Experience the lands of ice and fire on a cruise aboard the CMV Marco Polo. Discover the cities, castles and heritage railways of northern England before setting sail to explore some of the remotest destinations in Britain and Iceland.
Your cruising holiday begins in the historic city of York, where you meet your group and Tour Manager at your hotel. Enjoy some time to get acquainted with the city ahead of our first dinner together at the hotel.
On Day 2 We discover much of the city's long and fascinating story on a guided walking tour of its main attractions. These include the incomparable Minster, which is one of Europe's largest and most ornate Gothic cathedrals, and the Shambles, a quaint street of cobbled streets and beautiful, overhanging, timber- framed houses that has remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages.
Following the tour, you have the chance to continue sightseeing at your own pace. Perhaps venture to the fantastic Railway Museum? Located in a convenient and apt position next to York's beautiful Victorian railway station, enjoy exploring the multitude of locomotives that this wonderful museum has on offer.
After breakfast this morning, we transfer by coach to Settle railway station where we take a journey on the famous Settle-Carlisle Railway (Standard Class). The 72-mile route is regularly voted one of the world's top railway journeys, and for good reason.
Enjoy the marvellous passing scenery of the North of England, from rolling verdant hills to wild and windy moorlands. We continue by rail to Hexham, boarding our coach to Northumberland for three nights at the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick.
This morning we enjoy a guided tour around the beautifully landscaped Alnwick Gardens as well as impressive Alnwick Castle. Famous as a filming location for Downton Abbey, we are treated to a 'behind the scenes' tour of the imposing structure.
We cross the wild Northumberland countryside to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne on Day 5, taking a journey into Britain's spiritual heritage with a visit to the island's famous priory. In the afternoon we continue to Bamburgh, a scenic coastal town dominated by its magnificent Castle since the 12th century.
We leave Northumberland today, travelling by coach to Newcastle to meet the CMV Marco Polo which begins sailing to Aberdeen after embarkation. Arriving in Scotland on Day 7, you have free time to look around before we set sail again. Mooring in Lerwick, the largest town in the Shetland Isles, on Day 8 gives you time to explore independently.
This morning we reach Tórshavn, the Faroe Islands' vibrant capital. Although one of the world's smallest capitals, Tórshavn is packed with an array of attractive, varied architecture. Perhaps take the optional tour to some of the islands' coastal villages, or the excursion to visit the grottoes around the sheer rock walls of the Vestmanna sea cliffs.
Day 10 is spent at sea as we make the crossing to Iceland.
We arrive in Reykjavik this morning. Here there is an option to visit the famous and beautiful Blue Lagoon on an optional excursion that takes you around the island's classic 'Golden Circle' of thermal activity. Days 12 and 13 are at leisure
Today is spent at sea. Your time upon the open ocean is the perfect chance to spot the Northern Lights. At this latitude, all you need are clear skies thanks to the lack of light pollution so far from land.
Following a free day in Klaksvik, second largest town of the wild and rugged Faroe Islands, we set sail this evening, arriving in Kirkwall, capital of the Orkney archipelago, on Day 16. From here, we moor back in Newcastle before catching the train to York on Day 17.
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
The iconic Settle-Carlisle Railway was the last mainline railway to be built in the UK and was completed in 1876 by the Midland Railway Company after six years of work. Widely accepted as being one of the best-engineered mainline tracks in England, the line is visually dramatic and offers a truly great rail journey.
The White Swan Hotel is a 300 year old coaching inn set in the heart of the historic town of Alnwick, close to Alnwick Castle and gardens. The hotel has a bar, a bistro and an oak panelled restaurant which features stained glass windows, mirrors and other fixtures and fittings from RMS Olympic, the Titanic's sister ship. The well-appointed rooms feature a telephone, television with DVD player, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer.
The 4-Star Principal in York stands in landscape gardens a few minutes walk from the city center. The hotel has a fitness center, with an indoor swimming pool and steam room, a bar/coffee shop and a restaurant.
The MS Marco Polo has a small capacity of just 800 passengers and offering a more exclusive cruising experience. Unlike most cruise ships, the size of the MS Marco Polo allows it to enter into many of small ports and harbours in the destinations we visit.
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!
We can book UK rail tickets from your local station to and from York. Please call us to discuss your requirements.