Puffin with flowers

Wild Scottish Isles

8 days
from
$6,990 USD
incl. taxes
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Small Ship Cruises
Suitable for:
Age 17+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
ZAW
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Voyages
Activity:
Natural Wonders
Group size:
50–130
Min age:
17

Join our voyage round the northern extremity of the four parts of the United Kingdom

History comes to life as you view important Neolithic monuments—the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, and Skara Brae—and other architectural wonders, from Mousa’s Iron Age broch and 12th-century Iona Abbey to the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.

Highlights

  • Search for a variety of seabirds—puffins, gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes, and more—many will be tending to downy chicks.
  • Visit Giant’s Causeway where some 40,000 closely-packed hexagonal columns descend like a staircase into the sea.
  • Discover important Neolithic monuments—the Standing Stones of Stenness; the Ring of Brodgar; and Skara Brae, a well-preserved Stone Age village.
  • Explore a variety of architectural wonders, from Mousa’s Iron Age broch and 12th-century Iona Abbey to the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.

What's included

  • Daily activity options including cultural tours, nature walks, and Zodiac cruises
  • All gratuities
  • All accommodations
  • World-class lecture and expedition team
  • All onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

What's not included

  • Airfare from your home city/Belfast and Edinburgh/home city
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages (other than listed at left), and other incidentals
  • Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Itinerary

Belfast
to
Edinburgh
  • Day 1

    Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Check in to the Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast, with the rest of the day at leisure to explore the city on your own. Gather at the hotel this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.  

    Accommodation: The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Belfast / Portrush, Giant’s Causeway / Embark the Greg Mortimer / Isle of Islay, Scotland

    Depart overland for Portrush for a visit to the World Heritage Site of Giant’s Causeway. This three-mile section of coastline is a geological masterpiece—some 40,000 closely-packed hexagonal columns of varying heights line the coast and descend like a staircase into the sea. Embark the Greg Mortimer and, after lunch, go ashore on the Isle of Islay for a tour of the Ardbeg Distillery.

    Accommodation: The Greg Mortimer

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Staffa, Inner Hebrides / Iona

    Weather permitting, spend the morning exploring the uninhabited island of Staffa by Zodiac and its most famous feature, Fingal’s Cave. The cave’s peculiar rock formations and unusual coloring are a delight to behold, and the wonderful echo of the sea from within served as the inspiration for Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture.

    In 563 AD the Christian missionary, St. Columba, built a monastery on Iona and spread Christianity throughout Scotland. Though the monastery suffered repeated attacks by Vikings over the centuries and the original was destroyed, it was rebuilt each time and some of these later buildings still stand. Visit the monastery site; the nearby cemetery of St. Oran, where numerous Scottish kings are buried; and the 12th-century Iona Abbey.

    Accommodation: The Greg Mortimer

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    St. Kilda, Outer Hebrides / Flannan Islands

    Spend the morning at St. Kilda, once home to a small community, evidenced by abandoned houses and cleits, beehive-shaped cells where goods were stored. Spend the afternoon cruising among the Flannan Islands—puffins, fulmars, murres, and kittiwakes should be plentiful.

    Accommodation: The Greg Mortimer

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

    Arrive in the capital city of Kirkwall on Mainland Island in the Orkneys today for visits to the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral and some of the island’s major archaeological sites. Visit the enigmatic Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, and Skara Brae, a remarkably well-preserved Stone Age village buried in sand some 4,500 years ago. Return to Kirkwall for an afternoon walking tour of this charming city.

    Accommodation: The Greg Mortimer

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Lerwick, Shetland Islands / Isle of Noss / Mousa

    This morning enjoy a guided walking tour of Lerwick, capital of the Shetland Islands, which are steeped in Norse heritage. After the tour there will be free time to stroll the narrow streets and browse the many shops, or raise a pint at the local pub. After lunch on board, cruise to the Isle of Noss, where spectacular cliffs support a large and diverse seabird colony, home to 80,000 seabirds—guillemots, razorbills, gannets, shags, and more. This evening go ashore at Mousa to view one of Britain’s finest Iron Age ruins, an unusually well-preserved 40-foot broch, a dry stone structure, dating from about 200 AD.

    Accommodation: The Greg Mortimer

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Fair Isle

    One of the most isolated settlements in the British Isles, Fair Isle is renowned for the quality and intricacy of its handmade sweaters, using local wool. It is also famous as a haven for seabirds, including gannets, murres, black-legged kittiwakes, numerous gull species, and a large colony of puffins. After a short walk, join some of the 70 islanders at their community center for tea and cakes, and a visit to the local museum.

    Accommodation: The Greg Mortimer

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Aberdeen / Disembark / Edinburgh / USA

    Disembark in Aberdeen this morning, and enjoy a scenic drive to Edinburgh. Board your independent homeward flight.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

United Kingdom

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Is this trip for you?

 This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Zegrahm Expeditions. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Zegrham Expeditions, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you would expect. Zegrahm Expeditions operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel.

For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore and walk one to three miles over sometimes rough terrain such as cobblestones and uneven, rocky beaches. Temperatures will range from the low 50sºF – mid-60sºF.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

The Greg Mortimer

As a modern and custom-designed ship, the 130-guest Greg Mortimer is at the cutting edge of nautical technology. Robust, powerful and built with guests in mind, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards. Built with the environment in mind, the ship features a Tier 3 engine, (which gives off 80% less emissions than typical engines) lower energy consumption, high fuel efficiency, reduced light pollution for minimal wildlife disruption, and lower onboard plastic use. The ship has state-of-the-art virtual anchoring technology, meaning the ship can hold its position using its own propellers and thrusters while launching Zodiacs and kayaks without disturbing the sea floor. All staterooms feature an oceanview, en suite bathrooms, personal storage options, twin and double-bed configuration options, and ample storage.

GENERAL

• Six decks of guest facilities.

- Deck 3 – guest suites, doctors office, mud room and Zodiac landing platforms.

- Deck 4 – guest suites.

- Deck 5 – dining room, lounge, bar, reception, shop, and hydraulic viewing platforms.

- Deck 6 – guest suites.

- Deck 7 – guest suites, bridge, library, gym, sauna, spa, sun deck, and observation area.

- Deck 8 – 360-degree observation deck, observation lounge, bar, and two hot tubs.

• Stairs and an elevator service all decks.

• The bridge is available to visit most times throughout the day, contingent upon weather, security, and navigation conditions.

• Smoking is permitted only in designated areas on Deck 8.

SUITES

• All suites feature ocean views, two twin beds that can be reconfigured into one king, a well-appointed en suite bathroom, closets,  desk, small refrigerator, flat-screen TV, personal safe, hair dryer, bath robes, and toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts.

• Category 1 suites average 170 - 245 square feet and have a porthole.

• Category 2, 3, and 4 suites average 225 - 336 square feet including a private balcony.

• Category 5 suites average 328 - 435 square feet including a private balcony.

• Suites are 418 square feet including a lounge, bedroom, and private balcony.

• The owner’s suite is 478 square feet including a lounge, bedroom, and private balcony.

DINING

• The main restaurant can accommodate all guests at one seating.

• Most diets can be catered for on board, but special dietary requests must be made in advance.

• Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style.

• Dinner is served in the main restaurant with four, a la carte courses. When weather permits, meals can also be served on deck. 

• Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and coffee and tea are available 24 hours a day.

SERVICES

• The Greg Mortimer carries a fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks.

• Laundry services (no dry cleaning) and a small doctor’s office are available on board. Rates are posted.

• The American dollar is the currency used on board. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted for payment of shipboard accounts.

• Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the ship.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices