REYKJAVIK to DUBLIN – Expedition Cruise
DATE: 2022 – AUG 14
2023 – JUN 14*
DURATION: 14 DAYS/13 NIGHTS
*12 DAYS/11 NIGHTS
EMBARK: REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
DISEMBARK: DUBLIN, IRELAND
SHIP: Silver Cloud
FROM: $9,100 – All Inclusive – Free Economy Air or reduced Business Class, Pre-cruise hotel and transfers, shore excursions, gratuities, beverages, port charges and more.
The home of the brave requires no foreword. A windswept land of moors and castles, bloody history and rugged beauty, the Scottish Isles will enchant even the most jaded traveler. Legends keep the history alive here, fitting as the next stop on your itinerary, Iceland, is where storytelling takes on a new meaning. Vivid, robust and above all believable, welcome on a journey where folklore is king. Observe flocks of Atlantic Puffins and Arctic Terns in the stunning Nordic scenery, big, bold, breathtaking and beautiful.
Experience how different and yet how beautiful three countries can be on this journey through Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. We will sail from Ireland’s capital to Iceland’s capital, Dublin to Reykjavik, with stops in Scotland and the Faroe Islands. The voyage starts with Iona and Lunga in Scotland and seeing the UNESCO World Heritage site of St. Kilda. Via the Orkneys and Shetland Islands with their UNESCO World Heritage Sites we head for the Faroe Islands and Iceland, looking for puffins, gannets and guillemots. In Iceland there will be time to explore the volcanic landscapes and to watch for whales. Throughout the voyage, learn about the history, geology, wildlife and botany of these naturally beautiful locations from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.
- Iona Abbey, Scotland –
See the idyllic setting of one of Scotland’s most spiritually and architecturally significant monasteries, with original architectural components dating as far back as the 12th century and history dating back to 563 AD. This is the site of the creation of the Book of Kells, a famous illuminated manuscript dating back to 800 AD.
- Torshavn, Faroe Islands –
This is the capital city of the rugged, beautiful subpolar Faroe Islands. Walk through the quaint Nordic streets of the old city and visit Kirkjubøur, site of the 12th century Saint Olav’s Church.
- Akureyri, Iceland –
Akureyri is the gateway to Lake Myvatn (Midges Lake). The lake is part of a protected nature reserve and many birds (including thirteen species of ducks) frequent the surrounding wetlands. Nature’s power is plainly displayed in Namafjall’s geothermal springs, as well as on a walk along the lake’s shore onto some pseudo-craters, and through the massive, often unusual lava formations of Dimmuborgir.
- Vigur, Iceland –
Visit tiny Vigur to see the life of Icelandic eiderdown collectors, and observe Atlantic Puffins and Artic Terns as we take an invigorating nature walk.
- Visit Iona Abbey and other stately and remarkable historic cathedrals and ancient churches.
Wildlife Watch List:
- Shore and seabirds: Northern Gannets, Manx Shearwaters, Black, Common and Brünnich’s Guillemots, Razorbills, Great Cormorants, and Common Shags, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Atlantic Puffins, Arctic Terns and European Storm Petrels, Eurasian Oystercatchers and several gull species
- Land birds: Short-eared Owls, Common Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons, Meadow Pipit
- Marine mammals: humpback and Minke whales, grey seal, common seal
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
- All meals
- Beverages, open bar, beer, wine, liquor
- Room service
- Butler service
- All excursions
- Expedition leaders and guest speakers
- Gratuities to ship crew.
Pre- and Post-cruise tours
ARRIVE REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
Arrive a day or two early to avoid travel problems and see something of Iceland.
A PRE-CRUISE HOTEL NIGHTAND TRANSFERS ARE INCLUDED.
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 cozy 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 harbor. Its LED lights shimmer in honor 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 colorful capital of this astonishing outdoor country.
REYKJAVIK - EMBARKATION
Explore Reykjavik – Transfer to ship for embarkation.
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 limelight 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.
