Scottish Isles with a Taste of Norway

If you’re looking for a short summer break, this very special sailing might be the perfect getaway. In less than a week you can discover the scenic highlights of two beautiful Scottish islands and go in search of a few Norwegian wonders before spending a relaxing day at sea aboard Balmoral.

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DESTINATION Scotish Isles & Norway
FROM Dublin or Cork / Edinburgh, Scotland
DATE 07 July 2018
DURATION 5 Nights
PRICE From €999 pp

The Scottish leg of this highly rewarding escape begins with a call into Kirkwall. From the capital of the Orkneys you can explore the islands’ rugged untouched landscapes; encounter an abundance of wonderful wildlife; or even to take a short journey to Skara Brae and marvel at the remarkably well-preserved, 5,000-year-old Neolithic structures. Later in the evening you’ll pass by the Old Man of Hoy, taking in views of this incredible 450ft sea stack from the comfort of your ship. In the picturesque Shetlands, some of Scotland’s most spectacular coastal scenery is yours to discover on a tour to Northmavine from Lerwick. Or you could venture to the dramatic cliffs of Sumburgh Head, one of the best places on earth to watch seabirds such as puffins, fulmars and guillemots up-close.

You will enjoy a taste of Norway with a full day in the vibrant, attraction-packed city of Bergen. Within the city you’ll have time to explore the UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf, sample the hustle and bustle of the busy fish market and visit the Troldhaugen Museum, the former home of the great Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Riding the funicular railway to the top of Mount Fløyen is a must too, to take in stunning views of the city and the surrounding fjords. Alternatively you have the opportunity to join an unforgettable tour to see the breathtaking Tvinde Waterfall and board the world-famous Flåmsbana Railway for an incredible journey high into some of fjordland Norway’s most spectacular mountains.

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Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 1: Edinburgh (Rosyth), United Kingdom: Depart Late PM

Following a flight from Dublin or Cork to Edinburgh, you will be transferred to the port to board the Fred. Olsen Balmoral where you will begin your journey.

Day 2: Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, ScotlandArrive Early AM Depart Late PM

Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands, resonates with ancient echoes of Christian, Nordic and Celtic history. It’s a town that feels more Scandinavian than Scottish; in fact, the name Kirkwall comes from the Norse for ‘Church Bay’, relating to the town’s 11th century Church of St Olaf of Norway.

Exploring the town’s atmospheric paved streets and twisting lanes, reveals a number of highlights, including the ruins of the Earl and Bishop’s Palaces, dating from the mid-12th century and serving as a reminder of the Orkney’s turbulent past. The palaces are considered by many to be the finest Renaissance buildings in Scotland. Also worth visiting is the recently restored St. Magnus Cathedral, founded in memory of Saint Magnus Erlendsson by Norseman Earl Rögnvald Kali.

Don’t miss Tankerness House, a beautifully preserved 16th century townhouse, and the Orkney Wireless Museum, with it’s fascinating insights into the history of radio, too.

Day 2 (Continued): Cruising by Old Man of Hoy, Orkneys: Late Night

Britain’s tallest and arguably most famous sea stack, the Old Man of Hoy rises 450 feet out of the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of Hoy Island, in Scotland’s rugged Orkney archipelago.

Originally an arch with two ‘legs’ resembling those of an old man, hence the landmark’s nickname, the erosive power of the weather has reduced the stack to a single pillar which, owing to a huge crack slicing through the middle of it, geologists believe will one day collapse into the sea.

As it stands today though, defiantly battling the Atlantic tide and Scottish storms, the Old Man of Hoy remains one of the UK’s most popular climbing spots and an impressive sight to enjoy from the comfort of your cruise ship.

Day 3: Lerwick, Shetland Islands, ScotlandArrive Early AM Depart Late PM

Sturdy Lerwick is the friendly capital of the 100 islands and islets of the Shetland Islands. The bustling, cosmopolitan seaport is the islands’ only town, and its wonderful natural harbour is a joy to explore.

