On a cruise to Ireland and Scotland, take in the wonderfully contrasting scenery, from Ireland’s lush, rolling countryside to Scotland’s much starker beauty, where mountains slope down to serene lochs, inlets from the sea carved by ancient glaciers.
This corner of Europe is packed with culture and history, both ancient and more recent. In Scotland, you’ll come across grand, turreted castles and atmospheric ruins, as well as cosmopolitan cities including Glasgow and Edinburgh, each with world-class art galleries. In Ireland, you’ll find history shaped by everything from the Vikings to the golden age of shipbuilding. Don’t forget those famously cozy pubs—the perfect setting for sampling a pint of Guinness.
Dynamic Belfast, once famed as a community divided by “The Troubles”, has reinvented itself as a thriving, modern city with a bustling waterfront, grand Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and a lively pub scene. Take a city tour to see the vivid street art on the Peace Wall, and explore the superb Titanic Belfast to learn about the ill-fated liner. Or head to the Giant’s Causeway, an expanse of 40,000 basalt columns on the wild Atlantic coast, created by an ancient volcanic eruption.
As well as being a center of imposing Victorian architecture, the buzzing university city of Glasgow is rich in culture, from the priceless art of Kelvingrove to the archaeological treasures of the Burrell Collection. Edinburgh is just over an hour away, and you’re also close to serene Loch Lomond and the forested mountains of the Trossachs National Park. The shopping in Glasgow is superb, whether you’re in the market for tartan, Scottish whisky and craft gin, or your own set of bagpipes.
Immerse yourself in the medieval history and Gothic architecture of enchanting Cork. Visit romantic Blarney Castle, a 15th-century fortress with beautiful gardens, and kiss the legendary Blarney Stone to be granted the “gift of the gab”. Sample the famed Jameson Irish Whiskey, shop for exquisite Waterford Crystal, and get a taste of life in Victorian times on a tour of the imposing Muckross House, located deep in the verdant countryside.