Cruise Lines take many forms: from the thrill-a-minute RCI mega-ships to the scandi-cool Viking luxury havens. Holland America Line is another brand with a very distinct identity. The clean lines and teak decks are nautical through and through, giving an elegance and timelessness to their ships. The tie-ins with Oprah and BBC Earth give a sense of quiet enrichment while The American Test kitchen caters (literally) for all the foodies … I love a HAL cruise.
HAL is not an expedition line so their Irish & Scottish Adventure is a relaxed affair. You won’t need welly boots or a parka on this trip – maybe an umbrella though to keep the Scottish weather away.
This 14-day voyage is a comprehensive introduction to the country; with stops in Edinburgh, Kirkwall, Invergordon and Stornoway. There’s lots to see and do. If archaeological sites are your ‘cup of tea’ then Neolithic Orkney has archaeological sites dotted all over the archipelago. The WWII Italian Chapel is another highlight. Invergordon is the gateway to the Loch Ness Monster (if you’re lucky) as well as the deeply historic Culloden Battlefield.
Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis, has ancient standing stones at Callanish and is near to Harris, where you’ll find chalky white beaches and the famous Harris Tweed. Further south, the capital city of Edinburgh is brimming with culture and interest. This cruise is timed perfectly for a night at the Military Tattoo, set against the backdrop of Edinburgh castle with the Lone Piper floodlit on the battlements.
Your ship is the 1400-guest Rotterdam and more information on this trip can be found here on the HAL website.
Date: September 2020
Duration: 14 days