British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature and Wildlife Expedition

British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature and Wildlife Expedition

British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature and Wildlife Expedition

British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature and Wildlife Expedition

Travel information 15 days MS Otto Sverdrup
Departures
14 April 2023
28 April 2023
Price from
4590 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Sail from Hamburg and explore the coast and islands along the length of the British Isles, discovering its wildlife, stunning natural beauty and distinct cultural heritage. 

Set sail from historic Hamburg 

Beginning at Hamburg, this epic expedition cruise to the British Isles takes in parts of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and the Hebridean islands. See how nature and heritage have distinctly shaped the culture of each destination as you explore medieval castles, mystical ancient monuments and stately cathedrals. Uncover Viking history in Douglas, Kirkwall and Stornoway, and visit time-honoured distilleries on the ‘whisky island’ of Islay.  

Islands of charm and legend 

On Cornwall’s subtropical Isles of Scilly, you’ll visit a Benedictine abbey’s gardens, while in Wales, there are coastal footpath and ancient ruins to explore. Further north, Scotland’s Fort William is the gateway to spectacular Highland scenery. Alongside towns with their roots in Celtic and Viking legend, you’ll encounter picturesque landscapes, cosy villages and wind-swept islands.  

Perfect for nature lovers 

Whether from the ship’s decks, from our small expedition boats, or simply on foot, you’ll be wildlife spotting throughout your cruise. Bird enthusiasts will be in awe of the birdlife on Rathlin Island and the largest seabird colony in Europe on tiny and remote St Kilda. Islay, known for its whiskies, is home to over 200 bird species, including Golden Eagles.  The true meaning of expedition cruising will become apparent as you join nature landings with our knowledgeable Expedition Team. 

British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature and Wildlife Expedition British Isles Cruise – Heritage, Nature and Wildlife Expedition
  • Day 1
    Hamburg, Germany

    Your journey begins

    Your adventure begins in the bustling, historic city of Hamburg 

    We’ll begin our sailing to the British Isles in the second-largest city in Germany. Hamburg was once part of the Hanseatic League, and has forever been linked to trade and adventure – it's the perfect place to set out from. 

    Your expedition ship MS Otto Sverdrup awaits in the port, where your friendly Expedition Team will prepare you for the adventure ahead. Check out your cabin and get to know your new home-from-home before sitting down to a departure dinner. 

    Day 1
    Hamburg, Germany

    Your journey begins

  • Day 2
    At sea

    Relax and learn

    Enjoy an idyllic day at sea with plenty to do 

    Today you’ll have plenty of time to unwind. Admire the views from the ship’s Observation Deck, settle into a good book with a cup of tea or coffee, check out the onboard Science Center, or take full advantage of the gym and hot tubs.   

    The Expedition Team will happily share their extensive knowledge of the British Isles with you through in-depth lectures. These added insights will help turn your cruise into an adventure. Our professional onboard photographer will also be available to give top tips for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos.   

    Day 2
    At sea

    Relax and learn

  • Day 3
    Portland, England

    A great island for birdlife

    Ruggedly beautiful and abundant in wildlife, Portland is ripe for exploration 

    As a central part of the UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast, Portland boasts natural beauty and historical heritage in equal amounts. Just four miles long, the island is tied to the mainland of Dorset by Chesil Beach – an 18-mile-long pebbly strand.  

    A haven for wildlife, Portland is home to nearly 300 species of birds, and it’s a significant migrating point. On previous visits we’ve engaged with a local nature conservation charity and held beach and reserve clean-ups at three different locations – something we hope to repeat. 

    • Included Portland Beach Clean Up
    Day 3
    Portland, England

    A great island for birdlife

  • Day 4
    Isles of Scilly, England

    Cornish subtropical beauty and island tranquillity

    Crystal clear water, powdery-white sand, and natural beauty – welcome to Scilly 

    With its palm trees and white sandy beaches, this enchanting archipelago 30 miles off the tip of Cornwall looks like it could be in the tropics. If conditions allow, we’ll split our time between various islands. You can explore Tresco, with its subtropical Abbey Gardens or St Mary’s, with its wild landscapes, beautiful beaches and craft studios. 

    Alternatively, join a trip around the islands, visiting shipwreck sites, spying seals lying on the rocks, and cruising around the bird sanctuary of Annet where you’ll spot puffins and other seabirds. 

