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Dublin to Reykjavik Expedition Cruise

Dublin to Reykjavik Expedition Cruise

UBKSS
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Description

Bathed by the midnight sun, sail across some of the North Atlantic’s most beautiful and windswept islands. This is a voyage for history and nature lovers alike – packed full of Celtic charm and local legends. Although other human life might be scarce in some of these places, the vast colonies of birdlife more than makes up for it! Think playful Puffins, White-tailed Sea-eagle (if we’re lucky) and hundreds of Common Guillemots. Arrive in Iceland inspired and invigorated and ready for new discoveries.

Trip Name
Dublin to Reykjavik Expedition Cruise
Days
11
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 157 m Passenger Capacity: 200/260 Built: 1994 Refurbished & Rebranded: 2017 After extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud will be the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special. Her five dining options will tantalise your taste buds and as 80% of her suites include a veranda, watching a breaching whale or a few cavorting penguins has never been so personal. Broad sweeping decks with multiple open spaces and a swimming pool complete what is surely the most distinctive expedition ship sailing today. A limited number of guests, particularly with just 200 in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest space to guest and crew to guest ratios in expedition cruising. With her 18 zodiacs, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations. Finally, a team of 19 passionate and dedicated experts are always at hand to ensure your voyage is enhanced every step of the way. DECK 09 - Observation Lounge, Jogging Track DECK 08 - Pool, Pool Bar, Hot Rocks, The Panorama Lounge, The Connoisseur’s Corner DECK 07 - La Terrazza, The Spa at Silversea, Beauty Salon, The Library DECK 06 - Lecture Theatre, The Fitness Centre, Reception/Guest Relations, Expedition Desk DECK 05 - The Bar, Boutique, Casino DECK 04 - Main Restaurant, Le Champagne, Launderette

