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Old June 1st, 2011, 06:35 PM
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Default British Isles Info Needed

We are taking a cruise around the UK and am wondering how close we will dock to city center - can we walk easily into town? What are some must-see things? We'll be in Guernsey, Cobh, Dublin, Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh and Paris. Thanks for your help.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 09:42 AM
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Hi there, we've done this cruise a couple of times now - odd it's the only way we've looked around our own country.

Most of the docks are some way away from the centres, so here goes ...

Guernsey a tender will drop you within a few hundred yards of the town, and it is easily walkable. Make sure you walk out to the old fort for some good views of your ship, but beware that they fire a cannon at either midday or 1pm, which will scare the life out of you if your near it.

Cobh, you actually moor up in Cobh, but there isn't a great deal to do there, the ship will sell tours into Cork and Blarney Castle with it's famous Rock. You can also catch the half hourly train into Cork, the station is right next to the berth.

Dublin is a way off, but a shuttle bus will be provided, so no worries there.

Liverpool depends. We have moored up right in the middle of the Mersey - okay it was a much smaller ship. I fear that you will probably end up at the new Cruise Terminal (if it is completed now) which is some way out, so am not sure of the transfer options.

Belfast, again a shuttle bus will drop you right in the middle of the city. Top tip here is to check out tours of the City Hall, Princess were charging for their version, but if you walk in, they do (or did) free tours 3 times a day, you simply sign up for the time you want.

Glasgow, docks near the town of Greenock, which is quite pleasant & has some lovely countryside, but to get to Glasgow you need to either pay for a transfer or take the train. We took the train which was simple, but could not find anything in Glasgow to keep up busy for that long.

For Inverness, I'm pretty certain we stopped at Invergordon, again a lovely area to walk around, but if you want to get into Inverness itself, it's again either a tour or train.

For Edinburgh you will moor up in the Forth Estuary next to the Forth Bridge, then tender into Queensferry. From here it is again either a ship's tour, or a short walk to the train station for a transfer into Edinburgh.

Finally Paris - oh no you're not ;o) ok that's a bit harsh, but in reality, you will be docking in either Le Havre or Cherbourg both of which have their own charms but are no where near Paris. Trying to do your own thing to get to Paris will also be frustrating as the transfer will allow little time see anything before rushing back to your train.

So apart from that last port, I hope that the rest of the news is good for you, and that you have a great time.

If you want to see any of our pics, please let us know & we'll upload them into the Cruisemates albums.

Alan & Katrina

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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:16 AM
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Could I also ask when your cruise is? and how much time you have in the Scottish ports - I would not wish to make suggestions which are not practical.

Annie
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Talking British Isles

That will be a great cruise!

Honestly, to advertise the cruise as going to Paris is a little misleading. Most people we have heard from who have tried to take the 3+ hour drive into Paris, see the sights in a flash, and take the drive back, have been very disappointed. Trying to DIY would be even more pressed.

In Dublin, taking the ship's shuttle dropped us right off at Trinity College to see the famous Book of Kells. It was an interesting area to wander afterwards.

In most of the other ports we took excursions, either ship's or private. Liverpool is a big industrial city and not much to do there unless you are on a tour. So is Glasgow.

Edinburgh is a big place with lots of tourist attractions. Just walking around town would be sort of a waste here, IMAO. I seriously suggest at least a tour of the castle.

We had a great time in the British isles. Check out our trip report and pictures at Royal Princess British Isles Ports
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for all the wonderful info. It will help us decide if we want to just stroll around or do a tour. We will be sailing a little less than a year from now. We'll have a full day in each port. We did go to Paris on another cruise and did the 3 hour drive. This time we'll pick something else that is interesting by not such a drive. All the people we encountered in Paris clearly didn't like Americans but we found the sites to be wonderful.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 11:52 AM
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Default Edinburgh and Glasgow

For Edinburgh, I would start at the Castle and then walk the 'Royal Mile' to Holyrood Palace.

You will dock at Greenock for Glasgow - 3 principal choices dependent upon weather:

Take a nearby ferry to the Isle of Bute - for the Mount Stuart Estate - any foreign visitors I have taken there class it as a highlight and not a lot of people go there. A hidden gem.