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 Ice-land, 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 savor the soft fruits of the labor in restaurants serving up smoked trout and fish soup within their cozy 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.
TÓRSHAVN, FAROE ISLANDS
Titanic scenery, mist-whipped mountains and staggering oceanic vistas await you here in the Faroe Islands – a far-flung archipelago of immense natural beauty. This remote and isolated gathering of 18 islands – adrift in the far North Atlantic Ocean – is a self-governing part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and colorful Tórshavn bustles up against the seafront, forming one of the tiniest capital cities in the world. Wander between pretty, half-timbered houses and visit one of the world’s oldest parliament buildings, during your time here. With Viking history swirling too, Torshavn is a quaint, charming and heritage-rich city. Surrounded by thrilling landscapes, and cozy Scandi culture, the Faroe Islands are an envy-inducing, off-the-beaten-track destination. From Torshavn, scatter to your choice of island destinations, or spend time soaking in the storybook appeal and clarity of air in the scenic old town. Pop into local shops or head for restaurants – where you can taste local foods like salt-cured fish and hunks of lamb. See waterfalls plummeting directly into the ocean from vertical cliffs, along with emerald-green carpeted fjords, as you explore these extraordinary, lost islands. Puffins and sea birds relish the island’s crag-gy sea cliffs and coastline – visit the island of Mykines to see the birds burrowing deep into the steep cliffs to nest. Strap on your hiking boots to rise to the challenge of the mesmerizing scenery. Fjords etch into the coastline, and you can encounter peaceful lakes and massive valleys dug out by glaciers. Off-shore, sea stacks totter up out of the swelling, frothy waves.
PAPA STOUR – FOULA, SHETLAND ISLANDS
A spectacular coastline greets visitors to Papa Stour. The island has layers of ancient volcanic lava and ash; and the softer volcanic rocks have been carved by waves into arches, sea caves, cliffy inlets and rock stacks. These dominate the landscape from both sea and land. The Maiden Stack guards the island’s harbor and is so named because the Viking Lord Thorvald Thoresson marooned his daughter in a small house on the stack to protect her virtue. One story says she escaped by eloping with a fisherman, whilst another tale states she left the stack pregnant! A handful of resilient people still live on Papa Stour Island. In its heyday in the 19th century, the small island of 828 hectares (2046 acres) supported a thriving fishing industry based on six-oared row boats. Fishing is only a small operation today. Crofting, or small-scale farming has been a traditional activity and is still conducted with sheep as hardy as the crofters who tend them. Marine wildlife thrives around Papa Stour. Cliffs, rock stacks and hills support many breeding seabirds in spring and summer. The most travelled bird of all—the Arctic Tern—breeds here. In winter, these plucky small seabirds migrate all the way to the Antarctic. Occasionally European Otters are sighted amongst the kelp. Common and Grey Seals give birth to their pups onshore in summer. Common Seals rest on rocks with their tails and noses up, resembling bananas in shape. Grey Seals are larger, with a long nose, and no fruit copying tendencies.
Described as the most remote inhabited island of the United Kingdom, Foula does seem a world away—32 kilometers (20 miles) west of the main Shetland Islands. The land slopes from a low eastern coast up to dramatic sheer cliffs on the west. At 365 meters (1200 feet), the sea cliffs are the second tallest in Britain. The sandstone of the island has been eroded into dramatic coastal shapes. Earlier islanders lived by catching fish and lobsters. Today’s residents earn an income from sheep crofting (farming) and birdwatching tourism. Foula attracts nesting seabirds during spring with many birds remaining over summer. Britain’s largest population of Great Skuas nest here. They catch fish, scavenge and hunt for the eggs, chicks and even adults of other birds. On flatter parts of the island Red-throated Divers and Arctic Terns nest, while vertical sea cliffs are favored by Northern Fulmars, Shags and members of the auk family. Foula is Norse for bird island, so when the Norsemen settled 1200 years ago, they were either birdwatchers, or recognized the special nature of the island. Scottish influences eventually replaced much of the Norse culture. The Island claims to be the last place in Britain with speakers of lan-guages of Norse origin. There is still a connection to Norse folklore and music amongst the 30 or so residents today. They still celebrate Christmas and New Year according to dates in the old Julian calendar—Yule on 6th January and Newerday on the 13th. We coordinate our dates with theirs.
KIRKWALL, ORKNEY ISLANDS, SCOTLAND
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 centerpiece 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 mesmerizing 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.
Cliffs of tall hexagonal columns create a sensational landscape at the Shiant Islands, especially when viewed from the sea. The cliffs of six-sided rock columns look like the cross-section of an enormous honeycomb. The rock formations were formed when molten volcanic magma cooled very slowly underground. Millions of years of erosion has exposed the six-sided columns to the sea, and to us. The tallest of these formations is 120 meters (390 feet) high. During spring and summer, flights of seabirds near the Shiant Islands catch the eye. Many long-winged seabirds wheel and soar gracefully. Others are more shaped for underwater swimming and fly in direct lines, beating stubby wings to resemble flying potatoes. Some birds nest in burrows while others, like Black-legged Kittiwakes, nest on cliffs. Rather than build nests, guillemots lay eggs on bare rock ledges. The pointed shape of the eggs ensures they roll in a tight circle, not off the ledge to the sea below. The Shiant Islands are part of the Outer Hebrides and located between the Isles of Lewis and Skye. Historically, they have supported families of sheep grazers who could tolerate a lonely island outpost. The Shiants were known as the last place in Britain where the Black Rat occurred in substantial numbers. Originally introduced to Britain from Asia in Roman times these rodents caused problems, eating eggs and chicks of seabirds. A successful eradication program eliminated the rats in 2016, giving the seabird colonies well-earned peace.
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.
ISLE OF SKYE, ISLE OF CANNA SCOTLAND
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 color, starting in Spring and climaxing later in summer. Common Seals, otherwise known as Harbor 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 mollusks. 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 meters 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 meters (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 Canna 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.
ST. KILDA – BORERAY ISLAND, SCOTLAND
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 recognized for both its outstanding natural and cultural values.
IONA – LUNGA, INNER HEBRIDES, SCOTLAND
If tiny islands that resonate with peace and tranquility are your idea of travel heaven, then welcome to Iona. Almost 200 miles east of Edinburgh, set in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, this magical island has a spiritual reputation that precedes it. And luckily, more than lives up to. The island is miniscule. Just three miles long and only one and a half miles wide, this is not a place that hums with urban attractions. 120 people call Iona home (this number rises significantly if the gull, tern and Kittiwake population is added), although residential numbers do go up (to a whopping 175) in summer. The beautiful coastline is lapped by the gulf stream and gives the island a warm climate with sandy beaches that look more Mediterranean than Scottish! Add to that a green field landscape that is just beautiful, and you’ll find that Iona is a place that stays with you long after you leave. Iona’s main attraction is of course its abbey. Built in 563 by Saint Columbia and his monks, the abbey is the reason why Iona is called the cradle of Christianity. Not only is the abbey (today an ecumenical church) one of the best – if not the best – example of ecclesiastical architecture dating from the Middle Ages, but it also serves as an important site of spiritual pilgrimage. St. Martin’s Cross, a 9th century Celtic cross that stands outside the abbey, is considered as the finest example of Celtic crosses in the British Isles. Rèilig Odhrain, or the cemetery, allegedly contains the remains of many Scottish kings.
The stunning Isle of Lunga is the largest island in the Treshnish archipelago. With volcanic origin the isle was populated until the 19th Century, and remains of black houses can be seen around this magnificent coastal jewel. Abundant plant life and exotic birdlife are now the main inhabitants of the area. Fortunate visitors view the magnificent array of birds, especially the great puffins that breed on the islands plateau. One can sit within just a few feet away without disturbing the avian ambassador’s peace. The 81-hectare island is home to many rare and endangered plants such as, primroses and orchids. Views over the landscape and across the ocean can be seen from the 300-foot-high cliffs.
