This Sceptred Isle
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Uncover the best of British
Discover the exotic flora of Abbey Garden on the island of Tresco
On this exciting cruise of the United Kingdom, discover why England is sometimes referred to as the bejewelled and sceptred isle, Ireland as the emerald isle and Scotland as the brave. Spirit of Adventure will cruise the coastline of the British Isles visiting some of its hotspots, revealing the history and culture of each region. Take the chance to see the Cromwellian fortifications of Tresco, Roman Baths of Bath and fascinating Stone Age sites of Orkney. And while on your tour of the British Isles, an overnight stay in Dublin gives you plenty of time to explore the citys attractions such as Dublin Castle and Trinity College. Perhaps go shopping in the lively Temple Bar area, enjoy the ‘craic’ in the city’s bars and restaurants or head to the newly opened Gin Palace for a tasting session. From Newhaven a trip to Edinburgh allows you to walk the length of the Royal Mile, pay a visit to Holyrood Palace the Queen’s official Scottish residence and explore the halls of Edinburgh Castle, famously situated on top of an extinct volcano. The charming port of Southwold on Suffolks Heritage Coast will keep you entertained with its pier full of eccentric attractions, while on board Spirit of Adventure youll enjoy a variety of activities including music, dance and talks from guest speakers who will bring your ports of call to life.
St Peter Port , Guernsey
Cruise to St Peter Port, Guernseys charming capital where you can stroll along winding lanes lined with quaint wooden-fronted shops. See the town church, which was completed in 1466, and wander up hill to Candie Gardens for views over the ocean. Alternatively, you could relax with a brew at one of the waterfront cafes, watching the yachts and pleasure craft bobbing up and down in the harbour, or you could opt for something a little stronger and join our new Saga exclusive gin tasting experience at the historic Bella Luce Hotel and distillery, where Wheadons Gin is produced in traditional copper stills in its atmospheric cellar lounge.
Isles of Scilly , England
Home to 16th-century King Charles’ castle and Cromwell’s castle, one of the few surviving Cromwellian fortifications in Britain, the island of Tresco has played an important role in the defence of the English coastline throughout history. Tresco, which is owned by the Dorrien-Smith family, is also known for its outstanding collection of exotic subtropical flora at the Tresco Abbey Garden, which you may like to explore during your visit.
Avonmouth (for Bristol), England
With strong links to the sea, Bristol has been an important and prosperous trading port for many years. The great civil engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, did much of his work here, examples of which can still be seen. One of his greatest achievements was the iconic steam ship, SS Great Britain, which is now in dry dock and has become one of Bristol’s main attractions. Perhaps take the opportunity to head to Bath where you can visit the Roman Baths and see the famous Royal Crescent.
Situated on the eastern side of Ireland and intersected by the Liffey, Ireland’s compact capital is also one of Europe’s most popular. The city’s proud literary heritage can lay claim to Jonathan Swift, James Joyce and, of course, Oscar Wilde. Among the city’s sights are two cathedrals, Dublin Castle and Trinity College. Perhaps go shopping in the lively Temple Bar area, enjoy the ‘craic’ in the city’s bars and restaurants, or explore a variety of museums and art galleries. You may like to join a tour and see the citys highlights, from the handsome Georgian terraces of Merrion Square and walled Phoenix Park to busy OConnell Street and St Patricks Cathedral. Youll also have the chance to sample more gin at the newly opened Gin Palace. An overnight stay gives you plenty of time to indulge and explore!
Scenic cruising, St Kilda
Enjoy the stunning scenery as Spirit of Adventure cruises around the isolated archipelago of St Kilda, off the coast of Scotland.
Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Kirkwall is set on the largest of the Orkney Islands, Mainland. Despite the remote location, prehistoric man made a home here and there are a number of Stone Age sites scattered across the island. Perhaps go in search of the highlights of this UNESCO-listed ensemble which includes the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae, a stone village which lay hidden beneath the sand until its foundations were revealed by a fierce storm in 1850.
Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland
The remote Shetland Islands sit around 200 miles from Aberdeen and, of nearly 100 islands, only 20 are inhabited. The capital, Lerwick, derives its name from the Old Norse for ‘mud bay’ and reflects the area’s Viking heritage, as do the archaeological sites to be found here. The geology of these 100-plus islands is so diverse that they are a designated global Geopark and, unsurprisingly, they’re also teeming with seabirds and other wildlife.
Today you arrive in a new port for Saga Cruises, Aberdeen, also known as the Granite City because of its grey-stone buildings. Aberdeenshire has been home to an incredible 263 castles throughout history, some of which are still inhabited. From Aberdeen you can hop aboard the X7 bus for the short journey to Dunnottar Castle, which boasts a dramatic cliff-top setting just south of the city. The ruins, once home to one of Scotlands most powerful families the Earls Marischal, are steeped in history and open to visitors for a charge. From here its possible to venture along the coastal path to the quaint fishing village of Stonehaven where you can treat yourself to a well-earned ice-cream.
Newhaven (for Edinburgh) , Scotland
Once a bustling fishing village, Newhaven is a quiet suburb of Edinburgh whose past is recorded in its street names, and the narrow wynds and closes of its historic core. Continue into Edinburgh where you can walk the length of the Royal Mile, pay a visit to Holyrood Palace the Queen’s official Scottish residence and explore the halls of Edinburgh Castle, famously situated on top of an extinct volcano.
Southwold , England
This charming town on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast has a bustling harbour and a wonderful pier with some eccentric attractions. There are a number of walking routes that you can follow in and around the town taking in the promenade, sand dunes and grazing marshes either side of the river.