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These are lands of legends, castles, fortresses, Neolithic sites and verdant heaths that immerse visitors in a magical world. Elves, druids and great kings are part of tradition in the magical countries of Ireland and Scotland . Meanwhile, England has its own treasures to offer, with beautiful islands and bustling cities. 

All about cruises Ireland, Scotland and England

best ireland scotland cruises

British archipelagos and Celtic shores

best ireland scotland cruises

Cultural treasures and Scandinavian panoramas

best ireland scotland cruises

Journey along Celtic shores

best ireland scotland cruises

The Hebrides archipelago, a journey deep into the heart of the wilderness

best ireland scotland cruises

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Shetland, Orkney & Hebrides

best ireland scotland cruises

Celtic Secrets & Landscapes

best ireland scotland cruises

From the Scottish archipelago to the Arctic Circle

best ireland scotland cruises

Scottish archipelagos and the Faroe Islands: Nordic heritage and island identities

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The Sirba Octet on the North Sea

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Celtic Voyage: The Hebrides and the Irish Sea – with Smithsonian Journeys

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Must-Sees - Scotland, Ireland and England

Bustling towns, castles and fortresses, breathtaking wildly beautiful landscapes... A cruise to Scotland, Ireland and England means a journey with unexpected magic around every corner. Here, we look at 10 unmissable things that keep British and Irish legends alive.

Must-Sees - Scotland, Ireland and England

The Essentials - Ireland, Scotland, England

From Celtic shores to typical British towns, cruises to Ireland, Scotland and England offer you the opportunity to explore a wealth of culture with strong identifies, legends and fascinating stories. Here is a taste of what you can expect.

The Essentials - Ireland, Scotland, England

Explore Ireland, Scotland and England

The idyllic islands of the North Atlantic

best ireland scotland cruises

The mysterious Giant’s Causeway

Dublin or Cork, an Irish adventure

Gauge Dublin's pulse - Ireland

Gauge Dublin's pulse - Ireland

Dublin has plenty of charm on both sides of the Liffey. There are lots of historic landmarks to visit: while you can see the Custom House and Bank of Ireland from the outside, you should definitely venture into Trinity College . This, Dublin's oldest university, is home to the Book of Kells : a 1,200-year old manuscript and a real illumination masterpiece among thousands of works. Christ Church Cathedral, Saint Patrick's Cathedral and Dublin Castle are also unmissable. But, to appreciate the whole package offered by the Irish capital, you need to gauge its pulse. There's no better way to do this than walking along pedestrianised Grafton Street , or through the Temple Bar district, with its many pubs, restaurants and shops.

Treat yourself to a getaway in Edinburgh - Scotland

Treat yourself to a getaway in Edinburgh - Scotland

Perched in a fabulous location high on Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle is a Scottish icon. This fortress which has dominated the city since the 12th century has long been used as a royal residence and for military purposes. The castle offers fantastic views of the surrounding area as well as the chance to immerse yourself in Scotland's eventful history as you view the different architectural styles of the buildings and the Scottish crown jewels in one particular room. Edinburgh is also a vibrant city. To see this for yourself, go to its most famous street: the Royal Mile .

Spend a day in Cork - Ireland

Spend a day in Cork - Ireland

Cork in the south of Ireland is one of those lively cities worth exploring on foot due to its manageable size. It would be impossible to visit Cork without stopping off at the Neo-Gothic Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral or the Church of St Anne (in the Shandon area) which is famous for its bells, which entered Irish popular culture via a 19th-century song: The Bells of Shandon . Foodies will enjoy a trip to the English Market : one of the city's main attractions. For over 200 years, the market has been showcasing the best regional produce, including specialities like drisheen (a kind of black pudding) and pig's trotters. Its 55 food stalls are packed with food products: each more mouth-watering than the last.

Follow in the footsteps of the Beatles in Liverpool - England

Follow in the footsteps of the Beatles in Liverpool - England

It was Liverpool that sealed the Beatles ' fate. Penny Lane, St Peter's Woolton, the university School of the Arts, the Casbah Coffee Club, the Empire Theatre, Arnold Grove, Dovedale School, Quarry Bank School... Retrace the steps of the "Fab Four" during a coach tour that takes in some of the places that contributed to the legend and played a role in their story.

Walk on the Giant's Causeway - Northern Ireland

Walk on the Giant's Causeway - Northern Ireland

Legend has it that the Giant's Causeway was the result of a quarrel between two giants: one Scottish and the other Irish. Mocked by the former, the latter threw rocks into the sea to encourage him to come over and fight. Seeing the strapping Scotsman arrive, the Irishman was frightened and disguised himself as a baby. Noticing how brawny the baby was, the "invader" could only imagine what its father might look like, so fled, destroying the pathway between the two countries as he went. Despite this, 40,000 vertical and hexagonal stone columns can still be seen today. In truth, they are cooled lava prisms from a basaltic lava flow 40 million years ago which have been eroded by the sea.

Explore London on a panoramic tour - England

Explore London on a panoramic tour - England

There's nothing better than a panoramic tour if you want to see the English capital's most iconic landmarks . In just a few hours, you can visit Buckingham Palace (the queen's home), Trafalgar Square, the 135-metre big wheel known as the London Eye , the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey (where British royalty is crowned and buried).

Take a breath of fresh air in Connemara - Ireland

Take a breath of fresh air in Connemara - Ireland

Narrow roads that wind between lakes and lands that are green or red depending on the season, and breathtaking endless views. The Connemara region has many legends, always amazes and leaves visitors speechless. Start your trip with a cruise on Lough Corrib with its 365 islands. Exploring Galway, Ireland's most vibrant city, is also a must. Its bohemian and artistic vibes, the flower-covered pubs, the music that emanates from within, the remains of ramparts in the medieval area and the various boutiques all contribute to its charm.

Get away from it all on the Isles of Scilly - United Kingdom

Get away from it all on the Isles of Scilly - United Kingdom

Who would have thought that these dots of land surrounded by turquoise waters would be in the middle of the Celtic Sea? The Isles of Scilly enjoy a microclimate due to the Gulf Stream. Thanks to the latter, a real Garden of Eden has been planted and grown up over the past 170 years on Tresco . Tresco Abbey Garden contains plants from Australia, New Zealand, Africa, South America and the Mediterranean, as well as native species. This exotic flora is simply incredible.

Enjoy the majesty of nature on the Isle of Skye - Scotland

Enjoy the majesty of nature on the Isle of Skye - Scotland

It's impossible not to be moved by the wild beauty on the Isle of Skye . A few pastures sit alongside uncultivated plains. The heathland extends as far as the eye can see, criss-crossed by rivers and waterfalls. Steep cliffs plunge down into turbulent waters and jagged landforms soften out into gentle slopes until they reach deserted pebble beaches or sea lochs. And then sometimes, a shadow looms proud despite the age of its stones, and reminds us that we are in the Highlands . Dunvegan Castle owned by the MacLeod clan is in no way a ruin. A tour is a good idea if you want a moving experience being immersed in Scotland's past.

Go on a magical adventure, Hebrides Islands - Scotland

Go on a magical adventure, Hebrides Islands - Scotland

Stone houses with thatched roofs, white-sand beaches bordered by cropped green vegetation, small ports, peaceful locks and sheep farming... The Hebrides Islands paint the perfect Scottish landscape. See the magic for yourself on Lewis with a visit to one of the most impressive prehistoric sites: the Callanish Stones . This is the second most important site in Great Britain after Stonehenge and dates back to 3000 BC. During the Neolithic, the stone's arrangement vis-à-vis the moon and stars allowed farmers to track the seasons.

best ireland scotland cruises

Dos. Anyone who wants to make a good impression in Great Britain and Ireland should abide by a few basic principles: always be polite, don't queue-jump, arrive on time and pay for your round at the pub.