ISLE OF MULL – ARDUAINE, INNER HEBRIDES, SCOTLAND
An ancient stone castle on a remote rugged landscape evokes all sorts of fantasies, especially when approached from the sea. You can imagine mythical, romantic or historic tales as you approach or explore the Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull. The true stories may be just as good.
The Isle of Mull is the second largest of the islands of the Inner Hebrides, after the Isle of Skye. The island has a mountainous core and several radiating promontories covered in moorland. On one headland jutting into the Sound of Mull sits Duart Castle. It was originally built in the 13th century and soon became the ancestral home of the Clan Maclean. Control and ownership of the castle has changed hands over the centuries as broader conflicts for the Isle of Mull and Scotland played out. It was a ruin when the Maclean clan regained control by purchasing and restoring the castle in 1911. It is clan home for all the descendants of the family of Maclean spread throughout the world.
There are stories of wrecks and treasure in the waters near Duart. The most evocative must be the wreck of a Spanish galleon in Tobermony Bay. This ship was part of the Spanish Amarda defeated by the English fleet and Atlantic storms, and the crew were taken to Duart Castle. The galleon is rumored to have a treasure of gold bullion still waiting to be found. Zodiac travel may reveal other treasures. Hull is known for its European Otters and the majestic White-tailed Sea Eagle which has successfully re-colonized Hull after a long absence.
It has been said that ”Arduaine is a green and peaceful place, and must remain so.” This describes the character and objective of the Arduaine Gardens. The gardens are located on a rocky promontory beside the Sound of Jura on the mainland of Western Scotland. The tiny hamlet of Arduaine with its small stone pier provides access to the adjacent gardens. Arduaine has a Scottish Gaelic pronunciation which requires practice and tongue dexterity. For authenticity, it is best to ask a local Scot to pronounce it.
The climate of this region of Scotland is moderated by the warm water of the North Atlantic Drift. This allows plants to thrive which find more inland areas too cold. But it is still Scotland, where any temperature differences are relative. The garden has extra protection from the weather, with planted wind breaks and spreading Japanese Larch. The result is an oasis of mild temperate growing conditions in the middle of a Scottish landscape.
The gardens were established in 1898 by James Arthur Campbell and became the responsibility of the National Trust in 1992. In the 19th century, natural history was all the rage and gardeners collected and grew exotic plant species from around the world. The Arduaine collection includes species from South America and East Asia, with magnificent Rhododendrons, glorious Blue Tibetan Poppies and giant Himalayan Lilies. One plant, a long way from its home east of the New Zealand main islands, is the Chatham Island Forget-me-not—a flower to remember.
ISLE OF MAN
The Isle of Man sits in the middle, but a world apart, from the UK. It is in the Irish sea almost equidistant from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. But it is not part of any of them. It is a self-governing British crown dependency. The island’s cultural heritage is Gaelic with influences from the Norse and surrounding lands. This background has produced an island with its own traditions. Everything associated with the Isle of Man is Manx. The people are Manx and the language is Manx.
Port St Mary is a quiet former trading and fishing port at the southern end of the Isle which provides access to the rural countryside and nearby towns. One route leads past historic thatched cottages in the crofters hamlet of Gregneash, and on to The Sound. Walking routes cross the narrow Mull Peninsula through scenery and history to Port Erin, a quaint old coastal settlement and shoreline set amongst a rugged coastline. In tune with the yesteryear feel of the island, a steam train still operates on the island, taking visitors to destinations like the Castle Rushen, built in 1200 and once the home of a Norse king.
Manx people are proud of their Manx cats, famous for having no or little tail, the result of a genetic mutation passed down the generations. Manx Loaghtan sheep are another animal that evolved on the Isle. These sheep have two (sometimes three) pairs of remarkable horns. And the island is not just an isle of men – the name ‘Isle of Man’ evolved from ‘Manannán’, the Celtic god of the sea.
