Treasures of the British / Irish Isles (Westbound)
12 days with Tauck Rating:
Day 1 Arrive London
Tour begins: 6:00 PM. A transfer is included from Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport or London International Airport as well as the St Pancras railway station to your hotel in the heart of London; hotels include Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, or London Marriott Hotel County Hall, or The Langham, London. Join us for a welcome reception and dinner at your hotel.
Day 2 A day well spent in London
Your first stop today is the Tower of London for an early-opening visit ahead of the crowds; see the Crown Jewels, and experience the labyrinthine wonders of this storied fortress, the ancient heart of the city. Next, you’re off on a guided tour of London which includes the Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, and more. Enjoy lunch at an historic English pub before spending the remainder of the day as you please.
Day 3 Explore Hampton Court Palace and embark ship
This morning, following breakfast, travel from London to King Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace in Richmond-upon-Thames, for a tour of the well-preserved 16th-century palace and its extensive gardens, and lunch in a palace café. Continue on to Portsmouth, Britain’s chief naval port and a symbol of its military might for centuries, where you'll embark your luxury ship; settle in and dine aboard ship this evening as you sail for the island of Guernsey, in the English Channel. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Guernsey in the Channel Islands
Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands in the English Channel, was a notorious haven for pirates in the Middle Ages, and often a strategic prize in England’s wars with Spain and France. By the 19th century it was famous as a summer resort for wealthy Victorians. But its easy reach from Normandy made it a strategic prize again when it was seized by the German regime during World War II. Fortifications, bunkers, and an observation tower built by the Germans are still present on the island, many of them restored as tourist attractions. Enjoy some time exploring St. Peter Port, a town of colorful row houses, winding lanes and alleys, before you explore Guernsey on one of three shore excursions. "Occupied Guernsey" includes a visit to the German Occupation Museum, where imaginative exhibits recreate life in Guernsey during the war, along with other sites throughout the island. "Guernsey Highlights & Cream Tea" experiences the charm and beauty of the island’s beaches, seascapes, and village communities – and of course an opportunity to try some scones and local Guernsey cream. Finally, "A Guernsey Clifftop Hike" takes you to the southeast corner of Guernsey to Jetbourg Point for an awesome hike, stunning scenery and rich insights into Guernsey's past – and a visit to a Norman manor house for an opportunity to do some small batch gin tasting produced by the family for over a century. Return to the ship late afternoon and join us for a welcome reception as you set sail for the Isles of Scilly. (B, L, D)
Day 5 The Isles of Scilly
Cruise to the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago off the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. Only a handful of the tiny islands are inhabited, and their temperate climate, turquoise seas, and white sand beaches offer an idyllic retreat far from the madding crowds of the mainland. You have a choice of morning sightseeing; visit Tresco Island where lush Tresco Abbey Gardens, established in the 19th century, wander over 17 colorful acres. This horticultural paradise is sometimes referred to as “Kew with the roof off,” full of exotic flowers and plants from 80 countries, many of sub-tropical varieties that flourish here in the warm breezes of the Gulf Stream; tour the gardens with a local guide. Alternatively, visit the island of St. Mary’s; the story of St. Mary’s reaches back to the Iron Age and the Romans, who colonized it later, so there are ample historical sites on this small island – explore them on a walk with a local historian guide. Sail for Cork, Ireland, this afternoon.
Day 6 Cork, Blarney Castle, or Kinsale
Dock early morning in Cork, Ireland where you have a choice of four different sightseeing excursions. "Cork and Blarney Castle" first explores the city of Cork then travels to Blarney Castle, where a kiss upon its Stone of Eloquence, high up on on the battlements, may grant you the gift of gab. Alternatively, you can explore the Irish countryside on an excursion to the village of Kinsale, a picturesque resort town of brightly colored houses and shops, known for its art galleries and gourmet restaurants, for a walking tour along its winding cobbled streets. A third choice takes you on a panoramic tour of Cork along Merchants Quay, St. Patrick's Street, Grand Parade and South Mall, where you'll learn the history behind the French Quarter, English Market, Father Matthew's statue and Bishop Lucey Park. Enjoy an afternoon at sea. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Back in time on the Isle of Man
Sail to the Isle of Man, a tiny nation of rugged coastlines, charming villages, medieval castles, and ancient mythologies in the Irish Sea. A self-governing dependency of Britain, the island’s heritage is a mix of British, Irish and Norse influences. Celtic and Viking burial grounds and relics abound, as do legends of giants and fairies. Dock in the town of Douglas, the island’s capital and commercial hub, for a choice of five different sightseeing excursions. Drive into the countryside on the "Isle of Man Scenic Heritage Trail" for a comprehensive look at life on the island, along with stories and legends, on a tour reveals much about the island’s turbulent history, Manx cats and more. "The Steam Railway and Castletown" includes a scenic ride through the countryside on a narrow-gauge steam railway to Castletown where little has changed since the 1800s, from its picturesque streets and fishing cottages to Castle Rushen, an outstandingly well-preserved medieval castle that towers beside the harbor, built for a Norse king in the 13th century. Or you can choose "Victorian Rail & Snaefell," which invites you to experience some of the island's treasure trove of electric heritage railways, painstakingly restored and running much as they did over a century ago. The afternoon is free for you to explore the town of Douglas as you please; it has kept much of its charm from its days as a popular Victorian holiday retreat, with 19th-century hotels and mansions lining the great bayside promenade alongside shops, restaurants, museums and gardens. Late afternoon, enjoy a performance of Manxian music and dance back aboard the ship.