Don'ts. In Scotland, it's not the done thing to add soda to your whisky. Instead, use still water to reveal the power of each flavour.

best ireland scotland cruises

Unique features

Kept at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, the Book of Kells enthrals lovers of Celtic art and illuminations. Its cover, which was supposedly brimming with gold and precious stones, was torn off when the work was stolen in 1007 and has never been found. The variety of details and colours in the drawings is impressive. In 800, when the book (which brings together the four gospels) was written, only four colours were normally used. However, the Book of Kells contains many more that were made using pigments from materials shipped in from all over Europe and the Middle East. The most expensive, lapis lazuli, was used for blue and came from Afghanistan.

best ireland scotland cruises

Lexique indispensable

Bonjour / bonsoir : Good morning / good afternoon Au revoir : Goodbye Bienvenue : Welcome Excusez-moi / s’il vous plaît : Excuse me / please Merci : Thank you Oui / non : Yes / No Comment allez-vous ? : How are you? Très bien, merci, et vous : Very well, thank you, and you? Je m’appelle... : My name is...

best ireland scotland cruises

Fish and chips is known and enjoyed in England, Ireland and Scotland. These sizeable fillets of fried cod are given a lift by lemon zest and accompanied by chips. And the dish's secret? The Irish add stout to the batter.

best ireland scotland cruises

Myths & legends

More than a symbol, clover (especially four-leaf clover) is seen by the Irish as a lucky charm. For the druids, it had real power against evil spirits. The believed that the first leaf represented hope, the second, faith, the third, love and the fourth, luck. You have to find a four-leaf clover by chance at full moon for the magic to work.

best ireland scotland cruises

Books. Although mainly known for Treasure Island, good Scotsman Robert Louis Stevenson actually wrote a touching body of work including several travel narratives about his native soil. Walking through Edinburgh, a ramble on the Isle of Mull, exploring the Fife Coast, memories of the Pentland Hills... The French-language À travers l’Écosse , which contains translations of some of Stevenson's English travel writing, provides a nice starting point and nostalgic portrait of the region in the 19th century.

Music. The harp features on Irish coats of arms for a good reason: it represents one of the first instruments played by ninth-century Gaelic clans. Gradually dance music also emerged and was played especially in pubs. This rhythmic repertoire of 6,000 melodies is performed on various instruments: the bodhrán (a traditional drum), the bagpipes, the fiddle (a version of the violin) and the Irish bouzouki (a kind of large mandolin).

Film. Awarded two Palmes d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006 for T he Wind That Shakes the Barley , and in 2016 for I, Daniel Blake , Ken Loach is undoubtedly the most-loved British director, as well as the most divisive in his country. The positions he takes and his way of depicting UK society, social deprivation and the dark hours in the country's history raise some people's hackles, while others applaud his efforts. His work always contains nicely British humour, with feature films that are touchingly accurate and moving characters with which the director surprises and stirs his public each and every time.

Facts and figures

Big Ben is definitely one of London's most iconic monuments. This nickname refers to its large bell which comes in at an impressive 13.7 tonnes, 2.2 metres high and 2.7 metres in diameter . The striking hammer weighs 200 kilos .

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British Isles


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Dublin Ireland

Castles & Countryside Charm

Sophisticated city adventures meet bucolic countryside escapes on our cruises to the British Isles & Ireland. Fill your days with the famed cathedrals and castles of Edinburgh, Dublin and London, but also unlock hidden secrets in the Scottish Highlands, the Shetland Islands and off-the-beaten-path destinations across the region. Medieval villages, local charm and UNESCO sites such as Giant’s Causeway will inspire you to return again and again.

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From insider tours of historic wonders and immersions in local communities to nature explorations and local tasting tours, our British Isles & Ireland shore excursions bring you the best of the local cuisine, culture and history. More extended evening stays across the region give you the chance to enjoy the best of the region with more in-depth explorations, adventures ashore and leisurely, meaningful touring.

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British Island Hotel

Extend your stay before or after your British Isles & Ireland cruise at one of these luxurious hotels, carefully selected for their superb location, ambiance, world-class standards of service, cuisine and amenities. Our hotel packages include free air date changes up to 3 days before or after your cruise; free transfers between the airport, hotel and ship; and porterage. You’ll also enjoy the services of our exclusive Oceania Cruises hospitality desk at each hotel.

Featured British Isles & Ireland Hotels


The Davenport

Dublin, ireland.

As one of Dublin’s most iconic hotels, The Davenport is an elegant oasis in the cultural heart of Dublin. The hotel seamlessly blends the splendor and heritage of Georgian Dublin with the modern amenities and luxuries today’s hotel guests desire. Spacious and elegant, guest rooms are contemporary and comfortable featuring refined furniture and top amenities. The restaurant and bar offer delicious food and drinks in a beautiful setting. Hotel guests can also enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with a contemporary twist.


The Bailey’s Hotel London

London (southampton), united kingdom.

This hotel is a beautifully renovated Victorian London townhouse, located in the heart of fashionable South Kensington. The hotel combines style and character and is one of the most traditional and popular hotels in the area. Quintessentially English in décor and style, the rooms have been designed with the comfort of our guests in mind, and combine unique features and furnishings with modern amenities. The interior of the hotel is extremely elegant and retains many of its original features, with its sweeping staircase, stained glass windows and intricate stonework. Situated opposite the Gloucester Road underground station, this hotel offers access to many transport links and is perfectly positioned for guests visiting many of the British capital's most popular attractions.

British Isles

Our British Isles & Ireland Pre- and Post-Cruise Land Programs invite you to immerse yourself in the culture and spectacular natural beauty of this region. These multi-day, in-depth Land Programs include exclusive tours, premium hotel stays, airport transfers when arriving and departing the day your program begins and ends, and often times locally-inspired meals and porterage too.

British Isles & Ireland Land Programs

Western Ireland

Ashford Castle & Western

Explore western Ireland’s ruggedly wild Connemara district and luxuriate between adventures in Ashford Castle, the former home of the Guinness family. History abounds throughout this enchanting landscape, especially in settings such as Kylemore Abbey, a 19th-century castle with a restored Victorian garden that is now home to a community of Benedictine nuns. The town of Clifden exudes history as well, far beyond its fame as the site where the world’s first nonstop transatlantic flight landed. For a literal taste of Connemara, savor the Irish whiskey distilled at Kilbeggan.

  • 2 nights in Ashford Castle | 1 night in Dublin
  • Touring Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Garden
  • Sightseeing in the classic coastal town of Clifden
  • Services of professional English-speaking tour guide for transfers and tours
  • Participating in a whiskey-tasting class at Kilbeggan after touring the distillery
  • Select Meals

Western Ireland

Crown Jewels & Country Treasures

Think gems, literal and figurative. Behold the dazzling crown jewels as a costumed Beefeater leads you on a private tour of the Tower of London. Then marvel at a litany of other multi-faceted icons that include Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and the venerable 10 Downing Street. Experience the rural gem County Kent, the so-called Garden of England, which sparkles through attractions as diverse as Dover Castle and the vineyard Chapel Down. Seeing Stonehenge, England’s prehistoric crown jewel makes a brilliant finale.

  • 3 nights in London
  • Private tour of the Tower of London and its crown jewels
  • Panoramic driving tour through London
  • Cruise on the River Thames
  • Sightseeing in County Kent with stops at Dover Castle, Chilham village, Chapel Down and the Battle of Britain memorial
  • Select meals
  • Self-guided tour of Stonehenge

Today’s Featured British Isles & Ireland Cruises

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England, Ireland & Scotland

Ireland and Great Britain travel adventures abound as you discover vibrant and historied capital cities... explore captivating islands off the beaten path... enjoy premier hotels that have been shaped by history filled with charm and character... and discover the cultural mix of Celtic, Norse and British influences.

England, Ireland & Scotland Escorted Tours


Welcome to England, Ireland & Scotland

Spectacular landscapes, royal gems and historic jewels are present throughout all of these destinations as you explore capital cities, idyllic countrysides, castles and manor houses and medieval towns. Drink in the beauty of the Ring of Kerry... learn how Guinness is made and poured... enjoy tea at Edinburgh Castle and a medieval lunch in Northumberland castle... punting along the River Cam... and discovering the hidden wonders of St. Paul's Cathedral.

Land journeys, welcome to england, ireland, scotland and wales.

Meeting Winston Churchill's granddaughter in London… discovering whiskies, tartans, and castles in Edinburgh... tasting Irish traditions in Dublin, at a whisky distillery, at castles and family farms… seeing Shakespeare's home, Churchill's birthplace, learned Oxford, mysterious Stonehenge, and the Book of Kells… Tauck welcomes you on land journeys to England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland…

Tauck Bridges Family Travel

Fun for the whole family in england and ireland.

