If Stone Age ruins, an ancient abbey, volcanic caves, fishing villages, whales and seabird nesting sites sounds like your cup of tea … or pint of ale … then Lindblad’s Ancient Isles cruise might be just for you.
Travelling from London to Bergen in May 2019, the cruise basks in the long summer light as it heads north to some wonderful Scottish sites; Iona, Staffa, St.Kilda, Isle of Lewis, Orkney and Shetland.
The expedition cruise market is heating up and few know how to do it better than Lindblad National Geographic. Their small-scale ships venture deeper into destinations, accessing wild places and lost cultures. The onboard expedition team has a naturalist, historian and certified photo instructor to accompany you on hikes, Zodiac trips and kayak adventures.
Your ship on this trip is the flagship 148-passenger National Geographic Explorer. It’s a wonderfully informal ship, shirking the stiffness of more luxurious lines in favour of sociability and discovery. A remote-controlled crow’s nest camera with real-time footage broadcasts on video screens within each cabin and a video microscope gives a marvellous undersea view.
More information on this cruise can be found here on Lindblad’s site.
If you fancy igniting your inner Viking then Hurtigruten, the Norwegian exploration cruise line, has an 11-day trip from Norway to Iceland in May 2019. Making full use of the exceptional summer daylight, the cruise stops en-route to visit the ruggedly beautiful Orkney and Shetland islands as it ventures northwards.
Your ship is the recently reconstructed 243-passenger polar-class MS Spitsbergen, complete with resident expedition team who will encourage partaking in their educational talks, on-deck activities and the Norwegian ‘friluftsliv’ (outdoor life).
Lerwick, perhaps more Viking than Scottish, still has a thriving fishing industry and two fantastic Iron Age sites to explore. Then journey 5000 years back in time to Neolithic Orkney with trips to stone circles, ancient burial sites and settlements. Visit the famous St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall where Magnus was put to death for refusing to fight the Vikings. There’s whisky on offer too!
Just as the Vikings did all these years ago, the itinerary continues to the desolate Faroe Islands before heading to Iceland. Sea cliffs and green fields are dotted with puffins along the way before the wonder of geothermal pools, black lava beaches and cosmopolitan Reykjavik completes the tour.
More details on this cruise can be found here at Hurtigruten