SCENIC ISLES OF SCOTLAND

From £1099pp
7 Nights
Europe

Highlights:

  • Experience the beauty of Scottish isles and waterways to the full
  • See dramatic rock formations, rugged island landscapes and native wildlife
  • Go ashore and explore seabird havens, craggy coastlines and discover historic sites too

Whilst scenic cruising on Balmoral, and during time spent ashore on rugged and remote isles, you’ll experience the beauty of Scotland to the full. As you sail Scottish waters, marvel at the dramatic rock formations of natural wonders such as the Old Man of Hoy, The Needle, Dutchman’s Cap and Fingal’s Cave, and the wild, unspoilt landscapes of the Small Isles, Orkney, Shetland, the Isle of Skye and Isle of Lewis. Look out for seabirds perched on sea stacks and cliffs, and porpoise, dolphins and whales in the waters along Scotland’s north coast too.

Visits to Orkney, Shetland and the isles of Skye and Lewis also provide opportunities for even closer encounters with their natural treasures. Seabird havens await, with Shetland’s RSPB Sumburgh Head – where fulmars, puffins and various other bird species live and breed – a particular highlight. Explore the coastal scenes of Northmavine at Shetland’s northernmost point perhaps; and uncover the fascinating history of Orkney at the ancient sites of Skara Brae, Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar. Skye’s craggy coastline will beg for exploration too, while centuries-old castles and beautiful Hebridean countryside are yours to seek out on Lewis.

Price Includes:

  • Comfortable, stylish cabins and suites equipped with a Smart TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge and individually controlled air conditioning

  • A tempting choice of cuisine every day throughout your cruise – with five-course à la carte dinners, casual breakfast and lunch buffets, late-night snacks and much more

  • Unlimited, self-service tea and coffee available 24hrs at selected venues, complimentary afternoon tea* with sandwiches and cakes, and in-room sandwiches and snacks

  • A full programme of evening entertainment, including cabaret shows, comedy, dancing and live music

  • Full use of on board leisure facilities, including swimming pools, Jacuzzis and gym

  • A wide choice of engaging on board activities and lectures throughout the day

  • All UK port taxes (where collectable in advance)

  • Luggage porterage between your cabin and the drop-off/pick-up point

  • Formal welcome and/or Captain’s Drinks Party and Gala Buffet

Itinerary

  • June 15th Departure from Rosyth, Scotland

    Edinburgh, Scotland's historic capital, is one of the U.K.'s finest cities. Combining beautiful architecture, engrossing cultures and an extensive heritage, this Scottish delight is a must-visit destination.

    From the UNESCO-listed Old Town & New Town districts within the city centre to the lush parks and rolling hills on the outskirts, Edinburgh is a city that begs to be explored, offering something for everyone.

    To see some of Scotland's most famous and beautiful sights, be sure to explore the historic Old Town quarter which is home to the city's magnificent castle, the famous Holyrood Royal residence, the parliament building and St Giles' Cathedral. Or if you prefer to indulge in a little retail therapy, you can wander the high-end stores and independent boutiques that line Princes Street, George Street and other areas in the New Town.

    Edinburgh is also renowned for its annual celebrations and events, including the world-famous Military Tattoo and New Years Hogmanay.

  • June 16th Cruising Pentland Firth, Scotland

    Said to be the ‘world’s best site for tidal power’, Pentland Firth – a beautiful strait separating the Orkneys from mainland Scotland – is renowned for the strength of its tides, which are amongst the fastest found anywhere around the globe.

    But there is more to Pentland Firth than the strength of its waters. The strait is popular with nature lovers as seals and porpoises can be seen here all year round, and dolphins, orcas and minke whales are also occasionally spotted here too. Cruising Pentland Firth also offers you the opportunity to enjoy great views of Stroma and Swona – two beautiful uninhabited islands.

