On the surface, a British Isles cruise may seem a bit familiar, a bit close to home, but that’s actually what makes the British Isles so special. Regardless of how well you think you know your home country, a cruise to the beautiful coastal locations, historic cities, and scenic beaches always presents new sights, unexplored towns, and hidden gems. A cruise around the UK is the also the perfect taster cruise for those who aren’t sure whether life at sea is really for them, and ideal for those who hate flying, or don’t wish to travel too far.
While experienced cruisers enjoy visiting both new delights and old time favourites, new cruisers appreciate the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cruise ambiance without committing too greatly to the unknown. Whether you’re witnessing the unspoilt beauty of Scotland and the Shetland Islands, the stunning landscape of the Isle of Man, the endless beaches of Norfolk, the charm and elegance of Guernsey, or the glorious coastlines of Wales and Cornwall, you’re sure to discover somewhere new to fall in love with.
On an around-Britain itinerary, you’ll visit places you’ve never had the time to tour, and you’ll also find little treasures you never knew existed! Discovering everything England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have to offer in two weeks or less, is ideal for those who need a break but are restricted by work commitments.
Due to the relatively small size of the British Isles when compared to other cruise regions around the world, time on board is limited to one or two sea days at a time, meaning there is the perfect blend of time spent on board, enjoying the bars, dining options, and entertaining and informative activities, and time spent on shore, strolling around the alluring ports of Britain and Ireland.
In Ireland, you’ll be taken to destinations that give you a first-hand glimpse into how diverse the Emerald Isle really is. One day, you’ll dock into the vibrant and bustling city of Derry, where you’ll have unlimited shopping opportunities within the historic walls. However, there’s a more isolated, peaceful, and serene side to Ireland, and when you tender just off the coast of Galway, you’ll truly understand how much of a mixed bag Ireland really is.
The beautiful picturesque town of St. Peter Port charms travellers and locals alike, presenting an array of terraced gardens and Georgian constructions that are undeniably breath-taking. Considered to be one of Europe’s prettiest harbour ports, St. Peter Port is the capital of Guernsey and the main port. Since the Roman period, St Peter Port has been a fascinating destination and today it still continues to blossom. Guernsey is often best explored by foot, and definitely a port worth stretching your legs for, as you meander through the cobbled streets and take a walk along the picturesque seafront marina. The beautiful picturesque town of St. Peter Port charms travellers and locals alike, presenting an array of terraced gardens and Georgian constructions that are undeniably breath-taking. The quiet lanes here are ideal for public access and create a convenient atmosphere to enjoy the unique surroundings. Walk, cycle or even enjoy a horse ride through the Ruettes and make the most of your time in Guernsey’s capital.
Passengers looking to explore the historical elements of the town will appreciate a trip to Castle Cornet that has stood guard over the town for over 800 years. The inside walls of Castle Cornet now house an array of theatres and museums, but it was once a prominent feature for the Royalists during the English Civil War. Castle Cornet not only offers visitors a great insight into the history of the town, but also spectacular panoramic views over the sea and nearby islands.
Elsewhere the German Occupation Museum here exhibits a distinct insight into island life during WWII. The captivating museum experiences continue at Fort Grey, which is now a shipwreck location but was once a vital stronghold against Napoleon. Witness the maze of tunnels that flow throughout the construction along with the fascinating underground hospital. Experience the prison and fortress room along with many other fascinating areas for a key insight into this major tourist attraction.
Other excursion opportunities in St. Peter Port revolve around the many sightseeing locations this town has to offer. Many cruise operators will provide a trip to take passengers away from the hustle and bustle of the centre and delve deeper into the countryside of the area. Visit such sights as the Little Chapel before arriving at Pleinmont cliffs for an entrancing vantage point overlooking St Peters Port. An alternative will be to tour a local workshop and discover the production techniques of unique jewellery creations. Gold and Silversmiths is the destination for this and the ideal place to witness a masterpiece creation take shape from start to finish.
For something completely different why not try a RIB Boat ride adventure to the north of Herm Island. This is an exciting adrenaline rush to take in some of the local scenery as well as get up close and personal with some of the amazing wildlife. Atlantic grey seals, puffins, dolphins and even wales grace the island with their presence.
St Peters Port is a wonderful destination for a cruise break and a brilliant place to explore a whole host of exciting points of interest. However you wish to spend your day simply relax and enjoy the magnificent charm of Guernsey.
Enjoy the full Irish experience combining Dublin sights, pretty coastal scenery, traditional food, live music and Irish dancing. The port of Dublin portrays a very different image in modern times to that of ten years ago. This exciting city has undergone a fantastic transformation in recent years to combine impressive architectural designs with the historical traditions already in place. This transformation is something Dublin has achieved with perfection. The fantastic city centre thrives with its vibrant atmosphere and welcoming attitude towards all who visit. This brilliant destination will have passengers captivated from the moment they arrive.