Speedboating on the Thames... "spywalking" in London... pedaling through the Royal Parks... riding high on the London Eye... treasure hunting in Dublin... walking with a hawk at Dromoland Castle... kissing the Blarney Stone. Just another day on our Tauck Bridges trips with your family in Great Britain and Ireland.

Small Ship Cruising – Scotland and the Isles

Sail with us to scotland and the scottish isles, wild and picturesque.

One might make a strong argument that Scotland is best explored by land and sea... so we invite you to join us on a voyage of discovery around the rugged coast that includes the Orkney islands, Shetland islands and the Hebrides (Isles of Skye, Mull and Lewis) – with stays at hotels in the heart of Scotland's legendary cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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Which Cruise Lines Go to Ireland and Scotland?

By Michael Ferguson

If you’re planning a cruise to Ireland and Scotland, you’re in luck – there are several cruise lines that offer itineraries to these beautiful destinations.

Celebrity Cruises

One popular option is Celebrity Cruises, which offers a variety of itineraries that visit Ireland and Scotland. Some of their most popular routes include stops in cities like Dublin, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

Celebrity Cruises is known for its luxury amenities, including gourmet dining options and spacious staterooms.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Another great option is Norwegian Cruise Line. They offer several itineraries that visit Ireland, Scotland, and other destinations throughout the British Isles.

One of their most popular routes is a 12-day journey that begins in London and includes stops in Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh, and more. Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its laid-back atmosphere and fun activities like rock climbing walls and water parks.

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International also offers itineraries that visit Ireland and Scotland. Some of their most popular routes include stops in cities like Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, and Inverness.

Royal Caribbean is known for its family-friendly amenities like Broadway-style shows and ice skating rinks.

Holland America Line

Holland America Line also offers cruises to Ireland and Scotland. Their itineraries often include stops in cities like Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

Holland America Line is known for its elegant ships and upscale amenities like cooking classes taught by professional chefs.

Princess Cruises

Last but not least is Princess Cruises. They offer several itineraries that visit Ireland and Scotland as well as other destinations throughout the British Isles.

One of their most popular routes is a 12-day journey that includes stops in cities like Dublin, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Princess Cruises is known for its excellent service and gourmet dining options.

In conclusion, there are several cruise lines that offer itineraries to Ireland and Scotland. Whether you’re looking for luxury amenities or family-friendly activities, there’s a cruise line out there that will suit your needs.

So start planning your trip today and get ready to explore the beautiful landscapes and vibrant cultures of these two amazing countries!

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Best of Ireland and Scotland Guided Tour

15 Day Ireland and Scotland Tour from Dublin to Edinburgh

15 days, 3 countries and 21 cities


14 Breakfasts, 1 Be My Guest, 6 Dinners

View day-by-day trip itinerary

Travel to see the very Best of Ireland and Scotland, from delicate Waterford Crystal to the golfing greats of St. Andrews. Kiss the Blarney Stone and you’ll be sharing tales from Giant’s Causeway, the Ring of Kerry and the Scottish Highlands for years to come.

Looking to book in a group of 9 or more?

Deals, savings and exclusive private touring options available plus if you need a different date or itinerary change we can create a custom trip. Contact us for more details

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15 days itinerary trip from Dublin to Edinburgh visiting 3 countries and 21 cities

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About this trip

Sightseeing highlights.

Explore Dublin, Londonderry, Belfast and Edinburgh with a Local Specialist

Discover Waterford, Adare, Galway and Glasgow

Visit the Irish National Stud in Kildare, the Waterford Crystal Showroom, Blarney Castle, Giant's Causeway, Titanic Experience in Belfast, a whisky distillery and Edinburgh Castle

View Eilean Donan Castle, the battlefield of Culloden and the 18th green at St. Andrews

See St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Galway Cathedral and Loch Lomond

Scenic Drive of the Ring of Kerry

Tickets for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo are included on departures that coincide with performance dates

Travel highlights

Specific transfer information can be found here:

Airport Transfers

An expert Travel Director and professional Driver

Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted

All porterage and restaurant gratuities

All hotel tips, charges and local taxes

Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals

Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing

Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

Ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland

Optional Experiences and free time

On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilized.

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Every one of our tours includes at least one conscious travel experience that supports one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). Look out for yours within the day-by-day trip itinerary.

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Net-zero by 2050

Travel knowing our 4-point climate action plan will ensure net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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Support Local

Your tour directly supports local communities by visiting family-run businesses, UNESCO sites and places of cultural significance.

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Sustainable Practices

Every part of our business, from trip design to how we run our offices, aligns to our 5-year sustainability strategy which ensures a positive impact on people, the planet and wildlife.


Philanthropic Efforts

Our not-for-profit, the TreadRight Foundation, invests in nature-based solutions to address climate change.

You’ll make a positive impact to people, planet and wildlife on this tour


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Northern European Cruises Full of Culture and Beauty

Cruise to Northern Europe and witness a diverse variety of cultures, splendid palaces, history and unbelievable natural beauty, all whilst enjoying the freedom and flexibility of cruising with Norwegian. You will sail through the Baltic as Viking explorers once did, visiting Sweden, Denmark, and Finland along the way. St. Petersburg , marvel at vivid onion domes atop churches and enjoy extra time to explore with an overnight in this storied city.--> Choose to cruise through the marvellous Fjords of Norway - you'll be spellbound by the spectacular scenery in Geiranger - and journey through some of Europe's greatest hits including England , Paris and Ireland . Do all of this and more whilst enjoying spectacular onboard entertainment, luxurious spa services, and no set dining times.

Note: The safety and security of our guests, crew and communities we visit is our top priority. Due to the escalated situation between Russia and Ukraine we have made the decision to alter itineraries and remove calls to St. Petersburg, Russia from our 2022 sailings.

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Plus Premium Beverages, up to €300 Airfare Credit on select cruises, and more!


Wide Variety of Exciting Itineraries

Enjoy New and Recently Enhanced Ships

In 2021, we are welcoming the extraordinary Norwegian Escape to Europe for the very first time. This fan-favorite ship features the Broadway smash-hit musical After Midnight, 25+ dining venues, a wide variety of bars and lounges, the largest ropes course at sea and the Waterfront, our revolutionary quarter-mile oceanfront promenade is designed to connect you with the sea.

Castles & Fjords: British Isles & Norway Cruises

Castles & Fjords: British Isles & Norway Cruises

Immerse yourself in the fairy-tale setting of this magical region on this unique Northern Europe cruise. Voyage from ancient castles in Ireland to the majestic fjords of Norway . Your journey includes noteworthy stops such as easy-going Amsterdam and elegant Brussels.

Imperial Tradition in the Baltic: Scandinavia & Russia Cruises

Imperial Tradition in the Baltic: Scandinavia & Russia Cruises

At the heart of our Baltic cruises is tradition and splendor. Stroll through imposing palaces and vibrant churches, learning all about the fascinating history that envelops them. Embark from Copenhagen or Berlin , with ports of calls including St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and Tallinn .

Northern Europe Cruise Image Gallery

  • Autumn Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Hellesylt, Norway
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • London, England
  • Akureyri, Iceland
  • Brussels / Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Dublin, Ireland

best ireland scotland cruises

Explore Northern Europe Cruise Ports

best ireland scotland cruises

Best Northern Europe EXCURSIONS

best ireland scotland cruises

We know the destinations you'll be visiting and what there is to see, do and experience. We offer you a variety of excursions to choose from, in every port you'll visit.

best ireland scotland cruises

Romantic Bruges

Discover Bruges' medieval charm: guided walk, canal tour, historical landmarks, and free time for shopping....

best ireland scotland cruises

City Of Glasgow

Greenock lies on the southern shore of the River Clyde, which has long been the lifeblood of the area. For over 200 years the famous Clyde built ships began their voyages out to se...

best ireland scotland cruises

Ring of Fire

This is a predominantly eco-focused tour that circles the active central volcano Hengill, which is located just a few kilometers from Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik....

best ireland scotland cruises

Dalsnibba Mountain and Eagle Road

Make the journey up to Mount Dalsnibba for a spectacular view of the Geiranger Fjord, one of the longest and deepest fjords in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the ...

Northern Europe HOTELS


best ireland scotland cruises

Scandic Copenhagen

Hotel Scandic Copenhagen is located in central Copenhagen, with stunning views over the water and Copenhagen city, and close to attractions such as Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens. At hotel Scandic Copenhagen, all 18 floors have been renovated with a new, modern and inspiring interior. Copenhagen's attractions are right on your doorstep when you stay at hotel Scandic Copenhagen. Tivoli amusement park, Nyhavn and Stroeget shopping street are all within walking distance of the hotel.

