Arrive in Edinburgh and transfer to your landmark luxury hotel, The Balmoral. This evening, gather for a welcome briefing and themed dinner at your hotel. Stay: The Balmoral (D)
Edinburgh embodies the Scottish national heritage like few other places. After a morning at leisure, tour Scotland's vibrant capital, taking in Edinburgh Castle and inspiring city views. Later, board your expedition vessel and set sail on the Firth of Forth. Conditions permitting, view Bass Rock, home to the world's largest gannet colony. Stay: Le Dumont d'Urville (B/L/D)
Northern Scotland is legendary for its dramatic, windswept mountains, wooded hills and rich history. Today, explore the magnificent Highlands, choosing from excursions that may include a visit to Inverness, a private cruise on mythic Loch Ness and stop at Urquhart Castle, an exploration of Culloden's battlefield, or a whisky tasting at Glenmorangie Distillery. Stay: Le Dumont d'Urville (B/L/D)
Rich in Viking heritage, the landscapes of the Orkneys span rolling hills, dramatic cliffs and wave-swept sea caves. Today, you might explore historic Kirkwall; Skara Brae, one of the best-preserved Stone Age settlements in Western Europe; or the spine-tingling Ring of Brodgar, a circle of standing stones dating to 2700 BC. Stay: Le Dumont d'Urville (B/L/D)
Framed by wild, windswept beaches, Scotland's Western Isles span the rolling moorlands of Lewis and the towering mountains of Harris. Today, you might opt for a drive through the moorlands, stopping to explore the Calanais Standing Stones and the island's crofting traditions, or drive the Golden Road, pausing to visit a Harris tweed weaver and a local distillery. Stay: Le Dumont d'Urville (B/L/D)
Inhabited for over 2,000 years, Hirta, the largest of the St. Kilda islands, harboured an isolated, hardscrabble agricultural community until 1930. Conditions permitting, pass the island's staggering sea stacks and come ashore to explore the deserted stonework settlement, the highest cliffs in all of Britain, and a vital seabird habitat. Stay: Le Dumont d'Urville (B/L/D)
The approach to Staffa by sea is breathtaking, with great basalt columns flanking the deep caves of the island. Conditions allowing, enjoy a Zodiac experience near Fingal, a sea cave formed by hexagonally jointed basalt. Continue cruising to the tranquil island of Iona, where you might discover Iona Abbey, an ancient centre of Gaelic monasticism. Stay: Le Dumont d'Urville (B/L/D)
Today, your Captain charts a course past Ireland's Killybegs to County Donegal, a rugged enclave of deep-sea inlets, sandy beaches and spectacular mountains. Once ashore, you may opt for a scenic tour of Donegal Town; drive through the countryside to the Slieve League Mountains; visit Sligo, the mecca of “Yeats Country”; or cross into Northern Ireland's walled city of Londonderry to reflect on the legacy of “Bloody Sunday” and “The Troubles.” Stay: Le Dumont d'Urville (B/L/D)
Today, arrive in Galway, a lively cultural enclave renowned for its vibrant lanes, colourful houses and thriving arts scene. You might enjoy a culinary walking tour and Irish whiskey tasting, explore the Burren's vast karst landscape with a botanist and visit a local sheep farm, or spend the day amid Connemara's jagged, filigreed shoreline. Later, take in iconic vistas from the atmospheric Cliffs of Moher. Stay: Le Dumont d'Urville (B/L/D)
Relish a day at sea, relaxing with new friends and attending lectures to enrich your discoveries. Stay: Le Dumont d'Urville (B/L/D)
Come ashore in Plymouth, a Devon port city renowned for its rich maritime heritage. Here, you might choose to tour the city's Mayflower Museum, Barbican architecture, Plymouth Hoe and Royal William Yard. Alternatively, head out to Dartmoor National Park, pausing in Princetown for a Devonshire cream tea, or savour tea and cake at Cornwall's Mount Edgcumbe House, former seat of the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe. Stay: Le Dumont d'Urville (B/L/D)
Bid farewell to your Captain and crew as you approach the White Cliffs of Dover and disembark. Once ashore, you might visit Canterbury's prestigious cathedral; tour Leeds Castle, home to six English queens; or opt for a stop at Chartwell, the former residence of Winston Churchill. Your excursion ends at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, where you dine this evening. Stay: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square (B/L/D)
Today, explore a city that defies all introductions — a global hub of commerce, culture and empire dating back to Roman times. Your excursions might include a tour featuring the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye; a visit to Buckingham Palace; a culinary experience with a former executive chef to the Royal Family; or a visit to the Churchill War Rooms and the Imperial War Museums. Stay: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square (B/L/D)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on a group extension to the Cotswolds. (B)
Balcony Staterooms offer a spectacular view for a memorable and relaxing holiday. Two twin beds that convert to a King bed and a private balcony. Stateroom: 200 sq. ft. or 18 sq. m. Balcony: 43 sq. ft. or 4 sq. m.
Deluxe Suites offer a spacious room with a spectacular view for a great holiday. Two twin beds that convert to a king bed and a private balcony. Stateroom: 290 sq. ft. or 27 sq. m. Balcony: 54 sq. ft. or 5 sq. m.
Grand Deluxe Suite
Grand Deluxe Suites offer a spacious room with a spectacular view for a great holiday. Two twin beds that convert to a king bed and a private balcony. Butler services included. Stateroom: 485 sq. ft. or 45 sq. m. Balcony: 322 sq. ft. or 30 sq. m.
The Owner's Suite features a spacious private terrace with a Jacuzzi and sunbeds, offering breathtaking panoramic sea views. Separate bedroom with two twin beds that convert to a King bed, dressing room, bathtub, dining and tv area. Butler service included. Suite: 485 sq. ft. or 45 sq. m. Balcony: 430 sq. ft. or 40 sq. m.
Prestige Suites offer twice the space and amenities when compared to the Deluxe Stateroom. Two twin beds that convert to a King bed, two showers, a daybed and a private balcony. Butler service included. Stateroom: 410 sq. ft. or 38 sq. m. Balcony: 86 sq. ft. or 8 sq. m.
Privilege Suites offer a spacious living area and spectacular views. Two twin beds that convert to a King bed, shower with bathtub, a sofa and a private balcony. Butler service included Stateroom: 344 sq. ft. or 32 sq. m. Balcony: 86 sq. ft. or 8 sq. m.