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Exploring The British Isles and Irish Isles

Exploring The British Isles and Irish Isles

Cruise Highlights:

  • Immerse yourself in the Culture, Music & Cuisine
  • Visit the Scottish Outpost St. Kilda, a UNESCO Site
  • Explore the Pre-Historic Village of Skara Brae in Orkney

At a glance

Duration: 15 Days, 14 Nights

Coverage: London, England to Bergen, Norway

From: $12,370

Season: May

Activities: Culture, History, Photography, Zodiacs

Book this Trip › or call us toll-free 1-888-815-5428

Lindblad Expeditions in partnership with National Geographic

Joining an expedition to the Isles is an unparalleled experience—a fresh, revealing perspective on what might be ancestral lands for many Americans, and familiar to quite a few. We find the hidden treasres and most charming places to explore, and we reveal the seldom-seen. With the docent-quality guidance from our staff, you will see and learn more than you thought possible, all while traveling in comfort and style.

How you spend your expedition time is vital to us. We want to bring you to and through the British & Irish Isles in the most engaging ways possible. Every day you can join naturalist or historian-guided hikes—choosing the individual whose interest and personality matches yours. Meet the lively characters who make up the contemporary scene in towns along the way. Or simply enjoy the open decks and glorious views from National Geographic Explorer.

The encyclopedic knowledge of our historians adds insight, depth, and clarity to each geography. Our naturalists will describe the geology of these rich coastlines, sharing their knowledge daily. If improving your travel photos is a passion, than we recommend you spend time with the National Geographic photographer and the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor aboard ship and on walks ashore.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Day 1-2 - U.S. / London, U.K.

Depart on an overnight flight to London, and upon arrival, embark National Geographic Explorer along the Thames River, seeing the iconic Tower Bridge.(L,D)

Day 3 - Portsmouth

Set along the south coast of England, Portsmouth plays a major role in British naval history. The rich heritage is evident at the Historical Dockyard which houses HMS Victory, the three-masted flagship in which Lord Nelson led the victorious Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and the Mary Rose, a Tudor-era warship. Aside from its marine heritage, Portsmouth is also known for its literary history as the birthplace of Charles Dickens. (B,L,D)

Day 4 - Fowey / Eden Project

Steeped in maritime history, Drake, Raleigh and Cook have all passed through Fowey (pronounced “Foy” by the locals). Stroll the winding, medieval streets and browse unique shops, art galleries and pubs, before heading to the Cornwall countryside and the Eden Project, where our botanical journey continues. A celebration of nature, the Eden Project is more than a garden walk — with vast biomes (greenhouses), it emphasizes man’s connection to, and dependence on, the natural world. Or opt to visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Lost for almost 75 years after WWI, the private gardens at Heligan were the seat of the Tremayne family for more than 400 years. (B,L,D)

Day 5 - Isles of Scilly

According to Arthurian legend, the Isles of Scilly are all that remain of Lyonnesse, a land off Cornwall that vanished beneath the Atlantic. Meander through Tresco Abbey Gardens, where an astounding variety of subtropical plants flourish. (B,L,D)

Day 6 - The Skelligs and Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Rising abruptly from the sea, the rocky isle of Skellig Michael was once an important center of Celtic Christianity. From the ship gaze up, the beehive huts of its seventh-century monastery, clinging to the jagged peak 600 feet above the sea. After lunch, explore the ancient sites of beautiful Dingle Peninsula and wander through the village of Dingle. (B,L,D)

Day 7 - Cliffs Of Moher And Aran Islands

View the towering Cliffs of Moher as we sail by them this morning. Continue to the Aran Islands, known for their limestone moonscapes and strong Gaelic identity. Visit Dun Aengus, an enigmatic Celtic ring fort perched on the edge of a cliff. (B,L,D)

Day 8 - County Donegal, Ireland

Explore the fishing harbor of Killybegs, gateway to the Donegal's famous woolen mills, or discover some of the region’s ancient archaeological sites. Sail past the 2,000-foot cliffs of Slieve league. (B,L,D)

Day 9 - Iona and Staffa, Inner Hebrides, Scotland

On Iona, venture into an ancient nunnery and a 13th-century abbey. Examine the Celtic high crosses of kings such as Duncan and Macbeth. This afternoon, explore Staffa, an island famed for its geometric basalt columns and deep-sea caves. It was here that Felix Mendelssohn was inspired to write his “Hebrides Overture.” (B,L,D)

Day 10 - Outer Hebrides: St. Kilda & Callanish

Visit the Outer Hebrides, where Scottish Gaelic is still spoken and artisans weave traditional woolen fabrics. Weather permitting, explore the cottages of remote St. Kilda, a UNESCO World Heritage site inhabited from the Bronze Age. Later, see the neolithic Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis. (B,L,D)

Day 11 - Inverewe

Stroll through Inverewe Gardens, where colorful subtropical flora thrives. Explore the charming fishing village of Ullapool in the afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 12 - Orkney Islands

Encounter a sophisticated Stone Age culture on visits to the Ring of Brodgar and the 5,000-year old stone-slab village of Skara Brae. Step into the medieval St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. (B,L,D)

Day 13 - Fair Isle and Mousa

Visit the bird research station, located on the migration flyway. Hike to a nearby beach to look for puffins. Then, on the uninhabited island of Mousa, see one of the best examples of an Iron Age broch. (B,L,D)

Day 14 - Shetland Islands

Dock at the Shetland Islands, an archipelago of about 100 islands and islets. Drive through a rolling landscape with Shetland ponies. Explore the ruins at Jarlshof, which reveal 4,000 years of near-continuous settlement. (B,L,D)

Day 15 - Bergen, Norway / Disembark / Home

Disembark in Bergen and transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

Dates & Rates

National Geographic Explorer Categories
2014 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2 (Solo) 3 (Solo)
May 11 $12,370 $12,990 $13,570 $14,140 $16,890 $19,490 $22,590 $16,240 $16,960

Included in Cruise Fare

  • All accommodations aboard ships or in hotels per itinerary or similar
  • All meals and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship, meals on land as indicated
  • Air transportation where indicated as included
  • Shore excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees, special access permits
  • Transfers to and from group flights
  • Use of snorkeling equipment and wet suits, use of kayaks (where available)
  • Gratuities (except to Egyptologists and ship’s crew)
  • Taxes and service charges
  • Services of a ship physician on most voyages, and services of our expedition staff

Not Included in Cruise Fare

  • Air transportation (except where shown as included)
  • Extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees
  • Scuba diving (where available)
  • Meals not indicated
  • Baggage/accident/travel protection plan
  • Items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, e-mail, and laundry
  • Gratuities to ship's crew at your discretion


Exploring The British Isles and Irish Isles Itinerary Map


National Geographic Explorer

National Geographic ExplorerNational Geographic Explorer is a state-of-the-art expedition ship, and the latest addition to the Lindblad fleet. It is a fully stabilized, ice-class vessel, enabling it to navigate polar passages while providing exceptional comfort. It carries kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac landing craft. An Undersea Specialist operates a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and sophisticated video equipment, extending access to the underwater world. View ship details...


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