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Grand Circumnavigation of Britain and Iceland

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London to London

33 days

2-night hotel stay in London

from $9,595 pp

Saver fares are limited in availability and can be removed at any time.

AEG180707A

  • 33 days
  • 4 countries
  • 2 hotel nights
  • 18 shore excursions
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The small island of Heimaey is followed by Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital of Reykjavik, where the famous Golden Circle includes Thingvellir National Park. Sail to the maritime museum of Isafjordur, on the edge of the Arctic Circle, followed by the lava craters of Akureyri. The charming harbour of Husavik is home to the geothermal Myvatn Nature Baths, then explore Scottish castles, and the remote Viking settlements, on your journey south to Guernsey in the English Channel.

On the Cornish coast of England, see the world's largest global garden, the Eden Project. Explore the Abbey Gardens of Tresco and step ashore in Wales, before crossing the Irish Sea to Dublin, one of Europe’s finest cities.

Scotland is a place of many iconic sights, including Inveraray Castle and the Old Man of Storr. Then take a trip to Hadrian’s Wall or the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, followed by York on the east coast, a cathedral city with an internationally renowned Viking past.

Date
Port
Depart
Arrive
Jul 04
Wed
    Departure
    Depart North America
    Jul 05
    Thu
    London, England , United Kingdom
    Arrive in London and transfer to hotel
    overnight hotel
    Jul 06
    Fri
    London, England , United Kingdom
    Spend the day exploring London
    overnight hotel
    Jul 07
    Sat
    London (Tilbury), England , United Kingdom
    Transfer to Aegean Odyssey in Tilbury near London
    7.00pm
    Jul 08
    Sun
    At sea
    Lectures and activities at sea
    Jul 09
    Mon
    At sea
    Lectures and activities at sea
    Jul 10
    Tue
    Lerwick, Shetland Islands , United Kingdom
    A choice of tours: Lewick walking tour, Archaeological site of Jarlshof or visit Lewick Castle
    1.00pm
    8.00am
    Jul 11
    Wed
    At sea
    Lectures and activities at sea
    Jul 12
    Thu
    Heimaey , Iceland
    Afternoon walking tour and visit to Eldfell, the 'mountain of fire', or visit the island's sheer cliffs and puffin colonies with a highlights of Heimaey tour
    7.00pm
    2.00pm
    Jul 13
    Fri
    Reykjavik , Iceland
    Choice of included tours: The Golden Circle Route, Blue Lagoon or discover Reykjavik's culture
    5.00pm
    9.00am
    Jul 14
    Sat
    Isafjordur , Iceland
    Visit the maritime museum or take a boat trip to nearby Vigur Island
    5.00pm
    10.00am
    Jul 15
    Sun
    Akureyri , Iceland
    Discover the landscape of pseudo-craters, lava and geothermal fields
    8.00pm
    9.00am
    Jul 16
    Mon
    Husavik , Iceland
    Ideal chance to take a whale watching boat trip
    6.00pm
    7.00am
    Jul 17
    Tue
    At sea
    Lectures and activities at sea
    Jul 18
    Wed
    Torshavn , Faroe Islands
    Visit the capital of the Danish Faroe Islands, discover the prolific birdlife and colourful turf roofed villages
    1.00pm
    8.00am
    Jul 19
    Thu
    Scrabster, Scotland , United Kingdom
    Visit the most northerly castle on the British mainland, Castle of Mey. Learn more about the highland clearances or stop at the small coastal village of John o’ Groats.
    1.00pm
    9.00am
    Jul 20
    Fri
    Rosyth, Scotland , United Kingdom
    Admire Scotland's capital, with a tour of The Royal Mile or visit Stirling Castle
    1.00pm
    8.00am
    Jul 21
    Sat
    At sea
    Lectures and activities at sea
    Jul 22
    Sun
    London, England , United Kingdom
    Spend the day exploring London
    9.00pm
    8.30am
    Jul 23
    Mon
    At sea
    Lectures and activities at sea
    Jul 24
    Tue
    Guernsey, Channel Islands , United Kingdom
    Highlights include the Hauteville House, home of Victor Hugo, the Candie Gardens and Castle Cornet and the 13th-century fortress
    8.00pm
    2.00pm
    Jul 25
    Wed
    Falmouth, England , United Kingdom
    Visit the Eden Project in Falmouth or take a tour to St Michael's Mount
    8.00pm
    8.00am
    Jul 26
    Thu
      Tresco, Isles of Scilly , United Kingdom
      Spend the morning at Abbey Gardens in Tresco
      6.00pm
      7.00am
      Jul 27
      Fri
      Holyhead, Wales , United Kingdom
      Choice of excursions: Visit Anglesey's coastline or Caenarfon Castle
      8.00pm
      1.00pm
      Jul 28
      Sat
      Dublin , Ireland
      Take in all the great sites including Malahide Castle and Abbey Tavern or visit some of the finest scenery in Ireland - Country Wicklow
      6.00pm
      7:00am
      Jul 29
      Sun
      Oban, Scotland , United Kingdom
      Visit Oban and discover one of Scotland's finest stately homes, Inveraray Castle
      8.00pm
      1.00pm
      Jul 30
      Mon
      Portree, Scotland , United Kingdom
      Step ashore for a half day sightseeting tour in Portree. Visit the fascinating Skye Museum, Dunvegan Castle or the colorful harbor of Portree
      8.00pm
      8.00am
      Jul 31
      Tue
      Scrabster, Scotland , United Kingdom
      Morning spent in Scrabster.
      1.00pm
      8.00am
      Aug 01
      Wed
      Rosyth, Scotland , United Kingdom
      Full day in Rosyth
      7.00pm
      9.00am
      Aug 02
      Thu
      Tyne, England , United Kingdom
      Explore the remains of the Roman Empires, Hadrian's Wall or discover Holy Island
      6.00pm
      7.00am
      Aug 03
      Fri
      Hull, England , United Kingdom
      Spend the day in the old Viking town of York
      8.00pm
      8.00am
      Aug 04
      Sat
      At sea
      Lectures and activities at sea
      Aug 05
      Sun
      London (Tilbury), England , United Kingdom
      Disembark Aegean Odyssey in Tilbury and transfer to airport for flight home
      7.00am

      Lerwick Walking tour and Shetland Museum

      10 Jul Lerwick, Shetland Islands, United Kingdom
      Half Day Extensive WalkingUphill Sections
      For a wonderful insight into the lives and history of the people of Lerwick, take a step back in time on this walking tour that will take you through the colourful and cosmopolitan history of this historic port.

      For a wonderful insight into the lives and history of the people of Lerwick, take a step back in time on this walking tour that will take you through the colourful and cosmopolitan history of this historic port.

      Starting from Victoria Pier, in the heart of the Old Town, you will be transported through the centuries with lively tales of Lerwick's growth, merchant trading, fishing and shipping fleets, and smugglers. Visit the Old Tollbooth, built in 1770 and recently restored; it is used today as the RNLI station. Then see one of Shetland’s famous Lodberries – houses and warehouses on piers that were designed to allow the loading and unloading of goods from boats. In the 18th century, when Lerwick was the premier herring town in Northern Europe, these unique structures would have filled the shoreline. Today, we will visit one of the most picturesque left in the town, with its thick sea-battered walls, slipway, pier and fish-drying shed.

      You will then continue along the Hillhead to see the town’s narrow lanes (or ‘closses’) which run down to the waterfront and, subject to availability, visit Lerwick Town Hall, built in 1883, with its beautiful stained glass windows representing a pictorial narrative of Shetland’s history since Viking times.

      Finally, you will visit the Shetland Museum to learn more about the island’s heritage and culture. This award-winning museum has over 3,000 artefacts on two floors featuring a wealth of beautifully displayed exhibits, making it a visit not to be missed.

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      Archaeological site of Jarlshof

      10 Jul Lerwick, Shetland Islands, United Kingdom
      Half Day Archaeological Site
      The remarkable archaeological site of Jarlshof, located near Shetland’s southern tip, was first uncovered by a violent storm in the winter of 1896/7, revealing an extraordinary settlement embracing at least 5,000 years of human history.

      The remarkable archaeological site of Jarlshof, located near Shetland’s southern tip, was first uncovered by a violent storm in the winter of 1896/7, revealing an extraordinary settlement embracing at least 5,000 years of human history. The site contains a remarkable sequence of stone structures – late Neolithic houses, a Bronze-Age village, an Iron-Age broch or circular stone tower, wheelhouses, several Norse longhouses, a medieval farmstead, and the 16th-century laird’s house, which our guide will take you around.

      On the way to Jarlshof we shall also pass through the rural townships of Fladdabister and, conditions permitting, pause to admire the view of the magnificent Mousa Broch, the tallest and best preserved broch in the world. We will then continue south down the west coast of the island, passing St Ninian’s Isle, where the famous Pictish horde of silver dating from the 9th century was found in 1958.

      Following your tour of the Shetland’s the best known prehistoric archaeological site, we will return to Lerwick, with your guide explaining more about the islands as we look out for Shetland’s famous ponies grazing in the grasslands of the island.

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      Castles and Ponies

      10 Jul Lerwick, Shetland Islands, United Kingdom
      Half Day
      The fishing port of Lerwick, founded in the 17th century, is full of character, especially along the water’s edge where the older buildings are situated.  As we drive through the town, we will see the Town Hall, before turning west to the old town of Scalloway, the original main town and second largest settlement on the island. 

      The fishing port of Lerwick, founded in the 17th century, is full of character, especially along the water’s edge where the older buildings are situated.  As we drive through the town, we will see the Town Hall, before turning west to the old town of Scalloway, the original main town and second largest settlement on the island. 

      On arrival in Scalloway, we will stop to visit the now roofless castle, which was built around 1600 by the tyrant Earl Patrick Stewart, who used forced labour to build his residence and was executed in Edinburgh in 1615. You will then visit the fascinating local museum, which has a special display devoted to the “Shetland Bus” boats which travelled between Shetland and Norway to help the Norwegian Resistance during World War II. Or if you prefer, you may wander through Scalloway’s Main Street and view the waterfront at your leisure.

      Leaving Scalloway, we will travel through the Tingwall Valley, with its Norse heritage, pausing for a photo stop to view a small herd of Shetland ponies, hearing more of Shetland`s culture and heritage from our experienced local guide, on our way back to Lerwick.

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      Skansinn and the Lava of Eldfell on Foot

      12 Jul Heimaey, Iceland
      Half Day Extensive WalkingUneven or Volcanic Ground
      Heimaey is the largest and only populated island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago, but its modest size makes a walking tour an ideal way to explore its rich history and natural beauty.

      Heimaey is the largest and only populated island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago, but its modest size makes a walking tour an ideal way to explore its rich history and natural beauty.

      The island’s recent past is especially notable for the enormous volcanic eruption of January 1973, which almost destroyed the naturally formed harbour (where our tour begins) forcing almost all of its 5,000 inhabitants to be evacuated to the mainland. From the harbour it’s just a short walk to Skansinn, site of an old fort built by orders of the Danish king in the 17th century to protect the Vestmannaeyjar islands from theft and foreign trade.

