Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Ride Zodiacs into Fingal’s Cave on Scotland’s Staffa Islands to see its remarkable geometric basalt columns or climb atop it to meet curious puffins.
  • Spend a day discovering the captivating landscapes of the Isle of Skye, scattered with prehistoric sites and steeped in legend.
  • Explore the Stone Age sites of Orkney, from the Ring of Brodgar to the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae.
  • Experience the windswept beauty of the Shetland Islands, and visit the 4,000-year-old seaside ruins of Jarlshof.

Itinerary

Itinerary

The archipelagos of Scotland tell an intriguing story of ancient kings, early Christians, and prehistoric peoples making a life on Europe’s farthest frontiers. Beginning in lively Dublin, venture to the islands of the Inner Hebrides, Orkney, and the Shetlands, discovering evocative ruins and historic sites set among spectacular landscapes. Exploring with a National Geographic Expert, delve deep into the significance of important sites from Iona to Skara Brae.

This trip is operated in collaboration with Lindblad Expeditions.

Days 1-2: US / DUBLIN, IRELAND

Depart on an overnight flight to Dublin and take a tour of this dynamic city. See the historic sites of O’Connell Street, where pivotal battles in Ireland’s fight for independence took place. Cross the River Liffey to the warren of streets known as Temple Bar and visit the stately Georgian neighborhoods around St. Stephen’s Green. In the afternoon, board the National Geographic Resolution, your home for the next five nights. We sail north towards Scotland tonight.

Meals Included:Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: IONA, SCOTLAND / STAFFA

Start the day on the sacred island of Iona in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. This tiny island has drawn pilgrims since St. Columba established a Christian settlement. Visit the 13-century abbey, and see the Celtic high crosses dating from the late 8-century. Continue to Staffa, where, conditions permitting, we’ll take Zodiacs into Fingal’s Cave to see its spectacular hexagonal basalt shafts, and experience the symphony of crashing waves that inspired Mendelssohn to write his Hebridean Overture.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: ISLE OF SKYE

Spend the day discovering the largest of the Inner Hebrides, a place of evocative landscapes and rich legends. With its jagged Cuillin Mountains habitually shrouded in mist, the Isle of Skye takes its name from the old Norse sky-a , translated to ‘cloud island.’ From its captivating history and dramatic mountain ranges, we’ll explore this fascinating island from high to low. Step back in time and discover an old Highland village and gain some insight into island life as it would have been a century ago. Visit Talisker Distillery and taste the island’s famed whisky. Stretch your legs on a hike to the Quiraing and photograph the stoic Old Man of Storr on one of Skye’s most iconic hikes. As we set sail for Orkney, be on the look out for white tailed sea eagles, minke whales and dolphins along the coast.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: ORKNEY

Built in the era of Stonehenge, the sites of Orkney reveal a sophisticated Stone Age culture. View the megaliths of the Ring of Brodgar and glimpse an ancient way of life in the 5,000-year-old stone-slab village of Skara Brae. Step into the 12th-century St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, crafted from local red and yellow sandstone.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: SHETLAND ISLANDS

Dock in the Shetland Islands, an archipelago of about 100 islands and islets north of mainland Scotland. Drive through a rolling landscape dotted with Shetland ponies and traces of prehistory. Explore the ruins at Jarlshof, which reveal 4,000 years of near-continuous settlement.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: BERGEN, NORWAY

Awaken in Bergen and disembark after breakfast. Transfer to airport for your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast