Wild & Ancient Britain with Ireland

15 days
from
£11,610
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Trip code: 
AGB
Way to Travel:
Voyages
Activity:
Cultural Wonders
Max group size:
135
Min age:
17

See some of Europe's largest seabird colonies on spectacular cliffs.

Witness some of Europe's largest seabird colonies—puffins, gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes, and more—on our return to the British Isles. Visit Giant’s Causeway, Neolithic monuments, and a variety of architectural wonders.

Our leaders have visited this region numerous times and will provide valuable insight and commentary on the history, culture, and wildlife of the region. Fascinating lectures, photo presentations, daily recaps, and informal discussions will enhance your understanding and appreciation of the wonders you will see.

Highlights

  • Witness some of Europe’s largest seabird colonies—puffins, gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes, and more—crowding the dramatic cliffs and rocky offshore islands.
  • 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.
  • Cruise aboard a luxurious, purpose-built expedition ship—Zegrahm will limit the number of guests from 184 to 135 for a more intimate experience.

Key information

  • 15 days land only
  • 135 guest aboard Le Dumont D’Urville
  • 12 nights aboard Le Dumont D’Urville, 2 nights hotel
  • Countries visited: Ireland, United Kingdom

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/London 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 above), and other incidentals
  • Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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

London
to
Edinburgh
  • Day 1

    Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the city of London on your own.

    Check in to the Hilton London Paddington Hotel, 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: Hilton London Paddington Hotel 

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Visit Portsmouth before boarding Le Dumont d'Urville.

    After breakfast, depart overland for Portsmouth. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before a tour of this famous port city. This afternoon board Le Dumont d'Urville.

    Accommodation: Le Dumont d'Urville

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Visit Trebah Garden and The Eden Project.

    This morning take a stroll through Trebah Garden, a beautiful subtropical garden with a stunning coastal backdrop. After lunch on board, take a tour of the Eden Project. This innovative complex of domes houses plants from around the world, with each emulating a natural biome.

    Accommodation: Le Dumont d'Urville 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Visit the ruins and lush, subtropical gardens of Tresco Abbey.

    Warmed by the North Atlantic Drift, the Isles of Scilly have given their fortunate inhabitants the luxury of turning a passion for growing flowers into a major industry. This morning board local boats and cruise to Tresco to visit the ruins and lush, subtropical gardens of the medieval Tresco Abbey.

    Accommodation: Le Dumont d'Urville

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Visit the Ballinskelligs priory.

    The Ballinskelligs Priory was founded in the 12th century by monks who moved to the mainland from Skellig Michael after numerous Viking attacks. A number of buildings still remain, including a church, tower house, parts of the cloister, a large domestic hall, and cemetery, most of which dates from the 15th century. On a clear day, views across the bay are simply spectacular.

    Accommodation: Le Dumont d'Urville

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Visit the renowned House of Waterford Crystal, or enjoy a tour of Mount Congreve.

    From the village of Dunmore East, drive through scenic countryside to Waterford. Options today include a visit to the renowned House of Waterford Crystal to watch master craftsmen at work, or enjoy a tour of Mount Congreve, a magnificent estate with exquisite gardens. Return to the ship for lunch as you cruise toward the privately-owned Saltee Islands. These islands attract a variety of birds to their craggy masses; on Great Saltee Island (permission pending) search for puffins, murres, razorbills, gannets, and more of the 47 bird species recorded here.

    Accommodation: Le Dumont d'Urville

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Disembark in Port St. Mary to enjoy a full day on the Isle of Man.

    After breakfast, disembark in Port St. Mary on the Isle of Man. Board the Isle of Man Steam Railway, the single remnant from the extensive Victorian system that served the main centers on the island. Ride through quaint and picturesque villages to the southern resort of Port Erin.

    Accommodation: Le Dumont d'Urville

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Visit Giant's Causeway, a World Heritage Site.

    Disembark at Portrush and travel overland 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. After lunch, go ashore on the Isle of Islay for a tour of the Ardbeg Distillery. 

    Accommodation: Le Dumont d'Urville

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Explore the uninhabited island of Staffa.

    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: Le Dumont d'Urville

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Visit St. Kilda and the 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: Le Dumont d'Urville

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Arrive in the capital city of Kirkwall on Mainland Island in the Orkneys.

    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: Le Dumont d'Urville

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Enjoy a guided tour of Lerwick, and cruise to the Isle of Noss.

    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: Le Dumont d'Urville

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Visit Fair Isle, one of the most isolated settlements in the British Isles.

    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: Le Dumont d'Urville

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Disembark in Aberdeen and enjoy a scenic drive to Edinburgh.

    Disembark in Aberdeen this morning, and enjoy a scenic drive to Edinburgh. Check in to our hotel for a special farewell dinner and overnight.

    Accommodation: Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Tour ends

    Transfer to the airport for 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

Ireland

No vaccinations are obligatory.

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, Zegrahm 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.

Before You Go
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. In May, temperatures will range from the low 50sºF – mid-60sºF, cooling slightly as you travel north. Flexibility is a must, as itineraries are subject to change, and landings may be tidal or weather dependent.

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:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Le Dumont d'Urville

Le Dumont d'Urville is currently in the process of being built, and will be completed in 2019. It will feature innovative and environment-friendly equipment, elegantly designed suites, and lounge areas that open onto the outside. All suites feature ocean views and private balconies, while public spaces include an underwater lounge, as well as a pool, outside bar and dining area, theater, single-seating dining room, panoramic lounge, sun deck, salon, and a spa and fitness room. Le Dumont d'Urville will carry a fleet of Zodiacs.

GENERAL

  • Six decks of guest facilities.

- Deck 0 (not pictured in deck plan) – Blue Eye Underwater Lounge.
- Deck 3 – guest suites, reception, main lounge, pool, outdoor bar and dining area, boutique, theater, and doctor’s office.
- Deck 4 – guest suites and restaurant.
- Deck 5 – guest suites and bridge.
- Deck 6 – guest suites, panoramic lounge, and outdoor seating.
- Deck 7 – guest suites, sun deck, outdoor seating, salon, spa and fitness room.

  • 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 on outside decks.

SUITES

  • All suites feature ocean views and private balconies, with two twin beds that can be reconfigured into one king, a well-appointed   en suite bathroom, closets, desk, IpodTM players, small refrigerator, flat-screen TV, personal safe, hair dryer, bath robes, French toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts.
  • Category 1, 2, 3, and 4 suites are 205 square feet and have a sliding glass door leading to a 43 square foot private balcony.
  • Category 5 suites are 291 square feet and have a sliding glass door leading to a 65 square foot private balcony.
  • Category 6 suites are 344 square feet and have a sliding glass door leading to a 86 square foot private balcony.
  • Suites are 484 square feet and have a sliding glass door leading to a 328 square foot private patio. The owner’s suite is the      same size as the suites and features a Jacuzzi on the 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

  • Le Dumont D’Urville carries a fleet of Zodiacs.
  • Laundry services (no dry cleaning) and a small doctor’s office are available on board. Rates are posted.
  • The Euro is the currency used on board. Traveler’s checks, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted for payment of shipboard accounts.
  • Wi-fi access is available throughout the ship. Rates are posted.




Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

Expert Blog Entries

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]