      Near to the fort is a traditional wooden stave church donated by Norway to commemorate the millennium of Christianity in Iceland. From here the walk continues across the lava fields of Eldfell (‘Fire Mountain’) formed a little over 40 years ago by the dramatic volcanic eruption. The edge of Eldfell provides a wonderful view over the harbour town, including the remains of some of the houses buried under lava and ash. Finally, the crater is the perfect place to learn more about how the power of nature has influenced the fate of this picturesque island over the millennia, before we walk back through the town for a return to Aegean Odyssey.

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      UNESCO World Heritage Site

      Heimaey Highlights

      12 Jul Heimaey, Iceland
      Half Day
      Vestmannaeyjar might be a small archipelago in the North Atlantic but what it lacks in size it makes up for in history and natural beauty. The tall cliffs surrounding the perfectly formed natural harbour are inhabited by a multitude of birds, whose eggs are an important source of food for the islanders, as are the birds themselves.

      Vestmannaeyjar might be a small archipelago in the North Atlantic but what it lacks in size it makes up for in history and natural beauty. The tall cliffs surrounding the perfectly formed natural harbour are inhabited by a multitude of birds, whose eggs are an important source of food for the islanders, as are the birds themselves. This is where our island highlights tour begins, from where you will journey past the ruins of some old farmhouses in the Herjólfsdalur Valley to the scenic western part of the island, for an opportunity to view some of the outer islands of the archipelagos, including the youngest of them all, Surtsey, formed during a volcanic eruption in 1963 and now a UNSECO World Heritage Site.

      The peninsula of Stórhöfði offers magnificent views whatever the weather, but on a clear day you may also catch a glimpse of some glaciers on the Icelandic mainland. We will also explore both of the island’s volcanoes: the five thousand-year-old Helgafell or “Holy Mountain”, and the considerably younger Eldfell or “Fire Mountain”, which erupted in 1973 making it necessary to evacuate the islanders to the mainland. A drive over the Eldfell lava field to the fort of Skansinn includes a traditional wooden stave church, donated to the people of Vestmannaeyjar by the state of Norway, to commemorate the millennium of Christianity in Iceland. The tour then concludes with a drive through the harbour town on your way back to the ship.

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      Circumnavigation of Heimaey by Boat

      12 Jul Heimaey, Iceland
      Half Day Boat Ride
      During the 1973 volcanic eruption that occurred on Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar (or Westman Islands) molten hot lava poured across the landscape, burying houses in its wake and extending the length of the island forever.

      During the 1973 volcanic eruption that occurred on Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar (or Westman Islands) molten hot lava poured across the landscape, burying houses in its wake and extending the length of the island forever. Thankfully the flow was cooled by an enormous effort of seawater-spraying that remains one of the most successful disaster strategies of its kind in history. In the years since, scientists from around the world have come to observe the island’s unique geology, while also maintaining a close eye on the volcano to ensure it is always safe.

       

      Circumnavigating this “Pompeii of the North” on-board a comfortable boat, you will also get to see some of the other Westman Islands, of which there are fifteen in total, all of which are uninhabited, plus about thirty rock stacks and skerries. Heimaey has a rich variety of birdlife to observe, including the world’s largest puffin colony, which remains an important source of food for the people of the island. If conditions are suitable you may be lucky enough to spot a whale or some dolphins, before the boat enters the remote Klettshellir Cave. This remarkable cavern, which is only accessible from the water, has wonderful acoustics and is often used for live performances, as your guide will demonstrate by playing some instrumental music. The boat will then return to open water and gently cruise back to the main harbour.

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      The Blue Lagoon

      13 Jul Reykjavik, Iceland
      Half Day
      It’s not hard to see why National Geographic named the healing, tranquil waters of the Blue Lagoon one of the top 25 wonders in the world, or why in recent years it has become the most popular attraction in Iceland.

      It’s not hard to see why National Geographic named the healing, tranquil waters of the Blue Lagoon one of the top 25 wonders in the world, or why in recent years it has become the most popular attraction in Iceland.

      On the way to this relaxing destination, however, the day will begin with a drive through Reykjavík, for some views of the city’s landmarks, including the domed-glass Perlan, known as the Pearl, and the more recently built concert and conference centre of Harpa. Then, leaving Reykjavik behind, the ride will continue through the lava fields of the Reykjanes peninsula to the Blue Lagoon, located amidst a beautiful lava field, seemingly in the middle of nowhere in an otherworldly landscape.

      The Blue Lagoon owes its existence to a nearby geothermal power plant that makes use of geothermal seawater replenished every 40 hours from a mile beneath the earth’s surface. The water is warm, mineral rich and is known to soothe and rejuvenate the skin. The aquamarine colour of the water, the steam and the lava landscape surrounding the Lagoon combine to create a unique and memorable atmosphere.

      The facilities at the Blue Lagoon include a tax-free shop – with a range of mineral-rich Blue Lagoon skin products – a café and restaurant, and excellent changing-room facilities. The Blue Lagoon spa is completely powered by clean geothermal energy and is environmentally certified.

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      Discover Reykjavik's Culture

      13 Jul Reykjavik, Iceland
      Half Day
      With less than 120,000 inhabitants to its name, Reykjavík is certainly one of the smaller capital cities in the world, but it is also one of the most stimulating. This sightseeing tour will take you on a journey to some of its most noteworthy sites, beginning with Laugardalur Valley, the city’s main sports and recreational area, where the Olympic sized open-air swimming pool is filled with geothermal water.

      With less than 120,000 inhabitants to its name, Reykjavík is certainly one of the smaller capital cities in the world, but it is also one of the most stimulating. This sightseeing tour will take you on a journey to some of its most noteworthy sites, beginning with Laugardalur Valley, the city’s main sports and recreational area, where the Olympic sized open-air swimming pool is filled with geothermal water.

      The Árbær open-air museum boasts more than 20 historic buildings, most of which have been relocated from central Reykjavik to form a town square, a village and a farm, making it a pleasant place to enjoy a walk. The museum was founded due to growing concern that “old Reykjavik” was disappearing forever, prompting the city council to create this public park.

      After the Árbær Museum we will move onwards to one of the city’s most architecturally interesting buildings, Perlan (“The Pearl”) which features a huge dome of reflecting glass panels on a hollow steel frame. Perlan has a viewing platform on top of its hot-water tanks that extends full circle, offering splendid views over the city.

      The National Museum is dedicated to preserving Iceland’s cultural heritage from the time of its pioneering settlement right up to the present day. From here we will drive to the old quarter of Reykjavík to see some of its charming colourful houses, on our way to Hallgrímskirkja Church, one of the city’s most recognised landmarks.

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      The golden circle

      13 Jul Reykjavik, Iceland
      Full Day Lunch IncludedUneven or Volcanic Ground
      This full day journey begins with a drive across the ancient undulating lava fields of Mosfellsheið on the way to one of Iceland’s top attractions, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Thingvellir National Park, situated in a rift valley with incredible views of the Reykjanes Ridge. Thingvellir is the only place in the world where any part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, separating the Eurasian and North American plates, is above sea-level.

      This full day journey begins with a drive across the ancient undulating lava fields of Mosfellsheið on the way to one of Iceland’s top attractions, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Thingvellir National Park, situated in a rift valley with incredible views of the Reykjanes Ridge. Thingvellir is the only place in the world where any part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, separating the Eurasian and North American plates, is above sea-level.

      As well as being geologically important, Thingvellir is also where some of the country’s most important historical events have unfolded, making it a sacred place to the people of Iceland. This was where the settlers of Iceland first became a unified nation when its legislative parliament, the Althing, was founded there in the year 930.

      In a country renowned for its numerous waterfalls, the Gullfoss Waterfall, or “Golden Waterfall”, is certainly the most famous. Here, a huge amount of water can be seen cascading down the rocks into a deep ravine, creating a powerful spectacle.

      Finally, the last of the “big three” attractions of the day will be the Geysir geothermal area, from where the word “geyser” originates. Strokkur is an explosive geyser that erupts every few minutes and is another of Iceland’s world famous landmarks.

      Then finally, back in Reykjavík, there will just be time for one last stop at the Perlan, or the Pearl, which has a viewing deck offering great panoramic views over Reykjavik, perfect for taking photos or just relaxing and enjoying the view.

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      Vigur Island by boat

      14 Jul Isafjordur, Iceland
      Half Day Boat RideUneven or Volcanic Ground
      At only two kilometres long and four hundred metres wide, it’s no surprise that Vigur has been home to the same family of farmers for generations. This tour begins with a forty-minute boat ride around the coast of the island for an opportunity to see some of its abundant birdlife in their natural environment, before switching to a walking tour around some impressive man-made relics from Vigur’s traditional farming past.

      At only two kilometres long and four hundred metres wide, it’s no surprise that Vigur has been home to the same family of farmers for generations. This tour begins with a forty-minute boat ride around the coast of the island for an opportunity to see some of its abundant birdlife in their natural environment, before switching to a walking tour around some impressive man-made relics from Vigur’s traditional farming past.

      The island is home to Iceland’s oldest windmill, which was built in 1840 and used for the grinding of wheat imported from Denmark. Despite being decommissioned in 1917 the windmill has been carefully maintained – as has another extraordinary attraction, a two hundred-year-old, eight-oared rowing boat, which is still being used to ferry sheep to the mainland today.

       Many of the houses on Vigur date back to the last century, including Viktoria House, which was erected in 1862 from pre-cut Norwegian wood and subsequently restored in 1993 by the National Museum of Iceland. Another notable house was built in 1884 by a young priest, the descendants of whom still populate the island.

      After finishing the tour, prior to returning to the mainland, coffee and cakes will then be served in a mid-19th century cowshed that has been restored into a beautiful and welcoming reception area.

      Please note that after mid-August the sighting of sea birds cannot be guaranteed, due to fluctuations in seasonal weather.

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      Culture in the Westfjords

      14 Jul Isafjordur, Iceland
      Half Day Uneven or Volcanic Ground
      This tour of the isolated Westfjords of Iceland offers a comprehensive view of life and culture in the region, emphasising the human struggle to survive in such a beautiful but unforgiving landscape. Bolungarvík and Ósvör Fisherman’s Hut is our first destination. This museum is housed in a series of traditional turf-and-stone shacks where the guide, dressed in a typical sheepskin outfit, will explain the history of the area and local methods for salting fish.

      This tour of the isolated Westfjords of Iceland offers a comprehensive view of life and culture in the region, emphasising the human struggle to survive in such a beautiful but unforgiving landscape.

      Bolungarvík and Ósvör Fisherman’s Hut is our first destination. This museum is housed in a series of traditional turf-and-stone shacks where the guide, dressed in a typical sheepskin outfit, will explain the history of the area and local methods for salting fish.

      Not far from the museum is the church of Hólskirkja or “the church on the hill”, built in 1908 and containing several interesting pieces, including two grand bells used to drive away the phantoms that supposedly still reside on the nearby heath.

      Tungudalur Valley is home to a beautiful waterfall and meadow where we will stop for some photo opportunities on our way to the town of Ísafjörður, the largest settlement in the Westfjords and one of the main cultural and trading centres in Iceland.

      After a leisurely stroll around the town’s historic buildings, our last destination will be the Maritime Museum, which features an array of artefacts and information about the region’s fishing industry throughout the centuries. Here you will be able enjoy a snack of Icelandic refreshment – schnapps, dried fish or shark – whilst browsing the exhibits.

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      History of Hesteyri

      14 Jul Isafjordur, Iceland
      Half Day Boat RideUneven or Volcanic Ground
      Looking out over the Denmark Strait towards Greenland on the edge of the Arctic Circle, Hornstrandir is Iceland’s most northern peninsula. In 1975 it became a designated Nature Reserve and is a popular destination for those seeking a truly authentic wilderness experience.

      Looking out over the Denmark Strait towards Greenland on the edge of the Arctic Circle, Hornstrandir is Iceland’s most northern peninsula. In 1975 it became a designated Nature Reserve and is a popular destination for those seeking a truly authentic wilderness experience.

       

      Its capital is the tiny village of Hesteyri, which has remained largely untouched since the 1950s, when the last remaining farmers decided to abandon their homes and return to the mainland. Some of their descendants still make use of these old properties as holiday cabins, but on the whole Hesteyri has become something of a time capsule and is notable for never having seen any motor vehicles.

       

      During the crossing by boat from Isafjordur you will enjoy some spectacular views of the glacial fjords before stepping ashore on the beach for a short guided walk around the village and its surroundings. During your time on Hornstrandir you may be lucky enough to spot some of the indigenous fauna, which consists mostly of arctic foxes, nesting birds and seals. Following the walk, traditional Icelandic refreshments will be served inside the old doctor’s house at Hesteyri, where your guide will be able to explain more about the history of the island. The tour will then return to Isafjordur in good time for dinner on-board Aegean Odyssey.

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      Jewels of the North - Lake Myvatn and Godafoss Waterfall

      15 Jul Akureyri, Iceland
      Full Day Lunch IncludedUneven or Volcanic Ground
      A popular tour encompassing the highlights of Northern Iceland, this journey begins with a drive along the picturesque coastline of Eyjafjörður Fjord to the Goðafoss Waterfall or “Waterfall of the Gods”, referring to an important historical event in the year 1000, when Iceland officially became a Christian nation.

      A popular tour encompassing the highlights of Northern Iceland, this journey begins with a drive along the picturesque coastline of Eyjafjörður Fjord to the Goðafoss Waterfall or “Waterfall of the Gods”, referring to an important historical event in the year 1000, when Iceland officially became a Christian nation.

      Lake Mývatn is a magical location that is home to tens of thousands of birds, including, most notably, thirteen species of ducks. The area surrounding Mývatn is of tremendous geological interest and is one of the few places in the world where Marimo, also known as Cladophora ball, grows.

      The bubbling mud-pots and fumaroles of Námaskarð are a striking geothermal field full of sulphur deposits and boiling springs. With its incredible colours, vents blasting steam from the earth and the loud popping of air bubbles in the mud-pots, the experience is truly otherworldly.

      A short ride onwards is the mystical lava landscape of Dimmuborgir, a dramatic place where the strange formations of volcanic rock have provided inspiration for many Icelandic folktales. The name itself means “dark fortress”, an appropriately mystical epithet for this peculiar terrain.

      Finally, before heading back to Akureyri, we will visit the pseudo-craters of Skútustaðir, formed by explosions of gas during the cooling of boiling lava over the wetlands near the lake. These craters are a popular site for birdwatchers and are protected as a natural conservation area.

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      Whale watching

      16 Jul Husavik, Iceland
      Half Day Boat Ride
      Nestled on the edge of Shaky Bay, the town of Húsavík is globally recognised as one of the best locations in the world to watch whales. Indeed, due to its wide-open bay and rich marine life, there is a higher chance of spotting these incredible marine mammals in Húsavík than anywhere else in Iceland.

      Nestled on the edge of Shaky Bay, the town of Húsavík is globally recognised as one of the best locations in the world to watch whales. Indeed, due to its wide-open bay and rich marine life, there is a higher chance of spotting these incredible marine mammals in Húsavík than anywhere else in Iceland.

      Before heading onto the water, we will have time to visit the Húsavík Whale Museum for more information on the history, biology and habitat of these remarkable creatures. This popular non-profit attraction opened in 1997 as a trial exhibition, but has since been transferred to a permanent location inside an old slaughterhouse, providing 1,600 square metres of space for its displays, including the complete skeletons of several species of whale.

      After finishing at the Museum, we will join our friendly whale-spotting crew who will be able to provide many more details on the various species of whales and dolphins that we hope to be able to spot during our boat trip into the wide waters of Skjálfandi Bay. Like all wild-nature experiences, sightings cannot be guaranteed, but given Húsavík’s reputation, the potential here is always excellent.

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      Torshavn

      18 Jul Torshavn, Faroe Islands
      Half Day Cobbled Streets
      The origins of Torshavn can be traced back to approximately AD850, when it first became the site of a Viking “Ting”, a term that has etymological connections with the Scandinavian “Althing” or “Thing” and the British “Husting”, denoting the site of a parliamentary gathering.

      The origins of Torshavn can be traced back to approximately AD850, when it first became the site of a Viking “Ting”, a term that has etymological connections with the Scandinavian “Althing” or “Thing” and the British “Husting”, denoting the site of a parliamentary gathering.

      The Viking Thing was followed by a marketplace and later a town. When free trade came to the Faroe Islands in 1856, the islands were finally opened up to the rest of the world, marking the beginning of a transformation in Tórshavn’s economy. Today it is one of the smallest and most pleasant capital cities in the world.

      This tour will take you to a scenic viewpoint overlooking the city, before a visit to the Historical Museum to learn more about the Faroes over the last millennium, from Viking to modern times.

      You will also take a stroll around the beautiful open-air museum "Hoyviksgardur" which includes a traditional farmhouse and outbuildings, before taking a walk through the colourful warehouses, 18th century cathedral and iconic turf-roofed homes of the old town, Tinganes.

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      Kirkjubour

      18 Jul Torshavn, Faroe Islands
      Half Day
      Lying on the southern tip of Streymoy is the tiny village of Kirkjubour, where the imposing ruins of Saint Magnus Cathedral dominate the landscape of what was, during the Middle Ages, the island’s ecclesiastical and cultural centre.

      Lying on the southern tip of Streymoy is the tiny village of Kirkjubour, where the imposing ruins of Saint Magnus Cathedral dominate the landscape of what was, during the Middle Ages, the island’s ecclesiastical and cultural centre.

      Construction of the Cathedral began in the late-thirteenth century, using a Gothic architectural style that was common to West Norwegian church-building of the period. Its lack of roof once suggested that it was never completed, but recent research has shown that it was likely to have been roofed at some point after all.

      Until the island’s Catholic diocese was abolished, Kirkjubour was also the site of the Bishop’s palace, but in the centuries since its demise, the remaining foundations have provided the wide stone base for the Roykstovan, a farmstead home to the same Faroese family for seventeen generations.

      The rest of this large building was constructed from logs believed to have drifted to the island from Norway some 700 years ago, while its turf roof and interior reflect the traditional lifestyle of a Faroese farm.

      Looking out from Kirkjubour, to the west of the island, we will also have magnificent views of Koltur, Hestur, Sandoy and Vagar, on our way to and from this important historical site.

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      Castle of Mey

      19 Jul Scrabster, Scotland, United Kingdom
      Half Day Significant Steps
      Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, first saw Barrogill Castle in 1952 while mourning the death of her husband, King George VI. Falling for its ruined isolated charm, and hearing that it was about to be abandoned, she decided to purchase it and return the castle to its original name of Mey.

      Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, first saw Barrogill Castle in 1952 while mourning the death of her husband, King George VI. Falling for its ruined isolated charm, and hearing that it was about to be abandoned, she decided to purchase it and return the castle to its original name of Mey.

      It took two years to renovate the Mey and its parkland, including the delightful garden that, thanks to the twelve-foot high ‘Great Wall of Mey’, is protected from the fierce winds and salt spray blowing in from the Pentland Firth. Indeed the Great Wall was so successful, The Queen Mother even managed to nurture her favourite rose, Albertine, here.

      As part of your guided tour of the castle and gardens, you will be able to learn more about why this property was so close to The Queen Mother’s heart, and also about Prince Charles’ commitment to the future of the Castle of Mey today.

      We will then make a brief stop at Dunnet Head, the most northerly point on the British mainland, which is a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds reserve and home to a lighthouse built by Robert Stevenson in 1831, before returning to Scrabster.

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      Bettyhill & the Highland Clearances

      19 Jul Scrabster, Scotland, United Kingdom
      Half Day
      Bettyhill owes its very existence to one of the darkest episodes in the history of the Highlands, when landowners ruthlessly cleared their lands of tenant farmers to make way for more lucrative sheep – a period that came to be known as the Highland Clearances. Between 1811 and 1821, a total of 15,000 people were evicted from the estates of their landowner, George Leveson-Gower, who would later become known as the reviled Duke of Sutherland.

      Bettyhill owes its very existence to one of the darkest episodes in the history of the Highlands, when landowners ruthlessly cleared their lands of tenant farmers to make way for more lucrative sheep – a period that came to be known as the Highland Clearances. Between 1811 and 1821, a total of 15,000 people were evicted from the estates of their landowner, George Leveson-Gower, who would later become known as the reviled Duke of Sutherland.

      Nearby Rosal was another village brutally emptied of its crofting inhabitants during the clearances. However, in an unusual move by the Duke’s wife, Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland, at her behest the village of Bettyhill was subsequently built in order to house the displaced crofters.

      Today, we will visit the older part of the village, before taking a tour of the Strathnaver Museum, housed inside the old parish church, to learn more about the Clearances and their devastating effect on the population of the Highlands.

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      John O'Groats & Duncansby Head

      19 Jul Scrabster, Scotland, United Kingdom
      Half Day
      This scenic drive takes you along the northern coast of the Scottish mainland to the medieval Canisbay Kirk, a beautifully maintained, startlingly white church that for centuries has served as a landmark for shipping, thanks to its position near turbulent waters.

      This scenic drive takes you along the northern coast of the Scottish mainland to the medieval Canisbay Kirk, a beautifully maintained, startlingly white church that for centuries has served as a landmark for shipping, thanks to its position near turbulent waters.

      We will then visit the most north-easterly point of the Scottish mainland, Duncansby Head, where the scenery is spectacularly dramatic, with views of sea-stacks over the Pentland Firth towards Orkney.

