Explore Scotland’s heartland harbours, villages and islands. It’s history of ages past, whilst making your own history viewing brochs, standing stones and castles. Isles where the wildlife is in abundance. A land where the people are waiting to welcome you to their unique culture – a culture which may reflect threads of your own heritage.

Highlights


• Share a dram of whisky - the water of life - at one of Islay’s historic distilleries

• Spot puffins, gannets, razorbills and guillemots

• Discover Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rum

• Visit St Kilda: a mystical island with UNESCO World Heritage site status for its natural and cultural significance

• Discover the delightful Orkney Islands Standing Stones

• In Stornoway explore the stone age “Callanish”

• Explore historic Iona Abbey, on the island of Iona

• Walk the wild shores of Loch Courisk

• Visit Mousa Broch - the best preserved broch in the world

• Visit Fair Isle famous for its knitters and puffins

We start our Scotland In-depth voyage in the medieval capital of Edinburgh. We recommend arriving early so you are able to explore the cobbled streets, hilltop castle, and many of the top attractions. Our accommodation tonight is at a centrally located hotel where we will meet for dinner with our fellow travellers and guides as we commence our discovery of Scotland.
We will depart Edinburgh this morning and make our way over land to Aberdeen. We will explore the iconic township of St Andrews including the Abbey ruins and University, before visiting the historic Dunottar Castle. Later we will board the MS Serenissima, and enjoy our first night on the ship together.
This morning we arrive at the northernmost of the Orkney Islands, remote and isolated North Ronaldsay is renowned for its beautiful coastal scenery, abundant birdlife and its famed sheep. After a short Zodiac ride ashore there will be the opportunity to meet with some of the 60 residents of the island to learn more about their unique lifestyle and especially the unique North Ronaldsay Sheep which have evolved over generations to the particular conditions of North Ronaldsay and which are farmed collectively. Others may choose to join our naturalists on a nature walk searching for some of the many bird species which are both resident and vagrant visitors. We will also enjoy time in the Fair Isle, famous for birds, knitwear and historic shipwrecks, Fair Isle is a tiny jewel of an island lying half-way between Orkney and Shetland. Owned by the National Trust for Scotland, it’s one of Britain’s most successful small communities, pioneering projects in wildlife tourism, wind power and sustainable management of the environment. The island is an internationally important seabird breeding site. From April to August the cliffs are busy with the sound (and smell!) of thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots, gannets, shags and puffins, while skuas and terns fiercely defend their nests on the moorland. The 70 or so islanders mostly live in traditional crofts on the more fertile and low-lying southern third of the island. The northern part is largely rough grazing and rocky moorland, rising to the 217 metre Ward Hill.
Lerwick is the Shetland Islands capital. Its cobblestone streets once filled with the rush created by fishing and ship building, today this port town charms as you wander the same streets of the town and waterfront. To the south of Lerwick is Jarlshoff where we delve into more than 4,000 years of human settlement in the same location. Neolithic people first settled this site in Shetland around 2700 BC, and it remained in use until the AD 1600s. Discoveries made here include oval-shaped Bronze Age houses, an Iron Age broch and wheelhouses, Norse longhouses, a medieval farmstead, and a laird’s house dating back to the 1500s. This afternoon we land at Mousa Broch, standing 13 metres high, it is Scotland’s most impressive and best surviving Iron Age tower or broch. Today we know brochs were built in Shetland around 400-200 BC, the quality of stone, the workmanship and overall size of Mousa are believed to contribute to why it has survived so well.
From Bronze Age man, Iron Age people, Vikings and World Wars – time has left its mark on the Orkney Islands, the green isles. We will land in the seaside town of Stromness, a past safe haven for Vikings, whaling and fishing, and now a ferry gateway to Scotland. Highlights of visiting this Orkney Island will include visiting Kirkwall, formally known as the site of the ancient Norse town founded 1000 years ago. We will make our way to the historic village of Skara Brae. In the winter of 1850, a great storm battered Orkney, the grass was stripped from a large mound, then known as ‘Skerrabra’. The outline of a number of stone buildings was revealed- something that intrigued the local laird, William Watt of Skaill, he embarked on an excavation of the site. Today, Skara Brae, as it has become known - survives as eight dwellings, linked together by a series of low, covered passages. We will also ensure we have time to visit the famous Ring of Brodgar Henge, a neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.
Stornoway is the main town on the Isle of Lewis with just over 6,000 people, about a third of the islands total population - home to a mix of traditional industries like fishing, Harris Tweed and farming. Arriving at Stornoway we land in this Gaelic heartland to explore the Stone Age ‘Callanish’, the primordial configuration of standing stones. Crossing the gentle troughs and rounded tops of the landscape we explore the cultural Gearrannan Blackhouse Village and meet the people of this area. As we stroll the alleyways of Stornoway, check out the local tweed or wander the pathways of Lews Castle gardens we are sure to discover the secret of timelessness in the Hebrides.
Remote and battered by the Atlantic seas, St Kilda is a near mystical island with dual UNESCO World Heritage site status for its natural and cultural significance. St Kilda is deemed Europe’s most important seabird colony – with abundant puffins, fulmars and the largest colony of gannets in Britain. Inhabited till 1930, the 19th century village layout still remains, allowing us to envisage life on this island where the bird life provided sustenance for the villagers. Enjoy the privilege to visit St Kilda and look out across to Village Bay.
Isle of Skye’s southern coast is remote, mainly uninhabited and home to the Cuillin Mountains. Loch Courisk is nestled securely in the landscape folds of the Cuillin Ridge, a freshwater loch and is separated from the sea by the Scavaig River. Our short walk along this river gives access to the Loch, or the adventurous can take the opportunity to explore further. Later in the quiet Isle of Rum, Kinloch Castle greets us. Built of Isle of Arran sandstone the castle took three years and upwards of 300 craftsmen to build. The Kinloch castle, was the first private residence in Scotland to have electricity, it was unique for this time to have an electrician. The electricity was derived from a hydro dam constructed on the Coire Dubh Burn. Now under the care of the Scottish Natural Heritage its restoration is a work in progress.
Our visit to Staffa features the hexagonal basalt cliffs which culminate in Fingal’s Cave- a spectacular natural feature named by the Celts as ‘Uamh-Binh’ or “the Cave of Melody”. Abundant puffins, razorbills and guillemots use the island for breeding and accessing the surrounding rich marine environment. This afternoon we visit Iona. The centre of the Celtic world in 563 AD, the Irish missionary St. Columba went into exile and established a small monastic community there, its basic layout is known through the writings of Abbot Adomnan in the 600s. Driven out of Iona by Viking raids, most of the monastic community moved to Kells in Ireland around 800. In more peaceful times, around 1200, a Benedictine abbey and nunnery were established on the site. It is these buildings (heavily restored) that we see today.
The southernmost isle of the Inner Hebrides, Gigha is one of the smallest populated Islands in the Hebrides. Meaning Good or God Island, the highest mountain is Creag Breahn. Nestled in woodland and extensive gardens Achamore House was built in 1884 for Lt-Col William James Scarlett, the 3rd Lord Abinger. One of the warmest places in Scotland, the gardens of Achamore House was purchased by the people of Gigha in 2002. Operated as a trust they represent the plant collector’s love and the garden designer’s eye. The earliest documented record of distilling in Scotland occurred as long ago as 1494, in the tax records of the day, the Exchequer Rolls. The entry lists “Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor where with to make aqua vitae” (water of life). This afternoon, be part of history and share a dram of whisky, the water of life, ashore at one of Islay’s historic distilleries: Lagavulin Distillery.
Sailing into Oban, your view of Oban is one you will truly never forget. Oban is a lovely seaside village with cobbled streets and stone houses. We will disembark in Oban and enjoy some time to explore before starting are journey over land to Glasgow. We will visit the Inveraray Castle and connect with Clan Campbell as we walk around the beautiful grounds and explore the castle. We will make our way past Ben Lomond, a munro, rising to 974 metres (3196 feet). Prior to reaching our destination of Glasgow we will meet the famed shores of Loch Lomond. This freshwater Scottish loch is the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain.
After breakfast and farewells, continue on with your travel arrangements, whether that is more time in the city of Glasgow, south to England, further afield or directly homeward bound.
Itineraries are subject to change.

