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Tower bridge at dusk, London, England

Northern Europe & British Isles - London to Reykjavik

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Silver Wind
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With highlights that include the crystal blue of the Vatnajökull Glacier, the quiet spirituality of Iona Abbey and the drama of the Cliffs of Moher, this journey is far more than ticking off bucket list staples. Underscored by stunning scenery, wonderful gastronomy and UNESCO sights worth seeing, weave your way south to Scotland’s lovely islands, before arriving in the heart of London for a night of metropolitan excitement.

Day-by-Day Summary

Days 1-2 : London, United Kingdom | Embark
Day 3 : St Peter Port
Day 4 : St Mary’s | Tresco
Day 5 : Milford | Skomer Island
Day 6 : Skellig Islands | ​Knightstown
Day 7 : Cliffs of Moher | Galway
Day 8 : Kilronan | Clare Island
Day 9 : Killybegs
Day 10 : Iona | Lunga
Day 11 : St Kilda
Day 12 : At Sea
Day 13 : Djupivogur
Day 14 : Vestmannaeyjar
Day 15 : Reykjavik, Iceland | Disembark

Highlights

  • Visit the spectacular Tresco Abbey Gardens,
  • Admire the stone beehive huts, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Discover the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most visited attraction
  • Explore one of Scotland’s most architecturally significant monasteries

Ship

Silver Wind

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Tower bridge at dusk, London, England Tresco - part of the British Scilly Isles Seabirds flying over dramatic ocean island cliffs St Kilda Coastal village in the arctic Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Day 1-2 London, United Kingdom | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners
Centuries-old architecture shares an instantly recognisable skyline with the modern metallic and glass shards of skyscrapers in London, a city of endless history and tradition. Arrive at the centre of it all, below the watch of one of the most famous bridges in the world, Tower Bridge. From here, you can begin a tour of iconic landmarks, and discover why England’s capital is one of the most visited, adored and adulated cities. So much to see, so little time. The traditional and contemporary go hand in hand in London like nowhere else. Ascend the London Eye, for a birds-eye view of the city, before wandering across the Thames's wide flow to the Gothic architecture of the Houses of Parliament, and the rise of Big Ben’s unmistakable clocktower. A hefty sprinkle of royal pageantry awaits at Buckingham Palace, where red-jacketed soldiers stomp sternly and solemnly in their duty, during ceremonies to mark the changing of the guards.

Day 3 St Peter Port

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cobblestone streets, blooming floral displays, and tiny churches welcome you to this wonderfully pretty harbour. The town of St Peter Port is as pretty as they come, with glowing flower displays painting practically every street corner and window-ledge with colour. As the capital, and main port of Guernsey, St Peter Port puts all of the island’s gorgeous beaches, wonderful history and inspiring stories at your fingertips. Feel the gut punch of the midday gun firing at Castle Cornet, which stands guard over one of the world's prettiest ports. This 800-year-old, Medieval castle offers staggering views of the harbour from its imposing, craggy island location, and you can look out across to the looming shorelines of the other Channel Islands from its weathered battlements. With four well-tended gardens, and five museums offering a rich overview of Guernsey's history, you’ll want to leave a few hours aside to explore the many treasures that lie within the castle’s walls.

Day 4 St Mary’s | Tresco

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
St Mary’s is the Isle of Scilly’s largest island with a population of 1800 residents and an area of 6.58 square Kilometres; this is the gateway to the rest of the magnificent islands. Hugh town -a beautiful Old town with its own beach, nature reserve and church is the main attractions of St Mary’s, with tiny streets brimming with shops to pick up the perfect souvenir. St Mary’s is a hidden gem, with long stretches of white sandy beaches and a breath-taking untouched landscape. The coastline holds many archaeological sites along with miles of splendid walks along the coastal and country paths.

For many visitors Tresco is the most attractive of the Isles of Scilly. This is especially due to its Abbey Garden, which is home to thousands of exotic plant species from around 80 different countries. Plant collector Augustus Smith began the gardens in the 1830s on the site of an old Benedictine Abbey by channelling the weather up and over a network of walled enclosures built around the Priory ruins. He had three terraces carved from the rocky south slope and maximised Tresco’s mild Gulf Stream climate. Even in mid-winter there still are hundreds of plants flowering here. Another surprising attraction at the Abbey Garden is the collection of figureheads from ships that wrecked among the Isles of Scilly.

