Legendary Scottish Isles & More

28 Days – Dates or Various Dates

 

from $34,995.00 per person based on 2 sharing

Trip Style: Cruise, Independent, Luxury, Nature

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We love this cruise from Tauck around the Scottish Isles. The beauty of the mainland is best seen from the sea and with such amazing ports to stop and explore, it is a unique and immersive journey into this rugged landscape.

On the way to Scotland though, we have put together an independent rail journey from London to Glasgow pre cruise, and then a rail journey back to London from Edinburgh. This allows you to fly with a multitude of airlines to London rather than a handful that do Scotland.  

The cities of York, Bath and Chester all fit with the style of this trip, places with history, natural charm, beautiful architecture and a character that make them unique in their own rights.

Tauck are a an amazing small ship cruise line that include everything you need for an amazing experience. They are fully inclusive so there is no need to think about what that private whiskey tasting experience will cost, or what your drinks bill might be at the end. The price you pay has everything you need in it.

This trip includes business class flights but if you are happy to go premium or economy, we can certainly make that change for you! 

Day 1

Overnight Flight

There are multiple options we can make work for you on this flight to London.

Day 2-6

London, England

Welcome to London! The bustling capital of the United Kingdom, London is a city of rich history and cultural diversity making it a captivating destination to spend 4 nights exploring.

Visit Buckingham Palace, the British Museum with it’s vast collection of art, then take a leisurely stroll along the historic River Thames to experience the timeless charm of this beautiful city. 

Day 6-8

Bath, England

Next we arrive by train into Bath. A stunning city in the heart of England’s countryside, is renowned for its remarkable Georgian Architecture, rich history, and most famously its Roman-built baths. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a blend of ancient culture and modern sophistication, offering a journey through time. 

We suggest visiting the Roman Baths, Pulteney Bridge, Royal Crescent and the Jane Austen Centre. Each location in Bath tells a story, making it an enchanting destination for history buffs, culture seekers and leisure travellers alike. Explore the cobbled streets, enjoy the vibrant cafe culture, and immerse  yourself in the elegance and charm of this timeless city.

Day 8-10

Chester, England

After another short Train journey you arrive into Chester. A captivating city in England, is a treasure trove of historical wonders and picturesque charm. Known for its extensive Roman walls,  Tudor-style half-timbered houses, and a rich history dating back to the Roman times, Chester offers a unique blend of ancient and contemporary experiences.

Day 10-13

Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, is a dynamic blend of sophistication and historic charm. Known for its rich industrial heritage, stunning Victorian architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. Glasgow offers an array of experiences for every traveller. 

This city never fails to impress, with its world-class museums, stunning architecture, lively music scene and friendly locals. Whether you’re exploring its historic streets, enjoying its bustling nightlife or relishing its culinary delights, Glasgow promises an unforgettable experience.

On Day 3 you will settle in to your Tauck Ship ready to set sail.

Day 14

The Isle of Mull, Scotland

Sail to the Isle of Mull, a popular destination for naturalists and photographers in search of Britain’s more elusive birds and wildlife. Anchor in Tobermory on a morning arrival for a choice of three excursions. Drive along the scenic coastline to Duart Castle, a medieval landmark on the sea cliffs, home of the Maclean Clan – restored in the 20th century – a rare opportunity to visit a clan seat that is still owned by its members; or enjoy a short but scenic drive to Aros Park* for a guided nature hike. This evening, join us aboard ship for the Captain’s welcome reception followed by dinner as you sail for the Isle of Skye. 

Day 15

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Known in Gaelic as “Isle of Mist,” Skye is steeped in Celtic and Norse legend, a land of faerie glens, storybook mountains, and otherworldly landscapes that seem to spring from Tolkien’s Middle Earth. 

At Portree, a fishing town in a harbour sheltered by cliffs, take your choice of shore excursions. Take a cruise around Portree Bay and the Sound of Raasay on a wildlife safari which may include seals, otters, dolphins, and sea eagles along with enchanting coastal views. Alternatively, travel to Kintail where iconic Eilean Donan Castle stands on a small tidal island; destroyed in 1719 and restored in 1932, it is the most photographed castle in Scotland, and you can explore it while learning its turbulent history. 

Your third choice is a visit to medieval Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the MacLeod Clan, rising four stories high on a promontory overlooking Loch Dunvegan and the sea. The fourth choice takes you on a guided tour of a working Croft. Afterwards, you’ll have the opportunity to spend the afternoon in colourful Victorian Portree to explore on your own, or you can return to the ship. Late afternoon, a professional photographer will give a presentation of his works and discuss photography on the Scottish Isles. Set sail this evening for the Isle of Lewis.

 

Day 16

Isle of Lewis, Scotland

The Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides offers a dreamlike landscape of windy rolling hills, moors, vivid colours, and dramatic, rugged shores. Dock in the town of Stornoway, founded by Vikings in the 9th century, and take your choice of excursions. Set off on a sea safari* to view marine life and some of the most magnificent coastline in Scotland; the coastal waters warmed by the Gulf Stream are known to draw porpoises, bottle-nosed dolphins, pilot whales, orcas, grey and common seals, basking sharks, and seabirds including puffins, gannets, fulmars, shearwaters, and petrels. Alternatively, explore the Victorian-era Lews Castle; or take a panoramic coach excursion that includes the Standing Stones of Callanish, Dun Carloway Broch, one of the best-preserved stone-built circular constructions, and Gearrannan Blackhouse Village situated in a beautiful secluded bay. Spend some time at leisure in Stornoway before a private tasting of Scottish whiskey. Your ship sails for the Orkney Islands this evening.

