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Springtime in London

Northern Europe: London Roundtrip

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Silver Cloud
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This 15-day expedition on Silver Cloud bring you to springtime in the UK which is perhaps the nicest time of year. Take advantage of the (hopefully) lovely weather to see sub-tropical flora in Scilly, history laden 13th century castles in Wales and the birth and resting place of the famous Book of Kells. Ireland’s legendary hospitality surely needs no introduction, while Scotland’s natural heritage will give you something to talk about for years to come.
Seabirds flying over dramatic ocean island cliffs St Kilda
Highlights
  • Sail past Tower Bridge, the iconic symbol of London spanning the River Thames
  • Visit St. Mary's and Tresco in the Isles of Scilly
  • Discover the cobbled streets of Dublin
  • Explore the Scottish Highland town of Fort William
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: London (Tower Bridge) | Embark

Centuries-old architecture shares an instantly recognizable 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 2: London

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Close to Tower Bridge, you’ll find the Tower of London's historic fortress, palace and prison, while bustling central markets like Borough Market offer a taste of flavours from around the world. Sweeping green spaces like Hyde Park provide spacious relief from the skyscrapers, while world-class museums exhibit finely curated exhibitions from across the world, covering the entire scope of human history and invention, as well as the natural world. Greenwich’s leafy parks and centres of refined study are close by, or a boat ride along the Thames will introduce you to this megacity from the perspective of the water.

Day 3: St. Peter Port

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The picturesque capital of Guernsey proves that you don’t have to go to the Caribbean for white sand and crystal clear water. St Peter Port is both wonderfully pretty and atmospheric, full of blooming floral displays, tiny stone churches and brightly painted boats. What’s more, summers are mostly sunny and comfortable, making the weather something you don’t have to worry about. As the capital of Guernsey, St. Peter Port is where the “action” is found. This mainly takes the form of strolling the cobbled streets, stopping every now and then to admire, and perhaps photograph, the stunning views. Once French (original name: St. Pierre Port), the town is at least 800 years old, with the stone castle and maze like streets to prove it. Once you have made you way up to the ancient castle, make like a local and find refreshment with a cream tea, washed down perhaps with a glass of cider!

If the weather is on your side, then surely there is no more invigorating pastime than hiking up to the spectacular Guernsey cliffs, taking in stunning views of wildflowers, sandy beaches and English Channel views. For those who want to spread their wings a little further, the tiny island of Herm is just a 20-minute boat ride away, and homes no cars, one pub, a few cows, some puffins and about 50 people. Don’t be fooled by St Peter Port’s nostalgic exterior. The seaside town has made a name for itself as a foodie heaven, with everything from beach huts to Michelin starred restaurants offering sumptuous, locally sourced fare.

Day 4: St Mary's (Isles of Scilly) | Tresco, Isles of Scilly

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Scattered 30 miles offshore from England’s most south-westerly point – Land’s End – the Isles of Scilly are home to rich wildlife, and green land sloping to powdery white beaches. The Isles of Scilly’s biggest island harbours around 1,600 people – roughly three-quarters of the total population - and is one of five occupied islands. Isolated and serene, life here hums along at its own pace in this archipelago's bubble, which enjoys the UK’s mildest climate, and some of its most spectacular beaches. Hugh Town is the centre of St Mary’s, and you’ll be warmly welcomed by the incredibly tight-knit local community. A peaceful place, watch out when the waters are suddenly parted by the competition of gig racing – the island’s sporting pride and joy - which sees teams competing in colourful rowboats. Elsewhere, catch sight of Atlantic seals and seabirds like puffins and fulmars, along nine miles of coastline.

You can also spot the ghostly shipwrecks strewn around the island’s waters, and the 140 islands and skerries that have made treacherous sailing historically. There's a dense collection of historical sites that belies the islands’ small size – from a former prime minster’s grave to star-shaped fortresses. Tresco Abbey Garden is one of the UK’s most vibrant gardens, with diverse plants bathing in the warmer climate and over 300 species on display. Taste the rewards of the mild weather with a glass of wine from England’s most south-westerly vineyard.