  • June 16th Kirkwall, Scotland

    Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands, resonates with ancient echoes of Christian, Nordic and Celtic history. It’s a town that feels more Scandinavian than Scottish; in fact, the name Kirkwall comes from the Norse for 'Church Bay', relating to the town's 11th century Church of St Olaf of Norway.

    Exploring the town’s atmospheric paved streets and twisting lanes, reveals a number of highlights, including the ruins of the Earl and Bishop’s Palaces, dating from the mid-12th century and serving as a reminder of Orkney's turbulent past. The palaces are considered by many to be the finest Renaissance buildings in Scotland. Also worth visiting is the recently restored St. Magnus Cathedral, founded in memory of Saint Magnus Erlendsson by Norseman Earl Rögnvald Kali.

    Don't miss Tankerness House, a beautifully preserved 16th century townhouse, and the Orkney Wireless Museum, with it's fascinating insights into the history of radio, too.

  • June 16th Cruising by The Needle, Scotland

    'Pinned' just off south west coast of Hoy Island, the 230 ft-high Needle is the Orkney archipelago's second-highest rock stack.

    Along with the legendary Old Man of Hoy, the Needle is one of Orkney's most popular climbing hotspots, a haven for various seabird species and is a magnificent sight to admire from the comfort of your ship's decks.

  • June 16th Cruising by The Old Man of Hoy, Scotland

    Britain’s tallest and arguably most famous sea stack, the Old Man of Hoy rises 450 feet out of the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of Hoy Island, in Scotland’s rugged Orkney archipelago.

    Originally an arch with two ‘legs’ resembling those of an old man, hence the landmark’s nickname, the erosive power of the weather has reduced the stack to a single pillar which, owing to a huge crack slicing through the middle of it, geologists believe will one day collapse into the sea.

    As it stands today though, defiantly battling the Atlantic tide and Scottish storms, the Old Man of Hoy remains one of the UK’s most popular climbing spots and an impressive sight to enjoy from the comfort of your cruise ship.

  • June 17th Portree and the Isle of Skye, Scotland

    Portree is the Isle of Skye's largest and liveliest town. Set within a pretty natural harbour with brightly-coloured houses and surrounded by rocky cliffs and rolling hills, Portree is a truly beautiful place to explore.

    Its name (from the Gaelic for King's Harbour) commemorates James V, who arrived here in 1540 to pacify the local clans. The town is a popular tourist destination, thanks to its stunning coastline and interesting attractions that include the Aros Centre and the An Tuireann Arts Centre, which celebrate the island's Gaelic heritage.

    Portree also serves as a gateway to other attractions on the island, such as the intriguing rock formations at Trotternish Ridge, north of the town, the ruins of Tusdale, and the peninsula unflatteringly known as ‘The Lump’, which once provided a setting for public hangings.

  • June 17th Cruising by Kyle & Loch Carron, Scotland

    Close to the beautiful Isle of Skye, your Fred. Olsen ship takes you on glide past the picturesque, postcard-perfect village of the Kyle of Lochalsh and diverts into Loch Carron, to provide you with an unforgettable Scottish scenic cruising experience.

    Kyle of Lochalsh is known as the ‘land of castles, hills and lochs’, and you’ll get to see it in all its scenic splendour as you sail slowly by – enjoy views of the impressive Skye Bridge and Kyle’s pretty whitewashed houses too. Within Loch Carron, wild, rugged scenes await; the sight of the rolling hills and verdant valleys, charming little villages, combined with the loch’s uncanny tranquility, is sure to leave you spellbound.

  • June 18th Cruising by The Small Islands, Scotland

    Part of the Inner Hebrides, lying just south of the Isle of Skye, the Small Isles are four beautiful lands - Eigg, Rum, Canna and Muck - famed for their dramatic scenery, their variety of wildlife and natural wonders, and some architectural highlights too.

    As you sail the waters surrounding the isles, you'll witness their wild beauty from the comfort of your small ship. Look out for mighty volcanic peaks and Kinlock Castle on Rum, where Sea Eagles are often spotted in the skies above; the basalt cliffs of Canna; the charming villages of Eigg; and Muck's fertile lowlands and pretty beaches.

