We know that the London-centric nature of the UK's travel infrastructure can be a source of frustration to many outside the South East, whether it's the limited choice of destinations offered by regional airports, or the fact that most ex UK cruises sail from ports on the south coast.
We're always on the lookout for interesting cruise itineraries from Scotland, as we know our clients generally prefer to avoid the hassle of connecting flights to London and long journeys south via rail or road. A number of our most popular cruise lines offer voyages sailing from Scottish ports, so we've put together this selection of some of the most appealing itineraries...
1. Windstar Cruises - SAIL Amsterdam Celebration
In August 2020 Windstar's flagship Wind Surf will be in Amsterdam during SAIL Amsterdam, a spectacular tall ship festival that takes place once every five years in the Dutch capital. This very special cruise sails from Edinburgh and includes three days in Amsterdam, giving you plenty of time to soak up the festival atmosphere, along with calls in the rejuvenated port cities of Newcastle and Rotterdam. The cruise ends in Tilbury, located conveniently close to London for rail connections back to Scotland.
2. Silversea - Norwegian Fjords & North Cape
Silversea's lovely 388-guest Silver Whisper, looking better than ever after an extensive refurbishment in 2018, is an occasional visitor to Scottish shores, and we particularly like the look of her 26 July 2021 sailing from Edinburgh to Tromsø. This 12-night voyage calls at some of the highlights of the Norwegian coast, including the charming city of Bergen and the stunning Lofoten Islands, and travels all the way up to the North Cape, the most northerly point in Europe.
3. Hebridean Island Cruises - Firth of Clyde Explorer
We could hardly talk about cruising from Scotland without mentioning one of our favourite little ships, the inimitable Hebridean Princess. This tiny vessel is based in Scotland all year round, carrying just 50 travellers in cosy and comfortable surroundings. Hebridean offer a number of short taster cruises, including this 4-night round-trip from Greenock departing on 10 November 2020, which is a great opportunity to get a feel for what life is like on board without committing to one of the longer (and pricier) sailings.
4. Ponant - From the Norwegian Sea to Spitsbergen
Ponant's stylish expedition yacht Le Boréal, carrying just 264 guests, departs from Glasgow on 16 June 2020 for an unforgettable voyage to the Svalbard archipelago, the best place on earth to witness polar bears in the wild. This is a special voyage in partnership with National Geographic, and you'll be accompanied on board by a National Geographic photographer and destination specialist. En route to this most northerly of destinations you'll explore Lewis, the Orkney Islands and Iceland before spending four days exploring Svalbard.
5. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection - Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Excitement is building for the launch of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, the prestigious hotel chain's first foray into luxury cruising, and the inaugural season includes this 28 August 2020 sailing from Edinburgh to Reykjavik. Your voyage begins with an overnight stay in Edinburgh, designed to coincide with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, before heading north to Invergordon, Kirkwall and the Faroe Islands. We recommend adding an overnight hotel stay in Reykjavik at the end of your cruise - not only is the Icelandic capital a fascinating place to explore, it also means you'll be able to take a direct flight back to Edinburgh the following day.