      The tour will then end with a stop at the small coastal village of John o’ Groats, the most northerly inhabited settlement on the island of Britain. This famous location is renowned as the starting point for many who embark on the famous 'End to End' journey to Land's End in England, some 876 miles away.

      After a stroll around the village, there will be time for some shopping and to have a cup of tea before returning to Scrabster.

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      Stirling Castle

      20 Jul Rosyth, Scotland, United Kingdom
      Half Day Significant Steps
      Dramatically perched atop a 250-foot extinct volcano, Stirling Castle dates from the 15th and 16th centuries, when it was the principal residence for Scotland's monarchs. The castle's turbulent history is populated with a host of celebrated figures in Scotland's history, such as Robert the Bruce, William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots.

      Dramatically perched atop a 250-foot extinct volcano, Stirling Castle dates from the 15th and 16th centuries, when it was the principal residence for Scotland's monarchs. The castle's turbulent history is populated with a host of celebrated figures in Scotland's history, such as Robert the Bruce, William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots. A great symbol of Scottish independence, this royal residence and fortress affords magnificent views from its rocky cliff. A self-guided tour takes you into the vast Great Hall, which dates to the Middle Ages and has been restored to its former glory. See the central turreted gatehouse, the great Parliament Hall, and the Royal Chapel, one of the earliest Renaissance buildings in Scotland. Photo opportunities abound as you immerse yourself in Scotland’s history; there are excellent views of the town of Stirling and the site of the battle of Bannockburn. After your tour, you will then have time to browse for souvenirs in the castle's gift shop before returning to Aegean Odyssey.

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      The Royal Mile

      20 Jul Rosyth, Scotland, United Kingdom
      Half Day Extensive Walking
      Alive with culture and history, the capital of Scotland is a thriving UNESCO World Heritage Site. This walking tour of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh's oldest and most historic street, will take you from the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, a route rich with medieval buildings, statues and monuments lining both sides of the street.

      Alive with culture and history, the capital of Scotland is a thriving UNESCO World Heritage Site. This walking tour of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh's oldest and most historic street, will take you from the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, a route rich with medieval buildings, statues and monuments lining both sides of the street.

      The city's dominant landmark is the 12th-century castle atop its rocky, extinct volcanic perch, which affords magnificent views of the city. From here we will walk to Castle Hill, which has a unique collection of ruins, before continuing down Royal Mile to see beautiful Gladstone's Land, a superb example of early 17th-century architecture featuring an outside staircase, arcaded ground floor, oak shutters, leaded glass windows and crow-stepped gables.

      The charming Lady Stair's House, also constructed in the 17th century, was once a private home, but today houses a literary museum devoted to the works of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

      We will then walk through the elegant district of Cannongate, with its quaint Tollbooth that is now a museum detailing life in 18th-century Edinburgh. The design on this building has a delightful series of small, delicate turrets. Finally, standing proudly at the end of Royal Mile, is the magnificent Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen while in Scotland. This ornate, baroque palace is famously known as the home of Mary Queen of Scots and within its walls many dramatic episodes of her turbulent reign unfolded.

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      Castle Cornet & Town Walk

      24 Jul Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom
      Half Day Extensive WalkingUphill Sections
      St Peter Port has a fascinating history. A busy port since Roman times, its deep, safe anchorage and relative remoteness from France has made the town the Channel Islands’ premier harbour. It is a picturesque town with cobbled streets and narrow alleys filled with Regency buildings.

      St Peter Port has a fascinating history. A busy port since Roman times, its deep, safe anchorage and relative remoteness from France has made the town the Channel Islands’ premier harbour. It is a picturesque town with cobbled streets and narrow alleys filled with Regency buildings.

      Our first destination will be Castle Cornet, originally built on an island and now reachable by a 19th-century raised walkway. The castle dates from the 13th Century and was built on the site of Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements for use as a fortification against the French following the English loss of Normandy. Since then it has been partially destroyed and rebuilt many times to guard the entrance to the harbour and offer a sea defence between the islands of Herm, Jethou and Guernsey, and towards Sark over many centuries. 

      After your guide has taken you around the key highlights, you will have free time to enjoy the ‘Story of Castle Cornet’ exhibition or explore the castle and some of its four small gardens within the walls, including the apothecary’s garden, kitchen garden and ornamental gardens. The castle contains a number of other interesting museums including the Maritime Museum, the Story of Castle Cornet Museum, the 201 Squadron RAF (Guernsey's Own) Museum and the Militia Museum. You will then be able to return to Aegean Odyssey with your guide or on your own through the town.

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      Scenic Island Drive

      24 Jul Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom
      Half Day
      This panoramic tour of the Island of Guernsey showcases its beautiful coastline of rocky cliffs and wild sandy bays. Before that, however, we will travel inland along some winding country lanes to visit the delightful Little Chapel, possibly the smallest church in the world, where we will make a short photo stop to admire this fascinating building, beautifully decorated with seashells, pebbles and colourful pieces of broken china.

      This panoramic tour of the Island of Guernsey showcases its beautiful coastline of rocky cliffs and wild sandy bays. Before that, however, we will travel inland along some winding country lanes to visit the delightful Little Chapel, possibly the smallest church in the world, where we will make a short photo stop to admire this fascinating building, beautifully decorated with seashells, pebbles and colourful pieces of broken china. Built in 1914 by two brothers to replicate the grotto at Lourdes, the chapel is a true labour of love that took three attempts to get right.

      We will then continue to the wild cliffs at Pleinmont Point, on the south coast of the island, then west towards the broad sandy bays of Rocquaine Bay, with the Martello Tower of Fort Grey, Vazon Bay and Cobo Bay other highlights, before we return to St Peter Port.

      This panoramic tour of the Island of Guernsey showcases its beautiful coastline of rocky cliffs and wild sandy bays. Before that, however, we will travel inland along some winding country lanes to visit the delightful Little Chapel, possibly the smallest church in the world, where we will make a short photo stop to admire this fascinating building, beautifully decorated with seashells, pebbles and colourful pieces of broken china. Built in 1914 by two brothers to replicate the grotto at Lourdes, the chapel is a true labour of love that took three attempts to get right.

      We will then continue to the wild cliffs at Pleinmont Point, on the south coast of the island, then west towards the broad sandy bays of Rocquaine Bay, with the Martello Tower of Fort Grey, Vazon Bay and Cobo Bay other highlights, before we return to St Peter Port.

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      The Eden Project

      25 Jul Falmouth, England, United Kingdom
      Full Day Uphill Sections
      Departing from the pier at Falmouth, your route takes you through Cornwall's city of Truro, offering a view of the three-spired cathedral, then cross the peaceful countryside of small villages, granite farmhouses and hedged fields before arriving at Eden. On arrival at the Eden Project, near St Austell, you will have approximately three hours to visit this dramatic global garden at your leisure.

      Departing from the pier at Falmouth, your route takes you through Cornwall's city of Truro, offering a view of the three-spired cathedral, then cross the peaceful countryside of small villages, granite farmhouses and hedged fields before arriving at Eden. On arrival at the Eden Project, near St Austell, you will have approximately three hours to visit this dramatic global garden at your leisure.

      The Eden Project opened in April 2001 and is the world's largest global garden. The effect is breathtaking: a cultural melting pot of global plants, both wild and cultivated, are housed in a glass dome large enough to fully enclose the Tower of London in its 60 meter deep crater. The Garden of Eden contains plants and trees ranging from the Amazon to West Africa to Malaysia and is the only one of its kind anywhere in the world.

      As well as the outdoor landscape, there is a chance to visit the biomes – giant conservatories with cathedral-like qualities. The Humid Tropics Biome allows you to experience the sights, smells, and sheer scale of the rainforest in the world’s largest conservatory, whilst the Warm Temperate Biome showcases the world from the Mediterranean to South Africa and California, demonstrating how the plants thrive on drought and poor thin soils. Learn about the inter-relationship between men and plants throughout history and marvel at the interesting displays and retail outlets. Following a day indulging the senses re-board your motorcoach for the journey back to the pier.

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      St. Michaels Mount

      25 Jul Falmouth, England, United Kingdom
      Half Day Extensive WalkingCobbled StreetsSignificant StepsUphill Sections
      Transfer from the ship to Marazion before arriving at St Michael’s Mount, a place described as the jewel in Cornwall’s crown. Separated from the mainland by a causeway covered by sea at high water, St Michael's Mount beats to a pace of life ruled by weather and tides.

      Transfer from the ship to Marazion before arriving at St Michael’s Mount, a place described as the jewel in Cornwall’s crown. Separated from the mainland by a causeway covered by sea at high water, St Michael's Mount beats to a pace of life ruled by weather and tides.

      Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims over the ages who have looked out over the rocky ledge on the western side of the island. It was here, according to legend, a vision of the Archangel St Michael appeared to some fishermen in the year 495. Following the Norman Conquest in 1066, the invaders were struck by the similarity of the mount to their own Mont St Michel off the Normandy coastline, whose monks were invited to build a smaller abbey here in Cornwall. During Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, St Michael’s Mount was turned into a coastline defence to protect England from feared French invasion. In 1659, the Mount was purchased by Sir John St Aubyn whose descendants turned the fortress into a magnificent residence and still reside in this ancestral home today.

      Enjoy a guided tour of the Castle on St Michael’s Mount followed by some free time to take photographs and soak up the scenery. There are also some wonderful shops around the harbour area – the perfect place to buy a memento of your day.

      Cross back over to Marazion and spend some free time in this tranquil, beautiful coastal town. Enjoy stunning views towards the Lizard Peninsula as you marvel at its clean, sandy beaches before re-boarding your coach for the return journey back to Falmouth.

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      Abbey Gardens

      26 Jul Tresco, Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom
      Half Day Extensive WalkingUphill Sections
      Tresco is best known for its Abbey Gardens that were laid out by the remarkable Augustus Smith, a wealthy merchant banker who leased the islands from the Duchy of Cornwall in the mid-1830s. Work on the gardens commenced in 1834 on the site of the old Benedictine Abbey, and by building tall windbreaks, Augustus Smith (a botanist and plant collector) was able to channel the weather up and over the network of walled enclosures he built around the Priory ruins.

      Tresco is best known for its Abbey Gardens that were laid out by the remarkable Augustus Smith, a wealthy merchant banker who leased the islands from the Duchy of Cornwall in the mid-1830s. Work on the gardens commenced in 1834 on the site of the old Benedictine Abbey, and by building tall windbreaks, Augustus Smith (a botanist and plant collector) was able to channel the weather up and over the network of walled enclosures he built around the Priory ruins.

      The three terraces he carved from the rocky, south facing slope looking towards St Mary's were thus able to maximize the generous climate that Tresco enjoys thanks to the prevailing effects of the Gulf Stream. The climate is mild, with sunshine hours generally greater than the UK average. The rainfall is also less, while winter frost and snow is unexpected.

