The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
Explore the beautiful coast of the Emerald Isle
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 87600
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m. Some days of this holiday will be dedicated solely to sightseeing (or include an element of sightseeing). To enhance your experience, a knowledgeable local guide will accompany your small group for part (or the majority) of the holiday.
The Emerald Isle hosted by both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Two vary different territories, historically, politically and more but they share are the same rolling, green hills and lush landscapes all dotted with traditional and dramatic coastlines.
Over a week of cruising we will discover many aspects of Ireland. From Dun Laogjaire (Dublin) we head straight to the Howth Peninsula for spectacular cliff and sea views. At Cobh, where the first settlers made landfall in Ireland, we hear tales of the original Ballycotton, now underwater. Heading up the west coast, to Galway with the Cliffs of Moher and Connemara National Park for spectacular rolling valley and hills, while Killibegs offers a walk along the highest sea cliffs in Europe.
Finally we arrive in Belfast where we head to the North Antrim coast to walks the Giants Causeway and hear its tales.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
After boarding the ship in Liverpool, take time to explore the ship's facilities, bars and decks. Settle into your cabin, meet your fellow sailing companions and also say hello to the crew who will greet you with a very warm welcome!
Check in for the cruise begins one hour prior to embarkation. Embarkation at the cruise terminal usually begins three hours before departure and closes one hour prior to sailing.
The ship anchors at Dun Laoghaire and we tender ashore.
We arrive at the port of Dun Laoghaire this morning, an elegant coastal town situated close to Dublin, and tender ashore. From here we explore the Howth Peninsula to the north east of the city, admiring cliff and sea views as we go.
The afternoon is dedicated to exploring Ireland’s capital, Dublin, which has attractions such as the Book of Kells in Trinity College, the River Liffey, St Patrick’s Cathedral and the lively scene around Temple Bar. Anyone wishing to spend all the time ashore in Dublin, rather than walking, will be able to do so and not lacking in sampling Irish charm.
Not unlike the first settlers to Ireland we make landfall the same way by ship. Instead of horse and cart we take a private coach to the fishing village of Ballycotton on the outskirts of the town. Ballycotton is a re-settlement of the original village which now lies underwater. Here we walk along the Ballycotton cliffs, 5 miles of unbelievable views and wildlife. Time permitting, we return to the city of Cork for some free time to explore the English Market, St Finbarr’s Cathedral and the old part of the city.
Today we are at sea. Take time to relax and recharge the batteries making the most of the on board facilities, explore the decks or perhaps find a cosy corner to catch up on some reading.
We anchor off the coast at Galway this morning and tender ashore.
Famous for the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and the Aran Islands, it is however the wild beauty of Connemara National Park we have come for! Walking up walk up Diamond Hill through some scenic mountain expanse of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands, with views of some of the Park’s mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, all part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range.
Killybegs, known for having the biggest carpet loom in the world, is also the gateway to the Pilgrim’s Path on Slieve League. While a challenging walk for grade 4, we have plenty of time, for the most part the path is broad and well made, and we return the same way.. The cliffs of Slieve League at 609m are amongst the highest sea cliffs in Europe. We normally stop at the plateau about 1km from from the summit, from where on a clear day you can see all the way to Sligo and the mountains on the Mayo coast.
On arrival in Belfast, a modern and vibrant city and birthplace of RMS Titanic, we drive to the North Antrim coast for a walk along the cliff path to the amazing basalt rocks of the Giant’s Causeway. Some say in legend that the giants causeway was built by the Irish Giant Fionn as part of a causeway to fight the Scottish Giant Benandonner whereas others say it is caused by volcanic fissure eruptions. Which will you think is true?
It's time to bid farewell to the Borealis and her crew as you disembark and head home.