This recently renovated city hotel is walking distance to many popular attractions including Central Station and Tivoli Gardens (family amusement park).

  • Distance/Airport: 8 miles Distance/Pier: 2 miles
  • Room and room tax Bellman gratuities Breakfast Transfers between Hotel and Pier

Important Note: Maximum triple occupancy per room. Triples will be accommodated in a room with 2 queen sized beds. Rollaway are subject to availability and must be requested. Surcharges will apply. Guests in a quad cabin will automatically receive two rooms at that hotel. Surcharge will apply.

best ireland scotland cruises

Nhow Amsterdam Rai

Welcome to nhow Amsterdam RAI, a place where contemporary art, design, gastronomy and cultural expressions fit together perfectly. With 650 rooms on 25 floors, the four-star nhow Amsterdam RAI will be the largest newly built hotel in the Benelux. The hotel will become a new social and multicultural hub for business travelers, tourists and Amsterdam locals alike. For international multiday congresses, exhibitions and other events, the addition of the hotel means that there is a high-quality headquarter hotel available for visitors, exhibitors and speakers.

The room design is inspired by the six cardinal directions to which the building's corners point: South, East, North, South West, South East and North West. Themes from the "Golden Age" of Amsterdam as a commercial centre of Europe surface in the rooms together with well-known international symbols.

Distance/Airport: 12 miles Distance/Pier: 10 miles

Package includes: Room and room tax Breakfast Bellman gratuities Transfers between Hotel and Pier

Important Note: Accommodations are based on double occupancy per room. Some accommodation will allow triple and quad guests in a room and are subject to availability and surcharge will apply. Additional hotel rooms to accommodate triple and quads may be required, and surcharge will apply.

best ireland scotland cruises

Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour

A 15-minute walk from Southampton City Art Gallery, this upscale, modern hotel with a sloping glass facade is 0.8-mile walk from the Mayflower Theatre.

Stylish rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and tea and coffeemaking facilities. Some add sea views. Upgraded rooms include sitting areas and balconies, whilst suites add kitchenettes and/or whirlpool tubs.

There's a relaxed restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows, and a glass-covered bistro/bar with a terrace. Other amenities include a gym, an indoor pool and spa facilities, plus parking (fee). Day-use rooms, a lounge and ship transfers (fee) are available for cruise passengers.

Distance/ Airport: London Heathrow 63 miles / Gatwick Airport 88.5 miles Distance/ Pier: 1.5 miles

Package includes: Room and room tax Bellman gratuities Breakfast Transfers between Hotel and Pier

best ireland scotland cruises

Scandic Grand Central

Across the street from the Oscarsteatern theatre and a 6-minute walk from Stockholm Central Station, this upscale hotel in an elegant circa-1880s building is also 2.8 km from the Vasa Museum.

Basic rooms with wood floors and sleek en suite bathrooms feature free WiFi and flat-screen TVs. Some have balconies. Upgraded rooms have traditional, yet stylish decor adding minibars and tea and coffeemaking equipment.

Basic rooms with wood floors and sleek en suite bathrooms feature free WiFi and flat-screen TVs. Some have balconies. Upgraded rooms have traditional, yet stylish decor adding minibars and tea and coffeemaking equipment. Suites add separate living areas with pull-out sofas and high-end furnishings.

There's a hip bistro, fine dining in a converted theatre and an urban-chic bar. There's also a gym and free bikes to borrow.

Distance/Airport: 25 miles Distance/Pier: 5 miles

best ireland scotland cruises

Hilton Reykjavik Nordica

Set in central Reykjavik, the stylish Hilton Reykjavik Nordica hotel is one of the city's most popular destinations for tourists, business travelers and locals alike. Enjoy Hilton style, service and quality, with the comfort and amenities you expect, and the extras you deserve. Our central location provides a great base from which to discover the capital, and makes it easy to travel further afield and explore Iceland's unspoiled natural landscapes.

  • Distance/Airport: 30 miles Distance/Pier: 2 miles
  • Room and room tax Bellman gratuities Transfers between Hotel and Pier

Important Note: Accommodations are based on double occupancy per room.

Read THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT Northern Europe Cruises

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Why a Cruise to Iceland Should be on Your Holiday List

In Iceland, you will find gorgeous and unspoiled natural landscapes, long summer nights, and no shortage of things to do and foods to try.

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Top Things To Do in Amsterdam

From the must-visit landmarks to the best day-trips, your guide to Amsterdam is here.

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Ireland, Moher in County Clare Cliffs


Ireland cruises.

From rugged cliffs to rowdy pubs and rolling countryside, Ireland has something for everyone.

Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is characterized by its rolling green hills and lush countryside, dotted with friendly country towns, dry stone walls and crumbling castles. Cruise to Ireland to visit the Cliffs of Moher, a UNESCO Global Geopark, about a two-hour drive from Cork, to see where the bright blue waters meet towering sea cliffs, or head to Cork's Blarney Castle to be granted the gift of gab by kissing the famous Blarney Stone. To step back in time, see Dublin's Malahide Castle, dating back to the 12th century. Don't leave without enjoying a pint of Guinness and listening to traditional Irish music at a local pub on Dublin's Fleet Street or Grafton Street.

Coco Cay Pier Sign with Dare Devil's Peak in the Background

Rich And Lush Landscapes

Unforgettable cruise vacation

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Ireland, Dublin Bailey LightHouse


Over one million people visit the Cliffs of Moher annually, and you could be one of them — they're about a two-hour drive away from  Cork . Witness the majesty of Ireland's top natural attraction, which stretches for five miles and rises up to 214 meters. Be prepared, though: The Atlantic sea breeze at the Cliffs of Moher can literally blow you away. 

Ireland, Blarney House at Castle Gardens


Get the gift of gab at Cork's famous Blarney Castle, where you'll find the Blarney Stone, which legend says will bestow on you the gift of eloquence (but only if you can bend over backwards to kiss it). Or explore the 12th-century Romanesque architecture of the Rock of Cashel, Ireland's most-visited heritage site, about an hour's drive from  Waterford .

Ireland, Dublin Herd of Deers

To connect with nature in the middle of the city center, head to St. Stephen's Green in Dublin, where you can find an ornamental lake and several walking paths. If you're looking for an animal adventure during your Ireland vacation, visit Phoenix Park, one of the largest enclosed recreational spaces in any European capital city and home to the Dublin Zoo and roaming deer.

Northern Ireland, Cave Hill Country Park


Just outside the city center, the  Belfast Hills  offer stunning views of Northern Ireland's expressive capital city and the surrounding bay. The Castle Trail up Cave Hill will take you to these sights in an easygoing 30-minute hike.

Ireland, Bank of River


Whether you enjoy art galleries, museums, shopping or bar hopping, you'll never run out of things to do in Ireland's urban centers. Learn about Irish history in  Dublin  and  Belfast , or experience colorful and quaint Cork. 

Ireland, Kinsale Colorful Market


A cruise to Ireland brings you to some of the world's most charming and colorful towns. In Cork, pastel-colored homes line the waterfront, and nearby Kinsale's downtown area is home to streets with brightly colored shops in purple, green and virtually every other hue imaginable selling books, art, crafts and local trinkets.

Ireland, Dublin Irish Black Beer


Incredibly, there are over 750 pubs in  Dublin  and its surrounding area, so you never have to wander far for a drink. Temple Bar is the most popular area in town for a pint, but the best place to grab a Guinness is the Guinness Storehouse. Learn how the beer is made before pouring your own perfect pint.

Ireland, Dublin Malahide Castle


Although you can cross the coast to the Cliffs of Moher within a day, there are other doable day trips closer to Dublin, too. Wicklow is nicknamed the Garden of Ireland and is home to Wicklow Mountains National Park. Step into the past at the seaside town of Howth and Malahide Castle, which has parts remaining from the 12th century.

Ireland, Dublin Trinity College Library


Explore Dublin, with its cobblestone streets, nightlife, museums and green spaces. Then head into to the Irish countryside, dominated by colorful villages, greenery as far as the eye can see and breathtakingly rugged landscapes. And don't miss out on popular attractions such as "Game of Thrones" sightseeing and Titanic history in Belfast.

