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Exploring the Isles of Great Britain and Ireland by Sea

Program Number: 21294RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/21/2014 - 8/2/2014; 6/5/2015 - 6/17/2015;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: England/Ireland/Scotland
Price starting at: $7,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 32; 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners    

On an extraordinary voyage around the island of Great Britain and across the Irish Sea to the warmth and spark of Ireland, discover 16th-century palaces and castles, energetic modern cities and beautiful stretches of wild coastline. Wander off-the-beaten path to Edinburgh’s medieval closes (alleyways) to secret hideaways, trace the story of a kiss to a 700-year-old stone at Blarney Castle in Ireland, and in England’s North East stroll the River Tyne to marvel at Newcastle bridges that have transformed the face of a 2,000-year-old city.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day; some uneven terrain and stairs.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

London (England), 1 night; aboard Nautica, 10 nights.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.



Day 1:
Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-3:
Arrival London (England) / coach to Southampton / embark Nautica

Before embarking the ship, discover Hampton Court Palace, seat of Tudor and Stuart monarchs. Lodging: Comfortable hotel.



Days 4-5:
At Sea / Edinburgh (Scotland)

Sail into the Firth of Forth to reach Edinburgh. A city excursion includes the medieval Royal Mile and a visit to imposing Edinburgh Castle.



Day 6:
Invergordon

Experience the Scottish Highlands as you journey to the majestic ruins of Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness. Learn about the truth and legends of Loch Ness at an interactive exhibit.



Day 7:
Kirkwall

Continue north to the Orkney Islands and step ashore in Kirkwall, the capital, where you find buildings dating to the Middle Ages and visit the Orkney Museum to examine the islands’ Viking history.



Day 8:
Isle of Skye

Experience the ruggedly beautiful Isle of Skye including Dunvegan Castle, seat of the powerful Clan MacLeod for more than 800 years. Keep an eye out for Atlantic Puffins on the coast.



Day 9:
Belfast (Northern Ireland)

Explore Belfast by black taxi, paying special attention to its political murals. Enjoy an opportunity to lunch with former Lord Mayor of Belfast Tom Hartley and discuss life during the Troubles.



Day 10:
Dublin (Ireland).

Undergraduate students at Trinity College — founded 1592 — show you their university including its magnificent library, home to the Book of Kells. Savor a hearty lunch and traditional music in an authentic pub.



Day 11:
Cork

Journey to medieval Blarney Castle and learn the legend of the Blarney Stone and the “gift of gab.” Walk the Titanic Trail in Cobh, the final port of call for the ill-fated passenger liner.



Day 12:
Isle of Portland (England)

Step ashore on this small English Channel island, part of the geologically spectacular Jurassic Coast. The island is famous for its limestone, used in buildings such as Buckingham Palace.



Day 13:
Southampton / disembark / coach to London for departure


Marina

The elegant 1,250-passenger ocean liner Marina debuted in 2011. Its designer touches include a Lalique grand staircase. Passengers can enjoy multiple dining venues, including six open-seating gourmet restaurants, at no extra charge. Cooking classes are offered at the Bon Appétit Culinary Center while artists-in-residence offer instruction in the Artists Loft.


