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Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

British Isles: Remote Islands, Natural Wonders & a Diverse Coastline

13-day no-fly cruise from £2,195 pp

No single supplement on selected departures


Short description

An appreciation of UK coastal life with adventure cruise specialists, Hurtigruten


  • Swot up on your Viking heritage in the Outer Hebrides
  • Take in the unique nature of World Heritage-listed St Kilda
  • Spot wildlife from vast colonies of seabirds to seals and even minke whales
  • Visit the House of Waterford Crystal in Ireland
  • Call into the idyllic Isles of Scilly, pretty Dartmouth and historic Fishguard

In Brief

  • 2 Nights At sea
  • 1 Night Fishguard
  • 1 Night Rathlin Island
  • 1 Night Iona
  • 1 Night St kilda
  • 1 Night Stornoway
  • 1 Night Islay
  • 1 Night Isle of Man
  • 1 Night Waterford
  • 1 Night Isles of Scilly
  • 1 Night Dartmouth


Recommended for:
April holidays | History & culture | Natural world | No-fly | Ocean cruise

Discover the sheer beauty of nature close to home on this cruise which takes in some of the UK’s remotest islands and ports. From the glorious beaches of the Isles of Scilly to faraway St Kilda and Stornaway in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, it’s the perfect introduction to the history, wildlife and communities that make our own coastlines so magical. With a host of shore excursions included, you’ll join Hurtigruten’s expert expedition team to explore millenia-old ruins and head out in search of wildlife which might include anything from vast colonies of seabirds to seals and even minke whales. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart Dover

Arrive in Dover where you’ll board your expedition ship to begin your voyage. Perhaps allow time to take in the town itself, visiting the magnificent, medieval castle before sailing west, past those famous white cliffs.

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: D

Day 2
At sea

Relax into your journey with a day at sea. Meet your Expedition Team, who’ll prepare you for the exciting adventures ahead, then take the chance to take things easy, taking in the views and trying some of the ship’s superb cuisine. Remember, all your meals are included, so tuck in!

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: B L D

Day 3

Feeling relaxed and refreshed, spend today taking in the 10th-century history of Fishguard, with its Norse settlements and magnificent ‘Last Invasion Tapestry’. Alternatively, you might choose an optional guided walk along part of the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastal path.

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Rathlin Island

Located just off the north coast of Northern Ireland, Rathlin Island serves up rugged cliffs, pretty lakes and vast grasslands, as well as the country’s largest seabird colony, home to puffin, guillemot, kittiwake, razorbill and fulmar. If you’re lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of a rare chough or secretive corncrake. Spend a memorable day taking it all in on scenic cliff-top walks and rambling cross-island trails, visit the Seabird centre and unique ‘upside down’ lighthouse or stroll to Mill Bay where you can watch seals playing in the surf.

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Iona & Staffa

Enjoy a morning on the island of Iona, taking in its much-restored Abbey, a place of pilgrimage and peace where some 48 of Scotland’s kings are buried. Or, take a short walk to the highest point on Iona for spectacular views across the island and, on a clear day, to the Outer Hebrides. Then in the early afternoon, if conditions allow, you’ll spend time doing a ‘scenic sail by’ of the cave-riddled island of Staffa. The uninhabited island is home to the cathedral-like Fingal’s Cave, immortalised by Mendelssohn’s glorious ‘Hebrides Overture’.

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: B L D

Day 6
St Kilda & Hirta Island

Spend today exploring the distant and wild archipelago of St Kilda – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Depending on the weather, you’ll have the chance to take in its spectacular sea cliffs as well as the outlying stacs and islands, which are the remains of a volcanic crater, and provide ledges for thousands of nesting seabirds. You might even spot a minke whale playing on the swell. In the afternoon, explore remote Hirta Island – the largest island in the archipelago – with its abandoned villages and stunning, windswept coast.

