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Roaming Around the British Isles

from £999
Cruising around the Scottish coast is the ideal way to visit this amazing diversity as we explore the otherwise remote parts, the islands, creeks and little visited places which make the Scottish islands the most varied in the world. 

From the Orkney Islands to the Channel Islands, from Skye to Connemara, in the British Isles we’re never far from our amazing coast where there is so much good walking close to sandy beaches and hilly terrain. Cruising around the coast is the ideal way to experience this amazing diversity as we explore the otherwise remote parts, the islands, creeks and little visited places which make our islands the most varied in the world.

 SHORE WALKS AND EXCURSION HIGHLIGHTS:

 Falmouth - We follow a lovely stretch of the Southwest Coast Path to the National Trust’s lush Glendurgan Gardens for a visit.

 Greenock - We travel inland to Drymen and walk a section of the West Highland Way over Conic Hill to the shores of Loch Lomond at Balmaha.

 Tobermory - The pastel-painted houses of Mull’s main town are the starting point for our walk from the port, passing waterfalls and lily covered lochs.

 Kirkwall - From the Kitchener Memorial we walk across moorland and along cliff-tops to the Orkney Islands’ most famous neolithic site, Scara Brae.

 Lerwick -The most northerly outpost of the British Isles, Lerwick boasts marvellous coastal scenery and is a haven for birdlife. A local guide recounts tales of shipwrecks and smugglers as we cross the ‘tombolo’ sand spit to walk on St Ninian’s Isle.

 Ullapool - In Scotland’s remotest northwest corner we walk with a local ranger to the top of Ullapool Hill, then continue to Loch Achall. There are great views over Loch Broom and out to sea over the Isle of Lewis.

 Belfast - We drive to Dunseverick Castle on Ireland’s north coast and follow the cliff-tops on foot to the awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway.

 Dublin - We spend our morning walking the cliff paths of the Howth Peninsula to the east of the city and, then visit the centre of Dublin in the afternoon.

 Portree - Travelling north from Portree we follow trails heading towards Skye’s iconic peak, the Old Man of Storr.

 Galway - From the heart of Connemara we climb some 400m to the summit of Diamond Hill. The views stretch out to sea and inland there is a splendid panorama of the Twelve Bens, Connemara’s highest mountains.

 

 


Holiday Highlights

  • Discover the Neolithic Site of Scara Brae
  • Lerwick's stunning coastal scenery
  • The peaceful and picturesque sites in the Western Isles of Scotland
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

    A shore visit programme organised by us and led by your tour leader. Almost all transport costs for our walking and sightseeing programmes from the ports visited. Occasionally there may be an optional museum entrance or cable car fare to pay for locally. Details are in our Holiday Information Sheets.

    Walking tours with local guides around many of the cities we visit.

    Tips to the restaurant staff on the ship – we ask you to tip your cabin staff, however.

    A full on board entertainment programme including stage shows, ship’s band and musicians, comedy and guest speakers. You can enjoy as much or as little as you choose.

Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

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.

This departure: Grade 4/SS

  1. Day 1

    Today we board Black Watch in Liverpool and set sail for Scotland

    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.

    At Liverpool you will be greeted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ staff, including porters who will arrange for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin. There will be a letter from your Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays’ leader in your cabin informing you of the place and time for you to meet the rest of the group.

    Sailing time is usually from mid afternoon to early evening and will be confirmed on your travel documents.

  2. Day 2

    We have a day at sea as we cruise north on Black Watch. It is not certain which route the captain will take, but we should see the islands of Coll, Tiree, Canna, North & South Uist, Harris & Lewis as we pass through the Sea of the Hebrides.

    A day at sea also gives you the chance to relax and to enjoy the ship’s facilities. There is usually a range of activities available on board – you may choose to join a fitness class or visit the on-board gym, attend one of the on board lectures, treat yourself to a treatment in the spa or just simply relax in one of the lounges with a coffee and a book from the library.

  3. Day 3

    From Kirkwall we take a coach across the island of Mainland to the Kitchener Memorial, from where we walk across moorland and along cliffs to Scara Brae, on arrival at which there should be time for a visit before returning to the ship.

    10km, 100m ascent & descent, 3 ½ hours

    Occasional changes to the ship’s schedule means we cannot guarantee there will be time to visit Scara Brae, so we do not include the entrance ticket (around £9) in the price of the cruise.

