essential cruise - On the Edge of the British Isles
Some of the UK’s most inaccessible spots are the most beautiful. Discover some of these most scenic landscapes, calling at the Orkney Islands, the Inner Hebrides and the Scilly Isles. We also dock in Dublin and Belfast, to walk their storied streets or delve inland to discover historical and mystical wonders such as the spectacular Giant’s Causeway. We spend a day in Portsmouth, entwined with trailblazing seafaring adventures, and head to Rotterdam and Honfleur for a flavour of continental maritime towns.
- 10 nights cruise on Columbus
- 29 meals: 10 breakfasts (days 2-11) 9 lunches (days 2-10) 10 dinners (days 1-10)
- Afternoon teas and late night snacks
- Self-service coffee & tea (6am-10pm)
- Captain’s Cocktail Party
- Big show entertainment, cabarets and classical interludes
- Wide selection of leisure facilities & daytime activities
- Porterage on the cruise ship
- Services of the experienced Cruise & Maritime Voyages staff on board
- Port taxes
Day 1 - London Tilbury
At London Tilbury Port, embark Columbus (3T) in preparation for late afternoon sailing.
Day 2 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Charming and quirky, the aesthetically pleasing Dutch capital offers a thrilling metropolitan buzz dressed in a 17th century Golden Age façade. Gabled houses, quiet canals, and pretty brick bridges run wistfully through the city. Spend the day exploring the cobbled streets by foot or bicycle. Visit the world’s only floating flower market to see the famed Dutch tulips at Bloemenmarkt, visit the 17th century Royal Palace on Dam Square, still used for Royal events to this day; or soak up some culture at the famous Rijksmuseum, house of Anne Frank, or the Van Gogh Museum.
Day 3 - At sea
Day 4 - Kirkwall, Orkney Islands
Take a step back in time as we dock at the Royal Burgh Kirkwall; one of the best examples of an ancient Norse Town, boasting buildings that can be traced back 6,000 years. St Magnus is the town’s crowning glory and is known as one of Scotland’s most interesting Cathedrals. The intriguing Earl’s and Bishop’s Palace are also worth a ramble. Meanwhile, modern day Orkney offers an atmospheric centre with twisting wynds (lanes) to explore.
Day 5 - Tobermory, Isle of Mull
Scotland’s answer to Portofino, Tobermory is a picture of bobbing yachts, rainbow-painted buildings, and clear waters in the harbour; plus an abundance of cultural, historical and wildlife attractions. With a diverse mix of mountains and moorlands, sea cliffs and sandy beaches, there’s plenty to keep you occupied on this sleepy island. Ship to shore tender service.
Day 6 - Belfast
A colourful mix of art, history, music and food makes Northern Ireland’s capital a thriving and fashionable destination for quick trips and more. Belfast’s once thriving shipbuilding industry features highly. Visit the Titanic Belfast, an exhibition of the city’s golden era in shipbuilding and in particular the tragic story of the RMS Titanic ship constructed by the Belfast shipbuilders Harland and Wolff. Walk the cobbled streets of the Cathedral Quarter; visit the striking historic murals; explore the famous St George’s Market; or, outside the city, the extraordinary Giant’s Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site not to be missed.
Day 7 - Dublin, Ireland
With its cobbled streets and classic pubs, Dublin is undoubtedly a city of unforgettable character. Bursting with heritage, history and legendary literature, must-sees in the city include Grafton Street and around Trinity College, Dublin Castle, the National Museum of Ireland and the Dublin City Gallery. Take a stroll around beautiful St Stephen’s Green, and then take in one of Dublin’s most famous landmarks - the high-arched Ha’penny Bridge.
Day 8 - St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly
The largest, and arguably the prettiest of the inhabited Scilly Islands, St Mary’s boasts secret coves of white sandy beaches and clear blue waters, while the pretty harbour ‘capital’ of the Scillies, Hugh Town, offers a warm and friendly welcome. Life trickles by at its own island pace, giving you plenty of time to explore some of the areas must-see gems. Rushy and Great Bay are some of the best beaches, while Tresco Abbey Garden is a subtropical estate home to more than 20,000 exotic species of plant. Ship to shore tender service.
Day 9 - Plymouth
Devon’s seaside city gained note as a centre of voyage, for discovery or battle, in the 16th and 17th centuries, when Sir Francis Drake, James Cook and Charles Darwin all voyaged from this port. It is also here that the Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower in 1620 to sail for the New World. The point of departure is marked by an archway on the edge of the Barbican, the city’s old cobbled centre, which also holds the Mayflower Museum, the historic Elizabethan House and tranquil Elizabethan Gardens. Climb up Smeaton’s Tower at The Hoe for fantastic views of the coastline on a clear day.
Day 10 - Honfleur, France
Recognisable from the artwork of great impressionists such as Claude Monet, the charming maritime town of Honfleur is popular among day-tripping couples and families from Paris. The city’s main draw is the postcard-perfect Vieux Bassin (old dock), which dates back to the 17th century and is now more likely to be filled with yachts than the fishing boats of old. St Catherine’s Church looks like an upside down boat, thanks to the boat builders who constructed it. Take a walk along the footpath from the harbour to the beach and through the town gardens along the way, or explore the town’s many art galleries, artists’ studios, boutiques, restaurants and cafés.
Day 11 London Tilbury
Arrive at London Tilbury.