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Ring Of Brodgar, Orkney

British Isles & Faroes: Wild Islands & Lands of Legends

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Sea Spirit
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Embark on a 12-day expedition aboard the Sea Spirit starting in Edinburgh, Scotland, where historic charm awaits. Cruise from the Port of Leith to Kirkwall, immersing yourself in Orkney's rich heritage at St Magnus Cathedral and ancient Neolithic sites. Fair Isle dazzles with birdwatching and traditional crafts, while Lerwick's Shetland Museum and scenic landscapes beckon exploration. Foula and Papa Stour offer unique birdwatching opportunities amidst breathtaking cliffs. Discover the unspoiled beauty of the Faroe Islands, with their vibrant landscapes and Viking history. Sail on the Sea Spirit and embrace the wonders of these extraordinary destinations on this unforgettable expedition.
Edinburgh city in winter from Calton hill, Scotland, UKA group of puffins sit on the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean.Grass-roofed houses of the Faroe IslandsFair Isle South LighthouseShetland IslandsRing Of Brodgar, Orkney
  • Explore the medieval and classic 18th-century architecture of Edinburgh, Scotland's capital
  • Discover the rich heritage of Kirkwall, including St Magnus Cathedral and the Earl's Palace
  • Experience the ancient treasures of Orkney, from the Ring of Brodgar to Skara Brae
  • Witness seabirds, puffins, and wildflowers on Fair Isle in the Shetland Islands
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival in Edinburgh, Scotland

Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, where your expedition is set to begin. The team has arranged pre-cruise accommodations at a hotel for a more enjoyable experience in this historically and culturally rich city. You can stroll through town, admiring the medieval and classic 18th-century architecture. The iconic Edinburgh Castle stands tall, overlooking the city's vibrant streets.

Day 2: Port of Leith | Embark

The morning and early afternoon can be enjoyed leisurely in Edinburgh's old streets. At every corner, one can be surprised by beautiful vistas of green hills or a blue flash of the distant sea. Later in the day, transfer from the hotel to the ship near Port of Leith. Before dinner, there's ample time to explore the Sea Spirit, which will be your home away from home for the following days.

Day 3: Kirkwall

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kirkwall is a small, quiet town with a gentle pace of life. The town is the capital of the remote and unique Orkney archipelago. Kirkwall is first mentioned in the Orkneyinga saga in 1046. Such a long history has left a rich heritage that you explore today. The most famous are the sandstone St Magnus Cathedral, considered the finest medieval building in north Scotland, the Bishop’s Palace, and the Earl’s Palace.

It included a tour of “Ancient treasures of Orkney with St Magnus Cathedral.” Depart Kirkwall and head west of Mainland, Orkney’s largest island. This tour passes through the gently rolling landscape of Orkney and into the Neolithic Heartland of Orkney, an area designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. Passing the Standing Stones of Stenness, stop at the Ring of Brodgar, a huge ceremonial circle of stones dating back almost 5000 years. Continue to the 5000-year-old village of Skara Brae, beautifully interpreted in the visitor center. See the remarkable dwellings revealed beneath the sand dunes by storms only 150 years ago.

Hear some of the stories from your guide today en route back to Kirkwall. Once back in the island capital, tour St Magnus Cathedral, built by the Vikings during their 500-year reign over the islands. 

Day 4: Fair Isle, Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On Fair Isle—an isolated island of rolling moorlands and rugged coastlines—one is easily enchanted by historic crofts, picturesque lighthouses, and friendly locals. The island is famous among birders for its abundance of British birds and its numerous records of eastern rarities and migrants. Fair Isle is also one of Europe’s best places to watch seabirds, especially puffins, at close range. Additionally, the island is notable for the abundance and diversity of its wildflowers. Seals are also commonly seen in its bays. Finally, during your visit, it will be possible to see and purchase articles hand-knitted in the intricate and distinctive style for which Fair Isle has been celebrated for hundreds of years.

Day 5: Lerwick

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Come alongside at the port of Lerwick, on the mainland, the largest of the Shetland Islands. On a walking tour of this historic town, visit the award-winning Shetland Museum to learn all about Shetland’s fascinating heritage and culture. From here, take a scenic overland coach ride through the fertile countryside of Dunrossness to discover Shetland’s best destinations. Birders will relish visiting the historic lighthouse at Sumburgh Head, the southernmost point of Mainland Shetland. These rugged cliffs attract thousands of seabirds, and the grassy slopes above them are particularly great for enjoying close encounters with puffins amongst beautiful wildflowers. Also on the itinerary is Jarlshof, one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the British Isles. Here, discover beautifully preserved stone structures spanning 5,000 years of human settlement, including Bronze Age oval houses, Pictish wheelhouses, an Iron Age broch, a Viking longhouse, and a medieval farmhouse.