 

 

Day 17

Orkney Islands, Scotland

The Orkney Archipelago belonged to Norway until 1468 when the king of Norway gave them to the king of Scotland as collateral for a loan. When Norway tried to repay the loan, Scotland wouldn’t give the islands back… Arrive in Kirkwall, once a medieval Norwegian port, now the largest town on the Orkney Mainland, where you have a choice of shore excursions. Take a walk along the cliff tops of Orkney’s rural east mainland, rewarded with stunning views over Mull Head. Alternatively, explore the four monuments that make up the heart of Neolithic Orkney as well as a visit to the best-preserved Neolithic settlement, Skara Brae. Join us for a lecture aboard ship, featuring a local historian and storyteller well-versed in local myths and legends.

 

Day 18

Shetland Islands, Scotland

The Shetland Islands are an archipelago of more than a hundred windswept islands, of which only 16 are inhabited; the rest are havens for wildlife. Towns and villages are few, but there are thousands of archaeological sites throughout the islands, including the remains of prehistoric fortresses and settlements. Arrive dockside at Lerwick on the largest island, where you have a choice of shore excursions. Drive to the southern tip of mainland Shetland to visit the uninhabited island of Mousa*cross to Shetland’s east coast for a view of St. Ninian’s Isle, where a cache of Pictish treasure was discovered in the 1950s (the Picti were tribes known to the Romans as “painted people”.); venture into the Shetland countryside for a visit to a croft for an authentic crofting experience with a local crofter and his sheep dogs, watching as they execute precision herding maneuvers – without a single word; visit Jarlshof near Sumburgh Head to see a 5,000-year-old settlement with remains dating from the Stone Age to the 17th century AD, then ride to the top of Sumburgh Head for views of the sea, seabird colonies, and Shetland’s first lighthouse.

 Alternatively, depart Lerwick and head west to the picturesque harbour village of Hamnavoe on the isle of Burra. After a brief photo stop, continue North towards Girlsta, through the Tingwall Valley with its Norse Heritage before arriving at the “Keolka” croft – a beautiful Shetland croft nestled within the rugged heather hills, with stunning views across the water. Your third choice is a visit to Mousa Broch, then exploring its island, a breeding ground for European storm petrels, arctic terns and guillemots; a 2-mile walk includes a visit to a seal pool, and sweeping views of wildflowers and the North Sea. Or, head to the west mainland for a visit to Scalloway, its 17th-century castle, and the Scalloway Museum; learn about the village’s clandestine role in World War II, and visit a farm that breeds Shetland Ponies. A tour through Lerwick takes you to its lifeboat station, lodberries (waterside houses for unloading ships), the town hall, and the Shetland Museum and Archives, followed by time to explore the town on your own.

 Aboard ship this evening, a local historian will lecture on the “Shetland Bus,” a secret operation during World War II that smuggled agents in and refugees out of occupied Norway at night by way of fishing vessels. 

Day 19

Day at Sea

Enjoy a relaxing day at sea today as we sail towards the Shetland Islands. A full schedule of activities will be offered throughout the day for you to choose from or simply sit back and enjoy a relaxing cruising day.

 

Day 20-22

Edinburgh, Scotland

Your cruise will finish in Edinburgh and you will be transferred to your hotel to enjoy two nights with guided day tours still hosted by Tauck. Under the watch of its lofty clifftop castle, Edinburgh rambles over rocky hills beside the sea, inviting you into its captivating maze of crooked medieval streets, cosy passages, avenues, shops, pubs, townhouses, and monumental palaces. Disembark and tour the iconic Edinburgh Castle, standing on a crag of volcanic rock above the city skyline; over one thousand years of turbulent history have played out within its venerated halls, gates, courtyards, and battlements. Then enjoy a guided walk along the Royal Mile, the cobbled main street lined with shops, pubs, museums, and intriguing alleyways called “closes” and “wynds,” as well as churches, law courts, the Parliament house and St. Giles Cathedral.

Day Two Begin the day with a visit to Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland where you’ll explore the magnificent state apartments, the royal gardens, and the royal art collection. A guided walking tour introduces you to more Edinburgh city sights, including medieval Old Town with its enticing nooks and crannies; stately New Town with its wide streets and Georgian townhouses; the Royal Botanic Garden; see Robert Louis Stevenson’s birthplace; Charlotte Square with its gracious Victorian mansions and park; Princes Street, the main shopping thoroughfare; and Inverleith Terrace, one of the city’s most exclusive residential neighborhoods. The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend as you please. Join us tonight for a farewell reception and dinner at The Royal Yacht Britannia.

 

Day 22-24

York, England

York seamlessly blends its rich history with a modern vibe, making it a captivating journey back in time. Don’t miss the architectural masterpiece of York Minster or the famous cobbled streets and timber-framed buildings of The Shambles for unique dining and shopping experiences.

Day 24-26

London, England

Welcome back to London, your final stop on this incredible journey! Here you will spend a further two nights exploring any sights you may have missed the first time.

Day 26-28

Overnight Flights home

Departing from London you board your business class flight home to Australia with one quick connection on the way.

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