Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
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Secrets of the Emerald Isle

Visit Titanic Belfast, savour an Irish coffee, admire the rugged coastline of Bantry Bay, sample the Irish ‘craic’ and much more.

No Fly Cruise
9 nights from £2850pp

Discovery Holiday
  • Giants Causeway Ireland

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!

SA
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Secrets of the Emerald Isle Itinerary

Day 1 - Southampton

Lying near the head of Southampton Water, a peninsula between the estuaries of the Rivers Test and Itchen, Southampton is Britain’s largest cruise port. It has been one of England’s major ports since the Middle Ages, when it exported wool and hides from the hinterland and imported wine from Bordeaux. The city suffered heavy damage during World War Two and as a result the centre has been extensively rebuilt, but there are still some interesting medieval buildings including the Bargate, one of the finest city gatehouses in England.

Day 3 - Belfast

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 center, 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 reestablished 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 center 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 4 - Killybegs

Killybegs The days start early in Killybegs, as this quiet fishing town rumbles to life, and ships with red and blue paint peeling from their hulls quietly depart, ready for a morning's hard work at sea. Located in a scenic part of County Donegal, Killybegs is Ireland's fishing capital, and the salty breeze and pretty streets serve as a revitalising medicine for visitors. The town is also your gateway to some of the country's most majestic coastal scenery, which is dotted with flashing white lighthouses, keeping watch over invigorating seascapes. Killybegs enjoys a privileged position on the coast of north west of Ireland, close to the spectacular Slieve League - a titanic mountain, which explodes upwards from frothing ocean. Walk as close as you dare to the coastline’s sheer drops, or admire the folding cliffs from the best vantage point, down on the water.

Day 5 - Galway

Galway is a city in the West of Ireland in the province of Connacht. It lies on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay and is surrounded by County Galway. It is the fourth most populous urban area in the Republic of Ireland and the sixth most populous city in the island of Ireland. It is both a picturesque and lively city with a wonderful avant-garde culture and a fascinating mixture of locally owned speciality shops, often featuring locally made crafts. Indeed local handcrafts are a feature of the entire region including hand knits, pottery, glass, jewellery and woodwork. The city’s hub is 18th-century Eyre Square, a popular meeting spot surrounded by shops, and traditional pubs that often offer live Irish folk music. Nearby, stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter, which retains portions of the medieval city walls. The city bears the nickname "The City of the Tribes" because "fourteen tribes" of merchant families led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. The merchants would have seen themselves as Irish gentry and loyal to the King. They later adopted the term as a badge of honour and pride in defiance of the town's Cromwellian occupier.

Day 6 - Bantry

Day 7 - Cobh

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 8 - Dun Laoghaire

Day 10 - Southampton

Lying near the head of Southampton Water, a peninsula between the estuaries of the Rivers Test and Itchen, Southampton is Britain’s largest cruise port. It has been one of England’s major ports since the Middle Ages, when it exported wool and hides from the hinterland and imported wine from Bordeaux. The city suffered heavy damage during World War Two and as a result the centre has been extensively rebuilt, but there are still some interesting medieval buildings including the Bargate, one of the finest city gatehouses in England.

SA2234 Operated by Saga

Price Includes

  • Full-board cruise
  • Complimentary chauffeur service up to 250 miles
  • 24-hour room service
  • Speciality dining
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Gratuities
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2022 Departures £ price per person based on 2 people sharing

  • September
    • Sep 10th - Southampton and back - Sailing on: Spirit of Adventure From: £2850
      Cat A Twin Deluxe with Balcony Cat B Twin Deluxe with Balcony Cat C Twin Deluxe with Balcony Cat D Twin Deluxe with Balcony Cat E Twin Deluxe with Balcony Cat F Standard Twin with Balcony Cat G Standard Twin with Balcony Cat H Standard Twin with Balcony Cat I Standard Twin with Balcony Cat J Standard Twin with Balcony Cat CC Aft Suite with Balcony Cat DD Aft Suite with Balcony Cat EE Mid Ship Suite with Balcony Cat EJ Mid Ship Suite with Balcony Cat FF Mid Ship Suite with Balcony Cat GG Mid Ship Suite with Balcony
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