Cruising Scotland’s Highlands & Islands

Resort:
Operator: Riviera Travel
Destination: Scotland
Price From: £1998.00

Overview

Soak up Scotlands stunning landscapes as you experiencethis diverse country by sea. Taking in Aberdeen and Balmoral Castle, before heading to Inverness, Orkney, Oban and the fascinating Outer Hebrides. Be inspired by Loch Ness, the Ring of Brodgar and Neolithic Orkney, as our first-class small ship explores the less-visited ports of Scotland as well as a taste of coastal Ireland.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Embark in Edinburgh

Arrive in Leith, near Edinburgh, where you will board MS Seaventure for the start of this fascinating cruise of Scotland. The dedicated crew are there to welcome you on board, ensuring you settle in and familiarise yourself with your contemporary surroundings. Perhaps enjoy your favourite drink on the deck as this beautifully made ship elegantly cruises north along the Scottish coast.

Day 2 – Aberdeen and Balmoral Castle

As you enjoy a delicious breakfast in the well-appointed restaurant or sip your morning coffee on the deck, cast your eyes ashore to see we have moored in the historic port city of Aberdeen. This mornings visit has a royal seal ofapproval, as we visit the breathtaking Balmoral Castle, famously owned by Queen Elizabeth II. Relax and take in the views as we travel by coach through Cairngorms National Park, a haven for spectacular British wildlife.

As if by magic, the iconic Balmoral Castle comes into view, with its imposing grey turrets set back against its verdant surroundings. Enjoy a self-guided visitof Balmoral Castle to learn more about its fascinating past, before returning to the ship for lunch on board. (Note that if the Queen is visiting, there is no access to the public and there will be an alternative activity planned).

This afternoon we explore a little closer to our mooring with a guided tour of Aberdeen, Scotlands third largest city located on the mouths of the River Dee and River Don. This evening, after a delicious meal on board, enjoy the twinkling coastline views before our night time sailing along the North Sea.

Day 3 – Invergordon and Loch Ness

This morning we awake in Invergordon, a town and port in Easter Ross proud of its naval heritage. Nestled in the Cromarty Firth, this charming port is one which larger ships wouldnt ordinarily be able to access, making it the perfect stop to effortlessly explore Inverness and the famous Loch Ness.

Your exploration of this area begins today with a guided walking tour of Inverness. The quaint town of Inverness, home to castles and cathedrals is perfect for exploring on foot. On your walking tour you will visit the main sights of this capital of the Highlands. Get ready to see the Inverness Town House, a stunning baronial house, plus Inverness Castle with its magnificent views over the city. The Victorian Market, another of your stops, is full of quaint boutique shops, as well as the Old High Church and graveyard, as mentioned in the Outlander series of books and the majestic St Andrews Cathedral, built in 1158.

Next, we take a scenic drive along Scotland’s most famous waters, Loch Ness. Loch Ness is the second largest loch by surface area and the largest by volume in the British Isles and is most associated with sightings of the legendary Loch Ness Monster. We uncover stories of a bygone era on a picturesque drive around parts of the loch, stopping to enjoy spectacular views with commentary from your knowledgeable guide. A favourite calling point for many will be the stop overlooking Urquhart Castle, one of Scotland’s most iconic castle ruins. We return to the ship for a late lunch, with the afternoon free to enjoy as you wish before our early evening departure. (B,L D)

Day 4 – Kirkwall and Neolithic Orkney

Overnight our agile ship has made its way to the most northerly point on our cruise, Kirkwall, the largest town in the Orkney archipelago. Our insight into this stunning part of Scotland begins with a scenic tour of UNESCO-listed Neolithic Orkney, including visits to Skara Brae and Skaill House. We then head west and visit the Standing Stones of Stennes, before visiting the Ring of Brodgar, the mystical stones which form one of the most fascinating prehistoricmonuments in the British Isles.

Your journey continues on to Maeshowe, where you will enjoy a guided tour of the finest chambered tomb in northwest Europe, more than a staggering 5,000 years old. There will be time to explore Kirkwall, after a late lunch on the ship.

Later this afternoon your ship will begin to make its way to spectacular Stornoway, so why not find a spot on deck or by a panoramic window to take in the unforgettable views?

Day 5 – Stornoway, Outer Hebrides

This morning we awake to the sights of the Isle of Lewis & Harris, as we dock in Stornoway. Discover the wild scenery of the Outer Hebrides and learn about the regions history from the Vikings to World War II. During this half day tour, you will enjoy a visit to Lews Castle, a Victorian-era castle designed by Glaswegian architect Charles Wilson. There will also be a chance to step back in time in the museum here before heading to the Neolithic Callanish Standing Stones. Theres natural beauty at every turn: admire the wild scenery with visit to Carloway Beach and the striking white sand of Bosta Beach.

After a morning embracing the history, culture and landscapes of this region, we return by coach to Stornoway for lunch on board. Theres plenty of time this afternoon to explore the town at your leisure before our evening departure as you dine.

Day 6 – Oban

For many today will be an early start, which is worth getting up for, as we sail through the Sound of Mull on the way to the port town of Oban. Surrounded by a balance of shorelines and lush countryside, this coastal spot makes for a popular fishing bay. This morning we uncover more about this fantastic town, translating as little bay, on a walking tour. With a local guide, you might spot the likes of the North Pier and Esplanade, Oban War & Peace Museum, the War Memorial, Oban Lighthouseand Dunollie Castle in the distance.

We return to the ship by late afternoon, ready for our onward journey to Belfast.

Day 7 – Belfast and Titanic Visitor Centre

Today our discovery of Northern Ireland’s capital begins with a fascinating walking tour, where a local guide will take us to Belfast City Hall on Donegal Square, the 19th century Albert Memorial Clock, St Anne’s Cathedral in the Cathedral Quarter, Queen’s University campus, botanical gardens and the Big Fish ceramic mosaic sculpture. Not forgetting Great Victoria Street, passing the famous Europa Hotel.

For lunch you may return to the ship or stay in Belfast and seek out a local restaurant or cafe at your leisure. Perhaps treat yourself to a drink in the spectacular surroundings of The Merchant Hotel or wander around St George’s Market, a Victorian covered market, for a bite to eat. After lunch we immerse ourselves in Belfast’s maritime history with a visit to the new Titanic Belfast visitor centre for a self-guided tour. Afterwards, enjoy some free time before returning to the ship, where conversation might turn to the amazing memories made in these picturesque ports of the world. (B, L, D)

Day 8 – Disembarkation at Greenock

Today we arrive at our final port in Greenock, near Glasgow, where we disembark.

*Please note: the departure on 26 July 2021 operates in reverse order. You will experience the same tours and visits.

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