Westminster Abbey in London


Don't stop at just one  British Isle .  Belfast and Northern Ireland  are a doable day trip from  Dublin , and charming cities like  London  and  Edinburgh are just a stone's throw across the Irish Sea. Just remember that once you cross the border, the British Pound is the main form of currency.

Bahamas Nassau Atlantis


Crossing the Atlantic on a cruise from Europe to the United States is an adventure of a lifetime. On  transatlantic cruises , you'll visit tropical ports like the  Bahamas  and  Puerto Rico , but you can also head to the icy ports of Greenland and  Iceland , if that's more your style.


There's a lot to see and do in Ireland with your cruise. Here are some helpful hints for getting around the Emerald Isle.

Ireland is so lush because it frequently rains. The country's weather is unpredictable year-round, so always pack a waterproof jacket, comfortable waterproof shoes and an umbrella just in case.

You can visit Ireland anytime of the year, but summer is the busiest season. Visiting in the shoulder vacation seasons of spring and autumn will let you avoid large crowds.

Many attractions and things to do are closed on Sundays, so try to plan for museum visits and castle-hopping on Monday through Saturday.

Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Kotor Montenegro Castle During Sunset

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Spain Barcelona La Sagrada Familia Interior

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Norway Mountain Landscape

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Rhapsody of the Seas Sailing Through Alaska

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Singapore City Landscape at Sunset

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Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Aerial View

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View of Big Ben over Westminster Bridge on a sunny day. United Kingdom.

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Athens (Piraeus), Greece, View of city and Acropolis

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Italy Rome Family Colosseum Tour

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Navigator of the Seas Aerial Front View

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Greece Fira Principal Town View

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View of the Salvador Dali House in Spain in a coastal hillside. Spain

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Turkish desert baklava with peanut,  pistachio, hand on fork and Turkish tea

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Inside of a tranquil Turkish hammam, with stars on the ceiling. Turkey

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Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Celsus Library Close Up

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the golden fountain of the Piazza de Spagna at sunrise. Europe.

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Original Italian Gelato

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Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Gladiators of the Roman Colosseum

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Colorful hot air balloon riders hovering over the rock formations of Cappadocia, Turkey.

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Visiting the famous Stonehenge landmark. British Isles

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If you're planning to drive around on a day trip, remember that Irish road signs are in kilometers — 10 km is just over 6 miles, so things may be a little closer than you think.

If your day trip will involve train travel instead, book your Irish Rail tickets in advance to receive discounts and guaranteed travel.

Tipping isn't customary in Ireland, but take a look at your bill because some restaurants will add a 10 percent service charge to the bill.


Irish food is synonymous with comfort. Whether it's a hearty Irish stew or traditional bacon and cabbage, Ireland's cuisine is all about stick-to-your ribs satisfaction — all served with an equally comforting pint of Guinness, of course.

Irish Beef Stew with Carrots and Potatoes

Irish stews come in many forms, but the three key ingredients are lamb, potatoes and onion. Carrots often make an appearance in the dish's rich broth, and the addition of thyme complements the gamey flavors of the lamb. You'll find traditional Irish stew on most pub menus.

Irish Cabbage and Bacon Dish


Bacon and cabbage is a simple but beloved Irish dish. It includes sliced back bacon — which is thick-cut and steak-like rather than thin and crispy — boiled with traditional cabbage and potatoes. It's often prepared with spicy mustard seeds and fresh parsley or another herb sauce to balance out the hearty flavors.

Irish Cockles Reserve Cans


Made famous in the Irish tune "Molly Malone," cockles are small saltwater clams found along the Irish coastline, and they've become a local delicacy. They're usually served boiled alongside mussels, or in a chowder-like soup with a creamy, buttery broth.

Related Ports

Visit the Blarney Castle in Cork to kiss the Blarney stone, or pop into the Temple Bar neighborhood in Dublin for a pint of Guinness, or make your way to Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford, to see where the famous Waterford Crystals originated. 

Amsterdam Canal Boat Traditional Houses

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Copenhagen, Denmark Rosenborg

Copenhagen, Denmark

Bergen, Norway Colorful Waterfront Homes

Bergen, Norway

Aarhus, Denmark Colorful homes on a canal

Aarhus, Denmark

Akureyri, Iceland City View

Akureyri, Iceland

Alesund, Norway Rocks and Seawall

Alesund, Norway

Multiple Pieces of Ice Floating through the Sea, Arctic Circle

Arctic Circle (Cruising), Norway

A Green Coastal Lighthouse in Rostock, Berlin (Rostock), Germany

Berlin (Rostock), Germany

Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany Two Lighthouses At Harbor Entrance

Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany

Cork (Cobh), Ireland Cityscape

Cork (Cobh), Ireland

A Replica Viking Boat with Mountains in the Background, Flam, Norway

Flam, Norway

Fredericia, Denmark Egeskov Castle

Fredericia, Denmark

Geiranger, Norway, Snowcapped Fjord

Geiranger, Norway

Hamburg, Germany, Historic Buildings

Hamburg, Germany

Northern Lights Over Arctic Terrain in Norway, Honningsvag, Norway

Honningsvag, Norway

Reykjavik, Iceland, Aerial City View

Reykjavik, Iceland

Dublin, Ireland, Howth Head

Dublin, Ireland

Helsinki, Finland, Aerial view of Suomenlinna Fortress

Helsinki, Finland

Kristiansand, Norway, Coastal Mountain

Kristiansand, Norway

Molde, Norway, Panoramic View

Molde, Norway

Olden, Norway, Jostedalsbreen Glacier

Olden, Norway

Oslo, Norway, Coastal Buildings

Oslo, Norway

St. Petersburg, Russia, Saint Isaac Cathedral

St. Petersburg, Russia

Skjolden, Norway, Mountain Landscape

Skjolden, Norway

Stockholm, Sweden, Aerial panoramic view

Stockholm, Sweden

Skagen, Denmark, A beach with lighthouse in distance

Skagen, Denmark

Tromso, Norway, Mountain landscape

Tromso, Norway

Visby, Sweden, View of the building rooftops

Visby, Sweden

Waterford, Ireland, Coastal cliff

Waterford (Dunmore East), Ireland

Stavanger, Norway, Cliff Preikestolen

Stavanger, Norway

Vladivostok, Russia Cityscape

Vladivostok, Russia

Bremerhaven, Germany Sailing Ship

Bremerhaven, Germany

Russia Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky City Scape Volcano Sunrise

Petropavlovsk, Russia

Panorama of fjord in Norway

Maloy, Norway

Norway is beautiful in the summer.

Haugesund, Norway

Seydisfjordur, a small town by the fjords at the northeast part of Iceland.

Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Letters in Nordfjordeid on the shore of Nordfjord in Norway

Nordfjordeid, Norway

Related Destinations

Eilean Donan Castle in the Scottish Highlands

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  • Barge Cruising
  • River Cruises
  • Wildlife & Safari Exploration
  • Archaeological Site Visits
  • Land & Sea Exploration
  • Small Ship Cruises
  • Village Visits
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Le Dumont-d'Urville
  • National Geographic Explorer
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Ireland Ruins

European Classic Cruise - Ireland

  • Excursion to Portumna and Galway
  • Explore haunted Leap Castle
  • Tour Birr Castle’s Gardens
  • Visit the oldest whiskey distillery

Broch of Mousa, Scotland

British Isles: Legendary History & Wild Nature

  • See Tresco, Bronze Age burial site
  • Discover Tresco Abbey Garden
  • Enjoy bird-watching in Rathlin
  • Step inside the fortress Llanduno
  • Visit the island of Staffa

Colorful sunset over the Scottish Highlands

Ancient Isles: England, Ireland, and Scotland

  • Explore Celtic and Viking culture
  • Sail around Skellig Michael
  • Zodiac cruise in Scotland
  • Visit giant seabird colonies

Explore Dublin

Journey along Celtic shores

  • Discover Dublin
  • Visit Scotland's capital, Edinburgh
  • Witness Orkney Island
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Massive and endless cliffs overlooking the ocean.

As an island nation, Ireland is among the perfect destinations for a cruise. In addition to being extremely accessible from the Western European mainland as well as major British port cities, the country also boasts lots of history and beautiful landscapes. There are a lot of different Ireland cruises to choose from, so this guide should help you decide which cruise destinations in Ireland you want to visit.

