At the top of the UK, Scotland is a land of mountain wildernesses sprinkled with glacial glens and deep lochs. Despite its modest size, Scotland has an array of treasures squeezed in – bold skies, dramatic landscapes, extraordinary wildlife, a burgeoning local food culture and a refreshing, no-nonsense personality. Scotland’s haven of wildlife has birds of all shapes and sizes soaring above the sea stacks of the Highlands, seals basking along the shores of the Outer Hebrides, whales surfacing off the coast of Mull and ponies offering a friendly hello on Shetland. [ReadMoreMob]
Each corner of this land is steeped in the past. From the Neolithic remains of Skara Brae and Loch Linnhe’s spellbinding Duart Castle to the scarred battlefields of Bannockburn and Culloden, much of the nation’s history tells a tale of a struggle against the odds. Scottish museums like Dundee's Discovery Point, the Orkney Radio Museum and Glasgow's Kelvingrove all point to the huge influence the nation’s inventors, explorers and artists have had across the globe. Cultural experiences stretch from the poetry of Robert Burns to the swathe of contemporary bands and musicians who grace today’s music scene. Local heroes appreciated around the world every bit as much as the locally-produced tartans, tweeds and single malt whiskies. Add to that, the new-found respect for Scotland’s farm to fork approach to its cuisine: seafood, venison, organic veg etc. all freshly delivered and of the highest quality.
From the Trossachs to Fingal’s Cave, from Edinburgh’s Military Tattoo to the monsters of Loch Ness, Scotland’s captivating scenery, sprawling countryside, ancient historical sites and culture-rich cities are some of the most-visited and most-popular, not only on this Sceptred Isle, but across the entire world.
Portree Isle of Skye, United Kingdom
Old Man of Storr
Located north of Skye, the Storr is the highest point on the Trotternish Ridge – the longest geological landslide in Great Britain, which has resulted in spectacular scenery stretching for more than 30 kilometres (18 miles). The Old Man of Storr – Bodach an Stòrr in Gaelic – is a large, impressive rock pinnacle which rises to 535 metres (1,755 feet) and dominates the area.
No visit to the Isle of Skye would be complete without discovering Dunvegan Castle, Scotland’s oldest continuously inhabited castle. Situated on a rocky outcrop on the shores of Loch Dunvegan, approximately 35 kilometres (22 miles) from Portree, the castle has been the home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years. On display here are a magnificent collection of oil paintings and clan treasures, including the Dunvegan Cup and the Fairy Flag, which is said to have magical properties. The estate also boasts extensive gardens with trees, plants, flowers and streams.
Eilean Donan Castle
Situated on its own small island overlooking the Isle of Skye, Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most iconic sights of Scotland. One of the country’s most recognisable castles, this impressive fortress often appears in photographs, films including Highlander and The World Is Not Enough, and – most famously – on shortbread tins. The castle was founded in the 13th century and was home to Clan Mackenzie and Clan Macrae. After it was partly destroyed in 1719 during a Jacobite uprising, the castle lay in ruins for almost two centuries until Lieutenant Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap purchased the island in 1911. Over the years the castle was restored to itsformer glory and it reopened in 1932.
Scrabster, United Kingdom
Scrabster Castle, alternatively known as Bishop's Castle or Bishop's Palace, first recorded in 1328, is visible today as an earthwork and upstanding ruins. The area also
includes the remains of prehistoric settlement and World War II defences. Almost nothing now remains of the castle beyond a couple of grassy mounds and a rather more
modern pillbox built on the site.
Cruises to Scotland
Departs: Southampton • Fri 05 Mar 2021
7 nights • Bolette • T2103
- Be part of something very special and experience the excitement of being one of the first guests to sail on our new flagship, Bolette.
- Celebrate as we begin a new chapter of Fred. Olsen history during a rewarding seven-night discovery of fascinating destinations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- You’ll marvel at the intriguing wonders of Dutchman’s Cap and Fingal’s Cave; have time to explore ashore in the Shetland and Orkney Islands; and visit the attraction-packed city of Belfast.
From £899ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Dover • Thu 18 Mar 2021
7 nights • Bolette • T2105
- Experience some of Scotland’s most outstanding scenic highlights, from on board Bolette and during time ashore, on this rewarding week-long break.
- Relax and revel in the Sound of Mull’s tranquillity and countryside beauty; see the legendary Duart Castle; study the volcanic Dutchman’s Cap; and marvel at Fingal’s Cave’s mighty basalt stacks.
- Explore ashore amongst the glorious landscapes of Scottish isles; seek-out the Shetland’s coastal scenes and native wildlife, and delve into the Neolithic heritage of the Orkneys.
From £699ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Dover • Sat 17 Apr 2021
7 nights • Bolette • T2108
- Week-long springtime escapes don’t get much better than this – enjoy ample time to experience the delights of ocean cruising, and revel in the beauty, tranquillity and charms of scenic islands.
- Sail to the enchanting Faroe Islands, to marvel at the spectacular scenery of Cape Enniberg, Streymoy, Gásadalur and Hestur Islands, and delve into the archipelago’s Viking history too.
- Closer to home, glorious Scottish isles await; there are breathtaking coastal scenes, natural wildlife reserves and ancient treasure aplenty to discover in the Shetlands and Orkneys.
