Wild Scotland

Greg Mortimer Luxury Expidition Cruise Ship
Greg Mortimer — Z
130 Passengers
Adventure Options

History comes to life as you view important Neolithic monuments—the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, and Skara Brae—and other architectural wonders, from Mousa’s Iron Age broch and 12th-century Iona Abbey to the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. This voyage may be combined with Wild Ireland for a comprehensive view of the region.

Expedition Highlights
• Search for a variety of seabirds—puffins, gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes, and more—many will be tending to downy chicks.
• Visit Giant’s Causeway where some 40,000 closely-packed hexagonal columns descend like a staircase into the sea.
• Discover important Neolithic monuments—the Standing Stones of Stenness; the Ring of Brodgar; and Skara Brae, a well-preserved Stone Age village.
• Explore a variety of architectural wonders, from Mousa’s Iron Age broch and 12th-century Iona Abbey to the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.

Day 1 — Home to Belfast, Northern Ireland

Board your independent overnight flight to the U.K. (flight not included.)

Day 2 — Belfast

Check in to the Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast, with the rest of the day at leisure to explore the city on your own. Gather at the hotel this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.

Day 3 — Belfast / Portrush, Giant’s Causeway / Embarkation / Isle of Islay

Depart overland for Portrush for a visit to the World Heritage Site of Giant’s Causeway. This three-mile section of coastline is a geological masterpiece—some 40,000 closely-packed hexagonal columns of varying heights line the coast and descend like a staircase into the sea. Embark the Greg Mortimer and, after lunch, go ashore on the Isle of Islay for a tour of the Ardbeg Distillery.

Day 4 — Staffa, Inner Hebrides

Weather permitting, spend the morning exploring the uninhabited island of Staffa by Zodiac and its most famous feature, Fingal’s Cave. The cave’s peculiar rock formations and unusual coloring are a delight to behold, and the wonderful echo of the sea from within served as the inspiration for Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture.

In 563 AD the Christian missionary, St. Columba, built a monastery on Iona and spread Christianity throughout Scotland. Though the monastery suffered repeated attacks by Vikings over the centuries and the original was destroyed, it was rebuilt each time and some of these later buildings still stand. Visit the monastery site; the nearby cemetery of St. Oran, where numerous Scottish kings are buried; and the 12th-century Iona Abbey.

Day 5 — St. Kilda, Outer Hebrides / Flannan Islands

Spend the morning at St. Kilda, once home to a small community, evidenced by abandoned houses and cleits, beehive-shaped cells where goods were stored. Spend the afternoon cruising among the Flannan Islands—puffins, fulmars, murres, and kittiwakes should be plentiful.

Day 6 — Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Arrive in the capital city of Kirkwall on Mainland Island in the Orkneys today for visits to the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral and some of the island’s major archaeological sites. Visit the enigmatic Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, and Skara Brae, a remarkably well-preserved Stone Age village buried in sand some 4,500 years ago. Return to Kirkwall for an afternoon walking tour of this charming city.

Day 7 — Lerwick, Shetland Islands / Isle of Noss / Mousa

This morning enjoy a guided walking tour of Lerwick, capital of the Shetland Islands, which are steeped in Norse heritage. After the tour there will be free time to stroll the narrow streets and browse the many shops, or raise a pint at the local pub. After lunch on board, cruise to the Isle of Noss, where spectacular cliffs support a large and diverse seabird colony, home to 80,000 seabirds—guillemots, razorbills, gannets, shags, and more. This evening go ashore at Mousa to view one of Britain’s finest Iron Age ruins, an unusually well-preserved 40-foot broch, a dry stone structure, dating from about 200 AD.

Day 8 — Fair Isle

One of the most isolated settlements in the British Isles, Fair Isle is renowned for the quality and intricacy of its handmade sweaters, using local wool. It is also famous as a haven for seabirds, including gannets, murres, black-legged kittiwakes, numerous gull species, and a large colony of puffins. After a short walk, join some of the 70 islanders at their community center for tea and cakes, and a visit to the local museum.

Day 9 — Aberdeen / Disembark / Edinburgh / USA

Disembark in Aberdeen this morning, and enjoy a scenic drive to Edinburgh. Board your independent homeward flight, arriving in the USA the same day.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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DeckPlan_GregMortimer-ship
DeckPlan_GregMortimer

         Owner's Suite
480 Sq Ft / 44.5 m² including balcony
Deck 4
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • Separate lounge area • 42" flat-screen TV
         Suite
420 Sq Ft / 38.9 m² including balcony
Deck 7
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV • Separate lounge area
         Category 5
328-433 Sq Ft / 30.5-40.2 m² including balcony
Deck 4
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
         Category 4, Category 3, Category 2
225-337 Sq Ft / 20.9--31.3 m² including balcony
Decks 4 & 6
Twin or double bed • Private En-suite • Floor to ceiling window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
Many "B" staterooms are fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups
         Category 1
170-245 Sq Ft / 15.8-22.8 m²
Deck 3
Twin or double bed (Three twin beds in Triple) • Private En-suite • Porthole window • Desk area • Closet space • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV