20419
Northern Europe
The British Isles by Sea: Ireland, Scotland and England
Gain a deeper understanding of the British Isles, exploring ancient castles in Edinburgh, idyllic villages in Ireland, the Inner Hebrides in Scotland and grand architecture in England.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20419RJ
Length
17 days
Starts at
6,795
Flights start at
1,325
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17 days
16 nights
42 meals
15 B 12 L 15 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Departure from North America to Amsterdam
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Amsterdam, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Amsterdam
D
Doubletree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station

Morning: Arrive in Amsterdam and transfer to the program hotel.

Afternoon: Before dinner, we will gather in our private meeting room where the group leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Join your group and group leader for a welcome dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Exploring Amsterdam, Embark MS Prinsendam
Amsterdam
B,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Explore the rich history of this European capital during a field trip led by a local expert. While our local expert talks about the history, take in sites including the Royal Palace and the National Monument at Dam Square. The Royal Palace on Dam Square was originally built as Amsterdam's town hall. Opened in 1655, it was designed in grand style to reflect the city's economic prosperity. It became a royal residence when the Emperor Napoleon established his brother Louis as King of Holland, who had it elaborately furnished. It reverted back to the city when the French empire crumbled only a few years later. The succeeding Dutch Sovereign, King William I of the House of Orange-Nassau, was given permission to use it, as did other monarchs. The city sold the building to the State of the Netherlands in 1935, when it was offered permanently as the residence of the Royal House. When the palace is not in use by the royal family, it is open to the public. Dam Square is named for an actual dam on the River Amstel that was constructed on this spot about 1270. It later became the city's central marketplace. It's turbulent history is nowhere apparent today and what we see instead is the national monument of The Netherlands commemorating those who died in World War II. We end the morning at the Albert Cuyp street market, the largest in Europe. More than a century old, it features nearly 300 vendors selling nearly everything imaginable. But the emphasis is on food - fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, spices, chocolate, cheese, and more - from local favorites to specialties from around the world.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like at the market. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Transfer by coach to the port in Ijmuiden to embark the MS Prinsendam.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. The ship departs Amsterdam this evening.

DAY
4
At Sea
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: Aboard ship. The expansive offerings include a variety of hot and cold dishes for every taste.

Morning: We gather for a lecture by our Study Leader Celtic/Scottish history.

Lunch: Aboard ship. The expansive offerings include a variety of hot and cold dishes for every taste.

Afternoon: We will join our study leader for a presentation on the history and culture of the British Isles. As a special highlight, we'll gather for a Road Scholar cocktail party and to share what we may have in common beyond a love of learning.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
5
Arrive Scotland, Port of Rosyth, Explore Edinburgh
Port of Rosyth
B,D
MS Prinsendam

Activity note: The morning field trip to Edinburgh entails walking approximately 500 meters on uneven and cobblestone terrain

Breakfast: Breakfast onboard

Morning: Enjoy a half day (4 hours) field trip in Royal Edinburgh – Scotland’s vibrant capital. Historic landmarks Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle linked by streets steeped in history – the iconic Royal Mile, tell a captivating story. History and beauty unite in the proud city of Edinburgh where a dramatic balance exists between the high dark buildings of the medieval Old Town and classical architecture of the Georgian New Town. From the moment you arrive in the city centre you will be captivated by the stunning skyline and magnificent architecture. The castle clings dramatically to its rock as the ancient buildings ramble down the spine of the Royal Mile to the splendid Palace of Holyroodhouse. Admire the major sights and a unique vista over beautifully tended gardens to the historic castle, perched on a magnificent, natural rock formed by the core of an extinct volcano. In complete contrast to the warren of ancient buildings in the shadow of castle rock is Edinburgh’s New Town. Built largely in the 18th century, its elegant crescents, squares and gardens are lined with splendid Georgian buildings. Throughout its thousand-year history, Edinburgh Castle has witnessed many tense moments and for centuries it was home to Scotland’s kings and queens. There is much to see within the castle including the 15th century Old Royal Palace, which houses the Scottish Crown Jewels and regalia in the Crown Room with origins from medieval times. See the apartment where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to the future King James VI of Scotland who also became James I of England. Finally enjoy the historic area known as the ‘Royal Mile.’ Drive across Castle Hill, Lawnmarket, High Street and Canongate past delightful multi-storeyed houses and quaint side streets. See St Giles Cathedral dating from the 14th century and the 15th century Palace of Holyroodhouse – official Scottish residence of the Queen.