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 Dublin IRELAND
Atmospheric cobbled streets, with buskers scraping fiddles and characterful pubs inviting passersby inside, is Dublin in a snapshot. A city of irrepressible energy and lust for life, Ireland's capital is as welcoming a place as you'll find. Horse-drawn carriages plod along cobbled centuries-old streets, blending with an easy-going, cosmopolitan outlook. Known for its fun-filled gathering of pubs, any excuse works to enjoy a celebratory toast and chat among good company. Home to perhaps the world's most famous beer - slurp perfect pourings of thick, dark Guinness - cranked out for the city's thirsty punters. Learn more of the humble pint's journey at the Guinness Storehouse. Dublin has come along way since the Vikings established a trading port here, back in the 9th Century. In the time since, the city became the British Empire's defacto second city, and the Georgian imprint still adds oodles of historic character. Learn of 1916's Easter Uprising, when the Irish rebelled and established their independence here, as you visit the infamous, haunting Kilmainham Gaol. The uprising's leaders were tried and executed in these dark confines. Dublin's St. Patrick's Cathedral has immense history below its steep spire, which dates back to 1191. There's rich literary heritage to leaf through too, and the city's streets were rendered vividly in James Joyce's classic Ullyses. The Museum of Literature celebrates the full scope of Dublin's lyrical talents. Trinity College also has a prestigious roll-call of alumni - visit to see the Book of Kells, a beautifully illustrated bible of the medieval era.
Day 2 - Day 2 Portrush UNITED KINGDOM
Portrush is adjacent to the stunning North Antrim coastline. Here lies the medieval Dunluce Castle ruins. Perched picturesquely at the edge of a rocky outcropping high above the sea, the castle is dramatically surrounded by terrifyingly steep drops, which the early Christians and Vikings would have considered a very important security feature. The castle and surrounding areas have been frequently used for the filming of “Game of Thrones”. Another attraction reached from Portrush is the Giant’s Causeway -40,000 hexagonal basalt columns that descend in a kind of pathway to the sea. Formed over 50 million years ago, visitors have marvelled at its majesty and mystery for centuries, and UNESCO has recognised this site with World Heritage status.
Day 3 - Day 3 Lock Scavaig, Island of Skye, Scotland UNITED KINGDOM & Isle of Canna, Scotland UNITED KINGDOM
Near the southern end of the Isle of Skye lies Loch Skarvaig. Open to the sea, the sheltered Loch penetrates the rounded granite hills of Skye. Heather moorlands grow on the hill slopes, with purple flowering heathers providing colour, starting in Spring and climaxing later in summer. Common Seals, otherwise known as Harbour Seals, are frequently seen swimming in the coastal water at high tides. Only their heads are visible as they take breaths between diving for a meal of fish, crustaceans or molluscs. At low tides the seals are easier to see, resting on the foreshore rocks. When ashore, Common Seals often lie on one side with their hind flippers and heads raised in a shallow U shape like oversized spotted grey bananas. There are about 300 Common Seals living in and around Loch Coriusk. Skye also has a population of larger Grey Seals with long straight noses. Although all seals are protected now, they were once hunted for their skins, which were used to make clothes and for sporrans to accompany kilts. Considered the shortest river in Britain, Scavaig River or River Coruisk empties into Loch Scavaig. At only a few hundred metres long, it connects to the freshwater of Loch Coruisk. This freshwater loch collects run-off from the hills and overflows down the bends of the river to the sea of Loch Scavaig. Lying close together, the two lochs can look similar at high tide but they have totally different life. The saltwater kelps and shellfish of Loch Scavaig’s shores are revealed at low tide.Many different groups of people have lived on the small Canna Isle. Neolithic people settled thousands of years ago. Later, Christian Celtic monks, Norse settlers and various Scottish groups lived on Canna. Evidence of most are still present, notably stone churches. One unusual relic is a standing stone with a hole above people’s heads in which the thumb of a lawbreaker was jammed. The accused was left for a time to reflect on his or her deeds. Canna is one of the Little Isles group of the Inner Hebrides. A bridge connects it to the adjacent Sanday Island. Both islands are small, with a tiny resident population. Today, the island is managed by the National Trust of Scotland. Compass Hill, 139 metres (456 feet) high, is a prominent landmark. It is named after the high iron content of the tuff—consolidated volcanic ash—makes up the hill. This attracted the needles of compasses on nearby ships causing confusion to pre-satellite navigators. The hill slopes have a variety of wildflowers that take advantage of good soils, and warm springs and summers. Canna is a bird sanctuary, with 15,000 breeding seabirds of 14 species. Half of the birds are Common Guillemots who nest on cliff ledges. A long-term National Trust bird ringing study has found guillemots live for a long time, with the oldest ever recorded for Britain being a 38 -year-old bird on Canne. As well as abundant seabirds, we may see scarcer birds including birds of prey. The majestic White-tailed Sea-eagle is one to look out for.
Day 4 - Day 4 Dunvegan, Isle of Skye, Scotland UNITED KINGDOM
Skye epitomizes Scotland's wild celtic appeal. A turbulent geological history has given this beautiful, rugged island some of Britain's most varied and dramatic scenery. Steeped in mystery, romance and adventure, the Isle of Skye is perhaps the most well-known of Scotland's many islands. Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, escaped here from the mainland disguised as a maidservant of a woman by the name of Flora MacDonald. The north of the island is dominated by a rugged volcanic plateau, the south by the Cuillins mountain range, whose peaks were sculpted by the glaciers of the Ice Age. Skye is divided by numerous sea lochs allowing continuous proximity to the sea. The limestone grasslands of the south are the home of sheep and cattle. Scattered about are ruins of crofts, small holdings used for grazing; they were abandoned as their owners fell into poverty due to lack of income. Dunvegan is situated in a sheltered sea loch, or fjord, on the northwestern coast of the island on the Waternish peninsula. The small settlement is dominated by Dunvegan Castle. The oldest inhabited castle in Scotland, it has been the seat of the chiefs of the Clan MacLeod for the past 700 years. It offers insights into Scotland's clan spirit with paintings and relics from the MacLeod Clan. The gardens were originally laid out in the 18th century and are of considerable interest with the woodland glades, shimmering pools and a multitude of rhododendrons. Loch Dunvegan is home to a seal colony; the two main varieties are the brown seal and the great gray Atlantic seal. Small local boats depart from the jetty at frequent intervals throughout the day enabling close observation of these playful sea mammals.
