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Cruise&Maritime

Following on from my previous blog Lerwick in the Shetland Isles was our 3rd port and our tender dropped us in the heart of town to be greeted by some Vikings which added to the Scottish atmosphere. Located 123 miles from Northern point of Scotland Lerwick on the East coast is an old traditional harbour town surrounded by old stone buildings and it certainly feels like your going back in time. We had booked an excursion up to the North coast of the island and were told that no matter where you were in Shetland you would never be more than 3 miles from the coast

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Driving through the Tingwall Valley the landscape is dramatic and baron, we passed Mavis Grind a narrow 300 yard strip of land where the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean seem almost to meet. Arriving at  Tangwick Haa Museum we had a quick stop however the highlight for me was heading down to the pebble beach to spot the seals swimming in the water and sleeping on the rocks. Driving out to the Eshaness cliffs the scenery became much more dramatic and moody.  The spectacular Atlantic coastline has no comparison elsewhere in all of Shetland and here you can view the striking sea cliffs, with their rock formations that have been carved by the unrelenting power of the ocean.

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Our last port of call was Invergordon, I’d set my heart on a visit to Lochness, it felt like it was something we had to do whilst in the area, we managed to get a last minute place on one of the excursions. The drive was also very picturesque, along the Lochs and through the heart of Inverness we had a very knowledgeable guide. Boarding the Jacobs queen we began our 30 minute cruise around the loch over to Urquhart castle. This a one of Scotlands largest castles and dates back to the 13th Century, I would highly recommend watching the short film in the exhibition there, it details how the castle has been invaded on many an occasion and how important it was to Scotland’s battles and history. It now belongs to the National Trust as a tourist destination.

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And the question your all wanting to know is yes we did find Nessie……

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Sailing away from Invergordon to the sound of bag pipers , sat in a hot tub with a glass of fizz watching the sun set, this really was the perfect end to an amazing cruise.

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I’ve always wondered why people wanted to cruise around the British Isles when there are so many other destinations to visit. Even when I told people where I was going on my cruise I could hear in their voice they were thinking why is she going there, however I can now say I can see exactly why. Scotland is beautiful, there are so many interesting things to see and the landscape is so dramatic. I think when we look at going on holiday we don’t tend to think about what’s on our doorstep and we should really take more time to experience our own country

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Our first port of call was Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. First impressions were good ….it was dry. C&M provided a complimentary shuttles bus into the town centre only a 5minute drive away. We had been told there was a local tourist bus that took you to some of the main attractions, we found this to be exceptional value at £10 and almost identical to one of the shore excursions that had been offered. Our scenic drive took us past Scapa Flow, a body of water between Scapa Bay and Kirkwall, now a famous wreck and diving site, this was initially used as a harbour for the Vikings to the main Naval base for the Royal Navy in the first world war.

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Skara Brae is a stone-built Neolithic settlement occupied from 3180 BC to about 2500 BC which was uncovered by a storm in 1850, excavations began and 8 houses were discovered. The preservation is immense and the Scots call it the Pompeii of Scotland, it has since been awarded a Unesco heritage site. A visitors centre and exhibition has also been built to immerse yourself in the history of the site

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On our way back to Kirkwall we passed the Standing Stones of Stenness and The Rings of Brodgar, both stone circles also from the Neothilic period, they have previously been compared to Stonehenge

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Kirkwall itself is a pretty little town with old narrow streets surrounding its main church and the bay curves rounds from the town leading back to the port which is a lovely walk

The Faroe Islands are a truly magical place and my favourite port of the trip. An archipelago of 18 volcanic islands located halfway in the Altantic between Scotland and Iceland with Danish ruling. All the islands are linked by tunnels, causeways and bridges and are very picturesque

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Docking in Torshavn we had booked an excursion of a scenic tour, and it did not disappoint, the landscape is so green, with sparkling water, the array of salmon farms, pretty coloured houses, narrow hairpin bends as we drove up the mountains and rugged cliffs this is a spectacular drive. The island is actually also known as sheep island due to the volume that you see scattered in the hills.

The town of Gjógv where we stopped for traditional pancakes and a coffee before having some free time, I must’ve taken over 100 photos, these islands are special, somewhere I would love to return too. Torshavn itself is also very pretty, coloured fishing boats bobbing in the harbour, surrounded by little cafes, bars and shops perfect for people watching

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Read my next blog to see where I visited next

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516