Lunch: Lunch on own in Edinburgh or aboard the ship

Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Rosyth (Edinburgh), Scotland. The ship is scheduled to depart at 6:00PM.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
6
Arrive Invergordon, Scotland - Cawdor Castle
Ivergordon
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: Breakfast onboard

Morning: We disembark the ship and board a motorcoach to the parish of Cawdor for an exploration of Cawdor Castle. Set amid gardens in the parish of Cawdor, the castle is built around a 15th-century tower house, with substantial additions in later centuries. Originally a property of the Clan Calder, it passed to the Campbells in the 16th century. It remains in Campbell ownership, and is now home to the Dowager Countess Cawdor, who kindly moves out in the summer so people can visit. The castle is perhaps best known for its literacy connection to William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, in which the title character is made "Thane of Cawdor." However, the story is highly fictionalized, and the castle itself was built many years after the life of the 11th-century King Macbeth. On your way back to the ship, make a quick detour to the village of Dores, for a photostop of Loch Ness.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: At leisure.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
7
Scrabster, Scotland
Scrabster
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Situated on the north coast of Scotland, Scrabster provides access to Scotland's rugged and spectacular Highlands. Look for Viking heritage in Highland place names; visit three churches in Caithness dating back to the Middle Ages and still in use today; and tour the Castle of Mey, the northernmost castle on the UK mainland and long time residence of the Queen Mother.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Scrabster, Scotland.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
8
At Sea
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Join your study leader for an educational presentation.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: At leisure.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
9
Dublin, Ireland
Dublin
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: 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 field trip will include 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. Meet Dublin historian at Trinity College to commence the 1916 Rebellion Walking Field Trip of Dublin City, visiting the relevant sites of the Rebellion in Dublin, including O'Connell St, Dublin's main thoroughfare with its landmark statue of Daniel O'Connell, the Great Liberator; The General Post Office (GPO headquarters of the 1916 Rising) the Four Courts, Dublin's City Hall and finishing at Dublin Castle.

Lunch: In a Dublin Pub. You will be joined by a duo of young Dublin traditional musicians who will share their knowledge of Irish music with you and play a few jigs, reels and airs!

Afternoon: Depart by coach for a field trip to Glencomlcille, a unique and beautiful place. Glencolmcille was chosen as a base by St. Columba, one of Ireland's three patron saints, along with St. Patrick and St. Brigid. Take an expert led walk of the Turas, a traditional pilgrimage site. On this hike, discover megalithic tombs, cross pillars, and breathtaking scenery.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Return to ship.