      Something of a perennial Kew Gardens, but without the glass, Tresco seems able to shrug off the salty spray and Atlantic gales, to host around 20,000 exotic plants, many of which would stand no chance on the Cornish mainland, less than 30 miles away. Yet even during the winter equinox more than 300 plants will be in flower here. All in all, the garden is home to species from 80 countries, ranging from Brazil to New Zealand and Burma to South Africa, which is why today it remains a major attraction of the islands.

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      Anglesey's Coastline

      27 Jul Holyhead, Wales, United Kingdom
      Half Day
      In a region with a rich history of Viking, Celtic and Medieval settlers, this half-day tour will begin at the very western point of the Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn in Welsh) near the tiny islet known as South Stack. Separated from Holyhead by 30 metres of turbulent sea, the Stack is home to a glorious lighthouse and, during the summer months, to over 4,000 seabirds, including puffins, fulmars, guillemots and razorbills, which you may be able to spot during your time here.

      In a region with a rich history of Viking, Celtic and Medieval settlers, this half-day tour will begin at the very western point of the Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn in Welsh) near the tiny islet known as South Stack. Separated from Holyhead by 30 metres of turbulent sea, the Stack is home to a glorious lighthouse and, during the summer months, to over 4,000 seabirds, including puffins, fulmars, guillemots and razorbills, which you may be able to spot during your time here.

      The tour will then continue south along the coast, through the old capital of North Wales, Aberffraw, to the village of Newborough, before reaching the town with the longest name in the world – Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch – which means, 'The Church of St Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool and the Church of St Tysilio near a red cave'. However, the name is usually shortened by locals to Llanfairpwll, or Llanfair PG. One of Llanfairpwll's unusual claims to fame is that the British Women's Institute movement was founded here in 1915.

      From Llanfairpwll, we will drive along the Menai Strait to Beaumaris, for an outside view of the Castle. This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site is the last and largest of the castles to be built by King Edward I in Wales. After spending some time here, we will then continue along the coast road, through the most northerly village in Wales, Cemaes, set on Anglesey's wildest and most unspoiled stretch of coastline, before heading back in a southerly direction to Holyhead.

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      Caenarfon Castle

      27 Jul Holyhead, Wales, United Kingdom
      Half Day Significant Steps
      Caernarfon is one of the historic centres of Wales that secured its place in tradition soon after King Edward I began building the castle and walled town here in 1283. One year later, after his son, the future King Edward II, was born within its precincts, according to legend, the infant was immediately presented to the people of Wales as their prince.

      Caernarfon is one of the historic centres of Wales that secured its place in tradition soon after King Edward I began building the castle and walled town here in 1283. One year later, after his son, the future King Edward II, was born within its precincts, according to legend, the infant was immediately presented to the people of Wales as their prince.

      When in 1301 Edward was formally invested as the first English Prince of Wales, he was also endowed with the rule and revenues of the Crown’s Welsh lands. From then onwards, the eldest son of the sovereign is customarily known as the ‘Prince of Wales’. On 1st July 1969, almost seven centuries later, Prince Charles was formally invested at Caernarfon by his mother Queen Elizabeth II as the twenty-first in this long line of Princes of Wales and heirs to the throne.

      Your tour of Caernarfon Castle will give you a fascinating insight into one of the most impressive of all the castles built by Edward I, which is thought to have been modelled on those of Constantinople. This stronghold had to be capable, if occasion required, of accommodating the household of the king’s eldest son along with his council, his family, guests and all those who attended them. Arguably the finest castle in Britain, it has two main gatehouses, and though the Queen’s Gate was never completed, the King’s Gate has been cited as the supreme British example of the immense strength of medieval fortification.

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      Dublin City Highlights

      28 Jul Dublin, Ireland
      Half Day Cobbled Streets
      Dublin Bay, with its great sweep of coast, from the rocky brow of Howth to the headland of Dalkey, is a fitting introduction to one of Europe’s finest capitals, a place that is particularly rich in domestic architecture of the 18th century.

      Dublin Bay, with its great sweep of coast, from the rocky brow of Howth to the headland of Dalkey, is a fitting introduction to one of Europe’s finest capitals, a place that is particularly rich in domestic architecture of the 18th century.

      Departing by coach from the pier, we will pass the Customs House on the north bank of the River Liffey, designed by James Gandon and completed in 1791, and head onwards to the Old Parliament House that is now the Bank of Ireland and Trinity College. Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity is Ireland’s oldest college, with a library that includes the world-famous Book of Kells, a hand-illuminated manuscript of the Gospels, which we will see during our tour of this historic building. Leaving Trinity College behind, we continue past the Georgian squares of Merrion and Fitzwilliam, to the National Gallery of Ireland, the Government Buildings and St Stephen’s Green.

      Dublin Castle, City Hall and Christchurch Cathedral make up the last part of the highlights excursion, before we arrive at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Founded in 1190, St Patrick’s is perhaps best known for its association with Jonathan Swift, who was Dean here from 1713 to 1745. Indeed the pulpit from which he preached is still to be seen.

      Finally, on the north side of Dublin’s River Liffey, you will see the Four Courts, Ireland’s courts of justice, in an area that also boasts the wide boulevard of O’Connell Street and the General Post Office, scene of the 1916 uprising and birthplace of the Irish nation.

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      Coastal Drive and Malahide Castle

      28 Jul Dublin, Ireland
      Half Day Significant Steps
      Malahide Castle, set in 250 acres of parkland, dates back to the 14th century, during which time it remained under the care of the Talbot family for hundreds of years, until the death of the Lord Talbot in 1975, when Dublin Tourism subsequently acquired it. Since then it has changed hands and is now looked after by Shannon Heritage, which has resulted in great improvements, including a new exhibition and interpretative centre.

      Malahide Castle, set in 250 acres of parkland, dates back to the 14th century, during which time it remained under the care of the Talbot family for hundreds of years, until the death of the Lord Talbot in 1975, when Dublin Tourism subsequently acquired it. Since then it has changed hands and is now looked after by Shannon Heritage, which has resulted in great improvements, including a new exhibition and interpretative centre. The Secret Gardens, walled gardens and beautiful Victorian glasshouse have only recently become open to the public, so you will have time to explore these as well as inside the castle, which boasts one of the finest collections of Irish period furniture in the country, alongside an outstanding collection of Irish portrait paintings.

      Leaving the castle behind, the tour then continues with a scenic drive along the coast of Malahide to Portmarnock, location of the world-famous Golf Club, that for many years was home to the Irish Open Championship. Then it will be time to stop for some welcome refreshments at the 16th-century Abbey Tavern, in the quaint fishing port of Howth. Nestling against the ancient ruins of Howth Abbey, this traditional tavern is the ideal spot to enjoy a short rest and savour the atmosphere of old Ireland. As you enter you will be struck by its old-world charm, authenticity and simplicity.  Blazing turf fires, original stone walls, flagged floors and gaslights make for a truly warm welcome.

      Driving over the summit of Howth Head, you will then enjoy some wonderful views of Dublin Bay and the Dublin Mountains beyond, before returning to port via Dollymount and Clontarf.

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      Inveraray Castle

      29 Jul Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom
      Half Day
      This scenic drive from Oban to Inveraray will take you along the shores of the narrow Loch Etive to Taynuilt, which boasts some fine views over the mighty Ben Cruachan, the highest point in Argyll and Bute.

      This scenic drive from Oban to Inveraray will take you along the shores of the narrow Loch Etive to Taynuilt, which boasts some fine views over the mighty Ben Cruachan, the highest point in Argyll and Bute. Driving over the Pass of Brander you will see Loch Awe and the striking ruins of Kilchurn Castle, before you arrive at Inveraray, in the wooded Glen of the Aray, on the unspoilt shores of Loch Fyne. Just a short distance from here is the imposing castle, located in 16 acres of parkland, since it was built in the 18th century it has been home to each successive Duke of Argyll and has also been used as a location in Downton Abbey. Combining Baroque, Palladian and Gothic architecture, this beautifully-presented country house has a fine collection of family portraits and tapestries, French 18th-century furniture and an impressive armoury. The formal gardens have recently become open to visitors, so you may also take a stroll around these before we return to Oban.

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      Scenic Skye

      30 Jul Portree, Scotland, United Kingdom
      The colourful harbour of Portree has a name meaning “Port of the King” – an epithet it was given following a visit by James V in 1540. This tour will take you from the port into some of the most delightful and spectacular Scottish island scenery to be found in the northern kingdom.

      The colourful harbour of Portree has a name meaning “Port of the King” – an epithet it was given following a visit by James V in 1540. This tour will take you from the port into some of the most delightful and spectacular Scottish island scenery to be found in the northern kingdom.

      A turbulent geological history has given the Isle of Skye a dramatic variety of terrain, from the rugged volcanic plateau of northern Skye to the ice-sculpted peaks of Britain’s most dramatic mountain range, the Cuillin, where the hillsides are scattered with sheep and cattle as well as the ruins of traditional crofts. The island’s most famous historical association is with Bonnie Prince Charlie who, after famously fleeing to its shores disguised as a maidservant in 1746, is said to have claimed, “even the Devil shall not follow me here!”

      During your scenic tour your guide will take you further into the fascinating history of this magical island, before your return to Portree.

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      Dunvegan Castle & the Cuillins

      30 Jul Portree, Scotland, United Kingdom
      Half Day
      One of the greatest and most renowned of the Hebridean strongholds, Dunvegan Castle, on the west coast of Skye, has been the seat of the chiefs of the Clan MacLeod since the 13th century, making it the only castle to have been continuously owned and occupied by the same family for a period spanning eight centuries.

      One of the greatest and most renowned of the Hebridean strongholds, Dunvegan Castle, on the west coast of Skye, has been the seat of the chiefs of the Clan MacLeod since the 13th century, making it the only castle to have been continuously owned and occupied by the same family for a period spanning eight centuries.

      On this tour, you will see some priceless heirlooms within its walls, many of which have been passed down through the hands of the MacLeod chiefs since medieval times, including such treasures as the Dunvegan Cup, the mysterious Fairy Flag and Rory Mor’s Horn. You will also have time to explore the gardens and the waterfall known as Rory Mor’s cascade, before enjoying a scenic drive back to Portree with views over the dramatic Cuillin Mountains.

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      Isle of Skye and Museum of Island Life

      30 Jul Portree, Scotland, United Kingdom
      Half Day
      This scenic drive will take you to the northernmost area of the Isle of Skye, the Trotternish Peninsula, location of the Quiraing, or Trotternish landslip, and our first destination, the curious rocky outcrop known as the Old Man of Storr.

      This scenic drive will take you to the northernmost area of the Isle of Skye, the Trotternish Peninsula, location of the Quiraing, or Trotternish landslip, and our first destination, the curious rocky outcrop known as the Old Man of Storr.

      After the Old Man, we will then journey north to Kilt Rock, a dramatic 200-foot-high cliff that is marked with an almost tartan-like pattern by rock strata and features a waterfall tumbling down to the pebbled shore below. Here you will be able to absorb the scenery and take photographs, before continuing past the crofting township of Staffin overlooking sandy Staffin Bay, to the northern tip of the island.