This is the Irish capital and an exciting port of call to experience a rich cultural heritage. The Trinity College is a fantastic place to visit to enjoy the eighth century Book of Kells along with the impressive National Museum. Here guests will have the chance to witness exhibits dating back to the Irish bronze and iron ages with all the makings for a brilliant day. Adjoining to this is the equally impressive National Library. The Irish capital is also famous for its literary works and such Irish authors as Beckett and Joyce have works here showcased on a regular basis for visitors to enjoy.
A visit to Dublin would not be complete without an acknowledgment and appreciation of the amazing Guinness Storehouse and Brewery. The home of Ireland’s most celebrated tipple, this iconic venue has cemented its place in Ireland’s history and most certainly provides a great tour opportunity for your stay. The ‘Guinness adventure’ is incredible and gives insight into a story that began some 250 years ago. You’ll discover what makes the ‘Black Stuff’ so special and as you are transported through the many areas of production and refinement you will finally finish your journey at the spectacular bar ‘Gravity’; the sky tower bar with the most stunning views out over Dublin.
Dublin thrives in the city centre but there is also a great range of opportunities when visiting here to head further afield and enjoy the superb coastal scenery of this outstanding destination. Venture out of the city towards the intimate coastal town of Malahide and Portmarnock before witnessing the ruins of Howth. This is a chance to take in traditional Ireland at its best and the delectable Abbey Tavern is a perfect place to capture the genuine timeless atmosphere of this beautiful place on earth. From here visitors will enjoy live music and local delicacies combined with Irish dancing to the beat.
is a vibrant destination, full of character, charm and distinct features that separate it from the surrounding areas. Welcome to the capital of Northern Ireland. Belfast boasts stunning scenery in its delightful location. River valleys capture the imagination whilst the high hills provide the perfect backdrop. It may have had its political difficulties but this charming city continues to rise in popularity as a fantastic port of call for an enthralling cruise itinerary. The sublime Victorian architecture combines perfectly with modern boutique designs as you meander the walkways throughout the stylish stores and charismatic old pubs. Be sure to stop off for a Guinness and enjoy one of the Irish's favourite tipples.
The city’s focal point is the masterpiece that is City Hall. This iconic structure was built in 1906 and its domed roof and unique features continue to dazzle to this day. The building really does boast a supreme wow factor and upon entering the inside, you will discover the beauty of the Italian marble staircase, a grand design piece for a special venue. From here, continue with the architectural beauty by visiting the Belfast Cathedral housing the largest Celtic Cross in Ireland. Other exciting city sightseeing opportunities include the Belfast Castle, Cave Hill and for something different head for the Belfast Zoo.
The inner city sights are exquisite but further afield cruise passengers have the pleasure of witnessing the marvel that s Giant’s Causeway. This is Northern Ireland’s most famous landmark and attracts tourists from all over the world year on year. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Giant’s Causeway is reached through the North Antrim Coast and portrays unique rock formations that have lasted the test of time over millions of years. The stones here resemble objects such as the Giant’s Boot and Chimney Stacks. Part of the fun of visiting here is attempting to pick such objects out as you scan the breath taking natural beauty of this alluring attraction. Maintaining its dominant strength against the aggressive Atlantic Sea, this sensational sight is a must see when visiting this wondrous destination. Guests can finish the day off with the chance to cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge with its chasm spanning a depth of 80 feet; perfect for a once in a lifetime photograph.
Another brilliant excursion opportunity here is to witness the history of the legendary Titanic. Belfast is the birthplace of the famous liner and visitors have the chance to discover Queen's Island where the ship was built and launched. Witness the drawing offices, docks, pump houses and former headquarters of Harland and Wolff. Marvel at the methods used for design and building without the use of steel. Visitors here have the opportunity to witness for themselves the sheer size of the vessel by strolling along the full length dock where caisson gate still remains today. Standing in perfect condition, the caisson gate is over 100 years old, testament to the incredible effort to maintain this iconic sight.
Do you think that the only golden sand and picture perfect beaches lie in Spain? Think again! Britain is home to some real gems, giving even the Caribbean a run for its money! Lancashire’s Barrow-in-Furness is not only home to Roanhead Beach, considered to be one of the most picturesque in all of Europe, but also to West Shore Beach which is not only the perfect place to enjoy a swim in the calm waters of Earnse Bay, but is also one of the world’s best kitesurfing destinations, with perfect conditions created by the winds from the Irish Sea.
Cruising to the Channel Islands can be as exciting and intriguing as taking a trip abroad. Although a part of the UK, both Jersey and Guernsey lie closer to the French Mainland than to Britain, they produce not only a fascinating blend of culture, but also bring the fantastic weather that France is renowned for.
The appeal of a British Isles cruise becomes clear the more you discover about the interesting and compelling ports that the major cruise lines visit. This type of holiday provides a convenient getaway from everyday life, combining the excitement of visiting some of Britain and Ireland’s major cities whilst exploring some largely undiscovered treasures. Cruising is a refreshing and eye-opening way to see exactly what your home country has to offer.
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