Are you after a relaxing vacation soaked in culture and history? Or do you maybe want some more nature in your trip? Something that combines everything perhaps? You can find all of that and more on cruises to Ireland, where everything from historic sites to Dublin pubs and epic (coastal) landscapes await.

Ireland Cruises: Ports, Attractions & Cruise Lines

  • Cobh (Cork)

Colorful buildings and old boats with cathedral in background in the harbor of Cobh, County Cork, Ireland.

Ireland Cruise Ports, Excursions and Highlights

There are four main cruise ports in Ireland that are often included on itineraries offered by the world’s leading cruise lines. Both in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland, they provide a taste of three corners of the island: Cobh (Cork) in the southwest, Waterford in the southeast, Dublin in the east and Belfast in the north. Below, we’ve outlined some of the top attractions you can visit in each specific Ireland cruise port.

Cobh (Cork), Ireland

Cobh boasts one of the most iconic sights in all of Ireland, especially among cruise passengers—the image of St. Colman’s Cathedral towering behind a series of colorful houses features in numerous popular guidebooks. Other major attractions in Cobh include the Titanic Experience, the Cobh Heritage Centre and numerous authentic pubs.

From Cobh, it’s a short train ride to nearby Cork, Ireland’s second-largest city. This is the unofficial culinary capital of Ireland, home to the amazing English Market and several superb restaurants.

Additionally, it’s also worth considering going on a day trip to famed Blarney Castle, an iconic castle ruin home to the famed Blarney Stone. Climb the castle’s narrow passageways to kiss it, a must-do activity on any British Isles cruise. The greater Cork region also has one of Western Europe’s densest concentrations of prehistoric monuments.

Cobh (Cork) Cruise Highlights

  • The English Market – bustling food market offering all kinds of local culinary specialties
  • Blarney Castle – iconic Irish castle that’s home to the kissable Blarney Stone
  • Cork City Goal – castle-like former prison that’s now a fascinating museum
  • St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral – towering Gothic Revival cathedral with three spires
  • Cobh – main cruise terminal in Ireland, a half hour south of Cork, and the final stopping point of the Titanic before it sailed into the Atlantic

Cobh (Cork) Cruise Port

One of the greatest cruise experiences in northern Europe is entering the scenic harbor of Cobh, the Port of Cork . The deep water of this harbor makes it one of Ireland’s top cruise destinations, while it also serves many other vessels (which included the Titanic before its fateful journey across the Atlantic, as well as many other ships filled with emigrants).

Ireland cruise ships dock on the quay directly next to the Cobh Heritage Centre, while the town center is only 100 meters (300 feet) away. From there, you can explore both Cobh and Cork, as well as choose from a wide array of shore excursions.

The gateway to southeast Ireland, Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland. Founded by the Vikings in the mid-900s, it is much older than other Irish cities like Dublin, Galway and Cork (although there are older towns in the country). This fascinating city sits at the head of Waterford Harbour and has a number of cultural quarters. This includes the Viking Triangle, which is the area originally settled by the Vikings and surrounded by triangle-shaped fortifications.

If the name Waterford rings a bell, that may be because you’re thinking of Waterford Crystal, which did originate here. In fact, a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal is one of the best things to do on Ireland cruises. Learn about the history of cut glass, witness the glass-making process, see live glassblowers in action and, of course, get yourself an authentic piece of Waterford Crystal right at the source.

From Waterford, a number of day trips are possible, too. Lovers of gardens, royalty and/or architecture will really enjoy a visit to the Curraghmore House & Gardens, only about 35 minutes from the Waterford city center.

Alternatively, head to the magnificent Rock of Cashel, Ireland’s most visited heritage site, and see a majestic collection of castle ruins, towers and graveyards. Once the seat of the High Kings of Munster, the site is also said to have been visited by St. Patrick himself. Lots to explore here!

Waterford Cruise Highlights

  • House of Waterford Crystal – popular tourist attraction with factory tours, live glass blowing and an on-site glassworks shop
  • Reginald’s Tower – round tower with massive walls, considered to be the oldest civic urban building in Ireland
  • Bishop’s Palace – museum showcasing 18 th -century architecture, the oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal in the world, and exhibits about live in Ireland from the 1700s to the 1970s
  • Curraghmore House & Gardens – former home of the Marquis of Waterford, surrounded by wilderness and manicured gardens, also home to King John’s Bridge, the oldest bridge in Ireland
  • Rock of Cashel – spectacular collection of ruins on a hilltop, including a castle, church, round tower, walls and graveyard

Waterford Cruise Port

While there are a few cruise berths near the Waterford city center, they can only accommodate smaller vessels, generally shorter than 210 meters (690 feet). In practice, this means that large cruise ships, used by most of the major cruise lines, cannot dock at a quay in Waterford.

Instead, when your on an Ireland cruise with a big cruise line/ship and your itinerary includes Waterford, you’ll most likely stop at Dunmore East. This is, however, a tender port, and you’ll be transported to shore by smaller tender boats. From the Dunmore East port, it’s a 30-minute (taxi) drive to Waterford. The easiest way for cruise passenger to visit Waterford or other attractions in the region is joining a shore excursion. Just something to be aware of.

Dublin, Ireland

The capital of Ireland, Dublin is arguably one of the top destinations in the entire U.K. and Ireland region. Bisected by the River Liffey, this vibrant city has a rich history and is home to many iconic buildings, museums and institutions. Wander around prestigious Trinity College and see the famous Book of Kells, visit Dublin Castle, see the Christchurch Cathedral, relax at massive Phoenix Park or visit the Guinness Storehouse.

Additionally, Ireland’s pub life and trad music scene is known and celebrated all over the world. So, make sure to experience it for yourself when visiting Dublin on your Ireland cruise. Head to bustling Temple Bar, home to numerous bars, galleries and eateries, for a pint in an authentic Irish pub.

Besides its historic buildings and vibrant nightlife, Dublin is also a great literary city. This is, after all, the former home of writers of the likes of Wilde, Beckett, Joyce, Shaw and Yeats.

Dublin Cruise Highlights

  • Temple Bar – lively cobblestone-street neighborhood filled with pubs, shops and art galleries
  • Trinity College – historic and world-renowned university, the library of which houses the famous Book of Kells
  • Jameson Distillery – original site where Jameson whiskey was distilled; now a whiskey tourism attraction
  • Guinness Storehouse – Ireland’s premier brewery experience, with history exhibits, tastings and a rooftop bar
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral – largest and tallest church in Ireland
  • Dublin Castle – one of the oldest surviving buildings in Dublin, seat of the British government in Ireland until 1922
  • Glendalough – a monastery located in a gorgeous valley, probably the best day trip destination from Dublin

Dublin Cruise Port

The Dublin cruise port is made up of two separate areas. Smaller ships dock right up into the River Liffey in the city center. The larger cruise ships, on the other hand, berth at Alexandra Quay, which is in Dublin’s industrial area about 2 km (1.25 miles) from the city center.

Note: If your Ireland cruise itinerary mentions a ‘tendered port’ in Dublin, this means you’re most likely stopping at Dun Laoghaire, a second cruise port 12 km (7.5 mile) south of Dublin.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is one of the largest cities on the Irish Isle. Once a hub of sectarian violence, Belfast has undergone a tremendous transformation and now boasts both reminders of its turbulent past and ultra-modern architecture.

Visit the Titanic Quarter, the very place were the Titanic was built, or tour the city’s historically contested neighborhoods and see political graffiti along Shankill Road and Fall Road. A major port city, Belfast has a vibrant waterfront lined with pubs and restaurants worth exploring, too.

While it does have some of that undeniable Irish charm you’ll find in Dublin or Cork, Belfast is also very much a cosmopolitan British city, with a vibe similar to Edinburgh’s or even London’s, while its Victorian architecture and British pubs remind you that this is, in fact, part of the United Kingdom.