  4. Day 4

    Tobermory‘s charming seafront is one of the most picturesque sites in the Western Isles of Scotland. From the port we take a walk south to Lochan Water and the Aros Burn waterfalls and spend a short while in the beautiful town.

    On leaving Tobermory we cruise through the Sound of Mull, turning south by Duart Castle, the imposing ancestral seat of Clan Maclean and continue by the fascinating Fingals Cave.

  5. Day 5

    A coach meets us when we come ashore in Greenock and take us to Drymen. From here we follow the West Highland Way over Conic Hill to Balmaha on the banks of Loch Lomond. This is a very pleasant introduction to Scotland’s most famous long distance footpath.

    12.8km / 8 miles, 292m ascent/ 437m descent, 4 hours

    The highest point of the walk is Conic Hill at 310m. There is a lower route, however, which avoids this.

  6. Day 6

    Black Watch arrives back in Liverpool around 07.00 for disembarkation after breakfast.

Travel Details

 UK departure ports vary, please see the individual itineraries for details.

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Black Watch

Black Watch is sleek, intimate and harks back to the days when cruise ships were revered for their style and charm. The ultimate home-from-home at sea; Black Watch is spacious with a friendly and familiar feel, and provides guests with a traditional cruise experience.  Having undergone a thorough refurbishment in late 2016, Black Watch features a selection of stylish suites and rooms, restaurants and spacious public rooms that provide up to 804 guests with everything needed for a comfortable, enjoyable and stress-free stay on board, while retaining the elegant style of a traditional cruise ship. 

View the deck plan for Black Watch

Black Watch has several restaurants; welcoming bars and lounges offering an array of music, dance, comedy and entertainment. There are inviting open deck spaces; and a teak-lined promenade.  You can soak-up the sunshine at the Marquee Bar; or enjoy the sophistication of a Traditional Afternoon Tea, accompanied by breathtaking views, in the Observatory. To satisfy your caffeine cravings, visit The Bookmark Café for luxurious coffees and indulgent chocolates. In the evening, settle-in amongst the familiar surroundings of the Morning Light Pub; then take in the after-dinner show in the Neptune Lounge. In the Lido Lounge you can simply sit back with a drink in hand, or hit the dance floor!  Black Watch also has an upgraded 4K, 3D cinema if you fancy a ‘movie night’.

On board facilities also include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, coffee shop, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a boutique, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board.

All guest cabins are are equipped with climate control, an interactive smart TV, hairdryer, desk, phone, fridge (which can be stocked as a mini-bar) and tea and coffee making facilities as standard.  Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade. 

Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Black Watch operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board. The voltage on board the Black Watch is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Payment on board is in Sterling, and a credit account system is operated on board allowing purchases to be charged to your account which must be settled at the end of your cruise.


Boudicca

Named after the British warrior Queen, Boudicca offers a sense of timeless elegance not seen or experienced on modern 'megaships'. The emphasis is on providing an intimate and more traditional cruise experience. Up to 880 guests can cruise aboard Boudicca, and the ship has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment of the ship's suites, bedrooms, restaurants, lounges and facilities.

View the deck plan for Boudicca

Boudicca's bars and lounges feature comfortable seating, ample space and are open throughout the day, so you'll always find somewhere to unwind, marvel at ever-changing scenery and enjoy a range of fantastic entertainment. You can also indulge in luxurious coffees and chocolates at the Bookmark Café, sip a cold beer or refreshing cocktail in the sunshine at the Marquee Bar; or enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea accompanied by spectacular views at the Observatory.  If you’re feeling more active, take a dip in one of the three heated pools, visit the fully-equipped Fitness Centre, join a class or walk a mile around the Lido Deck's open promenade 

On board facilities also include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, coffee shop, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a boutique, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board.

All guest cabins are are equipped with climate control, an interactive smart TV, hairdryer, desk, phone, fridge (which can be stocked as a mini-bar) and tea and coffee making facilities as standard.  Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade. 

Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Boudicca operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board. The voltage on board the Boudicca is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Payment on board is in Sterling, and a credit account system is operated on board allowing purchases to be charged to your account which must be settled at the end of your cruise.