Trace the strands of Celtic, Viking, and Norman civilizations during this special cruise between Glasgow and Honfleur, which also features a focus on D-Day. 

Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The evocative Eilean Donan  Iona Abbey  The village of Tobermory, Isle of Mull  The formal rose garden and manor house at Bodnant Gardens   One of many types of gardens at Bodnant Gardens  Caernarfon Castle in Wales. Credit: Britain On View/David Angel  Ha'Penny Bridge, Dublin  Trinity College Library, Dublin, home to the <i>Book of Kells</i>  The lush Tresco Abbey Garden, Isle of Scilly, England  Tresco Abbey Garden, Isle of Scilly, England  Memorial sculpture, Omaha Beach  German gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc. Credit: Atout France/R-Cast  Remains of Mulberry Harbor at Arromanches  World War II cemetery near Omaha Beach, Normandy

A Celtic Cruise

From Glasgow to Honfleur

10 days | Full tour details to be announced soon

Trace the strands of Celtic, Viking, and Norman civilizations during this special cruise between Glasgow and Honfleur, which also features a focus on D-Day. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I loved the way the lectures on board ship tied into the history of places we visited. It made everywhere we visited mean so much more. I feel I could hold my own now in any conversation involving ancient Celtic cultures! 

- Carolyn E.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

Trace the strands of Celtic, Viking, and Norman civilizations and discover the evocative legends and lore, historic sites, and breathtaking landscapes as you cruise from Scotland to Normandy. Plus, commemorate D-Day during visits in Normandy.

Highlights Include

  • Scotland: Cruise to the Kyle of Lochalsh and tour the dramatic 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands, then enjoy a scenic excursion to the Isle of Skye. Continue cruising to the Isle of Mull, where highlights include the town of Tobermory with its vividly painted houses. At the nearby Isle of Iona, visit the serene restored monastery and see the churchyard’s intricate Celtic crosses. And aboard ship, attend talks about Sir Winston Churchill by Allen Packwood, director of the Churchill Archives Center at Cambridge.
  • Ireland: Enjoy a city tour of Dublin, stroll through the quadrangles of Trinity College, and view the Celtic heritage found in the 9th-century Book of Kells. Enjoy time to explore on your own, then attend a performance of traditional Irish music and dance aboard ship.
  • Wales: Sail to northern Wales, a cradle of Celtic culture, where people maintain old traditions and Welsh remains the mother tongue. Explore the imposing 13th-century Caernarfon Castle and Bodnant Gardens, a fine example of 19th-century Victorian landscape artistry.
  • England’s Isles of Scilly: Stop at the sub-tropical 19th-century Tresco Abbey Garden, often compared to London’s Botanic Garden.
  • France: Spend two in-depth days along the coast of Normandy. First, stop at Pointe du Hoc, where heroic U.S. Rangers scaled the 100-foot cliffs to capture German gun emplacements. Then continue to Utah Beach and Sainte-Mère-Eglise, the first French village to be liberated by American forces. Gain further insight from Dwight David Eisenhower II, historian, and grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, when you walk the shores of Omaha Beach and visit the American Military Cemetery and Arromanches. (Or see the legendary Bayeux Tapestry, chronicling the Norman Conquest of 1066.)
  • Small Ship Experience: Enjoy cruising aboard an upscale small ship that features sophisticated staterooms and public spaces, superb amenities, excellent cuisine, and an informal ambiance. Each voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience. See more information on the Tour Details page.

I loved the way the lectures on board ship tied into the history of places we visited. It made everywhere we visited mean so much more. I feel I could hold my own now in any conversation involving ancient Celtic cultures! 

- Carolyn E.

Itinerary - Glasgow to Honfleur - April 30, 2021 departure

Day 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. / Glasgow, Scotland

Depart the U.S. for Glasgow. On arrival, embark your ship. Enjoy dinner on board the ship that evening. (D)

Day 3 — Kyle of Lochalsh for Isle of Skye

Visit one of the world’s most iconic castles, the 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle, named for a sixth-century Irish saint, in Kyle of Lochalsh.

Travel across heather-covered moors and through the starkly beautiful Cuillin Mountains and stop in the scenic capital of Portree, situated along the unforgettable coastline of ethereal Isle of Skye. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Tobermory, Isle of Mull / Isle of Iona

Go ashore at the sheltered port of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, where brightly painted houses are nestled between the hills and the harbor.

