The Enchanted Isles: Scotland, Ireland & England - Le Champlain
Natural and human history will come alive as you explore windswept vistas and tiny villages with this award-winning luxury operator's high-energy expedition staff.
British Isles: Drink It In
Welcome Aboard the
Voyage beyond mainland Scotland, Ireland and England for a completely unique experience exploring ravishing coastlines, natural landscapes and historic treasures. Joined by this operator's famed Expedition Team, discover the velvet-green Orkney archipelago, wild Hebrides, UNESCO-designated St. Kilda and ravishing cliffs of Donegal and Moher. Visit Urquhart Castle in the Scottish Highlands, the thrilling Ring of Brogdar in the Orkney Islands, and dizzying Skellig Michael, and Sligo in Ireland, hometown of poet William Butler Yeats. Guests also enjoy luxury pre- and post-cruise stays with one night in Edinburgh and two nights in London.
- • Go behind the scenes via this operator's special insider access.
• Savor culinary excursions, like guided whisky tasting at the legendary Glenmorangie distillery in the Scottish Highlands and lunch with a former executive chef to the Royal family in London.
• Before and after your cruise, experience a night in Edinburgh with a dinner celebrating the Royal Military Tattoo as well as two days in London, each complete with luxury hotel stays and guided excursions.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
Trip Sustainability Awards
Fantastic advances in minimizing carbon footprints at locations.
On the East African Energy Renewal Board
Runs local educational facilities for children.
Day 1 - Edinburgh, Scotland
Arrive in Edinburgh and transfer to your luxury hotel. This evening, join fellow guests and your Expedition Team for a welcome briefing and themed dinner at your hotel.
Accommodations: The Balmoral
Day 2 - Exciting Capital City
After breakfast and a morning at leisure, join a panoramic tour of Scotland’s capital city, vibrant Edinburgh. Explore Edinburgh Castle with your expert local guide and take in inspiring city views. Later, board your sleek expedition vessel and set sail on the Firth of Forth. Join fellow guests on deck and, conditions permitting, view Bass Rock, home to the world’s largest gannet colony, as well as the Isle of May, home to over 285 species of birds. This afternoon, board Le Champlain.
Day 3 - Invergordon | Majestic Scottish Highlands
The northern part of Scotland is legendary for its dramatic, windswept mountains, wooded hills and historic significance. Today, explore the magnificent Highlands, choosing from experiences that include an expertly guided visit of the Scottish Highlands capital of Inverness, a private cruise on mythic Loch Ness and exploration of Urquhart Castle, a moving experience at the site of the epic Battle of Culloden, or a visit and whisky tasting at Glenmorangie Distillery.
Day 4 - Orkney Islands | Kirkwall & the Ring of Brodgar
Rich in Viking heritage and UNESCO-designated sites, the landscapes of the Orkneys run the gamut from rolling hills dotted with wildflowers to dramatic cliffs inhabited by seabirds to frothy waves and sea caves. A choice of excursions reveals the archipelago’s many stories, including exploration of historic Kirkwall or a visit to the 5,000-year-old Skara Brae, one of the best-preserved Stone Age settlements in Western Europe. You may also visit the spine-tingling Ring of Brodgar, a ceremonial circle of ancient standing stones dating to 2700 BC. Perched on a strip of land bordered by both salt and fresh water, see 27 of the original 60 stones set in a precise circle at six degrees apart. Before dinner this evening aboard your luxury expedition cruiser, enjoy a recap and fascinating lectures with your Expedition Team.
Day 5 - Outer Hebrides | Prehistoric Western Isles
The Western Isles of Scotland offer outstanding scenery with wild and windswept beaches, towering peaks and peat moors. The main islands include the moorlands of Lewis and the mountains of Harris, each with its own Gaelic dialect. Choose a drive through the moorlands to the archaeological site of the ancient Calanais Standing Stones, Scotland’s own “Stonehenge,” and a visit to Arnol Blackhouse, a traditional thatched house where Gaelic-speaking locals reveal the island’s crofting traditions. Alternatively, you may opt for a drive on the Golden Road with stops to visit a Harris tweed weaver, as well as a local gin and whisky distillery. Continue to a clifftop at the edge of the Outer Hebrides showcasing stunning views and wildlife.
Day 6 - Outer Hebrides | Sea Stacks of St. Kilda
For more than 2,000 years and until 1930, the St. Kilda islands were inhabited by an isolated community. Today, the preserved settlement reveals "cleits", beehive-shaped cells of rough stone that served as larders and storerooms. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, designated for both its natural and cultural significance. Admire the staggering cliffs and sea stacks that define the islands. Visit Hirta, the largest island with the highest cliffs in all of Britain. Among the most important seabird breeding colonies in Northwest Europe, the cliffs provide refuge for more than 200 species, including fulmars and shags.
Day 7 - Inner Hebrides | Green Jewels of Staffa & Iona
The approach to Staffa by sea is breathtaking, with great basalt columns flanking the deep caves of the island. Keep an eye out for dolphins, basking sharks and minke whales, which can been seen during the warmer months. Excursions ashore lead you to the wonders of Fingal, a sea cave formed by hexagonally jointed basalt. Continue cruising to the tranquil island of Iona, where you discover Iona Abbey, an ancient center of Gaelic monasticism.
