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British Isles Cruise - Scottish Whisky Trail & Irish Sea Expedition

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

Cruise Only
10 nights

Expedition Holiday
Lamlash Bay and Holy Isle Isle of Arran, Scotland
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Douglas, Isle of Man
Dublin, Ireland

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!


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.

Spend time in cosy British pubs and visit some of Scotland’s oldest whisky distilleries on the Isles of Arran, Mull and Islay. Naturally, you may want to sample some of those famed distilled malts as you hop from port to port.

NE597 Operated by Hurtigruten Expeditions


British Isles Cruise – Scottish Whisky Trail & Irish Sea Expedition Itinerary

Day 1 - Glasgow (Scotland)

A former industrial powerhouse, Glasgow has reinvented itself as a cultural hot spot, packed with museums, galleries and parks. Discover the splendid Art Nouveau architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh before your expedition cruise begins. MS Spitsbergen, one of our smaller vessels and built for close up exploration, will be waiting for you. Explore the ship before meeting the Expedition Team – your guides for your adventure ahead. Enjoy your first dinner aboard as we set sail.

Day 2 - Portrush (Northern Ireland)

Portrush is a small resort town that’s been popular since Victorian times. There are several walks you can go on from here, and this section of the coast features long sandy beaches. Birdwatchers should trek up to Ramore Head, just north of the town. The UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway crowns this stretch of the Northern Ireland’s coast, with around 40,000 interlocking basalt columns rising mysteriously from the sea. Meanwhile, the Dunluce Castle ruins, set dramatically atop cliffs overlooking the Atlantic, provide a stunning backdrop to the wild beauty of this region.

Day 3 - Belfast

We sail into Belfast, a city with a proud ship-building history and the birthplace of the Titanic. History buffs will enjoy the Ulster Museum and Belfast Castle, while nature lovers can visit the Botanic Gardens. Stroll the cobbled streets of the chic Cathedral Quarter, with its elegant Victorian architecture, and pop inside St Anne’s Cathedral to see its beautiful mosaics. In Donegall Square, you'll find the historical landmarks of City Hall and the Grand Opera House, with its beautiful façade.

Day 4 - Douglas (Isle of Man)

The scenic approach to Douglas is not to be missed! We head ashore to explore the capital of the Isle of Man. Learn about the island’s Celtic and Viking heritage, trace its development as a Victorian tourist resort, and see its stunning, rugged coastline.  There’s so much to pack into your day in Douglas. Visit the Manx Museum, check out the murals in St Thomas’ Church and discover the impressively spooky Peel Castle, originally a Viking stronghold and now said to be haunted.

Day 5 - Dublin (Ireland)

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, Dublin is a lively cultural centre of live music and pubs, and a modern tech hub. Today, you’ll have the chance to explore this fascinating city, visiting such places as Dublin Castle and Trinity College, home to the medieval manuscript the Book of Kells. You’ll visit the nearby coastal area for a beach clean up, where you’ll learn about the surrounding area and the wildlife that calls it home.

Day 6 - Brodick, Isle of Arran (Scotland)

Welcome to the Isle of Arran, known for its heather-cloaked landscapes. It's the perfect place for a scenic hike. Why not try the popular Goat Fell trail and see if you can spot Scotland’s ‘Big Five’: the Golden Eagle, red deer, red squirrel, otter and harbour seal, all of which can be found on Arran. Explore the woodland and gardens of Brodick Castle, and marvel at the Neolithic treasures and huge upright slabs at the Machrie Moor Stone Circle. Your stop wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Isle of Arran Distillery and a taste of their distinctive malt.

Day 7 - Tobermory, Isle of Mull

Brightly-coloured Georgian houses line the waterfront in the picturesque fishing port of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. Learn about the local heritage at the whisky distillery and Mull Museum, or stroll around the loch in Aros Park and see the Baliscate Standing Stones. The Isle of Mull is a magnet for birders, with the highest breeding density of Golden Eagles in Europe, while White-tailed Eagles can often be seen soaring above the coast. We'll also explore Loch Sunart, a Marine Protected Area known for otters, dolphins and porpoises, and stop by Mingary Castle.

Day 8 - Fort William

After sailing into Loch Linnhe, we arrive at Fort William. The town is known as ‘Britain’s Outdoor Capital’ and it’s a magnet for hikers, bikers, climbers and skiers. As you’ll see, it’s set amid some spectacular Highland scenery. The town’s whisky distillery offers its take on the national tipple, and a scenic short walk awaits you at Glen Nevis. Nearby is the beautiful valley of Glen Coe, which was carved out of the landscape by glaciers and volcanic activity. Glen Coe is designated a National Scenic Area, but also has a history that’s integral to the story of Scotland.

Day 9 - Oban

The ‘Gateway to the Isles’, the little town of Oban reached its heyday when the railway arrived, adding to its life as a busy fishing port. Victorian buildings cluster around the port while ferries come and go, heading out to the distant Hebrides. A 20-minute walk from town goes past beaches and through woodland to the Dunollie Castle, the ancient seat of the clan chiefs. Fancy a tipple? The tiny Oban Distillery is one of the smallest – and one of the oldest – in Scotland.

Day 10 - Isle of Islay

Islay is the proud home of world-famous peaty single malts – but that's far from the only reason to visit. Here you'll discover fascinating ancient monoliths and the enigmatic settlement of Finlaggan.  Today, Islay is a wildlife paradise, home to over 200 species of birds – including oystercatchers, gannets and Golden Eagles. From its sandy beaches, you can sometimes spot dolphins and basking sharks. Port Ellen is the gateway to three of the island’s nine distilleries. Of course, no trip to Islay is complete without a 'wee dram' from one of these famous and historic whisky producers, including Laphroaig and Ardbeg.

Day 11 - Glasgow

Your Scottish Isles expedition cruise ends in Glasgow. In the harbour, you'll find the striking Riverside Museum and the tall ship Glenlee beside it. Admire the Gothic architecture of Glasgow Cathedral and view the eclectic art and natural history at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum before heading home. It’s an excellent way to round off your adventure.

Price Includes

  • 10-night full-board cruise
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages* in restaurant Aune
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities
  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team
  • Full use of our Science Center, extensive library and advanced biological and geological equipment
  • Citizen Science Programme where you can assist with ongoing scientific research
  • Photography tips and techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife from our onboard professional photographer
  • Use of ship's hot tubs, panoramic sauna and gym
  • Informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings
  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles and all equipment for activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers on hand to assist you

Please contact us for the latest dates and prices

Call us now on 01756 706500

Map for British Isles Cruise - Scottish Whisky Trail & Irish Sea Expedition