giant’s Causeway in Belfast, Loch Ness in Inverness and impressionist artist Monet’s beautiful gardens in Giverny.
History-hounds will enjoy delving into the past following the footsteps of famous authors, standing at the building site of the Titanic, checking out ancient texts and centuries-old castles and archeological sites.
Starting with two days to take in the sights of London, including a tour of Buckingham Palace, the cruise aboard the 1538-room Crown Princess departs from Southampton on day.
As the voyage heads to Ireland, the first port of call is St Peter Port, the main town in Guernsey – one of the Channel Islands. The town was put on the map in 1855 when author Victor Hugo, exiled from France, penned Les Miserables.
Stopping at two ports in Ireland and Belfast in Northern Island there are plenty of opportunities to explore your inner Irishness, including a visit to the medieval stronghold of Blarney Castle near Cork (home of the famous Blarney Stone). Legend has it that once kissed, the stone bestows the gift of eloquence.
In Dublin, experience the “craic” the place is known for, and take a tour of the 1000-year-old city with visits to St Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College – home to The Book of Kells.
Next day the cruise calls at Belfast, capital of Northern Island. The tour travels along the stunning coastal road to the remarkable rock formations of Giant’s Causeway. This lunar-like World Heritage site where basalt columns are packed tightly together has spawned many legends.
And at Titanic’s Dry Dock you will see where the world’s most famous liner was built and sat on the eve of her first and last voyage in April 1912.
From Belfast, the cruise crosses the North Channel to gritty Glasgow for the start of its five-day leg around the northern tip of Scotland, via the Orkney Islands, to the ancient capital of Edinburgh.
Check out Glasgow with a sightseeing tour, then hop back on board for a day at sea before stopping at Kirkwall – the largest of the Orkney Islands.
Here you will see the striking 12th century sandstone Norse St Magnus’ Cathedral and some of Europe’s finest archaeological sites including the 5000-year-old tomb of Maes Howes, the mysterious Standing Stones of Stenness and the Stone Age Ring of Brodgar. The Orkney Islands are also know for their prolific birdlife and dramatic natural scenery.
Speaking of local fauna, Nessie spotters should have their binoculars at the ready when the tour heads to Inverness, home to Loch Ness, the largest Scottish loch. Nearby 14th century Urquhart Castle – once one of a chain of garrisons that controlled the Great Glen – is now a popular place for people wanting a glimpse of the Loch Ness monster.
In Edinburgh, a sightseeing tour visits the cobbled streets of the ancient Royal Mile all the way to Edinburgh Castle – home to the Scottish Crown Jewels and the historic Stone of Destiny. A highlight is the world renowned Royal Edinburgh Tattoo in the grounds of the castle.
From northern climes the cruise then heads south along England’s east coast to Normandy in France. From here the tour travels into the French countryside to the small village of Giverny to visit the villa and gardens of Impressionist painter Claude Monet.
The last night aboard the Crown Princess, crossing the English Channel, is celebrated with a farewell drinks party. Be sure to keep a clear head, however, for the next day after disembarking at Southampton there’s a visit to royal retreat Frogmore House and Garden set in Windsor Castle’s private Home Park.
There’s some free time in London for a chance to do some last-minute shopping or sightseeing, before being transferred to Heathrow for the flight home.
- Celtic Cruise of the British Isles, with The Senior and Travelrite International, August 2-19, 2019, from $8690 per person twin share.
- Includes economy-class return air flights from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth to London; 13 days/12 nights on the Royal Princess plus all meals, entertainment, and service charges on board; two nights’ accommodation in London including breakfasts; sightseeing tours; entry and tickets to the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo; visits to Buckingham Palace and Frogmore House.
- Phone Travelrite 1800-630-343 or click HERE for more details.