      Along the way your, guide will provide more information on the fascinating history of the island’s geography and social history – in particular, its crofting history, as well as some of the Celtic myths and legends – until we arrive at the settlement of Kilmuir, where you will visit the fascinating Skye Museum of Island Life, which consists of seven traditional thatched cottages offering a unique insight into life on the island in the 19th century. Opened in 1965, the aim of the museum was to completely preserve a township with each cottage depicting the conditions that Victorian crofters faced.

      Finally, we will drive through the pretty coastal village of Uig on our way back to Portree.

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      Cultural Activity

      Corbridge and Chesters Roman Fort

      2 Aug Tyne, England, United Kingdom
      Half Day
      The sleepy English village of Corbridge is an unassuming hamlet with historic ties to Roman Britain, when it provided safe passage over the River Tyne, to the south of Hadrian’s Wall. Today Coria, as it was likely then known, is a place of cobblestone streets lined with quaint eateries and local shops.

      The sleepy English village of Corbridge is an unassuming hamlet with historic ties to Roman Britain, when it provided safe passage over the River Tyne, to the south of Hadrian’s Wall. Today Coria, as it was likely then known, is a place of cobblestone streets lined with quaint eateries and local shops. The market square features an early 19th-century stone water fountain installed by the Second Duke of Northumberland, who took part in the American War of Independence, while the Parish Church of St Andrew is believed to have been consecrated in 676AD.

       

      After enjoying a stroll around this delightful village, your tour of Northumberland’s Roman heritage continues to one of the most northerly Roman military outposts in Britain, the cavalry fort at Chesters. This remarkable archaeological site dates from 124AD, when it was added to a section of the newly built Hadrian’s Wall. Over the next three hundred years approximately five hundred cavalrymen would be garrisoned here at any one time, until the Romans withdrew from Britain in the 5th-century and the site fell into ruin.

       

      With a few dramatic exceptions, only the lowest parts of the walls have survived stone-robbing or ploughing, but Chesters remains the most complete Roman cavalry fort in Britain, with areas that are extraordinarily well-preserved, including the baths, steam room and officers’ quarters. Also on display in the site’s museum are a wonderful array of relics and inscriptions, all of which were found either at the fort or along Hadrian’s Wall.

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      Included
      Choice of Tours
      Cultural Activity

      Delightful Durham - Cathedral and Castle

      2 Aug Tyne, England, United Kingdom
      Half Day
      In the 19th-century the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott was so moved by the beauty of Durham he wrote a poem about it that is now immortalised in stone upon its most picturesque bridge: “Grey towers of Durham,” he declared, “Yet well I love thy mixed and massive piles, Half church of God, half castle ‘gainst the Scot, And long to roam those venerable aisles, With records stored of deeds long since forgot.”

      In the 19th-century the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott was so moved by the beauty of Durham he wrote a poem about it that is now immortalised in stone upon its most picturesque bridge: “Grey towers of Durham,” he declared, “Yet well I love thy mixed and massive piles, Half church of God, half castle ‘gainst the Scot, And long to roam those venerable aisles, With records stored of deeds long since forgot.”

      Scott wasn’t the only artist to be captivated by the city. In 1830, J. M. W. Turner painted the cathedral from a perspective that placed the bridge of Prebends in the background. During the same period trees had recently been planted along the banks of the meandering River Wear, between the ruins of the outer castle wall. The result is an enchanting view that has remained relatively unchanged for nearly 200 years.

      During your time in this peaceful UNESCO World Heritage city you will wander through Durham’s hilly cobblestone streets to the cathedral, where your guide will explain more about the history of this remarkable building. Afterwards there will be plenty of time to explore the riverside shops and cafes, or to enjoy a relaxing stroll across Palace Green to the castle. Since 1840 this medieval complex has been home to University College Durham, which is part of Britain’s most prestigious University after Oxbridge. Although in regular use, it remains open to the public and can be viewed on scheduled tours throughout the day.

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      Included
      Choice of Tours
      Cultural Activity

      York and York Minster

      2 Aug Hull, England, United Kingdom
      Half Day
      Founded by the Romans, conquered by the Vikings, York is a place where history awaits you around every corner and there is always something surprising to discover. During this guided tour of its narrow streets, medieval ramparts and gatehouses known as bars, you will soon come to realise why the city is a ‘must see’ for anyone visiting Yorkshire.

      Founded by the Romans, conquered by the Vikings, York is a place where history awaits you around every corner and there is always something surprising to discover. During this guided tour of its narrow streets, medieval ramparts and gatehouses known as bars, you will soon come to realise why the city is a ‘must see’ for anyone visiting Yorkshire.

      At the centre of the old town is the Cathedral of Saint Peter, more commonly known as York Minster. The origins of this magnificent building go back to 637AD when the first of several churches was completed on the site; but it wasn’t until 1220 when work began on an ambitious new structure that would eventually become one of the biggest and most beautiful cathedrals in northern Europe.

      York Minster is renowned for having the largest collection of medieval stained glass in Britain, with 128 windows constructed from some two million individual pieces. During World War I and World War II every window was removed and placed into storage to ensure their safety for generations to come.

      During your guided tour of this wonderful ecclesiastic masterpiece you will be able to climb the 275 spiralling steps of the central tower, passing medieval pinnacles and gargoyles along the way, for spectacular views across the city and the Yorkshire countryside beyond. Afterwards, free time will be available to explore the shops and cafes of the quaint old town, before your return to Aegean Odyssey in Hull.

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      Included
      Choice of Tours
      Cultural Activity

      Bamburgh Castle and Holy Isle

      2 Aug Tyne, England, United Kingdom
      Full Day Lunch Included
      The northern regions of Britain are home to more castles than anywhere else in the nation, but few are as dramatic as the castle of Bamburgh, which sits atop a high bluff overlooking the Lindisfarne and Holy Islands.

      The northern regions of Britain are home to more castles than anywhere else in the nation, but few are as dramatic as the castle of Bamburgh, which sits atop a high bluff overlooking the Lindisfarne and Holy Islands.

      In his stories of Arthurian legend, the 15th-century writer Thomas Malory believed Bamburgh to be the location of Sir Lancelot’s mythical fortress, Joyous Gard. Between 411AD and 1066AD the site was certainly held by the Saxons, but it was the Normans who built the current stone keep in the 12th-century, around which the modern castle is based. During the Wars of the Roses Bamburgh was the first fortress in England ever to fall under cannon fire, although it survived the assault relatively unscathed. Since the 19th-century it has been inhabited by the Armstrong family, who have painstakingly restored it to its rightful place as one of the most picture-perfect castles in Britain.

      After exploring Bamburgh’s many halls, your tour continues to Holy Island, which played a significant part in the development of Christianity across northern England. It was here that the Irish monk St Aiden first stepped ashore in Northumberland in 635AD and built a monastery from which to spread the word of his religion. Today the priory lies in ruin but wandering through its remains will provide a palpable sense of what life was like during the mediaeval period and reveal why Lindisfarne has remained such a world-renowned Christian sanctuary in the centuries since St Aiden’s demise. After some free time and lunch on the island, your tour will then return to Aegean Odyssey in Tyne.

      Note: The price of this excursion already allows a credit for the unused half day excursion.

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      Optional $ 75
      Choice of Tours
      Cultural Activity

      Heartbeat Country

      3 Aug Hull, England, United Kingdom
      Full Day Lunch Included
      Riding on a steam train through the rolling green countryside of north Yorkshire is one of the most magical experiences you can have in England. On this tour you will board a vintage railway in the quaint market town of Pickering and be transported to the idyllic village of Goathland, which will be instantly recognisable to fans of the television series Heartbeat as “Aidensfield”, or to Harry Potter aficionados as Hogsmeade, the final stop on the Hogwarts Express.

      Riding on a steam train through the rolling green countryside of north Yorkshire is one of the most magical experiences you can have in England. On this tour you will board a vintage railway in the quaint market town of Pickering and be transported to the idyllic village of Goathland, which will be instantly recognisable to fans of the television series Heartbeat as “Aidensfield”, or to Harry Potter aficionados as Hogsmeade, the final stop on the Hogwarts Express.

      Disembarking here you will find the train station virtually unchanged from its Victorian heyday, although the décor is now designed to recreate the post Great War era of the 1920s. Heading into the village, you guide will take you to all the familiar Heartbeat locations, including the Aidensfield Pub, Scripps’ Garage and the shops on the green which featured in many of the show’s 372 episodes.

      Boarding another vintage train, your final stop will be the seaside town of Whitby, famous the world over as the place where Count Dracula’s ship ran aground during a storm in the classic horror novel by Bram Stoker. During your time here you will have the opportunity of visiting a dedicated Heartbeat Exhibition and your guide will also reveal more popular filming locations from the series. After which, there will be plenty of time to enjoy a little shopping, before your return to Aegean Odyssey by coach.

       

      Note: The price of this excursion already allows a credit for the unused half day excursion.

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      Optional $ 89
      Choice of Tours
      Cultural Activity

      Professor Stefan Buczacki

      Professor Stefan Buczacki , Biologist and biographer
      Stefan is currently celebrating thirty years as a cruise ship lecturer to all parts of the world but says that of his many achievements the one of which he is proudest is to have been voted among the one hundred people of Polish descent who have contributed most to the life and culture of Britain -  a list on which he appears, alphabetically, between Bonnie Prince Charlie and King Cnut!

      Stefan is currently celebrating thirty years as a cruise ship lecturer to all parts of the world but says that of his many achievements the one of which he is proudest is to have been voted among the one hundred people of Polish descent who have contributed most to the life and culture of Britain -  a list on which he appears, alphabetically, between Bonnie Prince Charlie and King Cnut!

      Stefan was educated at the Universities of Southampton and Oxford and is a Chartered Biologist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, a Chartered Horticulturist, a founder Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. He holds an honorary chair in Biological Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University, honorary doctorates from the Universities of Southampton and Derby and is an honorary fellow of CABI Biosciences International and of Warwickshire College. He is double past-president of the British Mycological Society and holds the Veitch Memorial Medal in gold of the Royal Horticultural Society, the Benefactors' Medal of the British Mycological Society and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Garden Media Guild.

      Stefan is probably Britain's most experienced media gardening expert and has published over sixty books on natural history and gardening, many of them standard reference works and most translated into several languages. He is believed to be Britain's second biggest selling gardening author and has also written for most national newspapers and leading magazines. Stefan has used his special expertise in fungi to write the most comprehensive field guide to British fungi ever published. His major natural history book, the encyclopaedic Fauna Britannica described the entire wild animal life of the British Isles and its role in British culture.  HRH The Prince of Wales wrote the Foreword and the book was short listed for British Illustrated Book of the Year.