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Stornoway & Lewis

Visit the former Viking settlement of Stornoway, the main town of the Western Isles and the capital of the Isle of Lewis – the largest and most northerly of the Outer Hebrides. Explore its bustling harbour and head to the waterfront where you’ll find museums and art galleries overlooked by the handsome Lewis Castle, which you’ll have the chance to explore. In the afternoon, perhaps visit the mills and cottages where hard-wearing Harris Tweed is woven or take in the towns tiny folk museum before heading to the world-famous Callanish Standing Stones, which date back to 3000BC. There’s even time to explore the 2,000-year-old Carloway Broch - the best-preserved fort in Scotland.

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: B L D

Day 8

Pronounced ‘eye-la”, this pretty island was once the seat of the MacDonalds, the Lords of the Isles. Today, it’s famous for its peaty single-malt whiskies as well as the ancient Celtic ruins and huge colonies of migrating birds, best seen from rugged cliff-top paths. In the afternoon, take the chance to explore the charming little town of Bowmore, home to a handful of small shops, a round church housing no corners and, some say, Britain’s friendliest locals.

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Isle of Man

A designated Biosphere Reserve, the Isle of Man’s marine and coastal ecosystems are among the UK’s most diverse. Drop anchor in Douglas to explore the island’s rolling hills and dramatic coastlines, as well as its strong Celtic and Viking heritage. Perhaps take the chance to visit the Viking museum, step aboard a historic steam train, discover the island’s castles or simply enjoy a stroll through the town, taking in all in at your own pace. For spectacular views, make your way to Douglas Head – a rocky outcrop overlooking the harbour – or visit the unique Grand Union Camera Obscura before continuing on to the Douglas Head Lighthouse, built in 1857. Based on previous sailings, there might also be the chance to join the local community for a beach clean-up and tree-planting ceremony.

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Waterford, Ireland

As Ireland’s oldest city, founded by the Vikings in the 10th century, Waterford is packed full of history, with everything from Norman forts to 12th-century castles dotting the surrounding countryside. The UNESCO-listed Copper Coast is a delight for ramblers and birdwatchers alike, and let’s not forget the House of Waterford Crystal, which has been producing some of the world’s finest glassware since the late 18th century. You’ll have the chance to take it all in with a range of optional tours, ranging from nature walks and cycle rides to expert-led excursions to Kilkenny Castle and the Waterford Crystal factory.

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Isles of Scilly

Your next stop Is the beautiful Isles of Scilly, all white-sand beaches, quaint villages, castle ruins and rocky headlands offering wonderful walks. The small town of Tresco, with its famous Abbey Garden, is a particular delight. Should conditions permit, the crew will aim to do a beach clean-up on the island, which guests are welcome to join, and there’s the chance to head over to St Mary’s ¬– the largest of the islands – to sample some of the acclaimed local seafood.

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: B L D

Day 12

Your final port of call is the delightful waterfront town of Dartmouth, set on the banks of the River Dart. Explore its rich, maritime history with a visit to the Britannia Royal Naval College or soak in the history at Buckfast Abbey. There’s also the chance to take in the pretty surroundings on everything from steam train rides to magnificent walking trails. Alternatively, you might choose to visit the town with its winding lanes and quaint shops, or join a guided tour for expert insight into Dartmouth’s history and its gorgeous Devonshire surrounds.

Stay: MS Maud

Meals: L D B (Superior)

Day 13
Disembark in Dover

Arrive back in Dover where you’ll disembark for your journey home.

Meals: B



Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.


Accommodation rating: Superior

13-day no-fly cruise from £2,195 pp


No single supplement on selected departures
Book by: 01 March 2023


  • 13-day Hurtigruten expedition cruise aboard MS Maud departing from Dover
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water)
  • A la carte restaurant Lindstrom included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with very limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities
  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Centre which has an extensive library, biological and geological microscopes and samples
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna and indoor gym and outdoor gym, in line with health & safety guidelines
  • Landings using our fleet of small expedition boats
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographer to help with your camera settings before landings

Price varies by departure date and stateroom availability

Terms & Conditions: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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