From £899ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Liverpool • Fri 23 Apr 2021
6 nights • Borealis • S2107
- On this very special six-night sailing, you’ll be amongst the first guests to cruise on Borealis, and get to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in Fred. Olsen history.
- The cruise offers a rewarding discovery of beautiful, close-to-home destinations too – some of Scotland’s greatest islands and waterways await you.
- Feel the tranquillity of Loch Broom, Eriboll and Torridon, as you look-out for scenic sights such as Beinn Ghobhlach, and enjoy time ashore to seek-out the treasures of the Shetlands and Orkneys.
From £929ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Liverpool • Thu 03 Jun 2021
12 nights • Borealis • S2112
- With chances to uncover rugged waterways and archipelagos, and experience the magic of the Midnight Sun, immerse yourself in Northern Norway’s unrivalled drama and beauty.
- Enjoy unforgettable scenic cruising into spectacular Sortlandsundet and by beautiful Reine; and explore ashore amongst Lofoten and Vesterålen’s astonishing scenery.
- Take in the attractions of Tromsø, including the iconic Arctic Cathedral and Mount Storsteinen; visit breathtaking Harstad and enjoy a rare opportunity to explore colourful Hammerfest.
From £1,899ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Dover • Thu 03 Jun 2021
12 nights • Bolette • T2114
- With natural wonders and wildlife awaiting your discovery amongst Iceland’s incredible landscapes and waterways, this cruise will leave you spellbound throughout.
- An overnight stay in Reykjavik allows ample time to witness the beauty of the Golden Circle’s hot springs and waterfalls on tour, visit the famous Blue Lagoon and much more.
- You’ll also have chances to experience fjord kayaking and embark on an unforgettable whale watching adventure; and see the spectacular sights of Seyðisfjörður, Eyjafjörður and Hrisey Island from Bolette.
From £1,799ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Dover • Sun 11 Jul 2021
13 nights • Bolette • T2118
- Discover and explore some of the British Isles most beautiful and remote islands, with smaller-sized Bolette as your guide.
- You’ll get to wonder at the best of British scenery, from the landscapes of the Sound of Mull and intriguing Fingal’s Cave to gorgeous coastline of the Isle of Man.
- Immerse yourself in rich history of the Orkney’s, Isle of Bute and Isle of Lewis; explore Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital; and visit Guernsey and Isles of Scilly.
From £2,199ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Liverpool • Sun 11 Jul 2021
8 nights • Borealis • S2115
- Sail deep into the heart of Norway on Borealis, to experience small ship cruising and fjordland exploration at its most inspiring, rewarding and memorable.
- Immerse yourself in the breathtaking views and uncanny tranquillity of Nærøyfjord, inaccessible to larger ships; sail the magnificent Nordfjord and see majestic Hornelen up-close.
- Ride the iconic Flåmsbana railway and marvel at the Kjosfossen Waterfall; discover the astonishing Briksdal Glacier from Olden; explore historic Bergen and much more during unforgettable time ashore.
From £1,299ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Liverpool • Thu 29 Jul 2021
8 nights • Borealis • S2117
- Create memories that last a lifetime as you sail Scottish Lochs on a smaller ship – the best way to experience the beauty and tranquillity of this astonishing part of the world.
- See mighty Ben Nevis in Loch Linnhe and Beinn Ghobhlach towering over Little Loch Broom; Loch Fyne; Fingal Cave’s basalt columns and more.
- Ashore, your call at Fort William could coincide with the annual Lochaber Highland Games, while legendary historic sites, from castles to Neolithic treasures, await you too.
From £1,399ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Rosyth (Edinburgh) • Thu 05 Aug 2021
5 nights • Balmoral • L2124
- In just five nights, visit two beautiful countries to uncover intriguing islands, natural wonders and enchanting wildlife for a short, yet simply unforgettable summer break.
- See magnificent sea stacks guarding the rugged Orkneys; and visit the Shetlands to take in gorgeous coastal scenery, remarkable ancient settlements and wildlife such as iconic native ponies.
- Marvel at the unspoilt beauty of the uninhabited islets of Gáshólmur and Tindhólmur; arch-shaped Drangarnir and picturesque Gásadalur; plus the bird habitats of Hestur Island and Mykines.
From £749ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Liverpool • Sat 28 Aug 2021
5 nights • Borealis • S2120
- Discover enchanting waterways and remote islands on board Borealis and experience a memorable snapshot of Scotland’s gorgeous summertime scenery.
- Relax during hours of daytime scenic cruising, taking in historic Duart Castle and the picturesque Sound of Mull, the intriguing Dutchman’s Cap and astonishing Fingal’s Cave.
- Step ashore in the Shetlands and the Orkneys, to go in search of many more of Scotland’s most famous highlights, such as UNESCO-listed Skara Brae and iconic Shetland ponies.
From £799ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Southampton • Wed 25 Jan 2023
9 nights • Balmoral • L2303
- Making the most of a rare wintertime exploration of Norway’s magical fjords, you’ll enjoy a very special seasonal snapshot of inspirational landscapes and enchanting destinations.
- Breathe in crisp, fresh air and savour the spectacular scenes of Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord; ride Bergen’s famous funicular railway; and immerse yourself in the local culture of Stavanger and Eidfjord.
- After Norway, you’ll sail south via the Shetland Islands for a unique experience – during an overnight stay in Lerwick, you’ll catch all the parades and ceremonies of the unique Up Helly Aa Festival.
From £1,199ppFares Explained | What's Included