      Among his numerous broadcasting achievements, Stefan appeared most famously on BBC Radio's 'Gardeners' Question Time' as panellist and chairman for a unique unbroken run of over 600 broadcasts in twelve years, just part of a portfolio of well over 1,000 radio programmes.  For three years he presented 'Classic Gardening Forum' on Classic FM and devised, wrote and presented six series of the hugely successful programme 'The Gardening Quiz' on Radio 4.  He has also appeared on or presented around 1,000 television programmes, many featuring his own garden, on every British terrestrial television channel and has presented several series on satellite stations.  He is Patron or Trustee of numerous gardening and science-related bodies including the North of England Zoological Society, owners of award winning Chester Zoo and also has over thirty years experience as an expert witness in matters of litigation involving plants.

      Stefan has a long-standing interest in modern British political history and is recognised internationally as an authority on Winston Churchill and his social circle. His book 'Churchill and Chartwell' was described by the International Churchill Center in Washington DC as '…a thoroughly indispensable standard work, as important for the library of any serious Churchill student as the memoirs of close associates'.  His latest work, a biography of the Hon Venetia Stanley, confidante of prime minister H H Asquith, has already been hailed as 'a masterpiece'.

      Website:  www.stefanbuczacki.co.uk

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      Andy Bunten

      Andy Bunten BSc, MSc, DIC, Ecologist
      Andy has been an obsessive enthusiast about wildlife ever since he can remember. Educated at Cambridge, Newcastle and Imperial College, he then embarked on a career in nature conservation.  He has worked for local government, wildlife trusts, and, for 26 years, the RSPB. 

      Andy has been an obsessive enthusiast about wildlife ever since he can remember. Educated at Cambridge, Newcastle and Imperial College, he then embarked on a career in nature conservation.  He has worked for local government, wildlife trusts, and, for 26 years, the RSPB. 


      He initially worked in RSPB Scotland then headed south to be the Regional Director for the South East of England for 5 years before, in 1991, moving to the North of England to take up the reins of Director there. A highly experienced lecturer, Andy has cruised extensively completing over 20 trips ranging from Costa Rica to the Philippines and from Argentina to Svalbard

      Now an Environmental Consultant, Andy is an enthusiastic traveller and has led wildlife groups to numerous places around the world including the Seychelles, France, Egypt, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Borneo, Norway and Spitzbergen.
       

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      Major General Stephen Carr-Smith

      Major General Stephen Carr-Smith, British Army, Retired
      Stephen Carr-Smith spent 33 years in the Army. During 1962-1982, he served 10 years in Germany at the height of the Cold War. From 1988-1995 he was serving in NATO, most of which was spent helping develop the “New NATO” after the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

      Stephen Carr-Smith spent 33 years in the Army. During 1962-1982, he served 10 years in Germany at the height of the Cold War. From 1988-1995 he was serving in NATO, most of which was spent helping develop the “New NATO” after the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

      His last appointment was as the Deputy Director General of the NATO Communications Agency in Brussels. On leaving the Army in 1995, he worked for a company providing security and mine clearance services in remote and hostile countries; was the Senior Military Advisor to an operational analysis company owned by British Aerospace; and was the Chairman of a company developing opportunities to marry-up Russian technology with western finance and production.

      From 1999 to 2006, he was the Ombudsman for Estate Agents, a national appointment dealing with redress and financial compensation for buyers and sellers of residential property throughout the UK. Since 2009, he has been the Chairman of Help Moving Office, an internet company run by his second son that has now expanded into America.

      He has had a number of other involvements, like being an Honorary Colonel of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) – an all women, uniformed volunteer body that has supported the British Army for 100 years. From 1997 to 2003, he was a Colonel Commandant of the Royal Signals. From 2003 to 2013, he was the President of the Stragglers of Asia Cricket Club, with its origins in the Punjab in the 1920s – and, accompanied by his wife, he led tours to Sri Lanka in 2004 and to India in 2007.

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      Dr Lara Hogg

      Dr Lara Hogg, University of Sheffield
      Lara is a Teaching Associate at the University of Sheffield and an Honorary Research Associate at Cardiff University. She is an expert in the Early Medieval (Viking Age) Archaeology of the North Atlantic, with a special focus on domestic animals. Prior to completing her AHRC funded PhD at Cardiff University, she studied Medieval Archaeology at the University of Nottingham.

      Lara is a Teaching Associate at the University of Sheffield and an Honorary Research Associate at Cardiff University. She is an expert in the Early Medieval (Viking Age) Archaeology of the North Atlantic, with a special focus on domestic animals. Prior to completing her AHRC funded PhD at Cardiff University, she studied Medieval Archaeology at the University of Nottingham. After a brief fling with archaeology in warmer climes (and finding a scorpion in her trench!), she decided to focus on excavations in northern Europe where overfriendly dogs are the major hazard. She has lectured and taught archaeology at the universities of Sheffield, Cardiff, Nottingham and Iceland. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Iceland and the National Museum of the Faroe Islands.

      Heritage, museums and public engagement are other areas of interest for Lara. In 2017 an exhibition based on her PhD research opened at the Reykjavik City Museum. She has co-produced a travelling exhibition on the Vikings in Orkney, and enjoys guiding groups around museums in Iceland. In the name engagement and research she has even found herself falling down a mountain whilst chasing a sheep during the réttir (the annual Icelandic sheep round-up). Bumps and bruises aside, she enjoys encouraging others to engage with her research on animals in the Viking Age through public talks.

      Lara’s interest in the Early Medieval North Atlantic started when, as an undergraduate student, she accidentally found herself excavating a Viking Age farm site in Iceland in the shadow of the most active volcano in Iceland, Hekla. After a summer spent knee-deep in mud, feasting on Icelandic specialities, especially skyr and kleinur, and hoping to witness her first ever volcanic eruption she was hooked. Lara kept returning and in autumn 2012 I moved to Iceland to continue her PhD research. Having successfully avoided sheep’s head and rotten shark, she has yet to find a reason to leave and continues to split her time between Iceland and the UK.

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      Dr John Hughes

      Dr John Hughes, Judge for the Royal horticultural Society
      From his earliest days John Hughes has always grown plants with his main passion being cacti and other succulent plants. Unable to do Botany at ‘A’ level, as only Zoology was offered, he went on to study Industrial Chemistry at University and stay on for his PhD.

      From his earliest days John Hughes has always grown plants with his main passion being cacti and other succulent plants. Unable to do Botany at ‘A’ level, as only Zoology was offered, he went on to study Industrial Chemistry at University and stay on for his PhD. He then embarked on a career as a Forensic Scientist which included a secondment to work in Peru where he fell in love with all things Latin and with South America in particular. He has spent over three years of his life there, often back-packing and looking to learn about all manner of plants from alpines to tropical plants. He has also been a long term member of a field club where members study the British flora and fauna in the countryside.

      Having looked after his parents garden from his early teens, the products of his labour led him to become an active amateur showman and later Horticultural judge. He loves to share his passion for plants and has been a frequent speaker to Horticultural Societies, Cactus Societies and Alpine Garden Society Groups and is Chairman of the London Group of the Alpine Garden Society.  He has been a member of the Royal Horticultural Societies’ Tender Ornamental Plant Committee for over ten years and a judge at all the major RHS shows such as Chelsea and Hampton Court for much of this time. In his talks he hopes to introduce you some of the beautiful plants that we are going to see and talk about his experiences as a judge for the Royal horticultural Society.

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      Prof Chris Stringer

      Prof Chris Stringer, Paleoanthropologist & Research Leader in Human Origins, Natural History Museum London
      Professor Chris Stringer has worked at The Natural History Museum London since 1973, and is now Research Leader in Human Origins and a Fellow of the Royal Society. His early research was on the relationship of Neanderthals and early modern humans in Europe, but through his work on the ‘Recent African Origin’ theory of modern human origins, he now collaborates with archaeologists, dating specialists, and geneticists in attempting to reconstruct the evolution of modern humans globally. He has excavated at sites in Britain and abroad, and he is currently co-directing the Pathways to Ancient Britain project, funded by the Calleva Foundation.

      Professor Chris Stringer has worked at The Natural History Museum London since 1973, and is now Research Leader in Human Origins and a Fellow of the Royal Society. His early research was on the relationship of Neanderthals and early modern humans in Europe, but through his work on the ‘Recent African Origin’ theory of modern human origins, he now collaborates with archaeologists, dating specialists, and geneticists in attempting to reconstruct the evolution of modern humans globally. He has excavated at sites in Britain and abroad, and he is currently co-directing the Pathways to Ancient Britain project, funded by the Calleva Foundation.


      He has published over 300 scientific papers and his recent books include The Complete World of Human Evolution (2011, with Peter Andrews)The Origin of our Species (UK 2011), published in the USA as Lone Survivors: how we came to be the only Humans on Earth (2012), and Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story (2014, with Rob Dinnis). He regularly lectures to University and public audiences, including cruises and tours for Fred Olsen, Scientific American and National Geographic.


      Chris Stringer is a regular contributor to news items on human evolution for UK TV and Radio channels, national and international newspapers and websites, and he has made many appearances on documentaries for UK and international TV channels.

      Click here to read more about Chris's work at The Natural History Museum >> http://www.nhm.ac.uk/our-science/departments-and-staff/staff-directory/chris-stringer.html

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      Grange City Hotel

      London, England, United Kingdom
      2-night hotel stay in London
      Premium Class
      This luxury hotel has sweeping views over the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. The building incorporates the last remaining section of London's Roman Wall.

      This luxury hotel has sweeping views over the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. The building incorporates the last remaining section of London's Roman Wall. The hotel features stunning guest bedrooms and in-house facilities include several vibrant bars and restaurants, and a state-of-the-art Health and Fitness Club, swimming pool and spa.

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      Included

      Grange St Pauls

      London, England, United Kingdom
      2-night hotel stay in London
      Balcony Class
      The Grange St. Paul's is a luxury 5-Star hotel, nestled beside St. Paul's Cathedral in London's bustling business district. Its contemporary glass interior houses 433 guest bedrooms, an array of bars and restaurants, a stunning Ajala Spa, and a private Health and Fitness Club with gym and 18m swimming pool.

      The Grange St. Paul's is a luxury 5-Star hotel, nestled beside St. Paul's Cathedral in London's bustling business district. Its contemporary glass interior houses 433 guest bedrooms, an array of bars and restaurants, a stunning Ajala Spa, and a private Health and Fitness Club with gym and 18m swimming pool.

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      Included

      Voyages to Antiquity is pleased to offer free Economy Class airfare*, available from a variety of US gateways for select cruise itineraries!

      Free roundtrip airfare from select US gateways

      Voyages to Antiquity's Economy Class airfare program uses the world's leading airlines and offers convenient routings and exceptional savings. Upgrade costs for Business Class may be available on request - please call for details.

      Sample gateways for our free roundtrip economy airfare, relevant to select itineraries only, are shown below.

