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Donegal, Ireland

Gems Of The Irish Sea & Hebrides

16-day luxury cruise from £8,799 pp

Summary

Short description

Compare rare coastal beauty with capital-city culture

Highlights

  • Sail in luxury between some of the UK & Ireland’s prettiest ports
  • Drink in the sights of both Dublin and Belfast
  • Visit Fingal’s Cave – inspiration to musical and literary greats
  • Look out for birdlife, from soaring eagles to puffins
  • See it all with spa treatments, included fine dining, champagnes and premium wines throughout

About

Recommended for:
Ocean cruise

Knit together the spectacular seascapes and unique maritime cultures of the UK and Ireland on this luxury Seabourn cruise. You’ll begin with the ancient cliffs of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast before sailing on to discover bustle-free St Mary’s on the unspoilt Isles of Scilly. Then, let Ireland’s unique brand of coastal culture and music-infused fun guide you through the ports of Cork, Limerick and Donegal before you contrast Scotland’s Inner Hebrides beauty with its finest single-malt blends. Finally, turn back south to compare Belfast’s rich history with that of its southern capital counterpart as you return, by way of Holyhead’s bird cliffs and Waterford’s crystals, to Dover’s famous white cliffs.

Day by day itinerary

Days 1-2
Dover & Portland

Departing Dover in the evening, you’ll cruise west towards Portland Harbour, watching as those famous white cliffs disappear over the horizon. One of the world’s largest man-made harbours, Portland is gateway Dorset’s UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast, a region of pretty fishing towns and golden stretches of sand framed by towering, fossil-rich cliffs. A wonderful way to experience the coast is the Railway Walk, which follows a disused railway line for two scenic miles between Weymouth and Portland, passing close to the ruins of King Henry’s Sandsfoot Castle.

Stay: Seabourn Quest

Meals: B L D

Day 3
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Follow the sound of cawing gulls as you continue to the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago of around 140 islands just 28 miles from the Cornish coast. With its Star Castle and 16th-century fortifications, it’s a place steeped in history. But, perhaps its biggest appeal comes from the sheer peace and quiet of it all. With few roads, no traffic jams and a distinct lack of supermarkets and large-scale hotels, it’s one of those rare places that seems almost completely unaffected by the outside world. 

Stay: Seabourn Quest

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Cork, Ireland

Having crossed the Irish Sea overnight, you’ll arrive into Cork, refreshed for your adventures on the Emerald Isle. Founded in the 4th century by St Finbarr, Ireland’s second city is a place reinvented. Stroll down its charming streets to find stretches of waterfront packed with pavement cafes and artisan coffee houses as winding 17th-century alleyways lead on to grand modern masterpieces such as the city’s glass-fronted opera house. Cork is also home to a burgeoning foodie scene with a mix of traditional pubs and trendy bistros serving up everything from gourmet fine dining to busy markets selling local cheeses, soda breads and home-made chutneys. 

Stay: Seabourn Quest  

Meals: B L D

Days 5-6
Bantry & Limerick

Continue your journey along Ireland’s southern coast, calling first into Bantry, whose craggy mountain backdrop and sprawling farmland surrounds form one of the country’s most picturesque coastal stretches. Pause to explore the town’s winding laneways, one-of-a-kind shops and 18th-century Bantry House, before setting sail again to the Shannon Estuary and, at its head, the city of Limerick. As the Irish City of Culture in 2014, its mix of historic sights, art galleries and traditional pubs make for a wonderful afternoon’s exploration.

Stay: Seabourn Quest

Meals: B L D

Days 7-8
Galway & Donegal

As Ireland’s dramatic Atlantic coastline leads you north, you’ll make port in Galway’s pretty harbour, full of brightly painted taverns and cafes made for people watching. And, with a seemingly endless parade of live music and street theatre, there’s plenty to entertain. Take it all in between bookshop browses and promenade strolls, then board the ship again to sail on to Donegal, a region of wild seascapes and astonishingly beautiful beaches. Your gateway to the region’s bucolic charms is Killybegs, Ireland’s largest fishing port.

Stay: Seabourn Quest  

Meals: B L D

Days 9-10
Staffa & Tobermory

Sailing into Scottish waters, you’ll reach the volcanic island of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides. Here, among a number of bizarre rock formations, is Fingal’s Cave whose cathedral-like grandeur has welcomed everyone from William Wordsworth to JMW Turner. Indeed, a certain Felix Mendelssohn found its unique sounds and setting so impressive that it inspired him to compose his acclaimed Hebrides Overture. You'll then sail on to Tobermory to uncover the secrets of its ancient Iona Abbey, marvel at the setting of its Glengorm Castle and taste the finest single malts at the town’s acclaimed distillery, watching out as rare white-tailed eagles soar overhead. 

Stay: Seabourn Quest 

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Belfast

Crossing the border you’ll arrive into Belfast, a city whose turbulent past has taken in everything from the building of the Titanic – showcased in impressive style at the Titanic Belfast Centre – to the years of sectarian violence known as the ‘troubles’. Today, Northern Ireland’s capital is a peaceful city packed full of trendy bars and hip hotels, while its revitalised waterfront is lined with modern art galleries and music-filled pubs. It’s quite easy to spend a day here simply wandering and watching the world go by. 

Stay: Seabourn Quest

Meals: B L D

Day 12
Dublin

Returning to the Republic, you’ll call into Ireland’s capital, Dublin. A city awash with stately public buildings, grand 18th-century mansions and more than its fair share of pubs, it’s perhaps the ultimate urban combination of heritage and hedonism. Drink in its myriad delights amid the cobblestones of the old town and round things off with a must-have pint at the Guiness Factory.

Stay: Seabourn Quest  

Meals: B L D

Day 13
Holyhead, Wales

Return across the Irish Sea, this time to Holyhead, a town connected to the pretty island of Anglesey by the historic Cobb causeway. An important port since Roman times, its protected port providing safe harbour for ships plying the busy trading routes between Liverpool and Lancashire. The town is also next door to a South Stack Cliffs nature reserve, whose combination of coastal crags and pristine heathland supports nesting populations of puffins, fulmars, razorbills, gannets and guillemots.

Stay: Seabourn Quest  

Meals: B L D

Days 14-16
Waterford to Dover

Crossing the Irish Sea once more, you’ll arrive into Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city and home to the world-renowned Waterford crystal industry. Dating back to Viking times – Waterford celebrated its 1,100th anniversary in 2014 – the city waterfront makes for a charming introduction to the treasures of its medieval past; trace its unique history in the Viking Triangle, where three excellent museums tell the story of Ireland throughout the Middle Ages. Then, with a full day at sea to enjoy the onboard luxuries of your Seabourn ship, you'll return to Dover where you’ll disembark.

Stay: Seabourn Quest  

Meals: B L D

Map

Pricing

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

16-day luxury cruise on board Seabourn Quest (Seabourn) from £8,799

Departure: 1 July 2018

Seabourn Suite (A): £8,799
Suite (A1): £9,199
Veranda Suite (V1): £9,999
Veranda Suite (V2): £10,399
Veranda Suite (V3): £10,799
Veranda Suite (V4): £11,199
Veranda Suite (V5): £11,599
Veranda Suite (V6): £11,999
Penthouse Suite (PH): £18,499
Penthouse Spa Suite (PS): £19,999
Owner's Suite (OW): £23,499

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