Day 5 Milford | Skomer Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The cliffs of small Skomer Island off the southwest coast of Wales are accessible only by boat. Skomer has a large population of breeding seabirds that include Manx Shearwaters, Razorbills, Great Cormorants, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Atlantic Puffins, European Storm Petrels, Common Shags, Eurasian Oystercatchers and gulls, as well as birds of prey including Short-eared Owls, Common Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons. The island’s slopes are covered with bluebells and a variety of wildflowers. Grey seals and harbour porpoises can sometimes be seen in the surrounding waters.

Day 6 Skellig Islands | ​Knightstown

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The magnificent Skellig Islands lie 8 miles (12 km) off the coast of Portmagee in South West Kerry. Rising majestically from the sea, Skellig Michael towers 714ft. (218 metres) above sea level. On the summit of this awe-inspiring rock you will find a remarkably well preserved sixth century monastic settlement now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Small Skellig is equally renowned in matters of ornithology as the home of some 27,000 pairs of gannets – the second largest colony of such seabirds in the world. The final scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shot on Skellig in July 2014, with additional filming taking place there in September 2015. The remains of the Skellig Michael monastery appear in the film, representing an ancient Jedi temple. From any angle, or from any vantage point on the nearby Ring of Kerry, they are spectacular pinnacles, which have magnetised viewers throughout all history – and beyond.

Knightstown is the largest settlement on Valentia Island, County Kerry, in Ireland and has a population of 156 people. Knightstown itself is one of the few ‘town-planned’ villages of Ireland. The village of Knightstown was laid out by Alexander Nimmo in 1830-31, but it wasn’t built until the early 1840’s when the local quarry was greatly expanded and the works were moved to Knightstown. The local RNLI lifeboat station moved to Knightstown in 1869 from Reenard Point and has since been known as the Valentia Lifeboat Station. There is a selection of local coffee shops and bars in the town, as well as Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland churches.

Day 7 Cliffs of Moher | Galway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Stretching for 8km (5 miles), as the crow flies, the Cliffs of Moher have long enjoyed the status of one of Ireland's most visited tourist attractions – and the visitor centre provides the pivotal point to direct lovers of nature, geology and simple beauty in the right direction. The cliffs also form part of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark. They are made up of various types of perpendicular or overhanging rocks including sandstone, siltstone and shale. These cliffs have been broken into the most fantastic forms, and eroded into hundreds of caves by the relentless pounding of the Atlantic waves. 

Galway is a city in the West of Ireland in the province of Connacht. It lies on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay and is surrounded by County Galway. It is the fourth most populous urban area in the Republic of Ireland and the sixth most populous city in the island of Ireland. It is both a picturesque and lively city with a wonderful avant-garde culture and a fascinating mixture of locally owned speciality shops, often featuring locally made crafts. Indeed local handcrafts are a feature of the entire region including hand knits, pottery, glass, jewellery and woodwork.

Day 8 Kilronan | Clare Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kilronan is the principal town on the island of Inismore (Inis Mór) in the Aran Islands located in Galway Bay, and is one of them most picturesque spots in Ireland. Once for the sole purpose as a fishing port for the Aran fisherman, today it is the main port for the ferry companies and with its white sandy beach it has a wide selection of first class restaurants serving seafood, and traditional Irish bars, buskers, and accommodation it is a splendid spot to people watch and a base yourself before exploring the island. One of the island’s most famous attractions is Dun Aengus. Dun Aengus is a fort situated on the edge of a cliff at a height of 100 meters overlooking the Atlantic on the Aran Islands, Inishmore. It consists of a series of concentric circular walls, the innermost; the citadel encloses an area approximately 50 meters in diameter with 4m thick walls of stone.

Clare Island is a mountainous island guarding the entrance to Clew Bay located 3.5 miles off the west coast of County Mayo, Ireland. The ferry crossing from Roonagh Pier near Louisburg takes 25 minutes and it’s not unusual to encounter a school of dolphins and or a herd of seals. Clare Island is the largest (5 miles long and 3 miles wide) of the 365 islands in Clew Bay. Famous as the ancestral home of the legendary Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, the island has a population of about 160 people; economic activities include farming, fishing and tourism with numerous other small businesses also supporting a vibrant community.

Day 9 Killybegs

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Killybegs The days start early in Killybegs, as this quiet fishing town rumbles to life, and ships with red and blue paint peeling from their hulls quietly depart, ready for a morning's hard work at sea. Located in a scenic part of County Donegal, Killybegs is Ireland's fishing capital, and the salty breeze and pretty streets serve as a revitalising medicine for visitors. The town is also your gateway to some of the country's most majestic coastal scenery, which is dotted with flashing white lighthouses, keeping watch over invigorating seascapes. Killybegs enjoys a privileged position on the coast of north west of Ireland, close to the spectacular Slieve League - a titanic mountain, which explodes upwards from frothing ocean. Walk as close as you dare to the coastline’s sheer drops, or admire the folding cliffs from the best vantage point, down on the water.

