4 Day Independent Holiday Departing Saturdays from Aberdeen.
Mini Cruise Highlights
- Orkney's Magnificent World Heritage
- Shetland’s Remarkable Archaeology and World-class Wildlife
- Breathtaking Landscapes & Coastal Panoramas
- Taste of Orkney
- Cruise the North Sea
- Uncover the Ancient Ties that Bind these Islands of Contrast
Day One ~ Saturday ~ Travel to Orkney
Travel to Orkney onboard cruise ferry and check into your comfortable Kirkwall accommodation for the night.
Day Two ~ Sunday ~ Orkney's West Mainland
Meet your driver-guide and depart on your journey through the rich archaeological landscape of Orkney’s West Mainland. Travel along historic Scapa Flow, one of the largest natural harbours in the world and the British Navy's main base during World War I and World War II. Then, step off the beaten path at Unstan Tomb, a unique Neolithic hybrid cairn incorporating both a burial chamber and stalls, and allow your imagination to soar as you are transported 5,000 years back in time. Continue with visits to the remarkable World Heritage sites of Orkney’s Neolithic Heartland, including Maeshowe, a Neolithic chambered tomb considered one of the finest architectural achievements of prehistoric Europe; the imposing Standing Stones of Stenness, one of the earliest stone circles in Britain, dating back to 3,000 BC; the ceremonial Ring of Brodgar, a magnificent circle of originally more than sixty stones erected over 4,500 years ago; and Skara Brae, truly awe-inspiring and the best-preserved prehistoric village in northern Europe.
Optional Add-on: Italian Chapel & Scapa Flow
Travel south along historic Scapa Flow and across the first of the four Churchill Barriers, a series of causeways linking five Orkney Islands together, to the tiny island of Lambholm where you visit the exquisite Italian Chapel. Built by Italian prisoners during World War II, it stands today as a symbol of peace and is one of Orkney's most beloved treasures.
For your evening meal, we will reserve a table at a delightful restaurant where you will have the opportunity to sample a true Taste of Orkney. Enjoy our delicious local cuisine, including Orkney’s renowned cheese, beef, lamb, fish and seafood as well as fresh produce, delectable ice cream, and award-winning whisky.
Later, transfer to the ferry terminal, Kirkwall and embark on the overnight cruise ferry sailing to Lerwick, Shetland. Check into your comfortable cabin for the journey. (B)
Day Three ~ Monday ~ Shetland's South Mainland
Arrive Lerwick, receive a warm welcome from your Shetland driver-guide and depart for your tour of Shetland’s scenic South Mainland, including a walk across the sand tombolo to the famous St. Ninian’s Isle for a visit to the medieval chapel where the ancient treasure was found. Continue to the fascinating Croft House Museum to learn about 19th century life on the island. Then, discover the first lighthouse in Shetland at spectacular Sumburgh Head, established by Robert Stevenson in 1821, and walk along the imposing cliffs of Sumburgh Head R.S.P.B. Nature Reserve, home to thousands of seabirds in the summer, including a thriving puffin colony. Finally, stop at Jarlshof, described as one of the most remarkable archaeological sites ever excavated in the British Isles, and explore the ancient settlements spanning the late Bronze Age through to the Middle Ages.
Return to the ferry terminal, Lerwick and embark on the overnight cruise ferry sailing to Aberdeen. Check into a comfortable cabin for the journey.
Day Four ~ Tuesday ~ Arrive Aberdeen