Day 5 - Day 5 Noss, Scotland UNITED KINGDOM & Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland UNITED KINGDOM
Exploring the sandstone cliff faces of the Isle of Noss will reveal ledges loaded with gannets, puffins, guillemots, shags, kittiwakes, Razorbills, fulmars and Great Skuas. The island was recognized as a National Nature Reserve in 1955, and has one of Europe’s largest and most diverse seabird colonies. Sheep have grazed the inland hillsides of Noss since the late 1800s and early 1900s when around twenty people lived on the island to manage the sheep farm. Along with the sheep, shaggy Shetland ponies graze the windblown slopes of Noss.Adrift between the Scottish and Norwegian coasts, the craggy Shetland Islands form the most northerly point of the British Isles. Sprawling across 100 islands, connected by sandy bridges and crisscrossing ferries, explore the highlights of this scenic archipelago outpost. With incredible Neolithic history, spanning 5,000 years of human heritage, these islands, which sit just shy of the Arctic Circle, are an isolated and immense treasure trove of history and thrilling scenery. Look out over dramatic coastline from atmospheric Iron Age towers. Sweeping, windswept beaches and wisps of sand connect islands and rugged cliffs - stand back as the sounds of the waves smashing against the shore and calling gulls fills the air. The islands are also home to some of the most adorable four-legged creatures you’ll ever meet, the diminutive and wavy-fringed, Shetland Ponies who roam the hills and reach a maximum size of 42 inches. Don't be fooled, though, they are amongst the strongest and toughest of all breeds. Their existence here points to Viking history, as local horses bred with ponies brought ashore by Norse settlers, creating the lovable crossbreed that is an icon of these islands today. The towering Broch of Mousa is perhaps Europe’s best-preserved Iron Age building - and one of the Shetland's finest brochs - a series of round, stone towers, believed to have been constructed around 100 BC. Seals and birdlife ensure that the isolated islands are always well-populated with life - and you can embark on hikes to discover their coastal homes. Lerwick is the islands’ capital, and there's a charming welcome on offer, as you arrive before the waterfront of stone buildings, which cascade down to the shore.
Day 6 - Day 6 Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland UNITED KINGDOM
Scattered just off the northern tip of Scotland, Kirkwall is the capital of the Orkney Islands - a scenic archipelago of fascinating, dual heritage. The Viking influence is deep, while a prehistoric past and World War history adds to the endless stories that these dramatic islands have to tell. Sparse and beautiful, let the sweeping seascapes of frothing waves, and dance of the northern lights, enchant you as you explore. Windswept beaches are inhabited by whooping swans, while grassy cliffs hide puffins amid their wavy embrace. Sea caves and crumbling castles - and the dramatic meeting of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean add to the romantic beauty of these lands, which may be physically close to the UK, but feel an entire world away. The sandstone St. Magnus Cathedral is the centrepiece of Orkney's main town - a place of winding lanes and atmospheric walks - and Britain's northernmost cathedral is a masterpiece that took 300 years to complete. Started in 1137, the beautiful cathedral is adorned with mesmerising stain-glass windows and has been evocatively named as the Light of the North. Look down over the ruined Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces nearby from the tip of the cathedral's tower. Or, test out the islands' history-rich distilleries, which produce smokey single malts - said to be the best in the world. You can also venture out to Europe's best-preserved Stone Age Village, at the extraordinary World Heritage Site of Skara Brae, which offers an unparalleled vision into prehistoric life.
Day 7 - Day 7 St. Kilda UNITED KINGDOM & Boreray Island cruising UNITED KINGDOM
Gloriously remote, St. Kilda is an archipelago 50 miles off the Isle of Harris. Although the four islands are uninhabited by humans, thousands of seas birds call these craggy cliffs home, clinging to the sheer faces as if by magic. Not only is St. Kilda home to the UK’s largest colony of Atlantic Puffin (almost 1 million), but also the world largest colony Gannets nests on Boreray island and its sea stacks. The islands also home decedents of the world’s original Soay sheep as well as having a breed of eponymously named mice. The extremely rare St. Kilda wren unsurprisingly hails from St. Kilda, so birders should visit with notebook, binoculars and camera to hand. While endemic animal species is rife on the island, St. Kilda has not been peopled since 1930 after the last inhabitants voted that human life was unsustainable. However, permanent habitation had been possible in the Medieval Ages, and a vast National Trust for Scotland project to restore the dwellings is currently being undertaken. The islands even enjoyed a status as being an ideal holiday destination in the 19th century. Today, the only humans living on the islands are passionate history, science and conservation scholars. One of the caretakers even acts as shopkeeper and postmaster for any visitors who might like to send a postcard home from St. Kilda. It should be noted that St. Kilda is the UKs only (and just one of 39 in the world) dual World Heritage status from UNESCO in recognition of its Natural Heritage and cultural significance.As an isolated island of the remote St Kilda Group, Boreray island is one of the most far flung and weather impacted islands of the North East Atlantic. Imagine trying to live here