Departure dates for your selected tour
22nd May 2021 - 29th May 2021 (7 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
Bearing a name that was previously bestowed on an Olsen-owned vessel in the 1940s, and inspires thoughts of the Aurora Borealis, elegant Borealis proudly connects with, and represents, the Fred Olsen's Norwegian heritage. Stylish, spacious and comfortable, with capacity for fewer than 1,400 guests, she’s in keeping with their commitment to offering a more traditional style of cruising.
But while Borealis’ capacity is smaller than many cruise vessels, she’s still one of the largest ships, by size, in the Fred Olsen fleet. On board Borealis you’ll find you’re never overcrowded. There is always ample room in which to indulge yourself in the stylish dining venues, enjoy a glass of your favourite tipple and fantastic entertainment at the bars, lounges and theatres, and while away the hours by the all-season pool. And of course, with friendly staff providing our typical level of personal, attentive service, there’s an intimate feel to the on board experience too.
On board facilities include a swimming pool, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, sun decks, several lounges and bars, and several restaurants. A deck plan of the ship can be found here
Please note: Fred.Olsen have not released pictures of the cabins onboard Borealis at this time. As soon as we have them, we will add these to this page
This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
The described walks assume that the weather will be good and that the ship will keep to the planned schedule. We may have to change the walks if the ship’s schedule changes or there is poor weather.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
Fred Olsen Paying On Board
The currency on board ship is sterling. A credit account system is operated onboard allowing bar drinks, wine in restaurants, laundry charges, purchases from the shop and any other incidental expenses to be automatically charged to your account. You will be required to register a debit or credit card at check-in against which to charge your onboard account. At the time of writing there is no charge for payment by credit or debit card. Onboard accounts can be settled in cash, however, a debit or credit card must still be registered at check-in to secure the on-board account balance.
The following credit cards are accepted: Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Fred. Olsen also accepts Visa debit cards but is unable to accept American Express, Solo, and Electron, travel agent debit cards or traveller’s cheque cards.
The ship operates a Bureau de Change onboard, where currency can be purchased or sold subject to local currency restrictions. All major currencies are stocked based on the cruise destinations with no commission charge and competitive rates.
Whilst sightseeing plays a part in our itinerary, no entrances to museums or monuments are planned, and therefore no entrance fees are included in the price of the holiday.
Currency in Ireland
The currency in Ireland is euro.
Fred. Olsen operates a system whereby the recommended level of gratuities will be automatically added to guests’ onboard accounts at the end of the cruise. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays include the tips for the dining room waiters but £2.50 per guest per day will be added to all onboard accounts for cabin stewards. Anyone wishing to vary the amount given can do so via reception and guests are free to remove the charge from their onboard account and tip the relevant staff in the traditional ‘envelope & cash’ method if they prefer.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
Your luggage allowance is 200lbs or 90kg. For safety reasons, each piece of luggage should weigh less than 44lbs or 20kg.
Approximately 10 days prior to departure, we will send you your cruise tickets and luggage labels.
Please be advised that there are a number of items that are prohibited to be taken on board. To avoid any items being confiscated at check-in, please familiarise yourself with our prohibited items policy at www.fredolsencruises.com and search for ‘prohibited items’.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Fred Olsen Holiday and Passport Info
Please ensure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from the date you return from the cruise and have enough spare pages to accept immigration stamps/visas. Ramblers Walking Holidays will not be held responsible for any guest refused entry to a country/countries for non-compliance with the above, and passage will be refused to any guest at point of embarkation with insufficient passport validity. We would suggest a minimum of four clear pages excluding pages required for any visas you are required to apply for in advance of sailing. It is also a requirement of all immigration authorities that your passport is not damaged in any way or has no missing pages - we strongly recommend you check the condition of your passport prior to travel.
So, what’s on the menu? One certainty is that no one on board the ship will ever go hungry. All meals are included, and you start the day with breakfast, a buffet arrangement where you can choose from fresh fruits, cereals, yoghurts, a full English breakfast, cheeses, cold cuts, breads, pastries, fresh juices and unlimited tea or coffee.