Standard Stateroom

$6,795 USD pp
Standard Stateroom
10 to 11.5 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

Classic Stateroom

$7,495 USD pp
Classic Stateroom
14 to 19 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

Superior Stateroom

$7,975 USD pp
Superior Stateroom Limited Availability
11.5 to 18 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

Deluxe Stateroom

$8,450 USD pp
Deluxe Stateroom
11 to 25 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

Standard Single

$8,895 USD pp
Standard Single Limited Availability
7 to 12.5 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

Junior Suite

$9,475 USD pp
Junior Suite Limited Availability
21 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

Serenissima Suite

$10,575 USD pp
Serenissima Suite
25 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

Owner’s Suite

$10,975 USD pp
Owner’s Suite
22 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 95

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2019

MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The European Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

AIR-CONDITIONING

The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning.

DAILY PROGRAMME

A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service.

DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available between 07:00 hours and 23:00 hours at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge. Please advise of any special dietary requests in advance.

DISABLED FACILITIES

The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door and no step into/out of the bathroom and shower area. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift.

DOCTOR

A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require. 

ELECTRICITY

The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor.

GRATUITIES

Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday.

INTERNET

The onboard library has a computer equipped for email/internet access and Wi-Fi access is available in public areas, although you will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 100mb for €15 Euros, or 500mb for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location.

LANGUAGE

All members of the crew speak English.

MONEY

The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts: Cash (Euros or British Pounds), Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted.

PUBLIC AREAS

• Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 11.00 until 24.00.

• Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access)

• Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and fitness room with two running machines

• Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area)

• Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas

SNORKELLING

Snorkelling equipment is kept onboard. Please note that there is no snorkelling from Zodiacs. All snorkelling stops will operate from a beach. 

TELEVISION

The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 15 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship.

ZODIACS

Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises. 

Cabin layout for Serenissima

Inclusions



• 9 nights accommodation on board the Serenissima
• Pre-cruise hotel night in Edinburgh with dinner and breakfast
• Post-cruise hotel in Glasgow with dinner and breakfast
• Meals during voyage
• House wine, beer & soft drinks with dinner
• Gratuities
• Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
• Touring throughout as per itinerary

Exclusions



• International flight and transfers to and from Glasgow and Edinburgh airport
• Travel Insurance
• Souvenirs
• Additional spending money
• Breakfast and lunch on day 1, lunch and dinner on day 12
Serenissima
British Isles ExpeditionExpedition
12 Days from
$6,795 USD pp

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NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

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