The Celtic Isles are a delight of verdant gardens, medieval ruins, wild countryside, lively cities, and a strong heritage of music and culture. As Sea Cloud II makes her way along Ireland’s rugged green coastline and across the Irish Sea on a one-week cruise, we will stop for visits to dynamic art and history museums, private homes, charming towns, and literary landmarks in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and the United Kingdom. Explore sites dating from the 13th-century Brodick Castle all the way up to Belfast’s vivid murals addressing the Troubles of the 20th century. Step ashore on the captivating islands of Arran and Man, and call at Holyhead in Wales to discover Bodnant Garden. An optional prelude will be offered for those who wish to spend more time exploring Dublin.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
- Departure Dates
- Aug 8, 2020 - Aug 16, 2020
An optional prelude in Dublin is offered August 5-9, 2020
John Meffert, consultant on Heritage Conservation Services, has a long tradition with the National Trust. He has served as the Director for our Southern Office from and was the director of the Preservation Society of Charleston, the oldest nonprofit organization in the United States, responsible for preserving the historic resources of Charleston, S.C. John has delighted many study tour groups with his lectures and insights on preservation, and receives rave reviews as study leader.
- day 1
Saturday, August 8 DEPARTURE
Depart for Dublin on an overnight flight.
- day 2
Sunday, August 9 DUBLIN, IRELAND
Arrive in the Irish capital and enjoy a tour of the city’s architectural landmarks before boarding Sea Cloud II. Enjoy a glass of champagne on deck as we sail out of the harbor. L, D
- day 3
Monday, August 10 BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND
On a walking tour of regenerated Belfast, admire its rich Victorian and Edwardian architecture and see the city’s famous peace wall and its vivid murals. Continue to the impressive Titanic Museum. Following lunch, visit Ballywalter Park, a spectacular 19th-century mansion. See the conservatory, with an opulent cast-iron dome and formal Victorian gardens that lead to pleasure gardens. We will tour the house and gardens with the owners, followed by tea. Return to Belfast in the late afternoon. This evening join the captain for a festive welcome dinner. B,L,T,D
- day 4
Tuesday, August 11 BRODICK, ISLE OF ARRAN, UK
This morning be on deck as the ship sails into the Firth of Clyde and anchors at Brodick, the largest village on the Isle of Arran. The island’s rich heritage goes back to the Stone Age, with standing stones and circles in Machrie Moor. Evidence of Arran’s history of feuds, battles, and complex politics can be found at Brodick Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton. Travel north to Lochranza, passing stunning hills and mountains before arriving at Isle of Arran Distillers, one of the few remaining independent distillers of single malt whisky on the island. Enjoy a relaxing dram while enjoying views of Brodick Bay and Goatfell Mountain. Return to the ship for lunch, followed by an afternoon lecture as the ship sails south along the Irish Sea. B,L,D
- day 5
Wednesday, August 12 DOUGLAS, ISLE OF MAN, UK
This morning call at Douglas in the Isle of Man. Learn about the town’s growth and architecture during Victorian times on a walking tour along the North Quay and its grand Victorian promenade. View the Jubilee Clock and Tynwald, the Isle of Man’s parliament. Journey through the island’s vibrant history with a visit to the Manx Museum, which houses everything from Viking treasures to 20th-century art and artifacts. In the afternoon, head inland to the ruined castle of Peel to discover its Celtic, Viking, and maritime past. Railway buffs can climb aboard a steam train for the scenic trip to Castletown. B,L,D
- day 6
Thursday, August 13 AT SEA
Spend a day at sea, enjoying Sea Cloud II under sail as she sails for Fishguard.
- day 7
Friday, August 14 FISHGUARD, WALES, UK
From the port of Fishguard, visit evocative St. David’s Cathedral. Lavish decorations, corbels carved as human heads, and striking chequerboard stonework bear testament to the wealth and status of this medieval order of bishops. Admire the cathedral’s impressive great hall and the fantastic wheel in the east gable. Sea Cloud II sails at lunchtime. Attend a lecture presentation at teatime. B,L,D
- day 8
Saturday, August 15 HOLYHEAD, WALES
From Holyhead, travel overland to Lord Aberconway’s home and gardens at Bodnant, considered one of the finest Edwardian naturalistic gardens in the world. At this horticultural gem, see the famous Laburnum Arch, a curved walk covered with a cascade of flowers. After lunch, continue to Plas Newydd, a National Trust property with period furnishings and a garden in a lovely setting. By special arrangement, the estate’s owners will introduce their personal collections. Alternatively, enjoy an afternoon visit to Caernarfon Castle, built by Edward I at the end of the 13th century and the place where Charles was invested as Prince of Wales. Take a stroll through the castle’s prized gardens before returning to Sea Cloud II. Join the captain for a festive farewell dinner tonight. B,L,D
- day 9
Sunday, August 16 DUBLIN / DEPARTURE
Disembark Sea Cloud II and transfer to the airport for
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