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British Isles Discovery

Discover the beauty of the British Isles in places such as Tobermory and St Peter Port on this 11-night no-fly cruise.

No Fly Cruise
11 nights

Mid size Ship Holiday
  • Portree
  • Isle of Skye Castle
  • Old Man of Hoy, Orkney
  • Belfast Castle, Belfast

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!

AB

With a whole world to discover, it’s all too easy to forget the treasures we have right on our doorstep. Allow us to remind you with an itinerary that strays far from the tourist trail and shines some light onto the most fascinating corners of our diverse nation.

Focusing on Britain’s many beautiful islands, we will take you from the tranquillity of Tobermory in Mull, with its charming rainbow-hued buildings, to the quaint capital of St. Peter Port in Guernsey, where England meets France amid a picture-postcard landscape.

AB104 Operated by Ambassador Cruise Line

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British Isles Discovery Itinerary

Day 1 - Tilbury (UK)

Just 22 nautical miles down river from the Tower Bridge in London, Tilbury is a popular turnaround port for cruises visiting Baltic and Northern European destinations.

Day 2 - At Sea

Day 3 - Rosyth

Edinburgh is to London as poetry is to prose, as Charlotte Brontë once wrote. One of the world's stateliest cities and proudest capitals, it's built—like Rome—on seven hills, making it a striking backdrop for the ancient pageant of history. In a skyline of sheer drama, Edinburgh Castle watches over the capitalcity, frowning down on Princes Street’s glamour and glitz. But despite its rich past, the city’s famous festivals, excellent museums and galleries, as well as the modern Scottish Parliament, are reminders that Edinburgh has its feet firmly in the 21st century. Nearly everywhere in Edinburgh (the burgh is always pronounced burra in Scotland) there are spectacular buildings, whose Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian pillars add touches of neoclassical grandeur to the largely Presbyterian backdrop. Large gardens are a strong feature of central Edinburgh, where the city council is one of the most stridently conservationist in Europe. Arthur's Seat, a mountain of bright green and yellow furze, rears up behind the spires of the Old Town. This child-size mountain jutting 822 feet above its surroundings has steep slopes and little crags, like a miniature Highlands set down in the middle of the busy city. Appropriately, these theatrical elements match Edinburgh's character—after all, the city has been a stage that has seen its fair share of romance, violence, tragedy, and triumph. Modern Edinburgh has become a cultural capital, staging the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe Festival in every possible venue each August. The stunning Museum of Scotland complements the city’s wealth of galleries and artsy hangouts. Add Edinburgh’s growing reputation for food and nightlife and you have one of the world’s most beguiling cities. Today the city is the second most important financial centre in the United Kingdom, and the fifth most important in Europe. The city regularly is ranked near the top in quality-of-life surveys. Accordingly, New Town apartments on fashionable streets sell for considerable sums. In some senses the city is showy and materialistic, but Edinburgh still supports learned societies, some of which have their roots in the Scottish Enlightenment. The Royal Society of Edinburgh, for example, established in 1783 "for the advancement of learning and useful knowledge," remains an important forum for interdisciplinary activities. Even as Edinburgh moves through the 21st century, its tall guardian castle remains the focal point of the city and its venerable history. Take time to explore the streets—peopled by the spirits of Mary, Queen of Scots; Sir Walter Scott; and Robert Louis Stevenson—and pay your respects to the world's best-loved terrier, Greyfriars Bobby. In the evenings you can enjoy candlelit restaurants or a folk ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee, a traditional Scottish dance with music), though you should remember that you haven't earned your porridge until you've climbed Arthur's Seat. Should you wander around a corner, say, on George Street, you might see not an endless cityscape, but blue sea and a patchwork of fields. This is the county of Fife, beyond the inlet of the North Sea called the Firth of Forth—a reminder, like the mountains to the northwest that can be glimpsed from Edinburgh's highest points, that the rest of Scotland lies within easy reach.

Day 4 - Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

In bustling Kirkwall, the main town on Orkney, there's plenty to see in the narrow, winding streets extending from the harbour. The cathedral and some museums are highlights.

Day 5 - Portree, Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye ranks near the top of most visitors' priority lists: the romance of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, combined with the misty Cuillin Hills and their proximity to the mainland all contribute to its popularity. Today Skye remains mysterious and mountainous, an island of sunsets that linger brilliantly until late at night and of beautiful, soft mists. Much photographed are the really old crofts, one or two of which are still inhabited, with their thick stone walls and thatch roofs. Orientation on Skye is easy: follow the only roads around the loops on the northern part of the island and enjoy the road running the length of the Sleat Peninsula in southern Skye, taking the loop roads that exit to the north and south as you please. There are some stretches of single-lane road, but none poses a problem.

Day 6 - Tobermory, Isle of Mull

You'll always receive a welcome to remember, as the colourful cafes, houses and shops that line Tobermory's picturesque harbour salute your arrival. Located on the craggy Scottish Inner Hebrides, Tobermory serves as the capital of the Isle of Mull. There's a high chance you'll recognise the town’s colourfully-daubed buildings, as their charming exteriors have featured in countless TV shows - most notably in the children’s favourite, Balamory. There's always a new story to discover here – not least the legend that suggests there's a sunken Spanish galleon, brimming with lost gold, sitting just below the waves that roll around the harbour. Learn a little more of the area’s history at the Mull Museum, or head out to enjoy some of the fabulous wildlife watching opportunities on offer on a boat tour. You can spot majestic birds like white tail and golden eagles circling in the skies, or turn your attention to the waves, where friendly dolphins and Minke whales are regular visitors. Treat yourself to a sample of one of the island's finest exports before leaving, as you drop in at the Tobermory Distillery for some whiskey tasting. Established in 1798, it’s one of Scotland's oldest distilleries.