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 Haven, Wales | Skomer Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The estuary of the River Cleddau forms a natural harbor which had already been used by Vikings in the Middle Ages -as the Norse origin of the name Milford implies. The area surrounding Milford has been used as a staging ground and harbor for invasions coming from France or going to Ireland, but surprisingly it was Quaker families brought from Nantucket that were settled here and the town was founded in the late 18th century as an intended whaling center and navy dockyard. Whaling and ship-building declined, yet with the advent of the railway, the proximity to good fishing grounds, the sheltered harbor, and direct access to markets in London Milford Haven again prospered. Oil was important from the 1960s onward and the port rose to be one of the leading ports in the UK. Since 2009 it has one of the largest LNG plants in Europe. The Milford Waterfront has converted old structures for modern social and cultural use in a bid to revive the old port and Milford Haven can be used as a gateway to see several castles and prehistoric sites in Pembrokeshire and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. As one of the smallest UK National Parks it has one of the most diverse landscapes and includes parts of Milford Haven’s estuary.

Skomer Island has been designated a National Nature Reserve, Ancient Monument and Full Maritime Nature Reserve. The old name for Skomer Island is Skalmeye –the Isle of the Sword or Cleft/Cloven Isle, possible referring to the island being nearly cut into two. Skomer is approximately one kilometer off the Pembrokeshire coast and part of a Marine Conservation Zone. There is evidence of human occupation going back some 2,000-5,000 years with a farming community of up to 250 residents. Rabbits were introduced in the late 1200s and Skomer became a rabbit warren. Today it is better known for the Skomer vole, its bird life and the spring flowering of the bluebells -giving the whole island a blue touch. The island offers excellent habitats for seabirds nesting in the cliffs and ground nesting birds. The largest concentration of Manx Shearwaters worldwide is found on Skomer and neighboring Skokholm and more than 25,000 Atlantic Puffins have been counted here in one season. Access to the island is limited to 250 visitors per day, but Zodiac cruises permit to appreciate the seabird colonies in the cliffs much better. 172 bird species have been recorded, with Black-legged Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Northern Fulmars and several gull species showing the largest numbers. Northern Gannets visit from a neighboring breeding site and harbor porpoises and dolphins are occasionally seen, while grey seals can be seen year-round.

Day 6: 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 7: Fort William, Scotland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Flanked by the UK’s tallest mountain on one side and Loch Linnae on the other, Fort William – or “Bill” to the locals – is what you imagine when it comes to Scottish Highland towns. Verdant moors stretch as far as the eye can see, pastel painted houses front the water and it is not unusual to see pipers in kilts on street corners. But while Fort William may play to certain critics’ idea of a cliché, the pretty town goes far beyond tartan cushions and wee drams of Scotch (although there is a fair amount of this too!). Fort William has everything you could possibly want while in the Highlands. The High Street has plenty to keep you occupied with its good range of shops, cafes and restaurants - a lunch of locally caught seafood or the iconic haggis, neeps and tatties is a must.

Because of its privileged location sitting in the shadow of the mighty Ben Nevis (standing a proud 1,345 metres high) outdoor enthusiasts are especially well catered for. Unsurprisingly so, as Fort William is considered the UK’s outdoor capital. But it’s not all high adrenaline sports. Certainly, those who want to climb up a rock or hurtle down white water rapids will find their nirvana, but if gentle fishing, a quiet county walk or curling up in cosy pubs warmed by an open fire are more your glass of whiskey then you’re catered for. The West Highland Museum in the centre of the town is excellent, while St Andrew's Church, towards the north end of the main street, has a very attractive interior. Also well worth a look is St Mary's Catholic Church, on Belford Road, and no visit should be considered complete without a look at the Old Fort, almost invisible to passing traffic. Add a wildlife cruise amid stunning scenery and the steam train that took Harry to Hogwarts and you can easily spend a day in this lovely port.

Day 8: St. Kilda

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Gloriously remote, St. Kilda is an archipelago 50 miles off the Isle of Harris. Although the four islands are uninhabited by humans, thousands of seas birds call these craggy cliffs home, clinging to the sheer faces as if by magic. Not only is St. Kilda home to the UK’s largest colony of Atlantic Puffin (almost 1 million), but also the world largest colony Gannets nests on Boreray island and its sea stacks. The islands also home decedents of the world’s original Soay sheep as well as having a breed of eponymously named mice. The extremely rare St. Kilda wren unsurprisingly hails from St. Kilda, so birders should visit with notebook, binoculars and camera to hand.