  • June 18th Cruising by Loch Hourn, Scotland

    Branching inward from the Sound of Sleat, narrow, fjord-like Loch Hourn is flanked by some of Scotland's most dramatic, and beautiful, scenic landscapes.

    As you journey along the still, cold waters of the loch aboard your smaller ship, you get to admire the steep, imposing mountains which slide down into the shore line, whilst looking out for occasional bays and beaches which break the craggy, untamed waters edge.

  • June 18th Cruising by Bac Mòr, Scotland

    Bac Mòr, affectionately known as ‘Dutchman’s Cap’ due to its unmistakable shape, is one of the most distinctive landmarks discovered amongst the beautiful Scottish Isles, a unique volcanic formation of grass-topped black lava that provides a safe haven for sea birds, and spectacular views for anyone who visits.

    While the island doesn’t have any suitable landing places, simply sailing by Bac Mòr with Fred. Olsen makes for a memorable experience; you’ll get to wonder at its intriguing shape and look out for the native birds from the comfort of your smaller sized ship.

  • June 18th Cruising by Fingal's Bay, Scotland

    Similar to the famous, UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, Fingal’s Cave is a beautiful basalt sea-cave with distinctive ‘columns’ and a remarkable symmetry that looks incredible as you cruise past.

    Often, the cliffs, ledges and grassy slopes are smothered with native seabirds, including guillemots, razorbills, puffins and more, so it’s the perfect place to enjoy a little birdwatching. Just make sure you have your binoculars to hand!

  • June 18th Cruising by Iona, Scotland

    The island of Iona in the Inner Hebrides may be physically small, at just 1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long, but as the ‘The Cradle of Christianity in Scotland’ it has a big place in British history, religion and spirituality, and has an even bigger place in the heart of people around the world.

    While you won’t get to step ashore and follow in the footsteps of those who pilgrimage on Iona, you will catch a glimpse of the island’s famous landmarks as you sail by. The highlight is Iona Abbey, one of Europe’s oldest Christian centres and said to be the final resting place of 48 medieval kings including the eleventh-century king Macbeth of Shakespearean fame. Your scenic cruise is an opportunity to delight in the peace and beauty of Iona’s gorgeous landscapes and its surrounding waterways too.

  • June 19th Cruising by Stornoway, Scotland

    Thanks to its sheltered location, Stornoway, on the island of Lewis and Harris, is the largest town of the Outer Hebrides islands of Scotland. The port offers a warm welcome to those visiting Lewis as part of their exploration of one of the UK’s remotest locations.

    A stroll along the quay reveals local fishermen on traditional fleets landing the catch of the day, before shipping it to one the island’s amazing eateries. There is an unmistakeable odour of peat in the air as the smokehouses turn the seafood into island specialities.

    Historic Lews Castle and the adjoining museum are key cultural centre for the islands’ heritage. An Lanntair Art Centre samples local arts and a good programme of art events, while a unique shopping experience awaits at the Harris Tweed Hebrides Outlet and Lewis Loom Centre, where traditional weaving methods can be discovered. Alternatively, a wander through the surrounding woods and a visit to the Woodland Centre can while away a pleasant hour or two.

  • June 20th Lerwick, Scotland

    Lerwick is the friendly capital of the 100 islands and islets of Shetland. The bustling, cosmopolitan seaport is the islands’ only town, and its wonderful natural harbour is a joy to explore.

    Until the 1600s, Leir Vik – Norse for a muddy bay – was little more than a few huts. However, conflict between the British and Dutch, whose fishing fleet fished for herrings off the islands, led to the building of a permanent settlement. This included Fort Charlotte, which once overlooked the harbour but has now been enclosed by the town following land reclamation.