Day 7 - Belfast (UK, Northern Ireland)

Before English and Scottish settlers arrived in the 1600s, Belfast was a tiny village called Béal Feirste ("sandbank ford") belonging to Ulster's ancient O'Neill clan. With the advent of the Plantation period (when settlers arrived in the 1600s), Sir Arthur Chichester, from Devon in southwestern England, received the city from the English Crown, and his son was made Earl of Donegall. Huguenots fleeing persecution from France settled near here, bringing their valuable linen-work skills. In the 18th century, Belfast underwent a phenomenal expansion—its population doubled every 10 years, despite an ever-present sectarian divide. Although the Anglican gentry despised the Presbyterian artisans—who, in turn, distrusted the native Catholics—Belfast's growth continued at a dizzying speed. The city was a great Victorian success story, an industrial boomtown whose prosperity was built on trade, especially linen and shipbuilding. Famously (or infamously), the Titanic was built here, giving Belfast, for a time, the nickname "Titanic Town." Having laid the foundation stone of the city's university in 1845, Queen Victoria returned to Belfast in 1849 (she is recalled in the names of buildings, streets, bars, monuments, and other places around the city), and in the same year, the university opened under the name Queen's College. Nearly 40 years later, in 1888, Victoria granted Belfast its city charter. Today its population is nearly 300,000, tourist numbers have increased, and this dramatically transformed city is enjoying an unparalleled renaissance.This is all a welcome change from the period when news about Belfast meant reports about "the Troubles." Since the 1994 ceasefire, Northern Ireland's capital city has benefited from major hotel investment, gentrified quaysides (or strands), a sophisticated new performing arts centre, and major initiatives to boost tourism. Although the 1996 bombing of offices at Canary Wharf in London disrupted the 1994 peace agreement, the ceasefire was officially re-established on July 20, 1997, and this embattled city began its quest for a newfound identity.Since 2008, the city has restored all its major public buildings such as museums, churches, theaters, City Hall, Ulster Hall—and even the glorious Crown Bar—spending millions of pounds on its built heritage. A gaol that at the height of the Troubles held some of the most notorious murderers involved in paramilitary violence is now a major visitor attraction. Belfast's city centre is made up of three roughly contiguous areas that are easy to navigate on foot. From the south end to the north, it's about an hour's leisurely walk.

Day 8 - Cobh (Ireland)

Cork City's nearby harbor district has seen plenty of history. Cork Harbour's draws include Fota Island—with an arboretum, a wildlife park, and the Fota House ancestral estate—and the fishing port of Cobh.

Day 9 - Saint Mary's, Isles of Scilly (UK)

St Mary’s is the Isle of Scilly’s largest island with a population of 1800 residents and an area of 6.58 square Kilometres; this is the gateway to the rest of the magnificent islands. Hugh town -a beautiful Old town with its own beach, nature reserve and church is the main attractions of St Mary’s, with tiny streets brimming with shops to pick up the perfect souvenir. St Mary’s is a hidden gem, with long stretches of white sandy beaches and a breath-taking untouched landscape. The coastline holds many archaeological sites along with miles of splendid walks along the coastal and country paths.

Day 10 - Saint Peter Port

Cobblestone streets, blooming floral displays, and tiny churches welcome you to this wonderfully pretty harbour. The town of St Peter Port is as pretty as they come, with glowing flower displays painting practically every street corner and window-ledge with colour. As the capital, and main port of Guernsey, St Peter Port puts all of the island’s gorgeous beaches, wonderful history and inspiring stories at your fingertips. Feel the gut punch of the midday gun firing at Castle Cornet, which stands guard over one of the world's prettiest ports. This 800-year-old, Medieval castle offers staggering views of the harbour from its imposing, craggy island location, and you can look out across to the looming shorelines of the other Channel Islands from its weathered battlements. With four well-tended gardens, and five museums offering a rich overview of Guernsey's history, you’ll want to leave a few hours aside to explore the many treasures that lie within the castle’s walls.

Day 11 - Le Havre (France)

Le Havre, founded by King Francis I of France in 1517, is located inUpper Normandy on the north bank of the mouth of the River Seine, which isconsidered the most frequented waterway in the world. Its port is ranked thesecond largest in France. The city was originally built on marshland andmudflats that were drained in the 1500’s. During WWII most of Le Havre wasdestroyed by Allied bombing raids. Post war rebuilding of the city followed thedevelopment plans of the well-known Belgian architect Auguste Perre. Thereconstruction was so unique that the entire city was listed as a UNESCO WorldHeritage Site in 2005.

Day 12 - Tilbury (UK)

Just 22 nautical miles down river from the Tower Bridge in London, Tilbury is a popular turnaround port for cruises visiting Baltic and Northern European destinations.

Price Includes

  • Full-board cruise in chosen cabin
  • Coffee and tea making facilities in every cabin
  • Tea and water available 24 hours a day in the buffet area
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Onboard enrichment and lifestyle programmes
NO PRICES B
Map for British Isles Discovery