Ferry across the Sound of Iona to the neighboring Hebridean Isle of Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. In A.D. 563, the Irish monk Columba founded a monastery here, where scribes would spend their entire lives painstakingly copying and illuminating religious tracts and transcribing ancient Celtic sagas into written form, preserving a record of oral bardic tradition. In later years, Iona became the burial place of Scotland’s kings, including Duncan and Macbeth. At Iona Abbey, stroll through the serene, restored monastery and see the churchyard’s intricate Celtic crosses.

Later, join Allen Packwood as he presents the lecture “Churchill and the two Republics: France and the U.S.” on board the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Holyhead, Wales / Caernarfon Castle

From Holyhead, transfer across the diminutive Isle of Anglesey and over the Menai Strait to North Wales, one of the cradles of Celtic culture. Here, the people hold fast to the old ways, and Welsh remains their mother tongue. Visit beautiful Bodnant Garden, one of the finest examples of 19th-century Victorian landscape artistry. Stop in the charming seaside resort town of Llandudno for lunch, followed by a stirring private choir performance of Welsh hymns. Tour the imposing World Heritage-designated Caernarfon Castle, an impenetrable 13th-century fortress. Following the tradition of seven centuries of monarchs, Queen Elizabeth II invested the future heir to the British throne, her son Charles, as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon in 1969.

Enjoy views of the beautiful, glacier-sculpted peaks and valleys of the Snowdonia Mountains on your return to the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Dublin, Ireland

Built astride the River Liffey, Ireland’s historic capital has retained its rich heritage of Georgian architecture. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, including the landmark St. Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedrals and grand O’Connell Street, lined with bronze and marble statues of Irish statesmen; stroll through the stately quadrangles of Trinity College; and view the incandescent illuminations of the ninth-century Book of Kells.

The afternoon is at leisure to walk along colorful Grafton Street, savor a pint of Guinness in a neighborhood pub or visit the National Gallery of Ireland, one of the best repositories of Celtic treasures in the world. On board the ship this evening, enjoy a specially arranged traditional Irish music and dance performance. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Tresco / Isles of Scilly, England

Visit the lush, 19th-century Tresco Abbey Gardens, home to more than 6,000 plant species. Built around the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey and oft compared to London’s Royal Botanic Garden as a “perennial Kew without the glass,” this subtropical landscape blooms with exotic plant life, its species ranging in origin from Brazil to New Zealand. Meander among spires of indigo Viper’s bugloss, broad-leafed tree ferns, flourishing aloes and bright-pink South African suikerbos in this surprising, magical haven. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Cherbourg / Normandy, France, for Utah Beach / Sainte-Mére-Èglise

Begin your two-day exploration of historic Normandy by envisioning the heroic soldiers of the U.S. Army Second Ranger Battalion, who scaled the 100-foot sheer cliffs to capture German gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc.  Then, continue to​ Utah Beach and Sainte-Mére-Èglise, the first French village to be liberated by American forces during World War II. Utah Beach, the westernmost shore of the five landing areas of the Normandy invasion, also figured as a key site during World War II. Nearby Sainte-Mére-Èglise is known for its great historical significance, including John Steele, the American soldier who famously caught his parachute on the church tower’s pinnacle. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Caen for Omaha Beach

Dock in Caen and travel through the scenic countryside to the historic Normandy beaches. In the company of Professor Eisenhower, walk where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, under the direction of his grandfather, Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower. Contemplate the solemn commemorative crosses and Stars of David in the American Military Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach

Following lunch, continue to Arromanches to see the remnants of Mulberry Harbor, constructed by the British to support Allied landings on the Normandy beaches. View an engaging wraparound short film documenting the D-Day campaign at the Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema.

This evening, attend the Captain’s farewell reception and dinner on board the ship. (B,L,R,D)

Day 10 — Honfleur / Disembark ship / Paris / Return to U.S.

Disembark in Honfleur and continue on the Paris Post‑Cruise Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

Itinerary

Day 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S./Paris, France/Honfleur

Depart the U.S. for Paris. On arrival, transfer to Honfleur and embark the Five-Star Le Bellot. Professor David Eisenhower will share captivating personal insights about his grandfather and Operation Overlord—the Allies’ code name for the military campaign that launched the D‑Day airborne and amphibious invasion at Normandy. Enjoy dinner on board the ship this evening. (D) 

Day 3 —Caen, France Omaha Beach and Arromanches

Drive to Longues‑sur‑Mer, where the coastal German artillery battery remains intact. Continue to Omaha Beach, where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, and walk the historic Normandy shores. Then, in the company of Professor Eisenhower, contemplate the solemn commemorative crosses and Stars of David in the American military cemetery at Colleville‑sur‑Mer. 