      Sample free economy airfare gateways*

      AtlantaFREENew YorkFREE
      BostonFREEPhiladelphiaFREE
      CharlotteFREEPortland, ORFREE
      ChicagoFREESan AntonioFREE
      DallasFREESan FranciscoFREE
      DenverFREESeattleFREE
      DetroitFREESt LouisFREE
      HoustonFREETampaFREE
      Los AngelesFREEMinneapolisFREE
      MiamiFREEWashington DCFREE

      *Free roundtrip airfare is economy class only, varies by gateway and departure, and includes all government taxes, fees and airline fuel surcharges, which may change at any time. Airline-imposed personal charges such as baggage fees may apply.

      Some restrictions apply. You may not be able to change your confirmed flight arrangements without an additional charge. All air itineraries are subject to change and are not considered final until ticketed at 30 days prior to sailing. Some gateways may require departures 1 day prior to dates on pre-cruise land programs or 1 day later than dates on post-cruise programs shown on the website and in the brochure.

      Customized air travel

      You may wish to make changes to the flight itinerary provided by Voyages to Antiquity.

      Your travel agent can make these flight requests on your behalf when you confirm your reservation. For example, you may wish to request travel on a specific carrier, or travel on different departure or return dates. Any additional costs associated with the change(s) will be added to your reservation once your new itinerary has been accepted.

      Seat assignments

      Voyages to Antiquity will request aisle and next seating when making your flight arrangements. Some airlines no longer allow specific seats to be requested for Economy Class travel. You or your travel agent may contact the carrier directly to request any special arrangements.

      Frequent Flyer mileage

      You will be able to accrue miles on most carriers we use, but will not be able to use miles for upgrades or any other amenities. Special requests and services should be arranged directly with the airline. 

      Included transfers

      Transfers between airports, hotels and Aegean Odyssey while on your cruise-tour abroad are included. You'll be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred in comfort to the ship. At the end of your cruise holiday, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight home. 

      Note: Included transfers are provided only in conjunction with arrival and departure dates of cruise-tours (including optional pre- and post hotel stays) as outlined on the website and our brochure. The included transfers are only available for guests using Voyages to Antiquity air arrangements. 

      A

      Owner's Suites

      BALCONY
      Owner's Suites, BALCONY
      Layout
      virtual

      550 sq ft staterooms located on Lido Deck. Marble bathrooms, dressing area, separate sitting area and private balcony. Convertible twin beds.

      Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      $21,950*pp
      $23,250*pp
      Lido
      Lido
      B

      Junior Suites

      BALCONY
      Junior Suites, BALCONY
      Layout
      virtual

      310 sq ft staterooms located on Lido Deck. Marble bathrooms, walk-in closet, sitting area and private balcony. Convertible twin beds.

      Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

      $20,150*pp
      $21,350*pp
      Lido
      Lido
      C

      Deluxe Balcony

      BALCONY
      Deluxe Balcony, BALCONY
      Layout
      virtual

      275 sq ft staterooms located on Lido & Bridge Decks. Bath/shower or walk-in shower, sitting area and private balcony. Fixed double bed, separate twins or convertible twins depending on cabin selected. Cabins 807, 808 on Lido Deck are smaller and do not have a sitting area.

      Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

      $17,995*pp
      $19,095*pp
      Bridge
      Bridge
      Lido
      Lido
      D

      Deluxe Balcony

      BALCONY
      Deluxe Balcony, BALCONY
      Layout
      virtual

      275 sq ft staterooms located on Belvedere Deck. Bath/shower or walk-in shower, sitting area and private balcony. Fixed double bed, separate twins or convertible twins depending on cabin selected.

      Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

      $17,150*pp
      $18,150*pp
      Belvedere
      Belvedere
      E

      Deluxe Outside

      PREMIUM
      Deluxe Outside, PREMIUM
      Layout
      virtual

      215 sq ft staterooms located on Belvedere Deck. Private bath/ shower or walk-in shower. Convertible twin beds. Cabins 556 and 563 are smaller but have a fixed double bed and a balcony.

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      $15,595*pp
      $16,550*pp
      Belvedere
      Belvedere
      F

      Deluxe Outside

      PREMIUM
      Deluxe Outside, PREMIUM
      Layout
      virtual

      170-200sq ft staterooms located on Bridge and Belvedere Decks. Bath/Shower or walk-in shower.
      Convertible twin beds or Fixed Double Bed. Cabins 535 and 536 have fixed twin beds only.

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      $14,895*pp
      $15,850*pp
      Belvedere
      Belvedere
      Bridge
      Bridge
      Lido
      Lido
      G

      Premium Outside

      PREMIUM
      Premium Outside, PREMIUM
      Layout
      virtual

      130-150 sq ft staterooms located on Bridge & Lido Decks. Private shower, fixed twin beds, convertible twin beds or fixed double bed.

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      $14,095*pp
      $14,895*pp
      Bridge
      Bridge
      Lido
      Lido
      H

      Premium Outside

      PREMIUM
      Premium Outside, PREMIUM
      Layout
      virtual

      Premium Outside 130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere and Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      $13,195*pp
      $13,995*pp
      Belvedere
      Belvedere
      Columbus
      Columbus
      I*

      Premium Outside

      PREMIUM
      Premium Outside, PREMIUM
      Layout
      virtual

      130 sq ft cabins located on Bridge Deck. Private shower. Fixed twin beds or fixed double bed.
      Views in some cabins partially obstructed by Life Boats.

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      $12,395*pp
      $13,195*pp
      Bridge
      Bridge
      J

      Standard Outside

      PREMIUM
      Standard Outside, PREMIUM
      Layout
      virtual

      130 sq ft cabins located on Columbus Deck. Fixed twin beds with private shower.
      * Please note the photo shows a Category H premium outside cabin. Category J standard outside cabins feature portholes instead of windows.

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

      $11,595*pp
      $12,395*pp
      Columbus
      Columbus
      K

      Premium Inside

      PREMIUM
      Premium Inside, PREMIUM
      Layout
      virtual

      130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere Deck. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      $10,850*pp
      $11,550*pp
      Belvedere
      Belvedere
      L

      Premium Inside

      PREMIUM
      Premium Inside, PREMIUM
      Layout
      virtual

      130 sq ft cabins located on Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

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      $10,195*pp
      $10,895*pp
      Columbus
      Columbus
      M

      Standard Inside

      PREMIUM
      Standard Inside, PREMIUM
      Layout
      virtual

      130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere and Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

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      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

      $9,595*pp
      $10,195*pp
      Belvedere
      Belvedere
      Columbus
      Columbus
      CC

      Deluxe Balcony

      SINGLE CABINS
      Deluxe Balcony, SINGLE CABINS
      Layout
      virtual

      135 sq ft single occupancy stateroom located on Lido Deck (Cabins 809, 810). Walk-in shower and private balcony. Fixed small double bed.

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      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

      $22,150*pp
      $23,250*pp
      Lido
      Lido
      EE

      Deluxe Outside

      SINGLE CABINS
      Deluxe Outside, SINGLE CABINS
      Layout
      virtual

      135 sq ft single occupancy Deluxe staterooms located on Belvedere Deck(554, 561). Shower, European full-size bed and a small balcony.

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      $18,995*pp
      $19,950*pp
      Belvedere
      Belvedere
      GG*

      Premium Outside

      SINGLE CABINS
      Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
      Layout
      virtual

      Single occupancy Premium outside staterooms located on Bridge and Lido Deck. Private shower and a European full-size bed. Views in cabins 726, 724 on Belvedere deck are partially obstructed by lifeboats.

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      $16,995*pp
      $17,795*pp
      Bridge
      Bridge
      Lido
      Lido
      HH*

      Premium Outside

      SINGLE CABINS
      Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
      Layout
      virtual

      Premium outside single occupancy staterooms located on Bridge & Belvedere decks, featuring a European full-size bed and a private shower.
       * Please note the cabin plan and photo shows the Category H double occupancy stateroom. Category HH single staterooms are smaller and feature one European full-size bed. Views are partially obstructed by lifeboats in the cabins on Bridge deck.

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      $16,150*pp
      $16,950*pp
      Belvedere
      Belvedere
      Bridge
      Bridge
      II*

      Premium Outside

      SINGLE CABINS
      Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
      Layout
      virtual

      130 sq ft Premuim Outside staterooms located on Bridge Deck, featuring a double window and a European full-size bed with private shower. Views are partially obstructed by lifeboats.
      *Please note the photo & cabin plan show a double occupancy I cabin. Cabins 710 and 712 (Category II, single occupancy) are smaller in size and feature a single European size bed.

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      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

      $14,995*pp
      $15,795*pp
      Bridge
      Bridge
      JJ

      Standard Outside

      SINGLE CABINS
      Standard Outside, SINGLE CABINS
      Layout
      virtual

      Single occupancy standard outside cabins located on Columbus Deck, featuring portholes in place of windows. A single European size bed with private shower.
      *Please note the picture shows a standard outside double occupancy cabin. Single occupancy cabins are smaller and feature a single European size bed and portholes instead of windows.

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      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

      $13,995*pp
      $14,795*pp
      Columbus
      Columbus
      KK

      Premium Inside

      SINGLE CABINS
      Premium Inside, SINGLE CABINS
      Layout
      virtual

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

      $13,095*pp
      $13,795*pp
      Belvedere
      Belvedere
      LL

      Premium Inside

      SINGLE CABINS
      Premium Inside, SINGLE CABINS
      Layout
      virtual

      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

      $12,250*pp
      $12,950*pp
      Columbus
      Columbus
      MM

      Standard Inside

      SINGLE CABINS
      Standard Inside, SINGLE CABINS
      Layout
      virtual

      130 sq ft Standard inside single occupancy cabins located on Belvedere Decks. A small double bed with private shower.
      *Please note the picture shows a double occupancy inside cabin. Cabins MM are smaller and feature a small double bed.

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      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

      $11,550*pp
      $12,150*pp
      Belvedere
      Belvedere
      Port Fees & Service Charges (included in the fares above)
      $1,300
      Air Credit (when making your own air arrangements)
      $1,200
      Cruise Only Credit (when making own air and hotel arrangements)
      $1,600

      MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY

      There is a particular pleasure that comes with cruising aboard a smaller ship. Hosting an average of just 350 passengers, Aegean Odyssey is no ‘floating city’. She is small enough to sail rivers and put into the more characterful ports inaccessible to the ‘mega-ships’, the service is more personal and you get plenty of time to interact with the onboard experts.

      Yet on the other hand, she is large enough to offer a superb selection of amenities, including two dining venues, several comfortable lounges and bars, a relaxing spa centre and well-stocked library. Cabins are spacious, modern and intelligently designed, and 39 cabins across a range of categories (including balcony) are set aside for solo travellers at low supplement.  

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      Our website does not display live availability. All prices and availability be will confirmed at time of enquiry. The single supplement offers only apply to our single cabin categories. Special Offers are strictly capacity controlled, subject to availability, may be withdrawn at any time and are not always combinable. Please note – while we will do our best to adhere to this full itinerary, there may be changes at the discretion of the captain, due to weather advisories, port traffic and other unforeseeable circumstances. Shore excursions are subject to change. We reserve the right to alter, cancel or substitute an included excursion at any time.