Another reason why Belfast is such a popular port of call on Ireland cruises is its proximity to beautiful coastal landscapes and historic ruins. Go on a tour of the stunning Antrim Coast and see amazing places like the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, the Old Bushmills Distillery and picturesque Dunluce Castle. The most popular day trip destination from Belfast on cruise to Ireland, however, is the Giant’s Causeway, a series of volcanic steps leading into the ocean and Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Belfast Cruise Highlights

  • Titanic Quarter – home to the docks where the Titanic was built, as well as the phenomenal Titanic Belfast museum
  • Shankill Road and Falls Road – two roads symbolic of respectively the loyalist and republican communities in Belfast, lined with political and sectarian murals
  • Belfast pubs – no visit to Belfast is complete without having a pint in a local pub, an essential experience
  • Carrickfergus Castle – 12th-century Norman castle just north of Belfast
  • Antrim Coast and Giant’s Causeway – classic Northern Ireland excursion to stunning coast and the region’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site

Belfast Cruise Port

Cruise ships dock at Belfast Harbour, one of the busiest and biggest ports on the Irish Isle. It’s located at the mouth of the Lagan River, where it empties into the Irish Sea. Where you’ll dock depends on whether you’re on a large cruise ship or a smaller vessel.

Large cruise ships dock at Stormont Dock, which is the longest of Belfast’s two cruise ship docks, while Pollock Dock is smaller and hosts smaller cruise ships. These cruise terminals are about 3 to 5 km (2 to 3 miles) from central Belfast. There are shuttles buses from the Belfast cruise port to the Belfast Welcome Centre near the striking Belfast City Hall.

Massive and endless cliffs overlooking the ocean.

Cruise Lines That Sail to Ireland

Ireland cruises are usually combined with cruises to the British Isles and/or major destinations in northwestern Europe . This culturally and historically rich region attracts millions of tourists each year, which is something that hasn’t escaped the attention of the world’s largest cruise lines. If you’re looking for the best cruises to Ireland, you’ll find them in this (non-exhaustive) list of the major cruise lines that offer Irish cruises.

  • Carnival Cruises
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Holland America Line
  • MSC Cruises
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Silversea Cruises
  • Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Windstar Cruises

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The 5 best destinations you can visit on an Oceania Cruises ship

Posted: November 7, 2023 | Last updated: November 7, 2023

Among major cruise lines, Oceania Cruises is particularly known for its diverse array of itineraries.

Despite operating just seven ships, the upscale brand offers voyages in every corner of the world, from North America and Europe to Africa, Asia and Australia. Its vessels visit more than 450 different ports.

For more cruise guides, tips and news, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

Oceania has a particularly large footprint when it comes to Europe itineraries, with five or six of its seven ships spending at least parts of their spring, summer and fall in Europe in a typical year.

Oceania also typically deploys at least one of its vessels to Alaska in the summer.

In the winter, Oceania moves at least two of its vessels to the Caribbean (sometimes more) while basing one ship in Asia and one ship in South America. Yet another vessel will be sent on an around-the-world voyage during winter.

The line typically also offers one or two sailings each year out of Cape Town.

Among the line's voyages, there's everything from seven-night cruises in the Caribbean to 200-day globe-circling voyages. The company generally doesn't do very short sailings of just three or four nights, unlike mass-market lines.

Overwhelmed with the choices? Here are our picks for the five best Oceania cruise destinations.

Northern Europe

Some of Oceania's most interesting itineraries are around the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea.

Each year from April through as late as October, the line sends at least two ships to the region (sometimes more) and offers itineraries ranging from just nine nights to a whopping 51 nights.

The voyages will take you to such Northern European countries as Germany, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, all in a single 10-night vacation. Or you could spend 10 nights visiting multiple ports in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Other voyages focus on Scotland and England.

Related: The ultimate guide to picking the right cruise line for you

Note that Oceania voyages in the Baltic traditionally have included a multinight stay in St. Petersburg, Russia, considered the highlight of any Baltic cruise. But in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Oceania pulled all St. Petersburg stops indefinitely. Whether St. Petersburg will return as a call on Baltic sailings in coming years will depend on whether there is a resolution to the conflict.

In the meantime, Oceania has cut back on Baltic sailings and changed up its port list for the Baltic sailings it has kept.

In Northern Europe, Oceania ships mostly sail out of Southampton, England; Amsterdam; Hamburg, Germany; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Copenhagen; and Oslo.

The Mediterranean

Many of Oceania's most popular itineraries are in the Mediterranean, where it sometimes deploys as many as five ships during parts of the summer.

The Mediterranean trips typically range from about 10 nights to as many as 22 nights, though there occasionally are Mediterranean voyages as short as seven nights. They include voyages focused specifically on the Western Mediterranean or Eastern Mediterranean and some that include stops across both areas.

Typical of the latter is the line's 12-day "Mediterranean Splendors" routing, a one-way trip between Istanbul and Lisbon, Portugal, that brings stops in Turkey, Greece, Malta, Spain and Portugal.

More focused Mediterranean itineraries include the line's nine-day "Cultural Crossroads" voyages between Athens, Greece, and Civitavecchia, Italy (the port for Rome), which mostly concentrate on stops along the west coast of Turkey and the west coast of Italy.

In the Mediterranean, the line's main hubs are Barcelona; Monaco; Valletta, Malta; Civitavecchia and Venice, Italy; Piraeus (the port for Athens), Greece; and Istanbul.

Related: The best Mediterranean cruise for every type of traveler

Oceania typically sends one of its seven ships to Asia every winter for Asia-focused sailings out of such cities as Bangkok, Singapore and Tokyo.

The line also typically sends a second ship on an around-the-world cruise that includes multiple segments in Asia, resulting in two of the line's ships sailing in Asia during the winter.

The vessels typically offer a relatively wide mix of itineraries, never staying in the same part of Asia for too many voyages in a row.

Asia itineraries that Oceania offers include 10-night voyages between Bangkok and Singapore with stops at Ko Samui, Thailand; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; and Nha Trang, Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City.

Related: The best cruise lines for elegance and exclusivity

The line also typically offers several 10-night "Japanese Immersion" sailings each winter out of Yokohama, Japan (the port for Tokyo), with stops at Nagoya, Kobe (for Kyoto), Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kochi and Shimizu in Japan, as well as Busan, South Korea.

Longer Asia itineraries include 18-night "Spiritual Shrines" sailings from Bangkok to Tokyo that include calls in Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan.

Oceania isn't a huge player in Caribbean cruises, unlike its sister company Norwegian Cruise Line . But it typically sends two vessels to Miami every winter to operate warm weather-focused getaways to well-known Caribbean ports. It also offers some Caribbean sailings from other regional ports, including Panama City, Panama.

Typically, Oceania's Caribbean sailings are either 10 or 12 nights, with a typical 10-night voyage featuring stops in St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Dominica, St. Barts, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

A few shorter, seven-night Caribbean itineraries are also available, with routings generally focusing on the Western Caribbean and bringing stops in Mexico, Belize and Honduras.

Among the line's most far-flung Caribbean itineraries for the coming year is a 12-night voyage out of Miami that brings visits to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, Dominica, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia and Antigua.

South America

Oceania typically bases just one ship in South America each year and only for about five months in the winter. However, it also often has a second ship visiting the region briefly as part of an around-the-world cruise.

As a result, the line typically offers around a dozen South America cruise departures in any given year out of such cities as Rio de Janeiro; Santiago, Chile; Buenos Aires; Lima, Peru; and Miami.

Many of Oceania's South America sailings are lengthy, with some extending for as many as 24 to 30 nights.

Among these longer sailings are 24-night trips between Lima and Buenos Aires that include a visit to Antarctica, as well as stops in Chile (including in the Chilean fjords), Argentina and Uruguay.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
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  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
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  • What to pack for your first cruise

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cricket World Cup 2023: New Zealand cruise past Sri Lanka and edge closer to semi-finals

9 November 2023 9 November 2023 . From the section Cricket comments 504

New Zealand all but sealed a World Cup semi-final spot with an easy five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Bengaluru.

Sri Lanka, who were already eliminated, were bowled out for 171, with Black Caps seamer Trent Boult taking 3-36.

In a chaotic start, they slumped to 70-5 in 9.3 overs, with opener Kusal Perera smashing 51 from 28 balls.

New Zealand reached their target in 23.2 overs to give their net run-rate a significant boost and make it unlikely they can be overtaken in fourth.

Pakistan and Afghanistan can still match the Black Caps on 10 points but would need highly improbable margins of victory over England and South Africa respectively to overhaul New Zealand's superior net run rate.

Sri Lanka could not make the most of a decent pitch after being put into bat, with Perera the only member of the top five to reach double figures.

