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Old January 6th, 2018, 04:40 PM
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Default British Isle Cruise: Recommend a tour Company

On the Royal Princess in May for the 12 day British Isle cruise. Looking for a dependable shore excursion company. Anyone have any recommendations and maybe what is a must to see.

Thanks
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Old January 7th, 2018, 04:07 AM
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Hi alshasta,

My names Ally, I'm a tour giude and the owner of Kilted Coastal Tours, www.kiltedcoastaltours.com I am based in Inverness Scotland, but I tour guide from every port in Scotland covering the whole of our 'Best small country in the World,

If you are looking for a private driver guide, have a look at my website, drop me a wee e-mail, and I'll reply to yourself. my vehicle is an AGM Mercedes Viano, 6 seater, panoramic windows, sun roofs and air conditioned.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 11:13 AM
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Hi Alshasta, do you have the full list of ports, and some ideas of what would be of interest to you?
We have lots of history, scenery, shopping, sports activities etc. so some idea of what would be of interest would help.

Also does the cruise visit Ireland? If so, both Dublin & Belfast have great free walking tours ( as do many other cities ) so it is worth scanning the web (e.g. TripAdvisor) for those.

Hope to hear back from you soon.
Alan
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Old January 22nd, 2018, 11:46 PM
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Thank you. I will look at your website and get back to you.
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Old March 24th, 2018, 01:47 PM
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Hello Alan. Sorry it took so long getting back to you but I appreciate your reply. Here is the itinerary. We like seeing historical sites and main and famous things that should be seen. I appreciate an advice you can give. Thank you

Guernsey (st. Peter Port), England

Cork, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Glasgow (greenock), Scotland


Orkney Islands (kirkwall), Scotland

Invergordon, Scotland

Edinburgh (south Queensferry), Scotland


T Paris/Normandy (le Havre), France
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Old April 7th, 2018, 06:35 PM
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Hi again Alshasta, i have listed some of the trips & attractions for each of the ports, hopefully they will be of use, and of interest. You may want to make a drink & sit back to read this ;o)

Guernsey (St. Peter Port), England (Guernsey Castle Cornet, German Occupation museums, Hauteville House)
This will be a tender port straight into the small town of St Peter Port. The main thing to consider here is the amount of time the tender operation can take from the larger ships as there are only 2 docking points (at best) on the ramp in town, so please keep that in mind.
Once in town there is a small fortress (Castle Cornet) at the other end of the harbour which is about a 30 minute stroll, they fire a very loud cannon at midday each day!!

about half way there you will see the main tourist information shop on the other side of the road. Further on from Castle Cornet at the end of the coastal path/road you will come to a WWII military museum, and if you are interested in WWII life under occupation, then there are lots of other places to visit in Guernsey, but would require either a ship, or local organised tour.
Also within easy walking distance (but uphill) are some lovely gardens & historic buildings including Victor Hugo's house, plus of course plenty of shops, for both souvenirs & day-to-day essentials.

Cork, Ireland - The port for Cork is Cobh is unfortunately tied quite closely to both the Titanic and the Lusitania when the town was called Queenstown, and is full of historic connections to these ships. The town itself is vibrant in both colour and life. The main reason for this stop is for transfers into Cork, or to Blarney Castle for it's 'Stone'. If you want to go to Cork, and are docked in Cobh (see note below) you can walk off the ship, round the corner & get onto the regular train.
However, and here's the note ... Last time we were there, we were 'dumped' in the port of Ringaskiddy which is on the other side of the water with a long transfer time, so if that's the same for you, I would reccomend staying in Cobh & strolling the town, the waterfront & it's imposing Church.

Dublin, Ireland (Castle, Trinity College, Powerscourt Gardens, Guinness Experince)
In many cases this could be via Dublin Bay which is some distance from Dublin, but on the train line. Once in the City, you have everything you could want from drinking the local Stouts, to seeing the Book of Kells at Trinity College, to shopping, to watching the world go by. However our top tip here is to check out a company called Sandemans who offer FREE walking tours in many cities around Europe. They are given in small groups and work on a tips only basis. All the ones we have used across Europe have been wonderful & full of local stories, historial facts, and offer a genuine insight into the city. The one thing they will comment on is that they offer other tours for which they charge (mainly the evening pub crawl) but have never been pushy & tell people to simply ask for tickets if they want them.
Their website is 404

Belfast, Northern Ireland (Museums, Queen's University, Mount Stewart House, Giants Causeway)
There is usually a shuttle-bus which will drop you just across the road from the City Hall, and if you visit that as soon as you arrive you can

sign up for a fascinating free afternoon guided tour. It has limited numbers, so you must sign up.
You can also walk from the city over a bridge straight into the history books of the Northern Ireland conflict - we were shocked at finding the scene of all the violence was right next to the city centre. The walk still have the murals from those dark days, and when we walked the are, which still felt awkward, the dividing wall & security gate was still in place. Given the recent escalation in problems in that area again, I, as a Brit, would not feel too happy there, but that's not to say don't do it, just keep to the main areas.

