UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) and Ireland
Enjoy onboard lectures about the history of the British Isles and learn of the castles and gardens you are visiting; cruise the Isles of Scilly and explore the Tresco Garden; visit Plas Brondanw, Portmerion and Bodnant Garden in Wales; visit Mount Stewart, a famous 18th-century house and garden; explore the Isle of Gigha and the Isle of Iona, plus Tobermory; see Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull; visit Inverewe Garden, in the Scottish Highlands by Zodiac; see a whiskey distillery on the Isle of Jura; arrive at gardens by Zodiac

Day 1. Arrive London and Embark Ship

On arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to Portsmouth (12.30 pm from the pre-cruise hotel or 1.00 pm from Victoria Coach Terminal) to board the MS Island Sky, your floating home for the next 10 nights.

Ten Nights: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Island Sky. (D)

Day 2. Isles of Scilly and Tresco

Today you will cruise amid the beautiful Isles of Scilly, an idyllic archipelago off Great Britain’s southwestern tip. Disembark on the Island of Tresco, considered by many to be the most attractive of the islands. It is leased by the Dorrien-Smith family, who have created a wonderful 40-acre sub-tropical garden near their Tresco Abbey home. Here, enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent gardens, now internationally known as one of the finest examples of sub-tropical flora and fauna in the Northern Hemisphere. During your time here, you’ll also have the opportunity to go for a relaxing stroll along the traffic-free lanes of the island, and wander along one of the lovely white-sand beaches where the sea colour has more in common with the Aegean than the North Atlantic. This evening, enjoy a delicious dinner. (BLD)

Day 3. Dunmore East, Freedom of Choice Touring

Your ship will arrive this evening at the picturesque fishing village of Dunmore East in County Waterford on Ireland’s southeastern coast. From here, you’ll travel to Mount Congreve Gardens, a vast and visually inspiring woodland garden set on the banks of the River Suir. Measuring around 70 acres, this privately-owned property features a four-acre walled garden. Later, choose from two touring options. You might like to drive to Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s most historic and attractive cities, where you will tour the Kilkenny Castle and design centre. Or, perhaps remain in County Waterford and visit Lismore Castle, which features the oldest continually cultivated gardens in Ireland, followed by a tour of the world-famous Waterford Crystal Factory. (BLD)

Day 4. Dublin, Freedom of Choice Touring

Arrive in Dublin Bay and enter the mouth of the River Liffey. From here, you have a choice of activities. Perhaps travel by coach into Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains and visit the gardens of Powerscourt and Mount Usher, or perhaps visit the private garden of botanical author, Helen Dillon and Mt Usher, or enjoy time at leisure to explore Dublin. (BD)

Day 5. Welsh Gardens, Freedom of Choice Touring

This morning after breakfast, you’ll cruise to the Welsh Coast. Here, choose from a tour of Portmeirion village and its gardens, or perhaps visit the gardens of nearby Plas Brondanw, the family home of Clough Williams-Ellis. Then drive through the famous Snowdonia region to Bodnant Garden, one of the most beautiful gardens in the United Kingdom. Spanning some 80 acres, the garden is set above the River Conwy and offers views to the Snowdonia range. Spend the afternoon strolling through the upper garden with its terraces and informal lawns, then continue into the wild garden of the lower section, formed by the valley of the River Hiraethlyn. In the evening, you will return to your ship for dinner back on board. (BLD)

Day 6. Belfast and Mount Stewart

Disembark your luxurious small ship in Belfast and enjoy a sightseeing city tour. Later, visit Mount Stewart, an 18th-century house and garden in County Down, Northern Ireland. Planted in the 1920s by Lady Londonderry, the beautiful gardens today are owned by The National Trust and are of significant international importance. (BLD)

Day 7. Isle of Jura, Isle of Gigha, Achamore House and Gardens

Cruise to the Isle of Jura, where you’ll have the option to visit a 200-year-old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery or perhaps enjoy a walk. This afternoon, cruise to the Isle of Gigha. Privately owned by its 120 inhabitants, the island landscape consists of heather-covered hills, deserted sandy beaches, clear green seas and just one single-lane road. Here, wander through the gardens of Achamore House. Laid out by Sir James Horlick from 1944, this stunning garden boasts a wonderful collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and exotic plants. (BLD)

Day 8. Isle of Iona, Isle of Mull and Duart Castle

Cruise to the Isle of Iona, a place of tranquillity and natural beauty, where more than 40 Scottish Kings, as well as Kings from Ireland, France and Norway are buried. Explore the elaborate and well-preserved Iona Abbey, and perhaps take a short walk to the Bay at the Back of the Ocean. Next, we set off to the Isle of Mull and Tobermory for a visit to Duart Castle, a 13th-century clifftop castle surrounded by the Millennium Wood – a superb collection of indigenous trees and shrubs planted in the year 2000. (BLD)

Day 9. Inverewe Gardens

Today you’ll cruise past the Isle of Skye and The Minch. Afterwards, your ship will drop anchor and you’ll enjoy a zodiac ride to one of Scotland’s premier gardens, Inverewe. Set on the coast among the north-west Scottish Highlands and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens of the region, this botanical garden presents an amazing collection of exotic trees and shrubs that are sheltered by well-positioned windbreaks of native pine. Wander through the incredible gardens, covering some 49 acres, where you have the opportunity to take in the natural beauty of over 2,500 exotic plants and flowers. (BLD)

Day 10. Aberdeen and Crathes Castle

Cruising along Scotland’s east coast, over the waters of the North Sea, today you’ll arrive at Aberdeen. Disembark and travel by coach through Royal Deeside, the picturesque valley of the River Dee. Absorb the lovely scenery as you head to Crathes Castle. This magical 16th-century castle is renowned for its 240 hectares of incredible landscaped grounds and formal gardens. Here, take in the cinematic Scottish countryside as you explore the garden and surrounding woodlands. Back on board, enjoy an afternoon at sea before a special Farewell Dinner this evening. (BLD)

Day 11. Disembark Ship and Depart Edinburgh.

After breakfast, disembark the MS Island Sky in Edinburgh. (B)

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Trip Code: BTBNC11

Departure: 24 May 2015
Twin Share: $9,795 per person
Solo Traveller: $14,595

Cabin Upgrades
Prices shown are based on a standard suite (Magellan Deck). See deck plans for more information.

To upgrade, add per person:
Category Deck Twin Share Solo Trav.
Superior Colombus $1,495 $2,245
Premium Marco Polo $2,275 $2,415
Corner Marco Polo $2,695 $4,045
Deluxe Balc. Erikson $3,195 $6,390
Owner’s Balc. Explorer $3,695 $7,390

Enjoy onboard lectures about the history of the British Isles and learn of the castles and gardens you are visiting
Cruise the Isles of Scilly and explore the Tresco Garden
Visit Plas Brondanw, Portmerion and Bodnant Garden in Wales
Visit Mount Stewart, a famous 18th-century house and garden
Explore the Isle of Gigha and the Isleof Iona, plus Tobermory
See Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull
Visit Inverewe Garden, in the Scottish Highlands by Zodiac
See a whiskey distillery on the Isle of Jura
Arrive at gardens by Zodiac

Services of a Cruise Manager, Expedition Team and Botanical Guide
Transfers on the first and last day, tipping and port taxes
Ten nights on the luxury small ship, the MS Island Sky, which holds a maximum of 100 passengers
Wine, beer and soft drinks included with lunch and dinner on board
On board lectures by the Botanical Guide, Historian and Ornithologist
Freedom of Choice Touring on some days
28 Meals – 10 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches and 10 Dinners