Meals and Lodgings
   Millennium Gloucester Hotel
  London, UK:England 1 night
   Oceania Marina
  London, UK:England
At Sea
Edinburgh,, UK:England
Invergordon, UK:England
Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, UK:England
Portree, Isle of Skye, UK:England
Belfast, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
Cork, Ireland
Portland, UK:England
10 nights
 Millennium Gloucester Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Guests staying at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington have access to a range of facilities that will help to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay, including: 24 hour Concierge 24 hour room service Multilingual staff Theatre and tour reservations Laundry and dry cleaning services Foreign exchange Postal/parcel service Maid service Air conditioning Safety deposit boxes (available in rooms and at reception) Shoeshine and valet services Car rental Doctor on call Car park Wifi Wedding licence Disabled Access
  Contact info: 4-18 Harrington Gardens
London,  SW7 4LH UK:England
phone: +44 (0) 20 7373 6030
web: http://www.millenniumhotels.co.uk/millenniumgloucester/
  Room amenities: Tea and coffee making facilities, air conditioning, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, mini bar (chargeable and stocked on request), direct dial telephone.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability Contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 800-241-1404 or via email at travelinfo@roadscholar.org
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Oceania Marina
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Marina is a mid-size cruise ship capable of accommodating up to 1,258 passengers in 625 comfortable cabins.
  Ship Information: Year Built: 2011 Year Entered Present Fleet: 2011 Country of Registry: Marshall Islands Tonnage (GRT): 66,084 Guests: 1,258 Passenger Decks: 11 Number of Crew: 800 Officers' Nationality: European Cruise/Hotel Staff Nationality: International
  Contact info: 8300 NW 33rd Street
Suite 308
Miami, FL 33101 USA
phone: 855-623-2642
web: www.oceaniacruises.com/ships/marina/default.aspx
  Room amenities: Cabin sizes and layout vary based on ship category. Room amenities include toiletries, hair dryer, mini bar/refrigerator, nightly turn down service, private safe, television, and direct dial phone.
  Facility amenities: Restaurants, café/coffee bar, card room, casino, classes and workshops, show lounge, beauty salon, business services, butler service, concierge desk, culinary arts center, dry cleaning/laundry, duty-free shops, elevators, infirmary/medical center, fitness center, fitness instruction and/or group fitness classes, full service spa, heated pool, jogging track, massage room, outdoor swimming pool(s), shuffleboard, yoga classes, and 24-hour room service. Wireless Internet service is available throughout the ship for an additional cost. All suites include a wireless laptop for guests' convenience. Designated smoking areas are available on Deck 9, the forward starboard corner of the Pool Deck, and Deck 10, in the aft. port corner of Horizons. Smoking is expressly forbidden in all staterooms and suites, on verandas, or in any areas of the ship other than officially designated smoking areas.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A N/A


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins with orientation at 4:00 pm at the hotel. You will be staying at Millennium Gloucester Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
This programs ends upon disembarking the ship. You will be staying at Oceania Marina the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Ship Guest Registration Form is required and must be submitted to Oceania Cruises at least 90 days prior to program start. This document is included at the end of this packet and may also be completed online at www.oceaniacruises.com/grf.
  Parking availability:
Parking is not applicable.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  London
  Transportation to site: Independent travelers are responsible for making their own transportation arrangements. TAXIS: Taxis are readily available at the London-Heathrow Airport and cost approximately $100 for a 30 minute ride. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: From London-Heathrow, we recommend the Piccadilly Line of the London Underground: this runs direct from the airport to Hammersmith, where you should change to the District Line to Gloucester Road Underground Station. Upon arrival at the station, walk down Courtfield Rd and take a left on Ashburn Place. The Millennium Gloucester Hotel will be on your left after approximately four minutes. From London-Gatwick, we recommend the Gatwick Express which runs a service into Victoria. From the terminus, you can take the Underground (Circle Line) to Gloucester Road Underground Station. Upon arrival at the station, walk down Courtfield Rd and take a left on Ashburn Place. The Millennium Gloucester Hotel will be on your left after approximately four minutes.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Southampton
  Transportation from site: Independent travelers are responsible for making their own transportation arrangements. Transfers are available for purchase from the cruise line for disembarkation.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Overnight Flight from USA
(Monday, July 21)
   
 In Transit: Overnight flights from USA.

Day 2: Arrivals in London
(Tuesday, July 22)
   
 Morning: Arrivals and transfers to the hotel. Please see the back of this information packet for transfer times and instructions.
 Afternoon: Please meet your Road Scholar group leader in the hotel lobby at 4:00 pm. There will be a progam orientation and introductions prior to dinner.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Millennium Gloucester Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: London / transfer to Southampton / Embarkation
(Wednesday, July 23)

Note: Each evening aboard the ship you will be free to enjoy one of the many activities, including performances, movies, live music, the ship library and the spa. You will receive a daily schedule of events in your cabin.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we will take a field trip to Hampton Court Palace, one of two surviving palaces owned by King Henry III. Originally built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey beginning in 1514, it was passed to Henry VIII who extended the building. Later, Christopher Wren designed an addition to the palace. Tudor turrets and the Great Hall sit alongside Wren's Classical State Apartments and a formal baroque landscape.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer to Southampton for embarkation.
 Dinner: Aboard the Oceania Marina.
   