    Despite the wealth created by North Sea oil, modern Lerwick retains many fascinating small shops and historic buildings. Wandering along atmospheric Commercial Street is a delight, and the Böd of Gremista – a “fishing booth” built in 1780, is now a fascinating museum. The ground floor has the salt store and the kitchen, where herrings were hung to dry. Outside the town are the well preserved remains of the Broch of Clickimin, a small Bronze-Age settlement excavated in the last century.

  • June 20th Cruising by Sumburgh Head, Scotland

    Located at the southern tip of Shetland’s main island, Sumburgh Head is a towering, 100-metre-high rock spur capped by the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse – one of Scotland’s oldest, best-known and most photographed lighthouses.

    The head, and its unspoilt, rugged surroundings, are a designated RSPB Nature Reserve, providing the perfect natural habitat for various seabird species including Puffins, Fulmars, Guillemots, Razorbills and Kittiwakes to name just a few.

    Enjoy views of the lighthouse as you sail slowly by, watch for huge seabird colonies perched on the cliffs through your binoculars, and be sure to keep your eyes on the water: you might be lucky enough to see White-sided dolphins, Harbour Porpoises and Whales too.

  • June 21st Cruising by Spey & Burghead, Scotland

    Where the River Spey flows into Moray Firth, beautiful Spey Bay – situated on the eastern shore of the river’s mouth – will come into view as you sail Moray Firth close to Scotland’s rugged coastline. From your ship, you’ll see the bay’s mix of shingle beaches, lush grasslands and wet woodlands, which are havens for wildfowl and seabirds such as terns.

    Sailing westwards from Spey Bay, it’s not long until the picturesque, peaceful coastal village of Burghead – perched on the shores of Moray – appears, presenting you with views of its cliffs and sea caves, its ancient buildings and countryside scenes of far-reaching marshes and rolling hills.

    As you enjoy these memorable Scottish scenic cruising experiences, be sure to take a moment to divert your gaze to the water too; pods of dolphins are often spotted swimming within Moray Firth.

  • June 21st Cruise by Troup Head, Scotland

    With its dramatic cliffs, topped by postcard-perfect, lush green landscapes that stretch inland as far as the eye can see, Troup Head – part of Moray Firth’s beautifully unspoilt, wild and rugged coastline – is a sight to behold as you sail by on a scenic cruise of the firth.

    Not only spectacular to look at, the cliffs, rock faces and marshes of Troup Head – a designated RSPB Scotland Nature Reserve – are a haven for tens of thousands of seabirds. Through your binoculars, look out species such as for kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills. You’re sure to spot majestic gannets, as Troup Head is the habitat of Scotland’s only mainland gannet colony.

    As you enjoy this memorable Scottish scenic cruising experience, be sure to take a moment to divert your gaze to the water too; pods of dolphins are often spotted swimming within Moray Firth.

  • June 22nd Return to Rosyth, Scotland

    Edinburgh, Scotland's historic capital, is one of the U.K.'s finest cities. Combining beautiful architecture, engrossing cultures and an extensive heritage, this Scottish delight is a must-visit destination.

    From the UNESCO-listed Old Town & New Town districts within the city centre to the lush parks and rolling hills on the outskirts, Edinburgh is a city that begs to be explored, offering something for everyone.

    To see some of Scotland's most famous and beautiful sights, be sure to explore the historic Old Town quarter which is home to the city's magnificent castle, the famous Holyrood Royal residence, the parliament building and St Giles' Cathedral. Or if you prefer to indulge in a little retail therapy, you can wander the high-end stores and independent boutiques that line Princes Street, George Street and other areas in the New Town.

    Edinburgh is also renowned for its annual celebrations and events, including the world-famous Military Tattoo and New Years Hogmanay.

Customers Say

From £1099pp
7 Nights

Highlights:

  • Experience the beauty of Scottish isles and waterways to the full
  • See dramatic rock formations, rugged island landscapes and native wildlife
  • Go ashore and explore seabird havens, craggy coastlines and discover historic sites too

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