Experience the beauty and variety of the British Isles on an expedition cruise. Explore quaint villages, charming towns, and impressive historical landmarks. Discover the Viking and Gaelic heritage of Waterford and Stornoway, and sample single-malt whisky on Islay.
You’ll encounter the wild landscapes of the Hebrides, the tropical-looking Isles of Scilly and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on the Isle of Man. You can also enjoy scenic walks along the Pembrokeshire and Devon coasts.
- 12 night expedition cruise aboard MS Maud (Hurtigruten Expeditions)
- Meals, including beverages*, in the Aune and Fredheim restaurants
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board**
- Complimentary reusable water bottle
- English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
- Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
- Book by Mar 31: Reduced rates! (price reflect discount)
|April 14, 26, May 8 or June 1, 2024
|Rates in USD. Per person based on double occupancy.
Taxes & Fees are included
Price is based on April 14, 2024 sailing.
Promotion is subject to change without notice.
*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water
**Wi-Fi and phone reception are very limited in the remote areas where we travel, and streaming is not supported.
A journey not many have taken and very few have sailed.
- Wild Beauty: From chalk cliffs to Shetland Islands, there’s a wealth of nature, culture and history to be unearthed at every turn.
- Distinct Countries and Cultures: Each nation has their own intriguing differences in culture, customs, history, governance and even language.
- Rich History: Visitors learn about the island’s complex past as they explore age-old monasteries or walk among the ruins of age-old settlements.
- Coastal Nature and Wildlife: At sea visitors can spot humpback whales, basking sharks, dolphins and seals, while the islands are home to immense colonies of seabirds.
|Isles of Scilly
Day 1: Depart from Dover
Set sail on your island-hopping adventure.
Your expedition cruise starts in Dover. If you have time before boarding MS Maud, take a walk along the famous White Cliffs at St. Margaret’s Bay for incredible views of the coastline and the sparkling English Channel below.
Once you’ve picked up your expedition jacket and settled into your cabin, you’ll have a chance to meet your Expedition Team, who will be your friendly hosts and knowledgeable guides. Then you can enjoy your first dinner aboard the ship. Your adventure has begun!
Day 2: At Sea
Relax at sea
Get to know your basecamp at sea
Enjoy an idyllic day at sea. Admire views from MS Maud’s Observation Deck, visit the Science Center for insight into the island destinations ahead, or take advantage of the gym and hot tubs.
Photography enthusiasts can pick up some pointers from our onboard photographer on how to capture wildlife and landscapes. You’ll find the comfort of the Explorer Lounge a great place to read or watch the world glide by.
You can also enjoy a talk by the Expedition Team, experienced explorers who will share their extensive knowledge of the places ahead with you.
Day 3: The “Land’s End” of Wales
Explore scenic coastlines and the UK’s smallest city.
Nestled between the Preseli Hills and the Pembrokeshire coast is the charming coastal town of Fishguard. You’ll find the original town and harbor in Lower Fishguard and enjoy spectacular sea views from the ‘Main Town’ above.
A short drive away is the UK’s smallest city, St. David’s. More a village than a city, it owes its city status to its 12th-century cathedral. You can explore this conservation area as part of an included excursion.
The dramatic headland nearby is the westernmost point in Wales. Enjoy spectacular views along the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastal path.
Day 4: Belfast
Discover Northern Ireland’s capital.
We sail into Belfast, a city with a proud seafaring history and the birthplace of the Titanic. History buffs will enjoy Ulster Museum and Belfast Castle, while nature lovers can visit the Botanic Gardens.
Stroll the cobbled streets of the chic Cathedral Quarter, with its elegant Victorian architecture, and pop inside St. Anne’s Cathedral to see its beautiful mosaics. In Donegall Square, you’ll find the historical landmarks of City Hall and the Grand Opera House, with its beautiful façade.
Belfast also allows access to the iconic Giant’s Causeway and the rugged northern coastline. Explore the towering cliffs and distinctive hexagonal columns of this natural wonder.
Day 5: Castlebay
Island gems in the Outer Hebrides
One of the most exciting things about expedition cruising is knowing that anything can happen on any given day. That’s why we’ve carved out one day to take full advantage of exploring the region.
Today, the Captain and the Expedition Team will decide whether we explore Barra or Vatersay, the two southernmost inhabited islands of the Outer Hebrides, linked to each other by a causeway.