Following lunch, travel to Arromanches and view a wraparound short film documenting the D‑Day campaign at the Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema or choose to see the world’s most famous embroidery, the 230-foot‑long Bayeux Tapestry, a graphic chronicle of the Norman Conquest of 1066. 

This evening, attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner. (B,L,R,D) 

Day 4 — Caen/Pointe du Hoc/Utah Beach/Sainte‑Mére‑Èglise and Cherbourg

Visit Pointe du Hoc to envision the heroic U.S. Army Second Ranger Battalion scaling this cliff promontory and survey the serene English Channel.  

Continue to the Church of Angoville‑au‑Plain, an emergency aid station on D‑Day, and view its modern stained‑glass rendition of the American Airborne parachute drop. Nearby, visit Utah Beach, the westernmost shore of the five landing areas of the Normandy invasion, and the Utah Beach D‑Day Museum for a chronological account of the landing retold through an immersive curation of artifacts and oral histories.  

In Sainte‑MéreÈglise, one of the first French villages to be liberated by American forces during World War II, see its famous church, where American soldier John Steele caught his parachute on the steeple and “played dead” for two hours before being taken prisoner. Reboard the ship in Cherbourg.  (B,L,D) 

Day 5 — Tresco, Isles of Scilly, England

Visit the family-owned island of Tresco, famed for its 19th‑century Tresco Abbey Gardens,  
weather permitting.  

Blooming with more than 6000 exotic plant species, this subtropical landscape is built around the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey. Walk among spires of indigo viper’s bugloss, broad‑leafed tree ferns, flourishing aloes and bright pink South African suikerbos. Visit the garden’s Valhalla Museum, home to an eclectic collection of 60 shipwrecked figureheads recovered across the Isles of Scilly(B,L,D) 

Day 6 — Dublin, Ireland

Built astride the River Liffey, Ireland’s historic capital has retained its rich heritage of Georgian architecture. The panoramic tour of the city highlights the landmark St. Patrick’s and Christ Church cathedrals and grand O’Connell Street, lined with bronze and marble statues of Irish statesmen. Stroll through the stately quadrangles of Trinity  College, founded in 1592, and view the ninth-century Book of Kells, the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. Your afternoon is at leisure. 

On board the ship this evening, enjoy specially arranged, traditional Irish music and dance performed by The Merry Ploughboys. (B,L,D) 

Day 7 — Holyhead, Wales

From Holyhead, transfer across the quaint Isle of Anglesey and over the Menai Strait to North Wales, the cradle of Celtic culture, where Welsh remains the mother tongue. 

Visit beautiful Bodnant Garden, one of the finest examples of 19th‑century Victorian landscape artistry, framed by the magnificent peaks of Snowdonia. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant followed by a private choir performance of Welsh hymns. Experience the grandeur of the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Caernarfon Castle, an impenetrable 13th‑century fortress built by Edward I of England as a defense against the marauding Welsh. (B,L,D) 

Day 8 — Isle of Iona, Scotland/Tobermory, Isle of Mull

Visit the Hebridean Isle of Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. In A.D. 563, the Irish monk Columba founded a monastery here, where scribes would spend their lives painstakingly copying religious tracts and transcribing ancient Celtic sagas. Stroll through the serene, restored abbey and see the churchyard’s intricate Celtic crosses. 

Steeped in Viking myth and Celtic lore, the Isle of Mull is a land of extraordinary beauty, with pink granite cliffs, white-sand beaches and clear, blue waters. The island’s mysterious moors are studded with Iron‑Age duns, brochs and menhirs that recall the Hebridean Island’s rich prehistory. Go ashore at the photogenic port of Tobermory, the island’s capital, where brightly painted houses, cafés and boutiques are nestled between woodland‑fringed hills and the boat‑filled harbor. Enjoy time at leisure. 

Later, join Allen Packwood on board the ship as he discusses the complexity of the D‑Day operations and Sir Winston Churchill’s role in its undertaking. (B,L,D) 

Day 9 — Kyle of Lochalsh

Enjoy sweeping views of the Black and Red Cuillin mountain ranges at Sligachan and the heather-woven hills and rocky shorelines of Sleat, the “Garden of Skye.” Visit the 13th‑century EileanDonan Castle, named for a sixth‑century Irish saint.  

Magnificently sited at the entrance to Loch Duich, the castle was built in 1214 to defend against attack from the Danes. Today, the castle is home to a small museum that displays Jacobite relics.  

This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board the ship. (B,L,R,D) 

Day 10 — Glasgow, Scotland/U.S.

Following breakfast, continue on to the Edinburgh and Glasgow Post-Cruise Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B) 

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)