Accommodations: Oceania Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Cruising the North Sea
(Thursday, July 24)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Enjoy a morning lecture at 10:00AM in the Red Ginger restaurant. Your group leader will discuss the history of the upcoming ports of call in Scotland and Ireland.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Take time to explore the ship and take in the magnificent views of the North Sea. There will be a ship-wide Captain's Cocktail Reception prior to dinner.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
   
Accommodations: Oceania Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Edinburgh (South Queensferry), United Kingdom
(Friday, July 25)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Panoramic City Tour including: Old Town area (the Royal Mile, Greyfriar’s Bobby and Grassmarket); New Town area (Princes Street, Charlotte Square, St. Andrew’s Square and Heriott Row); Holyrood Palace, and Edinburgh Castle.
 Lunch: Sample Scottish regional cuisine in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Edinburgh on your own. Your group leader will provide you with some possible sites to explore.
There will be a Road Scholar exclusive cocktail party at 6:00PM at the Horizons Lounge. Get to know your fellow participants and enjoy the magnificent views as the ship departs Edinburgh.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: There will be an informal briefing at 8:30PM in the ship's Board Room this evening where your group leader will discuss the next day’s plans.
   
Accommodations: Oceania Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Invergordon
(Saturday, July 26)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Discover Urquhart Castle! A noble ruin, once one of Scotland's largest castles, Urquhart's tower house commands splendid views of the famous Loch Ness and Great Glen. Urquhart witnessed considerable conflict throughout its 500 years as a medieval fortress. The castle's history and that of the noble families who held it - Durward, Macdonald and Grant - is told by our local expert.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Gain insight into the loch's wider significance with a presentation designed and narrated by the naturalist Adrian Shine. A hi-tech multi-media presentation in 11 languages leads you through seven themed areas and 500 million years of history. Using a highly effective mix of lasers, digital projection and special effects, chart the history of the monster by exploring Scotland's geological past, its folklore and the various research projects carried out on the loch. In the last decade some 64 separate studies have been completed, ranging over every aspect of the loch. Often the answers lead to more questions.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
   
Accommodations: Oceania Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Kirkwall
(Sunday, July 27)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Kirkwall has a long and colourful history. Over the years the town's fortunes fluctuated depending upon the varying powers of the islands' earls and bishops who made it their residence. Clustered around the ancient streets are buildings dating from the seventeenth century onward. The oldest surviving buildings to be found within the town are parts of the Bishop's Palace (twelfth century) and the Tankerness House (which now houses the Orkney Museum and dates from the early sixteenth century). The Orkney Museum tells the story of Orkney, from the Stone Age, to the Picts and Vikings, right through to the present day. Our guide will take you through the museum and to meet a local councilor for a short chat.
 Lunch: Lunch aboard the ship, or on your own in Kirkwall.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to explore Kirkwall. Your group leader will provide you with some possible sites to explore.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: There will be an informal briefing at 8:30PM in the ship's Board Room this evening where your group leader will discuss the next day’s plans.
   