Day 6: Foula | Papa Stour

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lost in the Atlantic Ocean, Foula, one of the Shetland Islands, is a perfect destination for birdwatching. Foula cliffs are home to numerous seabirds, including the largest colony of great skuas in Great Britain. However, birds are not the only treasure of the island. Foula is rich with folklore and history. Another item on your bucket list today is Papa Stour, another island that forms part of the Shetland Islands. The erosion of Papa Stour’s soft volcanic rocks has sculpted an extraordinary cliff scenery, including various caves, stacks, arches, and blowholes, all supporting a range of marine flora and fauna.

Day 7-10: Faroe Islands

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
National Geographic Traveler had designated the Faroe Islands as "authentic, unspoiled and likely to remain so." Nature seems to spare no colors in "painting" the islands. Deep-green hills, bright blue sea, colorful houses and boats, and orange-red puffins' beaks make the sceneries unforgettable. Meanwhile, traditional wooden dwellings with turf roofs look like they belong in a fairy tale. The rugged Faroese are proud of their Viking heritage and love of the sea. Explore the archipelago, including Tórshavn, the capital and largest city of the Faroe Islands. This would include a visit to Kirkjubøur, the ecclesiastical and cultural center of the Faroes in the Middle Ages. It was the site of the Bishop's residence until the Reformation when the Faroese diocese was abolished. The imposing Gothic ruin of the late 13th-century Saint Magnus Cathedral still dominates the site. The Roykstovan, standing on the broad, stone foundation of a portion of the Bishop's palace, has been the farmer's home in Kirkjubøur for centuries and occupied by the same Faroese family for 17 generations. Your expedition team will search for remote areas of the archipelago to visit or pause, where you can take advantage of the ship and possibly Zodiacs to see bird cliffs and other natural wonders that are otherwise difficult to access.

Day 11: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Do not waste your time aboard! Learn more about the unique flora and fauna of the British Isles. Become a real expert in no time with the onboard lectures and briefings!

Day 12: Edinburgh, Scotland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast on board Sea Spirit, you say farewell in Leith, Edinburgh’s vibrant port district. If you wish to spend more time in the beautiful capital of Scotland, the team provides transfers to the airport or Edinburgh city center.


Sea Spirit

Travelers board a Zodiac to get a closer look at the terrain and wildlife
Sea Spirit
Outdoor Bistro at the Jacuzzi area of the Sea Spirit

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,595 2-3 travelers
Sea Spirit
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Triple Classic
Averaging 226 sq ft. Two twin beds (convert to a King) and a sofa bed, picture window, two wardrobes and en suite facilities.
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Main Deck Suite
Averaging 248 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, minimum two portholes, and en suite facilities.
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Single Suite
Averaging 21 square meters/226 square feet, these cabins are located on the Oceanus Deck. They feature a picture window (it may be covered during rough sea crossings), two wardrobes, and a king-size bed.
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Classic Suite
Averaging 226 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, picture window, two wardrobes, and en suite facilities.
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Superior Suite
Averaging 215 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, picture window overlooking outside walkway, and en suite facilities.
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Deluxe Suite
Averaging 258 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, private balcony, walk-in closet or wardrobe, and en suite facilities.
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Premium Suite
Averaging 323 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, private balcony, lounge area, and en suite facilities.
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Owner's Suite
Averaging 463 sq ft. King size bed and sofa bed, separate living room with game and meeting area, private deck, and en suite facilities with jetted bathtub.


Solo Travelers:
All rates posted are per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement: 1.7 for Main Deck and Classic, Superior Suite; twice the posted price for Deluxe, Premium and Owner's Suite.
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Port Fees
  • Welcome and Farewell Cocktails   
  • Digital Voyage Log
  • Pre-departure materials
  • Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily
  • All scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather conditions)
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team
  • Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise
  • Wi-Fi on board
  • Group Transfer to Airport or Central Location Upon Disembarkation
  • Branded Poseidon Expeditions parka
  • Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation
  • 1 pre-voyage night on Day 1
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Kayaking
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations;
  • The cost of any applicable medical tests (such as COVID-19) or vaccinations required either by a national government or Poseidon Expeditions before, during or after the cruise;
  • Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of US$ 200,000 per person
  • Luggage and trip cancellation insurance



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