Go to Glasgow if you are a CRM fan. Also some very good free museums if that is your thing. Also Glasgow has a HOHO bus.

Play a round of golf at one of the many local courses. Easily arranged in advance but be warned the courses are hilly

One last thought - Loch Lomond is not beyond reach either - plenty of time to climb Ben Lomond

Annie

PS The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations are scheduled for beginning of June.

Last edited by anniegb; June 2nd, 2011 at 12:02 PM.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 10:23 AM
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Talking Glasgow activities

Quote:
Originally Posted by anniegb View Post

You will dock at Greenock for Glasgow - 3 principal choices dependent upon weather:

Take a nearby ferry to the Isle of Bute - for the Mount Stuart Estate - any foreign visitors I have taken there class it as a highlight and not a lot of people go there. A hidden gem.

Go to Glasgow if you are a CRM fan. Also some very good free museums if that is your thing. Also Glasgow has a HOHO bus.

Play a round of golf at one of the many local courses. Easily arranged in advance but be warned the courses are hilly

One last thought - Loch Lomond is not beyond reach either - plenty of time to climb Ben Lomond

Annie

PS The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations are scheduled for beginning of June.
Wow, all those active choices for Glasgow.

What WE did was go to a whiskey distillery ...
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:24 AM
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It is called thinking out of the box

I could point you to whisky distilleries buy hey Speyside or Islay/Jura are best for that

And of course I am not a recreational shopper but if anyone wants to know where the best in designer shopping is, drop me a line.

Annie

Last edited by anniegb; June 3rd, 2011 at 11:29 AM.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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Good morning Topher,

as promised I have uploaded a selection of photos from most of the ports of call on your cruise. They can be viewed at CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums - kandajones's Album: Round Britain and Ireland

Hope you enjoy them & start to get a feel for your trip,

Alan & Katrina
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Old June 4th, 2011, 08:17 PM
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I'm going to "sneak" in here and ask Alan and Katrina, what would be interesting to do with a turnaround day in Southampton? We'd rather not spend most of the day on a bus to London .

Thanks,
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Old June 5th, 2011, 04:08 AM
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OK

I am going to 'sneak' in here and suggest Winchester.

Annie
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Old June 5th, 2011, 06:33 AM
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Default For Fern - Southampton what to do.

Good morning Fern,

Southampton & the surrounding area are verty bad at advertising themseleves to the cruise passengers even though more & more people are spending time either before or after their cruise (or even between on back to backs).

So, it really depends on your likes. We have everything from, as Annie says, Winchester with a simple 15 minute train ride, to Salisbury with it's Cathedral, Portsmouth with it's history dockyards including HMS Victory amongst others, The New Forest with it's small towns, villages and Beaulieu National Motor Museum , or Southampton itself with it's historic walls, Titanic heritage trail open spaces & vast shopping area.

Please note that you cannot get out to Stonehenge without messing about with trains buses, so you may want to consider booking a taxi to take you from Southampton to Winchester, to Stonehenge, back to Salisbury, then through the Forest back to your ship, but contact some comapnies on line beforehand to get an idea of prices.

Ships tours will probably include most of the above plus Royal Windsor Castle (my wife has been there & loved it); Exbury Gardens (in season); and Bath

if you want us to check any local taxi comapnies, please let us know details of time of year and number of people.

Speak soon,

Alan & Katrina
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Old June 5th, 2011, 08:13 AM
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We thought Cork itself was a bit disappointing, we got a train & walked into the town....then walked right out again. Cobh is a charming little place but not much to do or see. I have always thought Liverpool was a dangerous place & have no wish to go there. Rest of the stops are as described by others.
I agree the the Southampton area is not promoted well, odd that it is described as "Southampton, London" by Princess (I think). As A&K says there is a lot to do & see in the general area.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 02:24 PM
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Default Liverpool

I cannot advise on transfer options.

However friends and family love Liverpool esp the Beatles tours and the Cavern club.

Annie
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Old June 5th, 2011, 08:32 PM
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Thanks, Annie, and Alan and Katrina. I think we'll just explore Southampton. I don't have any interest in seeing Stonehenge (!), so that's not a problem.

I appreciate your suggestions,
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