We’ll take our lunches on board on cruising days and the choice is yours: sample the ample buffet in the restaurant, see what’s on offer in the informal café or choose an alfresco poolside affair. When we’re out for the day we’ll be provided with a packed lunch.
Dinner is a sumptuous five course feast. The choices are many, and the food is excellent. The menus are varied and mouth-watering, freshly cooked by award-winning chefs. Special diets such as fat-free, vegetarian and gluten-free meals can be catered for. Dinner is taken in a stylish restaurant with smiling courteous waiting staff creating a wonderful atmosphere for your evening meal. We are booked for dinner at 6.15pm to allow you plenty of time to also enjoy the evening entertainment if you wish. Wine can be pre-ordered from the Maître’d, over the interactive intranet in your cabin, or at the table.
If this is not enough, there is also morning coffee, afternoon tea and extensive late-night suppers to indulge in! We’ll also have an exclusive drinks party for our group one evening in addition to the Captain’s welcome and farewell parties and a traditional afternoon tea with waiter service on one of our sea days.
Complimentary tea and coffee can be found aboard the ship throughout the day, usually in the informal café. Other drinks must be purchased but the prices are very reasonable. No alcoholic drinks purchased ashore may be taken aboard the ship for consumption during the cruise.
If you have any special dietary requirements such as diabetic, gluten/wheat-free, dairy-free/soya, vegetarian, vegan, or low fat please advise us at the time of booking or no later than 14 weeks prior to departure.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Daytime wear is casual with comfortable shoes for walking around deck. A lightweight jacket or coat is recommended for the early evening when the sun sets. You may also like to take a towel and swimwear as the Fred Olsen ships have small swimming pools and Jacuzzis. Towels are provided at the poolside should you forget your own. During the day casual wear is allowed in the restaurant but not swimwear.
During your cruise, there will be formal and smart casual evenings. On formal evenings, gentlemen are encouraged to wear ‘black tie’, although a dark suit and tie will suffice, with ladies elegantly dressed in cocktail or evening dress. On smart casual evenings, men can wear open-necked shirts, chinos and dark coloured jeans, and women dress or trousers and a top.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity on Board
The voltage on board is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Staying Healthy Onboard
Although most cruises experience calm seas, there is always the possibility of heavy weather. It is possible in these circumstances that some clients may be susceptible to sea-sickness. You may wish to consider packing some travel motion sickness medication which can greatly reduce any symptoms. Please liaise with your local pharmacist or doctor for advice regarding particular medication.
Whilst none of the walks is difficult you need to be comfortable walking over uneven and occasionally steep ground to enjoy them to the full.
Network and Centre website at www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, the NHS Fit for Travel website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and the Foreign Office Travel Advice website at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or a local travel health clinic.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
We cannot stress enough the importance of good quality, comprehensive cruise insurance. Insurance is a mandatory requirement for all customers travelling on board.
We require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance. Your Ramblers Cruise & Walk leader will ask for this information locally and you will not be able to join our walking and activity programme without this information.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday. It is vital that you have disclosed all pre-existing medical conditions to your insurer.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic
Naturally, the safety and comfort of our guests and crew is always our highest priority. We would therefore like to reassure you that when in certain ‘hot spots’ around the world, additional and robust security measures are put in place. Whereas you will appreciate that we cannot divulge these plans we would like to pre-advise that additional safety drills will take place prior to reaching these waters and it may be necessary to close the portholes of lower deck cabins whilst in areas considered to be at a higher threat level. We thank you in advance for your co-operation and understanding.
Fred Olsen Plastic Policy
The use of single-use plastics on board Fred Olsen ships has been stopped wherever possible, including the banning of plastic straws, cocktail sticks, stirrers, cutlery and take away coffee cups. In addition, their officers and crew always consider how they can reduce the use of plastic further. All waste is collected, sorted and discharged by the ship’s staff following strict environmental regulatory requirements. This waste is subsequently landed ashore to approved recycling and receiving operators. The only waste that is discharged at sea is commuted food waste and wastewater.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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