Tags Posts tagged with "Scotland"

Scotland

Having just returned from my first Cruise & Maritime cruise my first words would be wow. I boarded with trepidation as I’d heard so many mixed reviews of this cruise line but from the quick and efficient check in to the glitzy atrium in my favourite colour purple my first impression certainly exceeded expectations

My cruise was sailing from Tilbury and around the Scottish Isles on Cruise & Maritime’s new flagship Columbus.

Our first stop was our cabin, and I was mightily impressed with the size even though it was only an inside. The storage space was unbelievable with so many drawers in the wardrobe area and the main cabin, the bathroom a reasonable size too my only gripe was that there was only 1 plug socket.

With the weather being so nothing like when we left Manchester our first port of call was a cheeky glass of prosecco in the swim up bar to cool off before catching a few rays in the unusual British heat.

c ship outside

The food in the main restaurant was fantastic, just as good as what I’ve eaten on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. My only disappointment at breakfast was the lack of fresh bread, it was mainly standard sliced, which I guess really was a good thing as bread is my downfall on a cruise or any holiday. Lunch was served until 3, on many occasion we got back too late for lunch but afternoon tea was served from 3.30 -4.30 with an array of cakes and sandwiches. Waiters walked round the ship with a selection of canapes about 10.30 incase you fancied a little something extra

C buffet

My highlight was being invited to the Captains dinner on the first formal evening. We were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine before being introduced to the Captain and the Hotel director, a photo opportunity later and we were taken into the private area of the Chefs table in the main restaurant for dinner. There were some amusing conversations as the Captain was Greek and hotel director Italian so you can imagine the competition

C chefs table

c captains night

The theatre was always full for the shows and there was plenty of entertainment onboard, the cruise was actually an Antiques Legends theme which included many a celebrity including Henry Sandon and Caroline Hawley and you could have your treasures valued

The service onboard was good, not as good as other cruises I’ve been on but nothing to complain about. Our cabin steward was eager to please and always on hand when required.

All in all this was an excellent cruise, a wonderful itinerary and a fabulous cruise, I’ve never really thought about cruising with this cruise line before, in fact it was a customer of mine that brought this to my attention by booking this same cruise and I am so thankful to her as I had a brilliant holiday and would definitely cruise with Cruise and Maritime again

Carry on reading for my guide to our ports of call

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

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

C feature

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.

C esheness

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.

C urquhart

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

C nessie

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.

C sunset invergordon

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

 

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

c orkney beach

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.

c scara brae

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

c brodgar

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

c kirkwall

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

C torshavn ship

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

C faro secenery

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