While endemic animal species is rife on the island, St. Kilda has not been peopled since 1930 after the last inhabitants voted that human life was unsustainable. However, permanent habitation had been possible in the Medieval Ages, and a vast National Trust for Scotland project to restore the dwellings is currently being undertaken. The islands even enjoyed a status as being an ideal holiday destination in the 19th century. Today, the only humans living on the islands are passionate history, science and conservation scholars. One of the caretakers even acts as shopkeeper and postmaster for any visitors who might like to send a postcard home from St. Kilda. It should be noted that St. Kilda is the UKs only (and just one of 39 in the world) dual World Heritage status from UNESCO in recognition of its Natural Heritage and cultural significance.

Day 9: Lunga | Iona

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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.

If tiny islands that resonate with peace and tranquillity are your idea of travel heaven, then welcome to Iona. Almost 200 miles east of Edinburgh, set in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, this magical island has a spiritual reputation that precedes it. And luckily, more than lives up to. The island is miniscule. Just three miles long and only one and a half miles wide, this is not a place that hums with urban attractions. 120 people call Iona home (this number rises significantly if the gull, tern and Kittiwake population is added), although residential numbers do go up (to a whopping 175) in summer. The beautiful coastline is lapped by the gulf stream and gives the island a warm climate with sandy beaches that look more Mediterranean than Scottish! Add to that a green field landscape that is just beautiful, and you’ll find that Iona is a place that stays with you long after you leave. Iona’s main attraction is of course its abbey. Built in 563 by Saint Columbia and his monks, the abbey is the reason why Iona is called the cradle of Christianity. Not only is the abbey (today an ecumenical church) one of the best – if not the best – example of ecclesiastical architecture dating from the Middle Ages, but it also serves as an important site of spiritual pilgrimage. St. Martin’s Cross, a 9th century Celtic cross that stands outside the abbey, is considered as the finest example of Celtic crosses in the British Isles. Rèilig Odhrain, or the cemetery, allegedly contains the remains of many Scottish kings.

Day 10: Dublin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Atmospheric cobbled streets, with buskers scraping fiddles and characterful pubs inviting passersby inside, is Dublin in a snapshot. A city of irrepressible energy and lust for life, Ireland's capital is as welcoming a place as you'll find. Horse-drawn carriages plod along cobbled centuries-old streets, blending with an easy-going, cosmopolitan outlook. Known for its fun-filled gathering of pubs, any excuse works to enjoy a celebratory toast and chat among good company. Home to perhaps the world's most famous beer - slurp perfect pourings of thick, dark Guinness - cranked out for the city's thirsty punters. Learn more of the humble pint's journey at the Guinness Storehouse. Dublin has come along way since the Vikings established a trading port here, back in the 9th Century. In the time since, the city became the British Empire's defacto second city, and the Georgian imprint still adds oodles of historic character.

Learn of 1916's Easter Uprising, when the Irish rebelled and established their independence here, as you visit the infamous, haunting Kilmainham Gaol. The uprising's leaders were tried and executed in these dark confines. Dublin's St. Patrick's Cathedral has immense history below its steep spire, which dates back to 1191. There's rich literary heritage to leaf through too, and the city's streets were rendered vividly in James Joyce's classic Ullyses. The Museum of Literature celebrates the full scope of Dublin's lyrical talents. Trinity College also has a prestigious roll-call of alumni - visit to see the Book of Kells, a beautifully illustrated bible of the medieval era.

Day 11: Isle of Man (Douglas)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Isle of Man, off England’s west coast (and Ireland’s east) needs no introduction. Its Celtic history is legendary, its political past labyrinthine and its national symbol – a three legged figure with neither body nor head – an enigma that has been foxing historians for centuries. Do not confuse the Isle of Man with the United Kingdom. It does have “crown dependency” similar to Jersey, but the 32-mile-long island is entirely self-governed. It changed hands between England and Scotland many times during the middle ages but fell under British rule in 1399. However, when the feudal lordship was revested in 1765, the island never became part of the United Kingdom. And has remained independent ever since. The island is, quite literally, shrouded in a cloak of secrecy. This is called Manannán’s (or sea mist) after the obscure Celtic Sea God.

Legend has it that Manannán’s cloak hides the island from invaders, so they just sail past. But that’s just the beginning of the island’s eccentricities. If you do not salute the mooinjer veggey (little people) that live under Fairy Bridge, you will provoke their anger and they will put a spell on you. The island’s national sport is tin bath racing. Modern life seems not to have arrived here. The railway system, the actual railway system not a contrived tourist attraction, is still operated by a steam locomotive. The tram system by horse drawn carriage. The water wheel, opened in 1895, has never been updated. After all, why would they? Everything works just fine.