Day 8 - Donegal, Ireland | Unspoiled Coast
Though a small island nation, Ireland is packed with stunning landscapes, welcoming locals, and a wealth of history and culture. Your introduction to the island begins near Donegal at Killybegs, with its broken coastline of deep-sea inlets and sandy beaches, spectacular mountains and blanket bog. Today, join a guided walking tour of Donegal or a drive to the countryside to witness the iconic Slieve League Mountains and an impressive waterfall. Fans of legendary writer William Butler Yeats and his brother Jack Yeats, an accomplished painter, may choose to visit their hometown of Sligo. In “Yeats Country,” experience the landscapes and beaches that inspired their artistry, a memorable poetry reading at the Yeats Society and the gravesite of the poet himself. For another option, cross into Northern Ireland and spend the day in the walled city of Londonderry, site of 1972’s “Bloody Sunday.”
Day 9 - Galway | Traditional City & Cliffs of Moher
Today, arrive in the lively city of Galway with its narrow streets, colorful houses and thriving arts community. Choose from excursions that take you on an artisan culinary walking tour with a tutored tasting of Irish whiskeys or to the Burren — the largest karst landscape in Europe — for a botanist-guided experience and local sheep farm visit. You may also opt for a day in Ireland’s breathtaking Connemara region with its jagged, filigreed shoreline. Later today, embark on Zodiac excursions along the ravishing, picture-perfect Cliffs of Moher.
Day 10 - Skellig Michael | Fantastic Peaks of the Atlantic
Early this morning, you may have the opportunity to see breathtaking Skellig Michael, a UNESCO-designated site whose extreme remoteness has preserved it almost unchanged. Its sandstone pyramids were home to some of the earliest monastic settlements in Ireland; today, they provide sanctuary to fantastic birdlife, including puffins. The dizzying Skellig Michael (also known as Great Skellig) also doubled as Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Temple in the Star Wars saga. Later today, arrive at historic Bantry and set off on a leisurely walk and guided visits to its historic churches or to stately Bantry House’s magnificent gardens.
Day 11 - At Sea | Across the Celtic Sea
Relish a day at sea, taking in the views from the outer decks or from your own private balcony. Enjoy relaxed time with new friends and your Expedition Team, including additional lectures and conversations to enrich your discoveries.
Day 12-13 - London | City of Striking Landmarks
Bid farewell to your Captain and crew as you approach the White Cliffs of Dover and disembark for the next chapter of your adventure. Before heading to London, choose from various options, such as a visit to Canterbury and its prestigious Cathedral, or Leeds Castle, the property of six English queens during the 13th to 15th centuries. You may also opt for a stop at Chartwell, former home of Winston Churchill. Following lunch, transfer to the heart of London and check into your luxury hotel, where you have dinner tonight.
The next day, embark on a full day of exploration in this bustling city. Your choice of excursions includes a panoramic tour showcasing eye-popping landmarks, such as the Tower of London and Kensington Palace, a visit to Westminster Abbey and a London Eye experience. Alternately, join: a visit to Buckingham Palace; a culinary experience spanning Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill, sampling delicacies and enjoying lunch with a former executive chef to the Royal Family; or a journey back in time with a visit to the Churchill War Rooms and the Imperial War Museums.
Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel London
Day 14 - Depart London
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on a group extension to the Cotswolds.
Please Note: Itinerary is for guidance purposes only and may be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances including weather, medical emergencies and other conditions beyond this operator's control at the sole discretion of the Captain.
Minimum age is 7 years.
Categories 4-8 include room upgrade at the hotel and butler service aboard the ship.
First group event: welcome briefing on Aug 26.
Last group event: excursions on Sep 7.
Offer Details: Special offer rates quoted subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time.
Le Champlain successfully manages to subtly combine the desire to explore the remotest regions of the planet with the comfort and privacy of a cosily intimate ship. To the innovative and environmentally friendly equipment are added elegant design and a unique atmosphere in keeping with all of her sister ships. Your dream of a cruise onboard a cosily intimate ship is thus made possible through the combination of an authentically genuine voyage experience together with discreet luxury.
• Capacity: 148 guests (Ship carries 184)
• Cabins: 92 cabins
• Specialists: Highly Credentialed Naturalists & Experts, 1.1.3 Guest to Staff Ratio
Travel Weekly's "Best Tour Operator - Luxury" (17 Years)
Afar Magazine's "Best Cultural Trips" 2020
Travvy Awards "Best Escorted Tour Operator - Luxury" 2020
"Le Champlain is one of the most luxurious expedition ships at sea, and when operated by this world-class company, her voyages come alive with expert guiding and off-the-beaten-path itineraries. If you're looking for a way to see the world in comfort and style with expert service, enthusiastic staff, and a fantastic education program, we heartily recommend this lovely ship."
Life On Board
Click to enlarge
The only way to fully experience these remote reaches of the UK is by ship. If you love breathtaking landscapes and the guidance of high-level experts, this trip is for you.
Joy Martinello, Founder
What’s Included & Cancellation Policy: