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British Isles Gardens and Castles

FROM $13,495

Join Botanica World Discoveries on this 11 day small ship cruise and garden tour, allowing you a unique opportunity to explore the splendour of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the British Isles coastline, where larger ships can’t go.

  • OPERATES 01 JAN - 30 JUN 2018
  • DEPARTS London


DAY 1 Arrive London, Embark Ship

On arrival, you will be met at London Heathrow airport at either 1.30pm or our pre-cruise hotel in central London at 1pm and transfer to Portsmouth to board the MS Island Sky, your floating home for the next 10 nights.(D)
Stay: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Island Sky

DAY 2 Isles of Scilly, Tresco

Today you will cruise amid the beautiful Isles of Scilly, an idyllic archipelago off Great Britain’s southwestern tip. Disembark on the Island of Tresco, considered by many to be the most attractive of the islands. It is leased by the Dorrien-Smith family, who have created a wonderful 40-acre sub-tropical garden near their Tresco Abbey home. Here, enjoy a guided tour of the gardens, which boast some of the finest examples of sub-tropical flora in the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll also have the opportunity to stroll along the traffic-free lanes of the island, and wander along one of the lovely white-sand beaches where the sea colour has more in common with the Aegean than the North Atlantic. This evening, enjoy a delicious dinner.(BLD)
Stay: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Island Sky

DAY 3 Waterford, Freedom of Choice

Your ship will arrive in Waterford on Ireland’s south eastern coast. Here, you have the choice of two full day tours. The first option is to travel to the historic city of Kilkenny and visit Kilkenny Castle and the Kilkenny Design Centre followed by a tour of the Waterford Crystal Factory. The second option is to travel to Mount Congreve Gardens, a vast and visually inspiring woodland garden, and later return to County Waterford for a visit to Lismore Castle, which features the oldest continually cultivated gardens in Ireland.(BD)
Stay: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Island Sky

DAY 4 Dublin, Freedom of Choice

Arrive in Dublin Bay and enter the mouth of the River Liffey. From here, you have a choice of activities. Travel by coach into the Wicklow Mountains and visit the gardens of Powerscourt, with its charming walled garden, striking terraces, fine statuary, varied trees, carefully designed walking paths and more. The second option is to travel to Mount Usher, a lovely romantic garden on the banks of the River Vartry. The third option is to visit a special private garden. Enjoy a lecture with BBC presenter Monty Don and spend free time in Dublin.(BLD)
Stay: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Island Sky

DAY 5 Welsh Gardens, Freedom of Choice

This morning after breakfast, you’ll cruise to the Welsh coast. Here, choose from a tour of Portmeirion village and its gardens, or perhaps visit the gardens of nearby Plas Brondanw, the family home of Clough Williams-Ellis. Then drive through the famous Snowdonia region to Bodnant Garden, one of the most beautiful gardens in the United Kingdom. Spanning some 80 acres, the garden is set above the River Conwy and offers views to the Snowdonia range. Spend the afternoon strolling through the upper garden with its terraces and informal lawns, then continue into the wild garden of the lower section, formed by the valley of the River Hiraethlyn. Later, return to your ship for dinner.(BLD)
Stay: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Island Sky

DAY 6 Belfast and Mount Stewart, Freedom of Choice

This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of Belfast. This afternoon you can choose from two options, either the Titanic Exhibition or Mount Stewart, an 18th century house and garden in County Down. Planted in the 1920s by Lady Londonderry, the gardens today are owned by The National Trust and are of significant international importance. Here, a series of outdoor ‘rooms’ and vibrant parterres contain many rare plants that thrive in the mild climate of the Ards Peninsula. Enjoy time to explore the gardens as well as the opulent house, which boasts a fascinating heritage and contains world-famous artefacts and artwork.(BLD)
Stay: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Island Sky

DAY 7 Isle of Jura, Isle of Gigha, Achamore House & Gardens

Cruise to the Isle of Jura, where you’ll have the option to visit a 200-year-old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery, or perhaps enjoy a walk. This afternoon, cruise to the Isle of Gigha. Privately owned by its 120 inhabitants, the landscape consists of heather-covered hills, sandy beaches, clear green seas and just one single-lane road. Here, wander through the gardens of Achamore House. Laid out by Sir James Horlick from 1944, this stunning garden boasts a wonderful collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and exotic plants.(BLD)
Stay: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Island Sky

DAY 8 Isle of Iona, Isle of Mull, Duart Castle, Freedom of Choice

Cruise to the Isle of Iona, a place of tranquillity and natural beauty, where more than 40 Scottish Kings, as well as Kings from Ireland, France and Norway are buried. Next, we set off to the Isle of Mull where you have the option to visit a quaint private garden or Duart Castle, a 13th century clifftop castle set in the Millennium Wood and home to the MacLean clan.(BLD)
Stay: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Island Sky

DAY 9 Inverewe Gardens

Today you’ll cruise past the Isle of Skye and The Minch. Afterwards, your ship will drop anchor and you’ll enjoy a Zodiac ride to one of Scotland’s premier gardens, Inverewe. Set on the coast among the north-west Highlands and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens of the region, Inverewe presents an amazing collection of exotic trees and shrubs that are sheltered by well-positioned windbreaks of native pine. Wander through the gardens, covering some 49 acres, where you have the opportunity to take in the natural beauty of over 2,500 exotic plants and flowers.(BLD)
Stay: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Island Sky

DAY 10 Aberdeen and Crathes Castle

Cruising along Scotland’s east coast, over the North Sea, today you’ll arrive at Aberdeen. Disembark and travel by coach through Royal Deeside, the picturesque valley of the River Dee. Absorb the lovely scenery as you head to Crathes Castle, a magical 16th century castle, renowned for its 240 hectares of landscaped grounds and formal gardens. Here, take in the cinematic Scottish countryside as you explore the garden and surrounding woodlands. Enjoy lunch back on board and an afternoon visit to Pitmedden Garden with its elaborate parterres and herbaceous borders.(BLD)
Stay: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Island Sky

DAY 11 Disembark Ship, Depart Edinburgh

After breakfast, disembark the MS Island Sky in Aberdeen. From here travel to Glamis Castle, childhood home of the Queen Mother and birthplace of Princess Margaret. Transfer by coach to Edinburgh, arriving at the airport at around 2.30pm or our post tour hotel at approximately 3.00pm.(B)

cruise ENQUIRY

Interested in this cruise? Call us today on 1300 622 702 or leave your details below for one of our Travel Specialists to contact you at your preferred time.

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