There is no calf on the Calf of Man. The name of this small island adjacent to the Isle of Man has nothing to do with cows. It is a mispronunciation of the Old Norse word kalfr, meaning a small island near a larger one. The Isle of Calf is only 250 hectares (618 acres) and is separated from its larger neighbor by a narrow stretch of water. Four lighthouses were built on the island and nearby rocks to warn seafarers. Ships hate rocks but Grey Seals love them for resting upon or swimming amongst. While there are no calves, there are a few sheep of the Manx Loaghtan variety, descendants of primitive sheep once found throughout Scotland and nearby islands. Manx means ‘pertaining to the Isle of Man’. Once a private sheep run, the island was donated as a bird sanctuary and is now owned by the Manx National Heritage. Wardens live in the island’s old farmhouse over summer to protect the wildlife, research birds, tend the sheep and look out for introduced Brown Rats. The rats arrived after fleeing a sinking ship in 1871 and became effective killers of seabird chicks. Seabird numbers have surged following a recent rat eradication program. Manx Shearwaters breed from about March to August. They are named after their presence at the islands and seas surrounding the Isle of Man. The birds only visit their island nesting burrows at night and so are easier to spot from the deck of a ship. They glide ever so close to the surface of the sea as if they are ‘shearing’ the water. A sheer delight to watch.
DUBLIN, IRELAND – DISEMBARK
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.
After extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud is 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 four 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 in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest space to guest and crew to guest ratios in expedition cruising. With her 16 zodiacs, 10 kayaks, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations. Finally, a team of up to 22 passionate and dedicated expedition experts are always at hand to ensure your voyage is enhanced every step of the way.
LENGTH: 514.14 Feet / 156.7 Meters
Silversea’s oceanview suites are some of the most spacious in cruising, and all include the services of a butler. Select your suite and Request a Quote – guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite.
This stylish apartment offers the superlative in levels of space, comfort and service on board. A perfect mix of expedition experience with luxury lifestyle. Available as a one-bedroom configuration or as two bedroom by adjoining with a Vista Suite.
Expertly designed and exquisitely appointed. The ideal space for sharing stories with fellow explorers and new friends. With enough space to roam both in and outside, this suite is perfect relaxing and recounting the highlights of your day. Available as a one-bedroom configuration or as two-bedroom by adjoining with a Veranda Suite.
Stately. Commanding and majestic. Perfect for relaxing after a days’ exploring and looking through your photos. With lectures being streamed live to your room, this is the pinnacle of good living at sea. Available as a one-bedroom configuration or as two-bedroom by adjoining with a Veranda Suite.
Stylish and sophisticated with larger verandas, excellent for taking pictures and bird-watching. Situated midship, this suite is perfection in design and comfortable living. A huge walk in wardrobe, a beautiful marbled bathroom and a spacious living area completes the picture. Silver Suites accommodate three guests.
With a room configuration that favors watching the sun rise from the comfort of your bed and losing yourself in the mesmerizing seascapes, this suite is the perfect answer to adventure cruising. A large walk-in wardrobe, and an expansive living make the Medallion Suite a your home away from home on the high seas. Medallion Suites accommodate three guests.
Deluxe Veranda Suite
A Silversea signature, with a preferred central location, the Veranda Suite is spacious and welcoming.Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto a furnished private teak veranda from where you can contemplate anything from the midnight sun to an antarctic sunrise. The Deluxe Veranda Suite offers preferred central location with identical accommodation to a Veranda Suite.
A Silversea signature, the Veranda Suite is spacious and welcoming. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto a furnished private teak veranda from where you can contemplate anything from the midnight sun to an antarctic sunrise. Some Veranda Suites accommodate three guests (Suites going from 505 to 510, and from 605 to 610).
Your home away from home while you embrace the intrepid explorer within. The suite’s seating area has plenty of room to relax while you go over your notes, ready for the next adventure. Large picture windows frame panoramic ocean views, ideal for appraising the local wildlife.
Discover our collection of onboard venues where you’ll enjoy spending time with like-minded travellers and of course, our personalized all-inclusive service.