during stormy weather. Landing requires jumping or swimming ashore; and yet the island has been lived on or visited from Neolithic times. Collecting seabirds and their eggs, and storing them for winter, may have been even more important than raising sheep. Boreray Sheep are the rarest breed of sheep in Britain. They evolved from short-tailed sheep brought from the Scottish mainland but have been isolated long enough to have evolved into a distinctive small and horned breed. Only found on Boreray Island, they remained as a wild flock when the last people left the St Kilda Islands in 1930. The Souy are a separate and different breed of sheep found on the other St Kilda Islands. Look out for the Boreray Sheep grazing on the slopes of hilly Boreray Island. Seabirds thrive on Boreray and its two attendant rocks stacks, raising new chicks each summer. Northern Gannets glide overhead as they attempt difficult landings at nest sites. Seeing gannets plunge from a great height into the sea is an exciting way to understand the effort required to feed themselves and chicks. Northern Fulmers nest on the volcanic rock cliffs and Atlantic Puffins fly in and out of burrow-strewn slopes. Boreray is part of the St Kilda World Heritage Site, a rare example of a site recognised for both its outstanding natural and cultural values.
Day 8 - Day 8 Day at sea INTERNATIONAL WATERS
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Day 9 - Day 9 Djupivogur ICELAND
Slow the pace and discover the refreshing approach to life that Djupivogur has made its trademark. You can leave your phone behind as you step out into this Icelandic town, which has won awards celebrating its leisurely outlook and stubborn rebellion against the frenetic pace of modern life. After all, who needs emails and notifications when you have some of the most humbling monochrome scenery and gashed fjords, waiting on your doorstep? Sitting on a peninsula to the south-east of Iceland, the glacial approach to life here wins many hearts. A place where hammers knock on metal in workshops, artists ladle paint onto canvases, and where you might spot a few Icelandic horses roaming across mountains, Djupivogur is an uninhibited artistic hub - full of makers and creatives. The most expansive project is the 34 egg sculptures that dot the coastline, created by the Icelandic artist, Sigurður Guðmundsson. Each egg represents a different native bird species. Fishing remains the primary industry, and you can savour the soft fruits of the labour in restaurants serving up smoked trout and fish soup within their cosy confines. Wander the surrounding landscapes, where snow-freckled mountains rise, and lazy seals lie on dark rock beaches, to feel Djupivogur's natural inspiration seeping under your skin. Alive with greens and golds in summer, further ventures reveal glaciers and the sprawling waterfalls of Vatnajökull National Park. The cliff-hugging puffins of Papey Island are a must see, while Bulandstindur Mountain's pyramid shape is a stand out even among these fairy-tale landscapes.
Day 10 - Day 10 Vestmannaeyjar ICELAND & Cruise Surtsey ICELAND
The name Vestmannaeyjar refers to both a town and an archipelago off the south coast of Iceland. The largest Vestmannaeyjar island is called Heimaey. It is the only inhabited island in the group and is home to over 4000 people. The eruption of the Eldfell Volcano put Vestmannaeyjar into the international lime light in 1973. The volcano’s eruption destroyed many buildings and forced an evacuation of the residents to mainland Iceland. The lava flow was stopped in its tracks by the application of billions of liters of cold sea water. Since the eruption, life on the small island outpost has returned to the natural ebb and flow of a small coastal fishing community on the edge of the chilly and wild North Atlantic.On 14 November 1963, a trawler passing the southernmost point of Iceland spotted a column of smoke rising from the sea. Expecting to find a burning boat they were surprised to find instead, explosive volcanic eruptions. They were witnessing the birth of a new island. Columns of ash reached heights of almost 30,000 feet in the sky and could be seen on clear days as far away as Reykjavík. The eruptions continued for three and a half years, ending in June 1967. Once formed, Surtsey was 492 feet above sea level and covered an area of almost 2 square miles.  The island was named after the Norse fire god Surtur. It is a perfect scientific study area used to understand the colonization process of new land by plant and animal life.
Day 11 - Day 11 Reykjavik ICELAND
The capital of Iceland’s land of ice, fire and natural wonder, Reykjavik is a city like no other - blossoming among some of the world’s most vibrant and violent scenery. Home to two-thirds of Iceland’s population, Reykjavik is the island’s only real city, and a welcoming and walkable place - full of bicycles gliding along boulevards or battling the wind when it rears up. Fresh licks of paint brighten the streets, and an artistic and creative atmosphere embraces studios and galleries - as well as the kitchens where an exciting culinary scene is burgeoning. Plot your adventures in the city's hip bars and cosy cafes, or waste no time in venturing out to Iceland’s outdoor adventures. Reykjavik’s buildings stand together in a low huddle - below the whip of winter’s winds - but the magnificent Hallgrímskirkja church is a solid exception, with its bell tower rising resolutely over the city. Iceland’s largest church's design echoes the lava flows that have shaped this remote land and boasts a clean and elegant interior. The Harpa Concert Hall’s sheer glass facade helps it to assimilate into the landscape, mirroring back the city and harbour. Its LED lights shimmer in honour of Iceland’s greatest illuminated performance – the northern lights. Walk in the crusts between continents, feel the spray from bursts of geysers and witness the enduring power of Iceland’s massive waterfalls. Whether you want to sizzle away in the earth-heated geothermal pools, or hike to your heart’s content, you can do it all from Reykjavik - the colourful capital of this astonishing outdoor country.
Day 12 - Please Note:
The excursions are provided as a sample of what may be offered on this voyage and are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type

Inclusions

    • Portrush, Ireland
    • Loch Scavaig, Scotland
    • Isle of Skye, Scotland
    • Lerwick, Scotland
    • St. Kilda, Scotland
    • Reykjavik, Iceland

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