    • Included Tresco Abbey Gardens
    Day 4
    Isles of Scilly, England

    Cornish subtropical beauty and island tranquillity

  • Day 5
    Fishguard, Wales

    The Welsh town with a long history

    Explore Fishguard and see its Iron Age settlements and the idyllic Dyffryn Fernant gardens 

    Nestled between the Preseli Hills and the Pembrokeshire coast is the charming Welsh coastal town of Fishguard. You’ll find the original hamlet and harbour in Lower Fishguard, and spectacular sea views from the ‘Main Town’ on the clifftop.  

    Explore the ruins of Fishguard Fort at Castle Point, and spot marine life on a coastal walk along the Pencaer Peninsula. Get a feel for life in the neolithic inside the reconstructed roundhouses of Castell Henllys – while the Dyffryn Fernant gardens are a horticultural gem not to be missed. 

    Day 5
    Fishguard, Wales

    The Welsh town with a long history

  • Day 6
    Douglas, Isle of Man

    Viking history on a Celtic island

    Explore the capital of the Isle of Man, a hotbed of Celtic and Viking heritage 

    The scenic approach to Douglas is not to be missed! We head ashore to explore the capital of the Isle of Man; learn about the island’s Celtic and Viking heritage, trace its development as a Victorian tourist resort, and see its stunning rugged coastline.   

    There’s so much to pack into your day in Douglas. Visit the Manx Museum, check out the murals in St Thomas’s Church and discover the impressively spooky Peel Castle, originally a Viking stronghold and now said to be haunted. 

    • Included Isle of Man Beach Cleaning
    Day 6
    Douglas, Isle of Man

    Viking history on a Celtic island

  • Day 7
    Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

    Seabirds, choughs and corncrakes

    Rugged cliffs, tranquil lakes and wildlife on Rathlin Island 

    At just six miles long and one mile wide, Rathlin Island is ideal for exploring by bike or on foot. Choose from scenic clifftop walks or the many rambler trails where you can admire the natural beauty and take in the sights and sounds, including large colonies of breeding seabirds.  

    Visit the RSPB Seabird Centre and the working ‘upside-down’ lighthouse perched on the cliffs. Pay a visit to the Boathouse Visitor Centre to learn about island life, local history, and the many historical shipwrecks in nearby waters. 

    Day 7
    Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

    Seabirds, choughs and corncrakes

  • Day 8
    Fort William, Scotland 

    Highland adventure town

    Visit Scotland’s outdoor adventure hub and take in the surrounding beauty 

    After sailing into Loch Linnhe we arrive at Fort William. The town is known as ‘Britain’s Outdoor Capital’ and is a magnet for hikers, bikers, climbers and skiers. As you’ll see, it’s set amidst some spectacular Highland scenery. 

    The town’s whisky distillery offers its take on the national tipple, and a scenic short walk awaits at Glen Nevis. You can also visit Glen Coe, a valley formed from volcanic activity, sculpted by glaciers and designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

    • Included High in the Nevis Range
    Day 8
    Fort William, Scotland 

    Highland adventure town

  • Day 9
    Islay (Scotland)

    Scottish island life, distilled

    Idyllic Islay is an island paradise of wildlife, whisky and woollen garments 

    Islay (pronounced eye-la) isn’t called ‘Whisky Island’ for nothing. There are nine working distilleries here, and you’ll find their peaty single malts sold around the world. One of the larger isles, there’s 130 miles of coastline, and numerous quiet sandy beaches. 

    Islay is also an island of wildlife, with over 200 species of birds including Golden Eagles, oystercatchers, gannets and Hen Harriers. What’s more, the mystical past is present here, with ancient monoliths, Celtic crosses and a stone circle all visible.   

    • Included Islay Coastal Walk 
    Day 9
    Islay (Scotland)

    Scottish island life, distilled

  • Day 10
    St. Kilda, Hirta Island (Scotland)

    UNESCO treasure, reclaimed by nature

    There’s only one way to describe tiny, rocky St Kilda: wild 

    The most remote part of the British Isles, St Kilda is a UNESCO double World Heritage Site and the jewel in the crown of the National Trust for Scotland. Once home to Britain’s most remote island community, its cliffs and sea stacks are home to a myriad of seabirds, including the UK’s largest colony of Atlantic Puffins.  

    Birdlife aside, you might also see Soay sheep roaming the island or minke whales in the seas. Explore the abandoned village and see the distinctive ‘cleits’ – circular stone buildings used to store peat, eggs and smoked puffins, before heading back to the ship and our more contemporary dining options.  

    • Included St Kilda Nature Landing - Included for all!
    Day 10
    St. Kilda, Hirta Island (Scotland)

    UNESCO treasure, reclaimed by nature

  • Day 11
    Stornoway, Lewis (Scotland)

    Welcome to the Outer Hebrides

    Picturesque harbour, ancient ruins and tweed workshops  

    Stornoway is the arrival port to the wild Outer Hebrides. Originally a Viking settlement, it has a beautiful waterfront with museums, art galleries and charming shops. Lews Castle is a must-see, while further afield are workshops where Harris tweed is woven, folk museums, and ancient monuments. 

