Fishing villages, stately castles and rolling hills all await you on a tour of the British Isles. This region extends beyond the countries of Great Britain to include all its offshore islands from the Outer Hebrides to the Channel Islands, with Ireland thrown in for good measure! This means you’ll be able to see just how much variety can be packed into a small space, with differing dialects and cultural capitals. Spend your days seeing the sights of London or visiting remote seabird colonies, before unwinding in a traditional pub.
British Isles Cruises
Dublin, Ireland - British Isles
Edinburgh, Scotland - British Isles
Newcastle upon Tyne, England - British Isles
Isles of Scilly, England - British Isles
Glasgow, Scotland - British Isles
Belfast, Northern Ireland - British Isles
Liverpool, England - British Isles
Cork, Ireland - British Isles
Guernsey - British Isles
Southampton, England - British Isles
Dublin’s exuberant spirit makes visitors to this Irish capital feel at home. Buildings like the 13th-century Dublin Castle bring a sense of grandeur, while its Guinness Brewery and Temple Bar entertainment district offer vibrant nightlife. Relax on St Stephen’s Green or tour the famous library at Trinity College, home to the Book of Kells. The River Liffey runs through the city, framed by Georgian architecture.
Centuries of history greet you around every corner in Edinburgh, Scotland’s charming, walkable capital city. Explore the souvenir shops and museums of the Royal Mile, leading through the medieval Old Town all the way up to Edinburgh Castle. For sweeping views over the city and Firth of Forth, climb up Arthur’s Seat. Tour royal residence Holyrood Palace, or shop in the modern boutiques along bustling Princes Street.
Newcastle upon Tyne is famous for its legacy as a hub for shipbuilding during the Industrial Revolution. Explore the Victorian city centre to see elegant buildings, modern art galleries and lively bars and eateries. There’s a sizeable student population in Newcastle, giving it a youthful energy. Highlights include the pedestrian-friendly Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Angel of the North statue and Beamish Museum.
Positioned off the Cornish coast of England, the Isles of Scilly feel miles away from the mainland with turquoise lagoon waters and white sandy beaches like Great Bay. Just five of the islands are inhabited. Tresco is known for its Abbey Garden and Valhalla Museum, and St Mary’s for its friendly pubs and museum of island life. St Agnes sits furthest out into the Atlantic, with deeper water and wilder landscapes.
Once a centre for shipbuilding, Glasgow is now a cultural hub, hosting the National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera. Stroll through the centre and you’ll spy art nouveau and Victorian architecture, alongside the medieval Glasgow Cathedral and modern Riverside Museum. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is another cultural highlight, while the shopping arcades feature a bevy of top brands.
Belfast is going through a period of regeneration, with former shipyards converted into the shiny new Titanic Quarter and modern waterfront eateries. Visit the Titanic Belfast Centre to learn all about the famous ocean liner, which was built here. The Ulster Museum gives you an overview of thousands of years of Irish history, or you can simply relax in the Victorian glasshouse at the lush Belfast Botanic Gardens.
This historically bustling port city sits at the meeting point of the Irish Sea and River Mersey. The regenerated Albert Dock has transformed the city’s hardworking Victorian past into a leisurely present, now home to the Tate Museum, shops and eateries. Fans of the Fab Four won’t want to miss a trip to the Beatles Story museum or legendary Cavern Club, while football fans can visit the iconic Anfield stadium.
Nestled along the southwest coast of Ireland, Cork is a pretty university city known for its Victorian architecture including the Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral and covered English Market. The city centre is compact - traditional pubs host live music, while students gather in the area’s trendy bars and coffeeshops. Cork City Gaol could be mistaken for a stately castle, but it once held Australia-bound prisoners!
Once the home of French writer Victor Hugo, there’s a sophisticated ambience in Guernsey. It’s the second-largest Channel Island, known for its beachfronts at Cobo Bay as well as its historic forts. Visit the capital of St Peter Port to see highlights like the 13th-century Castle Comet with its military museums, or explore Hugo’s former home at Hauteville House. The island’s a hotspot rock climbing along its cliffs.
This famous port city has been the departure point for many transatlantic crossings, the most famous of which was the Titanic. Visit the SeaCity Museum to explore an interactive model of this ill-fated ship, or take in the impressive modern art collection at the nearby Southampton City Art Gallery. For a glimpse into yesterday’s Southampton, visit Tudor House and Garden with its 12th-century homes and gardens.
You can visit the British Isles throughout the year. In the springtime, wildflowers are in bloom and you’ll have the chance to see the most famous sights like Stonehenge without the summer crowds. If you prefer cruising in warm weather, June to August bring the most reliably sunshiny days (although this being Britain, rain may always be on the cards!) Autumn brings scarlet and golden foliage to the countryside, while winter’s Christmas markets and festivities make it a lively time to explore. Temperatures will vary depending on the port, with northern England and Scotland regularly dipping below freezing in the winter.
Cruising through the British Isles offers the chance to visit top-tier cities like London with its hip art galleries and monumental museums. Take a side trip to Stonehenge, and don’t miss the Changing of the Guard! Head up north to explore Scotland’s dramatic lochs, castles and moorland, from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh to the shores of Loch Ness. Venture over to Ireland to visit Dublin’s Guinness Brewery or explore Northern Island’s Belfast with its Titanic museum. The Channel Islands offer a unique character and rich WWII history, or you can uncover the distinct culture of the Isle of Man.
UK citizens won’t need any visa (or indeed any passport!) to travel around much of the British Isles, making this a top getaway for those who don’t want all the fuss of sorting out paperwork before a cruise. You won’t even need to set foot on an airplane. Ireland is part of the EU, making this a visa-free destination although you will need your passport if your itinerary includes a stop over to the Emerald Isle! Specialty regions like the Isle of Man and Channel Islands are still part of the UK’s common travel area, with no passport necessary.
Let’s face it; British food has a somewhat stodgy reputation. However, the reality of modern British cuisine couldn’t be farther from this cliché! You can expect multicultural influences in many dishes and even traditional fare often involves farm-fresh ingredients. Treat yourself to lightly battered fish and salt-and-vinegar chips if you’re at the seaside, or enjoy a cream tea in Cornwall or Devon with its flaky scones and fresh clotted cream with jam. Meat pies are always a popular choice at lunchtime, and curries are a staple in most cities. And don’t miss the glory that is British cheese, from Stilton to Cheddar.
Visit Northern Ireland where you can see the famous Giants causeway and Dublin where you can immerse yourself in the friendly Irish atmosphere then to Scotland with its stunning scenery and warm welcome.
Dunkled - classed as a cathedral city. It’s a really pretty place scattered with bars and lots of places to eat.
There is so much to do and see, especially over the summer months when they have food kiosks and bars. Combined with the Maritime Museum and Beatles Museum then why wouldn’t you want to come to Liverpool.
Feeling energetic? Then a hike up to the top of Arthur’s Seat to see the long-extinct volcano overlooking the fringes of the city. Even a gentle stroll up and down the Royal Mile will get the heart going.
By: Watson, Crowthorne on 16th Jun 2018
This was our first time on Princess Cruises and in spite of being committed Cunarders found this to be a really pleasurable cruise. We were on Royal Princess on a British Isles itinerary calling at...
By: Fletcher, Pontypridd on 8th Jun 2018
Sunday. We started our cruise at Cardiff. Embarkation was swift and efficient and luckily no queuing when we arrives to board the Marco Polo. We were shown to our cabin which was really good as this..