Accommodations: Oceania Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Portree (Isle of Skye)
(Monday, July 28)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Visit Kilmuir, home of the Museum of Island Life, the Flora McDonald grave, and the ruins of Duntulm Castle - the former stronghold of the McDonalds. Lastly, travel to Kilt Rock & Waterfall for bird watching and magnificent views.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Situated off the West coast of Scotland is Dunvegan Castle, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and the stronghold of the chiefs of the Macleod clan for 800 years. Originally designed to keep people out, it was first opened to visitors in 1933. Since then, the castle is consistently ranked as one of Scotland's premier visitor attractions. Over the years, the castle has been visited by Sir Walter Scott, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Queen Elizabeth II and the Japanese Emperor Akihito.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
   
Accommodations: Oceania Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Belfast
(Tuesday, July 29)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: This morning, we transfer to the city center. En route, learn about the rich legacy of the Harland and Wolff shipbuilders where the "Titanic" was built. You will stop at Belfast's Jurys Inn for an illustrated lecture on "The Mural Tradition and Political Transformation in Northern Ireland". This will serve as an introduction to Belfast and a basis for understanding the expertly guided field trip of Belfast City later in the morning. Depart by Belfast's taxi cabs to the colorful and evocative murals of East and West Belfast. It has been said that a city can be defined by its taxi drivers and nowhere is this more true than in Belfast!
 Lunch: During lunch, meet with a member of the Sinn Fein political party and former Lord Mayor of Belfast Tom Hartley. During this Q&A session, learn about life as a politician during The Troubles.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore Belfast. Your group leader will provide you with some possible sites to explore.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: There will be an informal briefing at 8:30PM in the ship's Board Room this evening where your group leader will discuss the next day’s plans.
   
Accommodations: Oceania Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Dublin
(Wednesday, July 30)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Disembark for a guided field trip of the city of Dublin, which includes a visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch in a real Irish Pub. You will be joined by a duo of young traditional Dublin musicians who will share their knowledge of Irish music with you and play a few jigs, reels & airs!
 Afternoon: Visit Historic Trinity College in the company of current undergraduates. Trinity College builds on its four hundred year-old tradition of scholarship to confirm its position as one of the great universities of the world. It has been the educator of many of Ireland's great writers from Swift to Wilde. Part of the tour will include the Trinity College Library which houses 200,000 antique texts, marble busts of scholars and the oldest surviving harp in Ireland, as well as the Book of Kells. This illuminated manuscript of the Gospels was created by Irish monks around the year 800.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
   
Accommodations: Oceania Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Cork (Cobh), Ireland
(Thursday, July 31)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Visit Blarney Castle. Built over 600 years ago by a great Irish Chieftain, Cormac MacCarthy, the legendary Blarney Stone (Stone of Eloquence) is found at the top of the tower and has been attracting visitors to the area for decades. Kiss it and you will never be lost for words again!
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: After lunch we continue on our exploration of Cobh. We will meet a local historian & guide and depart by foot for the ‘Titanic Trail’, a guided visit of the historic seaside town of Cobh, the last port of call for the "Titanic".
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: There will be an informal briefing at 8:30PM in the ship's Board Room this evening where your group leader will discuss the next day’s plans.
   
Accommodations: Oceania Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Portland, United Kingdom
(Friday, August 1)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: After disembarktion, we leave Portland and head to the village of Wool. We proceed to the town of Dorchester, a Roman town, where we will visit The Dorset County Museum, which offers more of the Thomas Hardy connections, Roman connections and Jurassic Coast information.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch we head west along the Jurassic Coast to Lyme Regis with its wonderful harbour, Jurassic Coast and literary connections. We will walk along the seaside to the Cobb which Jane Austin used in her novel "Persuasion," where we will admire the wonderful view. We return to Portland along the Jurassic Coast, via Abbotsbury, with its thatched cottages, and back on the Isle of Portland. Drive around Portland looking into quarries where the famous Portland Stone has been quarried for 2,000 years. Visit Portland Bill and its lighthouse for views of the infamous Prisons on the Island.
 Dinner: Enjoy a fond farewell dinner aboard the ship and share stories from a wonderful voyage.
 Evening: There will be an informal briefing at 8:30PM in the ship's Board Room this evening where your group leader will recap the program and discuss the next day’s plans.
   
Accommodations: Oceania Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Southampton / London / Departures
(Saturday, August 2)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Disembarkation and transfers to the airport for flights to the US.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


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The Oxford Illustrated History of Ireland


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The Penguin Illustrated History of Britain and Ireland, From Earliest Times to the Present Day


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