Day 12: Waterford (Belview)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located in County Kilkenny, the port of Belview is not only Waterford’s tidal port, but also Ireland’s closest multi-modal port to mainland Europe. The port was moved from Waterford in 1992 and sits on the northern bank of the River Suir, some 4 miles downstream from Waterford’s Viking Triangle. Belview not only providers the most modern docking facilities for cargo and cruise ships, it also permits excellent access to the various attractions Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, and Southern Ireland have to offer.

Day 13: Dartmouth

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Situated on the south-west coast of England, it seems that Dartmouth is a town that time forgot. Pretty pastel painted houses dating from the medieval times flank the idyllic port, while the enchanting jumble of streets only add to the quiet authenticity of this, very English, seaside town. The surrounding 120 miles of stunning coastline and acres of rural countryside are any adventurer’s dream, so if your enjoy beach combing, hiking or simply just admiring the view,this sleepy little Devonshire village will not disappoint. Known for its cream teams (an absolute must), ice cream, as well as the obligatory fish’n’chips, Dartmouth’s local speciality is fresh Devon crab. Best served with a pint of local beer and a bowl of home-made mayonnaise, this local speciality is simply delicious.

Day 14: London (Tower Bridge)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Centuries-old architecture shares an instantly recognizable skyline with the modern metallic and glass shards of skyscrapers in London, a city of endless history and tradition. Arrive at the center 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 15: London (Tower Bridge) | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark after breakfast.

Photo Gallery

Springtime in London Seabirds flying over dramatic ocean island cliffs St Kilda Discover the restored Iona Abbey, Scotland Colorful sunset over the Scottish Highlands Traditional cottages in England London's glittering financial district

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Silver Cloud

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Per person starting at
$10,890
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Vista Suite
240 ft² / 22m². Decks 4 and 5. Twin beds or queen-sized bed, large picture window with panoramic views, sitting area, and marble bathroom with shower.
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Veranda Suite
295 ft² / 27 m² including veranda (veranda 49 ft²/ 4.5 m²). Decks 6 and 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Some suites accommodate three guests (Suites 505-510 and 605-610). Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, sitting area, and marble bathroom with shower (some w/ tub/shower combination).
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Deluxe Veranda Suite
295 ft² / 27 m² including veranda (veranda 49 ft²/ 4.5 m²). Decks 5, 6, and 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Some suites accommodate three guests. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, sitting area, and marble bathroom with shower (some w/ tub/shower combination).
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Medallion Suite
437 ft² / 40.6 m² including veranda (veranda 81 ft² / 7.6 m²). Decks 5, 6, and 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Medallion Suites accommodate three guests. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, living room with convertible sofa, sitting area, dining area, and marble bathroom with shower.
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Silver Suite
541 ft² / 50 m² including veranda (veranda 92 ft² / 8 m²). Deck 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Silver Suites accommodate three guests. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, living room with convertible sofa, sitting area, dining area, and marble bathroom with shower.
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Royal Suite
736 ft² / 69m² including veranda (veranda 126 ft² / 12 m²) for one-bedroom. Two-bedroom adjoining with Veranda suite: 1,031 ft² / 96m² including veranda (veranda 175 ft² / 16.5 m²). Deck 6. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, living room with sitting area, dining area, and marble bathroom with tub & separate shower.
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Grand Suite
1,019 ft² / 95 m² including veranda (veranda 145 ft² / 14 m²) for one-bedroom. Two-bedroom adjoining with a Veranda Suite: 1,314 ft² / 122 m² including veranda (veranda 194 ft² / 18.5 m²). Deck 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Two teak verandas with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, living room with sitting area, dining area, and marble bathroom with tub & separate shower.
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Owner's Suite
One-Bedroom: 587 ft² / 55 m² including veranda (veranda: 89 ft² / 8 m²). Two-Bedroom with adjoining Vista Suite: 827 ft² / 77 m² incl. veranda (veranda: 89 ft² / 8 m²). Deck 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Large teak veranda with floor-to ceiling glass doors, living room with sitting area, dining area, and marble bathroom with tub & separate shower.

Notes

Please note: Fares are capacity controlled, and subject to change at any time without notice. All prices are in US dollars, cruise-only per person based on double occupancy.

A limited number of suites are available for purchase upon request on a single- or third-guest occupancy basis. 

INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE FARE
  •  Transfers (between airport, hotel and ship)
  •  1-night pre-cruise hotel
  •  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
  •  Personalized 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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