Search for birds and sea life in our small boats (RIBs) or attempt to land in the innumerable coves and beaches that dot the islands close to Castlebay.
Day 6: Kirkwall
Learn about Kirkwall’s Norse heritage.
Today, we sail to the Orkney Islands’ largest town, Kirkwall. Explore this vibrant and compact Viking-influenced capital on foot.
Visit the regal St. Magnus Cathedral, made from distinctive local red sandstone, and the adjacent Earl’s Palace to see the stone ruins of this once-grand Renaissance building. The Neolithic settlement of Scara Brae is also only a bus ride away.
Whisky aficionados will enjoy Kirkwall’s Highland Park and Scapa distilleries for their distinctive single malts. If you feel like something different, Orkney Distillery produces Kirkjuvagr gin from Orcadian botanicals.
Day 7: Stornoway
Experience Gaelic culture in the Hebrides.
Our expedition cruise arrives at Stornoway, the capital of the Isle of Lewis and Harris. As you explore the area around the harbor, keep an eye out for seals, eagles, and otters. Enjoy a visit to the Gothic-style Lews Castle, featuring spacious grounds full of trails and fantastic views.
Further afield, take in the 5,000-year-old Callanish standing stones and Dun Carloway, the best-preserved Iron Age broch in Scotland. Enjoy coastal walks along the stunning Dalmore, Dalbeg, or Garry beaches, and maybe pick up a souvenir made of Harris Tweed, which is woven here.
Day 8: Islay
Fire up your spirit of discovery on ‘Whisky Island.’
Islay is the proud home of world-famous peaty single malts, but that’s far from the only reason to visit. Discover fascinating ancient monoliths and the enigmatic settlement of Finlaggan as you explore the island.
Islay is a wildlife paradise, with over 200 species of birds. These include oystercatchers, gannets, and golden eagles. From its sandy beaches, you can sometimes spot dolphins and basking sharks.
Port Ellen is the gateway to three of the island’s nine distilleries. Of course, no trip to Islay is complete without a ‘wee dram’ from a famous and historic whisky producer, including Laphroaig or Ardbeg.
Day 9: Douglas (Isle of Man)
Explore Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man.
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 rugged coastline.
There’s so much to see and do in Douglas. Visit the Manx Museum, check out the murals in St. Thomas’ Church, and discover the impressively spooky Peel Castle, which was originally a Viking stronghold and is now said to be haunted.
Day 10: Waterford
Uncover Viking history in Ireland’s oldest city.
Welcome back to Ireland, the Emerald Isle. Set foot in Ireland’s oldest city, founded by the Vikings in the 10th century by a fjord on the River Suir. Waterford is a well-preserved and walkable small city, famed for its beautiful crystal glass production. Intricate and bold street art splashes color on walls and houses in this city of culture, so don’t forget your camera.
Walk the Viking Triangle, named for the three-sided shape made by the thousand-year-old walls that once surrounded the city. You can also explore the charming Waterford Greenway and historic Kilkenny Castle, a relic of medieval Ireland.
Day 11: Isles of Scilly
Enjoy crystal clear waters, sandy beaches, and natural beauty
Just 30 miles off the tip of Cornwall are the Isles of Scilly. This enchanting archipelago is home to small, exquisite islands. Weather permitting, we’ll spend time here. Explore Tresco’s white-sand beaches and the renowned 19th-century Abbey Gardens, or see St. Mary’s, the largest of the Isles of Scilly.
You could also join a trip around the archipelago, visiting shipwreck sites and spotting seals loafing on the rocks. Then sail around the bird sanctuary of Annet to spot puffins and a range of other breeding seabirds.
Day 12: Devon
Prepare for historical attractions and idyllic beaches.
The picturesque banks of the River Dart mark our arrival into beautiful Dartmouth. Steeped in maritime history and culture, this charming town is home to the Royal Britannia Naval College and Dartmouth Castle.
Tread the coastal paths and trails that extend along this stretch of coastline, exploring secluded coves and remote beaches. Food lovers may wish to try Dartmouth’s seafood, while those with a sweet tooth can indulge in the local fudge or the famous Devonshire cream tea.