Day 10 Iona | Lunga

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With a population of 120 residents, Iona is Located off the Southwest of Mull. The island is 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide but draws in thousands of visitors each year due to its natural beauty and historical interest. Saint Columba and his fellow monks landed here in 563. This beautiful stretch of coastline brings out the true beauty of Iona facing onto the Gulf Stream that gives the island its mild climate. Located to the south of the road lies Sìthean Mòr (Large fairy hill) and alternatively known as the Hill of Angels, this is said to have been the setting for many rituals and traditions dating far back in history. This wonderful highlight, Iona Abbey was founded by Saint Columba in 563 and is said to have survived many Viking attacks. Although little remains of the monastic buildings of this period, the magnificent Abbey is the main attraction.

The stunning Isle of Lunga is the largest island in the Treshnish archipelago. With volcanic origin the isle was populated until the 19th Century, and remains of black houses can be seen around this magnificent coastal jewel. Abundant plant life and exotic birdlife are now the main inhabitants of the area. Fortunate visitors view the magnificent array of birds, especially the great puffins that breed on the islands plateau. One can sit within just a few feet away without disturbing the avian ambassador’s peace. The 81 hectare island is home to many rare and endangered plants such as, primroses and orchids. Views over the landscape and across the ocean can be seen from the 300 foot high cliffs.

Day 11 St Kilda

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
St Kilda is a remarkable uninhabited archipelago some 40 nautical miles beyond the Outer Hebrides. The stunning cliffs and sea stacks are home to the most important seabird breeding colony in northwest Europe. St Kilda is one of the few places in the world to have received dual World Heritage status from UNESCO in recognition of its Natural Heritage and cultural significance. Village Bay on the island of Hirta once supported a population of over 200, but the last islanders left in the 1930s. Recent restoration work on the village by the National Trust for Scotland offers a marvellous link with the past. One of the caretakers acts as shopkeeper and postmaster for any visitors who might like to send a postcard home from St. Kilda.

Day 12 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 13 Djupivogur

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Slow the pace, and discover the refreshing approach to life that Djupivogur has made its trademark. You can leave your phone behind as you step out into this Icelandic town, which has won awards celebrating its leisurely outlook and stubborn rebellion against the frenetic pace of modern life. After all, who needs emails and notifications when you have some of the most humbling monochrome scenery and gashed fjords, waiting on your doorstep? Sitting on a peninsula to the south-east of Iceland, the glacial approach to life here wins many hearts. A place where hammers knock on metal in workshops, artists ladle paint onto canvases, and wild ponies roam across mountains, Djupivogur is an uninhibited artistic hub - full of makers and creatives. The most expansive project is the 34 egg sculptures that dot the coastline, created by the Icelandic artist, Sigurður Guðmundsson. Each egg represents a different native bird species.

Day 14 Vestmannaeyjar

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The name Vestmannaeyjar refers to both a town and an archipelago off the south coast of Iceland. The largest Vestmannaeyjar island is called Heimaey. It is the only inhabited island in the group and is home to over 4000 people. The eruption of the Eldfell Volcano put Vestmannaeyjar into the international lime light in 1973. The volcano’s eruption destroyed many buildings and forced an evacuation of the residents to mainland Iceland. The lava flow was stopped in its tracks by the application of billions of liters of cold sea water. Since the eruption, life on the small island outpost has returned to the natural ebb and flow of a small coastal fishing community on the edge of the chilly and wild North Atlantic.

Day 15 Reykjavik, Iceland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
The capital of Iceland’s land of ice, fire and natural wonder, Reykjavik is a city like no other - blossoming among some of the world’s most vibrant and violent scenery. Home to two-thirds of Iceland’s population, Reykjavik is the island’s only real city, and a welcoming and walkable place - full of bicycles gliding along boulevards or battling the wind when it rears up.

Disembark after breakfast

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Notes

INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE FARE
  •  Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  •  Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  •  Spacious suites
  •  Butler service in every suite
  •  Unlimited Free Wifi
  •  Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  •  Choice of restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  •  Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
  •  In-suite dining and room service
  •  Onboard entertainment
  •  Onboard gratuities
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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
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