Until the 1600s, Leir Vik – Norse for a muddy bay – was little more than a few huts. However, conflict between the British and Dutch (whose fishing fleet fished for herrings off the islands) led to the building of a permanent settlement. This included Fort Charlotte, which once overlooked the harbour but has now been enclosed by the town following land reclamation.

Despite the wealth created by North Sea oil, modern Lerwick retains many fascinating small shops and historic buildings. Wandering along atmospheric Commercial St. is a delight, and the Böd of Gremista – a “fishing booth” built in 1780, is now a fascinating museum. The ground floor has the salt store and the kitchen, where herrings were hung to dry. Outside the town are the well preserved remains of the Broch of Clickimin, a small Bronze-Age settlement excavated in the last century.

Day 4: Bergen, Norway: Arrive Early AM Depart Late Night

Seven hills and seven fjords frame Hanseatic Bergen, a city steeped in maritime heritage. Of Bergen’s many attractions, the 900-year-old UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf. A delight to explore, the Bryggen’s cobbled stairways are lined with traditional half-timbered buildings and climb away from the waterfront, leading to curious open spaces that are often overflowing with colourful flowers that perfume the air.

Bergen has a vibrant fish market and hosts one of Norway’s biggest cultural events of the year, the Bergen International Festival. The city was once the home of Norway’s most famous composer, Edvard Grieg, and the Troldhaugen Museum is devoted to his life’s work.

Not to be missed is a chance to ride the Funicular Railway to the top of Mount Fløyen, offering spectacular panoramic views of Bergen and its scenic surroundings.

Day 5: At Sea:

Day 6: Edinburgh (Rosyth), UK: 

Following breakfast at your hotel, we will have you transferred to the airport for your flight back to Ireland.

5 Nights accommodation aboard the Balmoral, operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Line. (See ship info tab for more information on the Balmoral)

Balmoral

Balmoral is the largest of our ocean-going cruise ships, yet is still small enough to navigate size-restricted waterways such as the Kiel Canal, providing fantastic scenic cruising opportunities, and retains the warm, intimate and friendly atmosphere that the Fred. Olsen fleet is renowned for. Balmoral is named after the Scottish residence of the British Royal Family, and the Scottish theme runs throughout the main dining venues – the Ballindalloch, Avon and Spey – where guests can enjoy tantalising menus prepared by our expert chefs.

Featuring 710 well-appointed rooms and suites and a selection of comfortable lounges, bars and inviting public areas which have been extensively refitted and improved as part of Fred. Olsen’s fleet-wide refurbishment programme, Balmoral provides guests with ample space in which to relax and share a memorable cruise experience with hundreds, not thousands, of fellow travellers. And, as our guests have come to expect, there is always an array of superb entertainment on offer throughout the day, from lectures and hobby classes to live cabaret and comedians, ensuring you can make the most of your time on board.

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Dates & Prices

DATE PRICE CABIN
07 July 2018 €999 Inside Book Now
07 July 2018 €1,149 Porthole Window Oceanview Book Now
07 July 2018 €1,269 Picture Window Oceanview Book Now

Price Inclusions

  • Return flights from Dublin or Cork to Edinburgh
  • Return Transfers between airport and port
  • 5 nights accommodation aboard the Balmoral based on 2 sharing
  • Fine dining on a full board basis
  • All onboard entertainment
  • One check-in bag of 15kgs and one 10kgs carry-on per person
  • Taxes and charges of €130

Booking remarks

  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Full Payment required at time of bookingOptional Insurance available (call for details)
  • Drinks packages available to prebook – only €18 per person per night
  • Gratuities from €5 per person per night payable at the end of your cruise onboard M.S. Boudicca
  • These prices are guidelines only and are subject to change and availability. Pricing will be confirmed at time of booking.

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