Only stubborn resistance from final pair Maheesh Theekshana, who made 38 not out from 91, and Dilshan Madushanka, who added 19 from 48, helped them avoid a total capitulation.

The Kiwis started brightly in reply through Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra's classy opening stand of 86, then losing five wickets for 76 as they looked to seal victory as quickly as possible, before Glenn Phillips wrapped up the win.

Who needs what to reach World Cup semi-finals?

World cup 2023: table, run-scorers & wicket-takers, new zealand bounce back.

The Black Caps again went under the radar in the build-up but, having finished runners-up in the past two editions, look set for another World Cup knockout stage.

Their positive start of four wins in a row meant they got in a strong position to reach the semi-finals early on, meaning they could afford the the four straight defeats that followed.

Once fourth place is confirmed, it sets up an intriguing encounter against India, who won the meeting in the group stages and are unbeaten, but lost the 2019 semi-final to the Black Caps and are under immense pressure as hosts.

Ravindra, whose 42 here took him back to the top of the run-scoring chart, is the breakout star of the World Cup so far, while there were other positive signs in Conway's return to form and captain Kane Williamson continuing to slot back in effortlessly after injury.

New Zealand have been dealt some injury blows in their bowling attack, with Matt Henry ruled out of the tournament, but they have withstood it all, fighting on in the quiet, dignified way Kiwi sides are admired for.

Boult looked back to his venomous best with the new ball and was backed up by long-time partner Tim Southee, while spinner Mitchell Santner's economical 2-22 took his tally to 15 wickets so far.

They may not go into tournaments as favourites, but they remain a team to fear and will be desperate to make it third time lucky in their quest for World Cup glory.

'Everyone wants a piece of the host nation' - reaction

Sri Lanka captain Kusal Mendis: "We lost too many wickets in the first 10 overs - 300 would have been a good score on that pitch.

"I am very happy to see a couple of players putting their hands up and performing. Those guys will be our guys for the future."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson: "There are a few teams that could end up on similar points so it's out of our control.

"Hopefully, if it goes our way and we get to a semi, to play the host team will be a great opportunity. We'll look forward to the challenge if we get there."

Player of the Match, New Zealand's Trent Boult: "It was a big game for us and must-win, so it is pleasing to get the result.

"We want to push for a big finish. Everyone wants a piece of the host nation. They are playing phenomenal cricket. I'm sure it will be an exciting game."

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James Maddison of Tottenham Hotspur goes down with an injury

Maddison withdraws from England squad with injury

Elsewhere on the bbc.

Death of A Codebreaker

Re-examining the baffling death of an MI6 genius

Dig deeper into the story of Gareth Williams, whose body was found inside a bag in his bath in 2010


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Poonam Taneja seeks the children who disappeared in the final days of the war against IS

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World Cup features and quizzes

Ben Stokes

Ultimate team man Stokes refuses to 'leave early'

Former England captain Eoin Morgan working as a pundit on Sky Sports

England are a 'sinking ship' - ex-captain Morgan

Australia's Glenn Maxwell celebrates his match-winning double century against Afghanistan at the 2023 Cricket World Cup with team-mate Mitchell Starc

Is Maxwell's 'miracle' the greatest men's ODI innings?

Roelof van der Merwe

Dutch 'Bulldog' plots England upset in $500,000 match

Bangladesh players celebrate after Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews is given out timed out

Bangladesh's actions 'disgraceful' - Mathews

Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews looks at his broken helmet after being timed out in the World Cup match against Bangladesh

Mathews' unwanted history - watch unique dismissal, reaction and vote

Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews

Watch: Sri Lanka's Mathews timed out before facing first ball

Smog in Delhi

Bangladesh play Sri Lanka in 'very unhealthy' air

Graphic of Virat Kohli

'Kohli the one-day king and king for one day'

Rashid Khan, Trent Boult & Pat Cummins

When politics derailed England's World Cup campaign

New Zealand all-rounder Rachin Ravindra (left), Australia spin bowler Adam Zampa (middle), South Africa wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock (right)

World Cup fixtures - full list

Also in sport.

Glenn Maxwell celebrates his double century that secured victory for Australia against Afghanistan at the Cricket World Cup

'My whole body was shaking' - Maxwell on record 201

Harry Kane, Demarai Gray, Sergio Aguero

Aguero, Kane and Gray in best Premier League last-minute goals

Rachin Ravindra and Glenn Phillips

New Zealand on brink of semis after easy win over Sri Lanka

Claressa Shields cheers on leaving the ring

'Don't mess with Claressa' - a fighter as hard as Flint

Ben Stokes

'Worst ball of the World Cup' - Stokes smashes Dutt for six

Wayne Barnes

Social media abuse crossed line - World Cup final referee

Coleraine players celebrate penalty shootout win

Watch: Every spot-kick as Coleraine beat Ballymena in 44-penalty shootout

Louis Theroux and Anthony Joshua with their fists up

Rap battles & feeling the pressure - Theroux interviews Joshua

Caster Semenya

Semenya 'not ashamed of being different'

Destiny Udogie of Tottenham Hotspur looks dejected after being shown a red card

'One of the most mind-boggling Premier League games ever'

Justine Blainey smiles after winning her final court case and being allowed to play ice hockey with boys

'Yes, you're good enough - but you're a girl'

Fernando Alonso celebrating on the podium after securing third place at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix

'Alonso masterclass burnishes the legend of one of the greatest'

Harry Kane

Kane's record-breaking start at Bayern - but can he beat Lewandowski?

best ireland scotland cruises

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Cruises to Ireland and Scotland

Fascinating history and pastoral landscapes await.

On a cruise to Ireland and Scotland, take in the wonderfully contrasting scenery, from Ireland’s lush, rolling countryside to Scotland’s much starker beauty, where mountains slope down to serene lochs, inlets from the sea carved by ancient glaciers. 

This corner of Europe is packed with culture and history, both ancient and more recent. In Scotland, you’ll come across grand, turreted castles and atmospheric ruins, as well as cosmopolitan cities including Glasgow and Edinburgh, each with world-class art galleries. In Ireland, you’ll find history shaped by everything from the Vikings to the golden age of shipbuilding. Don’t forget those famously cozy pubs—the perfect setting for sampling a pint of Guinness.


Featured ports of call, belfast, ireland.

Dynamic Belfast, once famed as a community divided by “The Troubles”, has reinvented itself as a thriving, modern city with a bustling waterfront, grand Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and a lively pub scene. Take a city tour to see the vivid street art on the Peace Wall, and explore the superb Titanic Belfast to learn about the ill-fated liner. Or head to the Giant’s Causeway, an expanse of 40,000 basalt columns on the wild Atlantic coast, created by an ancient volcanic eruption.

Glasgow, Scotland

As well as being a center of imposing Victorian architecture, the buzzing university city of Glasgow is rich in culture, from the priceless art of Kelvingrove to the archaeological treasures of the Burrell Collection. Edinburgh is just over an hour away, and you’re also close to serene Loch Lomond and the forested mountains of the Trossachs National Park. The shopping in Glasgow is superb, whether you’re in the market for tartan, Scottish whisky and craft gin, or your own set of bagpipes.

Cork (Cobh), Ireland

Immerse yourself in the medieval history and Gothic architecture of enchanting Cork. Visit romantic Blarney Castle, a 15th-century fortress with beautiful gardens, and kiss the legendary Blarney Stone to be granted the “gift of the gab”. Sample the famed Jameson Irish Whiskey, shop for exquisite Waterford Crystal, and get a taste of life in Victorian times on a tour of the imposing Muckross House, located deep in the verdant countryside.

View All Cruises to Ireland & Scotland

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    Sample the famed Jameson Irish Whiskey, shop for exquisite Waterford Crystal, and get a taste of life in Victorian times on a tour of the imposing Muckross House, located deep in the verdant countryside. Discover fascinating history and pastoral landscapes on a cruise to Ireland and Scotland with Celebrity Cruises. Voted Best Premium Cruise Line.

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    Sample the famed Jameson Irish Whiskey, shop for exquisite Waterford Crystal, and get a taste of life in Victorian times on a tour of the imposing Muckross House, located deep in the verdant countryside. Discover fascinating history and pastoral landscapes on a cruise to Ireland and Scotland with Celebrity Cruises. Voted Best Premium Cruise Line.