Day 13: Return to Dover
End your British Isles adventure where you began
The White Cliffs of Dover signal the end of this exploration of the British Isles. As we sail into Dover with the iconic cliffs coming into view, we’ll dock at the harbor and say a fond farewell to MS Maud and all those who made your expedition cruise so memorable.
Hurtigruten Group is the leader in the travel industry towards a greener future.
Committed to taking care of our guests, wildlife, nature, and the communities we visit, we’re setting a new standard of sustainability for the travel industry.
Exploring our blue planet for more than a century has taught us the importance of being green.
We are now supporting 41 environmental, cultural and social projects in 11 different countries. These range from helping endangered orcas in the Pacific Northwest and protecting Galápagos seabirds, to securing safe spaces for vulnerable Greenlandic children and enabling community storytelling for the Itquamavit elders in Canada’s frozen north. We hope that the ripples we create today will one day turn into the waves of the future. With the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as our compass, our cruises to the planet’s most stunning corners are where explorers can truly feel at home. After all, it’s not about us, it’s about all of us.
Saying Goodbye to Plastic
We announced our war on plastics in 2018 when we were the first expedition company to ban non-essential single-use plastic throughout our entire operation. That means you won’t find items like plastic cups, plastic straws or plastic cutlery on board our ships. You also won’t see our shops selling microplastic-made fleeces but stocking natural wool clothing instead. Absent too are plastic water bottles. We provide all our guests on an expedition cruise with a complimentary high-quality reusable bottle for use at water refill stations dotted around the ship. This simple act saves at least 1,000 plastic bottles a day on some of our larger ships.
Inspiring Environmental Ambassadors
Witnessing the beauty of our planet is sure to leave a lasting impression on you, and you’ll talk enthusiastically about these stunning destinations with friends and family for decades to come. To make sure you can speak informatively when you return home, every one of our expedition cruises has a focus on the environment.
The Expedition Team give lectures that raise awareness of climate change, ocean plastic, and the measures we can all take to help ease these issues. It is our hope that engaging with nature on our expedition cruises will inspire you to do all you can to cherish and protect the precious world we all share.
Connecting With Communities
We are dedicated to supporting the local communities we visit, and to creating beneficial ripple effects that continue long after we’ve left. By trading locally and sourcing services such as food produce and excursions from local suppliers, we contribute to the livelihood and welfare of people.
We strive not only to connect with these communities, but to share genuine friendship with them while always respecting their values and customs. As guests in their home, our emphasis is on appreciating their unique culture and ensuring our interactions are positive and upbuilding for all. You can therefore enjoy authentic experiences knowing your visit is doing good, both for you and for them.
A Footprint We’re Proud Of
You’ll likely encounter a range of wildlife during your expedition, doing so from a safe distance. We’ll be sure to never get too close to them, out of respect for their welfare as much as yours. By not disturbing wildlife with our presence, you’ll be able to observe their natural behavior, in their natural habitat. We want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures! In fact, in many of the areas we visit in Antarctica, we even specifically wipe out our footprints so as to prevent penguins tripping and falling into them.
Working Together As One
Sustainability isn’t something we can do alone. Everyone in our industry needs to work together for a greener future. We are therefore founding members of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). These trade member organisations work to establish sustainable tourism in polar regions, fighting mass tourism by limiting ships and shore visits, and creating guidelines that protect fragile environments and rare wildlife.
We’ve also committed ourselves to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These guiding principles will take us steps ahead of current regulations to offer you greener and more sustainable expedition cruises on and for the planet.
Serving Planet-Friendly Plant-Based Food
We offer full menus of delicious plant-based dishes that will impress even those yet to be convinced by this way of eating. These meals not only have low or even zero CO2 footprints, they also promote healthier living and prove conclusively that vegan and vegetarian cuisine can still taste great. We’ve also put in place food management waste programmes on all our ships, aiming to reduce food waste by at least 30%.
Investing in Green Tech
Building our two new hybrid-powered expedition ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, represents the biggest investment in our almost 130 years of history. They are packed with ground-breaking green technology, such as battery packs, heat recovery systems, and a cutting-edge hull design. These innovations combined reduce carbon emissions by more than 20 %, compared to other cruise ships of the same size.
Hurtigruten stopped using heavy fuel oil more than a decade ago and campaign for its worldwide ban. To set a new standard, we are also considering a range of new, green fuel options, including biofuels made from organic waste.