(B, L, D)
Day 8 Discovering Liverpool, the Beatles origins, Chester or more
Arrive in Liverpool, a historic shipping and trading port known as “England’s finest Victorian city.” Wealth from transatlantic trades going back to the 18th century produced an abundance of mansions, elegant townhouses and landmark buildings rich in architectural splendor. Your three choices to explore include "A Highlights of Liverpool" tour that includes views of landmark sites such as the Victoria Monument, St. George’s Quarter, St. James Park, Metropolitan Cathedral and a visit to the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. "A Taste of Chester" explores a legacy of 2,000 years of British heritage in one of Britain's most picturesque cities, whose half-timbered architecture gives it a well-preserved medieval look. "In the Steps of the Beatles" offers a close-up look at the hometown of the "Fab Four"; visit The Beatles Story, a museum dedicated to the local Liverpool band that started a musical revolution and launched the “British Invasion” of the 1960s, along with such iconic sites as Penny Lane, Strawberry Field and The Cavern. Spend a free afternoon in Liverpool; this evening, return to the ship and enjoy dinner onboard, bound for Belfast. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Four ways to explore Belfast and environs
Dock in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, once famous for linens, shipbuilding and political unrest, now a rising star of commerce, tourism and hip urban culture – and explore from a choice of shore excursions. "Belfast – Past, Present and Future" brings you a powerful look at the city a sightseeing tour of historic sights including Queens University (established in 1845 by Queen Victoria), the magnificent Baroque Revival-style City Hall, and the Parliament buildings at Stormont Estate. Signs of past sectarian conflict are brought to light on a tour of the Falls Road and Shankill Road where the “peace walls” crisscross the city landscape, dividing Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods, and emblazoned with politically-themed murals; the longest and highest of the walls, along Cupar Way, is a open-air gallery of graffiti and publicly commissioned paintings that echo the history, hopes, and sentiments of the people who live within its boundaries. Another possibility is "The Titanic Trail," a guided tour that provides you with access to some historic buildings and places including the Titanic quarter, the former Headquarter of Harland and Wolff, Titanic's Drawing Offices where she was designed, the pump house that operated the dock and the dock itself. Visit the extraordinary Titanic Belfast and the Titanic Experience, an award-winning state of the art, multi-media museum on the site where the great oceanliner was built. Interactive exhibits trace the story of the Titanic from its construction to its doomed maiden voyage, designed to place you in the midst of its history and drama. "The Titanic Trail" ends with a panoramic drive through Belfast's iconic sites. Your third choice today is "Giant's Causeway". Journey along the Antrim Coast to experience Northern Ireland's most famous landmark – the unique coastal volcanic rock formations known as the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All sightseeing excursions return to the ship for lunch and time to explore Belfast before a lecture by a local historian on the political strife of “The Troubles”; the power-sharing agreement that ended the violence is considered a model of conflict resolution. Dine aboard ship as you sail for Dublin.
(B, L, D)
Day 10 Disembark in Dublin's fair city
Disembark this morning in Dublin, Ireland. Morning sightseeing and walking tours of Ireland's historic capital include city sights such as St. Stephen’s Green, Phoenix Park, historic O’Connell Street, Georgian Square, the Lord Mayor’s Residence, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Kildare Street and more. After a private lunch in town at the Smock Alley Theatre, enjoy a performance of traditional Irish song and dance, and visit Dublin Castle, with a history dating back to the 13th century. Check into your hotel – either the Conrad Dublin, The Shelbourne Dublin or The Westbury, all located in the heart of the city near St. Stephen’s Green, close to Dublin's iconic sites. Then spend the remainder of the day and evening as you please in Dublin.
Day 11 In Dublin's fair city
Another day in Dublin begins with more sightseeing; tour the interactive EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, set in Dublin's Docklands; and enjoy a private children's choir performance at St. Patrick's Cathedral, for Tauck guests only. This afternoon is free to explore even more of the Irish capital as you wish. Join us this evening for a farewell reception and dinner at your hotel.
Day 12 Journey Home
Tour ends: Dublin. Fly home anytime. Transfers from your hotel are included to Dublin International Airport. You should allow three hours for flight check-in at the airport.
All This Included
Cruise Ireland and England aboard a luxury small ship, taking you to major cities as well as captivating islands off the beaten path... enjoy isles of delight... explore the Isle of Man from coastline to fairy legends... choose between the Isles of Scilly, each with their own secrets to discover... and more awaits...
Discover the treasures of the British and Irish Isles and their unique cultural mix of Celtic, Norse and British influences. Most days you'll have a choice of sightseeing excursion; they include: A visit to historic Belfast, where the Titanic was built, and experience the compelling interactive exhibits at the Titanic Experience. Exploring remote Guernsey, a resort island occupied by the Germans during World War II, where military installations, bunkers, and an observation tower still stand amid charming villages and beach hotels. On the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish peninsula, discover sparsely populated islands of white beaches, fields of flowers, and historic sites that offer an enchanting world apart – on St. Mary’s you’ll visit Hugh Town and see Star Castle, that once defended the island from Spanish invaders and pirates. Immerse yourself in the Irish charms of colorful Cork and Kinsale; enjoy Liverpool, “England’s finest Victorian city,” and its history as home of the Beatles and the "British Invasion." From Portsmouth, England’s premier naval city, head to Henry VIII's Hampton Court Palace, then on to London for two nights in the heart of the city. Your ship is small enough to provide a truly intimate experience with luxury amenities including restaurants, lounges, bars, fitness center, and staterooms with ocean views.
London: Hyatt Regency The Churchill
Cruising: Aboard L'Austral
Dublin: Conrad Dublin
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.