DAY
10
Liverpool, England
Liverpool
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: The Beatles and more: Discover Beatles Liverpool and some of the places associated with John, Paul, George and Ringo as they grew up, met and formed the band that would take the pop world by storm.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: AFTERNOON AT LEISURE TO EXPLORE Explore Liverpool Heritage: As the birthplace of the Beatles, Liverpool attracts many musical pilgrims, but its fascinating social history is recognised for its importance, Liverpool's Maritime Mercantile City was inscribed onto UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2004 to help preserve one of the world's most recognisable ports as a historic site.. Situated on the River Mersey, Liverpool's former maritime grandeur - in which it garnered a fortune from cotton and slaves during the 17th and 18th centuries - has left a striking architectural legacy. The Albert Dock and the Port of Liverpool Building are two such examples. Its status as European Capital of Culture in 2008 also helped chronicling the city's contribution to British history and culture, including The Beatles Story.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
11
Belfast, Ireland
Belfast
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Activity note: NOTE the currency here is the Pound Sterling.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Today will take you on a journey to Northern Ireland’s most famous landmark and only UNESCO World Heritage Site—the Giant’s Causeway. This remarkable landform takes its name from the legend of the giant Finn MacCool and it draws people from far and wide to this corner of North Antrim. The northern Antrim coastline is renowned for it scenic beauty and the Giant’s Causeway is its unique jewel in the crown, known to the Irish as the Eighth Wonder of the World. You journey along the Donegal coastline through the towns of Moville and Culmore before crossing from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland and the walled city of Londonderry. A short panoramic drive introduces you to this historic city. From here, travel through the towns of Limavady and Coleraine to join the Antrim Coast at Portrush and arriving at the Giant’s Causeway. Marvel at the majesty and mystery of the causeway—a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of the Atlantic. The rugged symmetry of the columns never fails to intrigue and inspire.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Belfast city center before returning by private motorcoach to the ship.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
12
Milford Haven, Wales
Milford Haven
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Located in the heart of Pembrokeshire, Wales, Milford Haven has been welcoming ships in it's deep, natural harbor since the Middle Ages. From Milford Haven, enjoy a scenic drive to the city of St. Davids to explore the St. David's Cathedral.

Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time to explore Milford Haven independently.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
13
St. Mary's, Isle of Scilly, England
St. Mary's, Isle of Scilly
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Just 28 miles off the southwest tip of Britain lies the small, beautiful archipelago of the Isles of Scilly. Its components include St Mary's, St Agnes, Bryher, Tresco, St Martins, and seemingly countless uninhabited islands and skerries. These beautiful islands exude a timeless peace and natural tranquility seldom found elsewhere.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue your exploration of St. Mary's.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
14
Portland, England
Llfracombe
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: The Isle of Portland is a limestone island in the English Channel located in the southernmost point of the county of Dorset, England. It is connected to the mainland by the picturesque Chesil Beach. Portland Isle is an integral part of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Dorset. A tranquil place, it is ideal for birdwatchers, divers, climbers, walkers and paradise for anyone interested in geology and archaeology.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Portland.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
15
St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands
St. Peter Port - Guernsey
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Activity note: This is a tender port. The ship will anchor as close to port as possible and you will be transported to the port on smaller boats.

Breakfast: Breakfast onboard

Morning: Guernsey is part of the southernmost group of islands that make up the British Isles. They sit in the Bay of St Malo, less than 30 miles from the French coast. This circular 3 hour drive of the green and beautiful island starts with a visit to a Neolithic Passage Grave and viewing of a Open Loophole Tower, built because of the American War of Independence. You will be able to see the remains of a medieval fishing village on the west coast plus German Fortifications left over from WWII and the Martello Tower. Just inland from the west coast is the only remaining free-standing chantry chapel in Guernsey built in 1392, St. Appolline Chapel. The chapel contains medieval wall paintings. Next, we will drive through the countryside to Bruce Russells and then to Castle Cornet. Those who wish to miss lunch on board have the option to stay with our local expert to visit the Castle. After the visit to the Castle proceed walking through St Peter Port’s back to the port.

Lunch: Aboard ship or on own at the Castle Cornet Cafeteria.

Afternoon: Continue your exploration of St Peter Port, Channel Islands.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
16
At Sea
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning is free to enjoy as you wish.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon program wrap up with your group leader

Dinner: Farewell dinner aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship's variety of activities on board.

DAY
17
Arrive Amsterdam, Disembark, Program Concludes
Amsterdam
B

Activity note: Please see the "Travel Details/Transportation" section for information about transfers.

Breakfast: Aboard ship. Ship is scheduled to arrive in Amsterdam at 7:00AM.

Morning: Transfer to the Amsterdam airport for flights back to the US. If you are booking your own air, avoid scheduling flights prior to 2:00PM. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are trasnferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!