    There are many routes to pick from if you fancy a walk, with Lewis being the less hilly part. As you explore the island, look out for red deer, eagles, otters, gannets and butterflies – the wild side of this peaceful island attracts nature lovers from around the world. 

    • Included Lews Castle Walk
    Day 11
    Stornoway, Lewis (Scotland)

    Welcome to the Outer Hebrides

  • Day 12
    Kirkwall, Orkney (Scotland)

    Ancient Viking town

    Explore an ancient Viking town in the enchanting Orkney Islands 

    Kirkwall is the capital of the Orkney archipelago and one of Scotland’s most attractive and well-preserved towns. Dominated by St. Magnus Cathedral, the old part of Kirkwall is one of the best examples of an ancient Viking town. The Bishops and Earls Palaces just across the road complete Kirkwall’s trio of must-visit landmarks. 

    The Viking theme continues at the Highland Park Distillery, founded by a direct descendant of the Vikings. This traditional distillery is a great visit if you like whisky, or just want to soak up some history. 

    • Included Kirkwall on Foot
    Day 12
    Kirkwall, Orkney (Scotland)

    Ancient Viking town

  • Day 13
    Edinburgh (Leith), Scotland

    Scotland's crowning jewel

    Discover the many charms of the much-loved city of Edinburgh 

    After London, Edinburgh is the most visited city in the United Kingdom, and you’ll soon see why. With streets steeped in history and a thriving cultural scene, the Scottish capital offers the perfect balance between the traditional and contemporary.  

    Explore mysterious winding alleys and elegant terraced rows, and check out some of the many shops, bars and restaurants. Get a great view of the city from majestic Edinburgh Castle, where you can see Scotland’s Crown Jewels and the famed Stone of Destiny. 

    • Included Walking tour of Edinburgh’s Historic Royal Mile
    Day 13
    Edinburgh (Leith), Scotland

    Scotland's crowning jewel

  • Day 14
    At Sea

    Reflect on your Journey

    We’ll have departed Edinburgh the night before and be well on our way across the North Sea back towards Hamburg. As you leave Britain behind you, you might like to spend this day at sea reflecting and unwinding from the excitement of the past two weeks. 

    Relax into the panoramic views in the Explorer Lounge and make the most of the amenities of the ship, whether it’s a work-out in the gym or a session in the sauna. The onboard photographer will be on hand too with tips on how best to edit the array of scenic photos you’ve captured. You’ll likely have some stunning scenery and wildlife photos to play with to bring out the best in every shot. 

    Day 14
    At Sea

    Reflect on your Journey

  • Day 15
    Hamburg, Germany

    Return to Hamburg

    The end of your adventure around the British Isles 

    After breakfast, it’ll be time to say a fond farewell to everyone on MS Otto Sverdrup who has made your expedition cruise so special.   

    As you head ashore, you’ll take back some fantastic lifetime memories from your trip. Along the way you’ll have seen some unique nature, fascinating towns and cities, and of course, all the friendly people you’ve met along the way. We hope you’ll join us for new adventures soon! 

    Day 15
    Hamburg, Germany

    Return to Hamburg

Departures

2023

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
April:
14.
28.

What's included

Included in your voyage

Expedition Cruise  

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune and Fredheim 
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with very limited connection.  Streaming is not supported. 
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board 
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included excursions 

Onboard Activities  

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics 
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library, biological and geological microscopes and samples 
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research 
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos 
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna and indoor gym and outdoor gym  
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come 

Landing Activities 

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats  
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities 
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition Photographer to help with your camera settings 

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights  
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team   
  • Spa treatments 

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change  
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements 
  • No gratuities expected 
Hjorundfjord, Norway MS Otto Sverdrup
MS Otto Sverdrup
Photo: Trym Ivar Bergsmo/Hurtigruten
Cabin M4
Photo: Espen Mills
Your ship

MS Otto Sverdrup

Year built 2002
Year of refurbishment 2020
Shipyard Kleven Verft (N)
Passenger capacity 526
Beds 554
Gross tonnage 15,690 t
Length 138.5 m
Beam 21.5 m
Speed 15 knots
Hjorundfjord, Norway MS Otto Sverdrup

MS Otto Sverdrup is designed for exciting, sustainable expedition cruises along the Norwegian coastline

Read more about MS Otto Sverdrup

Aune Restaurant
Photo: Espen Mills

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