Glasgow (greenock), Scotland - Greenock it'self is a pleasant town, but has little to offer to tourists, so you really need to visit Glasgow. Again the train in & back is quite simple, it takes some 20 minutes to walk to the station & you arrive right in the centre of Glasgow. We have been to Glasgow 3 times now, and were really scratching around for something to do on the last visit, then stumbled across a 'free' (suggested donations) tour company who operate local tours there (https://www.inverclydetouristgroup.co.uk/content/tours) who we can thoroughly recommend, but are very popular & have limited numbers, so you really should book in advance.

Orkney Islands (kirkwall), Scotland (Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae Neolithic settlement)
The town is very small but does have a few ancient buildings worth a look around, including a Cathedral which has the claim of being Scotland's most Northerly Cathedral having previously been Norway's most Southerly Cathedral - a little piece of useless information that we picked up. There is also a bus service which runs from the dockside to another small town on the far side of the island, there's not much to see there, but the bus journey (which was free) gives you some great views across the island. Last time we were there, we took a tour to the Italian Chapel - it was built by WWII POWs from scrap metal & disused / broken vehicle parts. If you look at this tour, see if you can get on the coach with the daughter of the man who owns the land, as she had some fantastic stories & memories of growing up there during the war.

Invergordon, Scotland (Culloden, Loch Ness, Cawdor Castle, Fort George)
Inverness, we usually get moored up at the end of a very long pier, some mile away from the small town/village, it won't take long to walk

around it. Last time we were there we took the train to the head of the river & wandered around the town & countryside, but you are probably better off seeing what the ship has to offer with trips to the Highlands, Loch Ness, or Whisky trails. The ships will often get a local drum band to come on board & perform in the show lounge, and even if they don't they will almost certainly be playing alongside the ship as she prepares & sets sail.

Edinburgh (south Queensferry), Scotland (Historic City & Castle, Holyrood House, Scone Palace)
Ships are mooring up less often at Queensferry, now prefering to moor closer to where the Royal Yacht a permanent feature at Newhaven/Leith. If you are at Queensferry, you can follow the main road up the hill to Dalmeny railway station. and cross the tracks to take a train into the city & do your own thing ( we always take this option ) To make the most of the day, try & get on the first tender, you then have about a 15 minute walk (depending on your mobility) to the station. Once in Edinburgh, consider such things as Holyrood Castle, which has an excellent self-guided tour with mp3 players. Or if you want something a little different, the Royal Yacht is moored up a short bus, or healthy walk away from town. Plus of course Edinburgh Castle itself (if you are going on a Tattoo day, the ship will more likely organise tours from Glasgow (Greenock) for that.
If you are in Newhaven, then you can explore the local area, take a bus into the city, or even walk along the river into the city - just make sure you have a map as the signage isn't great.

Paris/Normandy (le Havre), (Paris, Normandy beaches, Museums, Cathedral)
Le Havre itself is a busy port & beach, with little of interest to the passing passenger other than a small park, pleasant Cathedral & a few shops & restaurants, so I would have to say this port is one where you really do have to consider booking a tour - even the train service is infrequent & does not allow much time in Paris.
Also any shuttle service is almost guaranteed to be charged for, and whilst you can stroll into the town, the walk is mainly though the industrial docks, so not the prettiest of routes.

Hope this gives you some ideas, please shout if you want any more details.
Alan.
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Then:Emanuel Motor Yacht (Croatia) Oct'18
Viking Gullveig River Cruise Dec'18
Oriana Farewell Year Mar'19
Viking Alruna River Cruise Dec'19

History:
Golden, Grand(2), Caribbean, Royal, Sea(4+1 aborted)
Adonia(4+2), Arcadia, Artemis(2), Aurora(5), Azura(3), Britannia, Oceana(4), Oriana(13), Ventura(3), Victoria(5)
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Old April 19th, 2018, 05:57 PM
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Thank you Kandajones. This was more than helpful. I greatly appreciate your time providing this information. Thanks again.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alshasta View Post
Thank you Kandajones. This was more than helpful. I greatly appreciate your time providing this information. Thanks again.
Always a pleasure, hope you have a fantastic time both on the ship and exploring ashore
__________________
Next:MSC Magnifica Aug'18
Then:Emanuel Motor Yacht (Croatia) Oct'18
Viking Gullveig River Cruise Dec'18
Oriana Farewell Year Mar'19
Viking Alruna River Cruise Dec'19

History:
Golden, Grand(2), Caribbean, Royal, Sea(4+1 aborted)
Adonia(4+2), Arcadia, Artemis(2), Aurora(5), Azura(3), Britannia, Oceana(4), Oriana(13), Ventura(3), Victoria(5)
QM2(2), QE2(9), QV(8), QE, Caronia(2)
Oceania Nautica, Minerva, Minerva II, Fred.Olsen(8), NCL Jade(2), =X= Eclipse, HAL Ryndam, Aza.Journey, CMV Magellan
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