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Looking to book a British Isles Cruise. Would love to hear from those who have taken this cruise. When is the best time to go? What areas not to miss? Great excursions? Any tips? Thanks for any expertise you can offer. What CC is all about!!

 

 

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We did this cruise in June. Weather was cool in most ports, as expected but more showers and cloudy than we expected. The overnight in LeHarve was great we drove to visit friends 3 hours from Paris, many others took the train or bus to Paris and stayed overnight. Due to bad weather the port of Belfast was closed so we missed that port 😢. For us one of the places we wanted to see.

 

Our cruise departed from Dublin and ended in Amsterdam, we stayed 3 days both pre & post and loved both Dublin & Amsterdam.

 

Overall it was a nice cruise but not one of our favorites. If I had it to do over again I would probably not book for early June, maybe late June or early July.

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We did this cruise (slightly different itinerary) in July. Weather was perfect. But you never know in that part of the world.

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Looking to book a British Isles Cruise. Would love to hear from those who have taken this cruise. When is the best time to go? What areas not to miss? Great excursions? Any tips? Thanks for any expertise you can offer. What CC is all about!!

 

 

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I don’t think it matters about whether you go in June, July or August. Weather can be unpredictable. This year from early June until end of July, we had unusually warm and dry spell. Many areas having lower than average rainfall. Next year? Who knows.

 

There is a lot of history and places to visit. There will be a lot of info contained in the ports of call forum on CC.

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Actually we had very hot dry weather in May as well this year, but it’s been an unusually hot summer, so difficult to say the best time.

Schools in Uk close mid to late July, so if you don’t want to sail with lots of children, book earlier.

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We did a 12 day British Isles cruise in July that departed from and returned to Amsterdam, with one stop in Belgium, three stops in Ireland, two in England and one in Scotland. It was enjoyable but the 4 ports in 4 days part left us worn out.

 

All of our excursions were booked independently of the ship. In most ports we had a smart phone app that gave us walking tours.

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We did this cruise sailing out of S'hampton on the Eclipse. Our ports swapped around a little because of poor sea conditions so we arrived in Cherbourg when not expected - it didn't matter to us as I had visited Mont St Michel before but most of the people who had booked private tours lost out.... we just had an easy day just in the town but most shops had shut. People who visited the maritime museum based near the dock were impressed with it. So Guernsey (Channel islands) was put at the end of the cruise instead of the beginning (It is a tender port)

We did an overnight in Le Havre. I speak French and am used to driving etc in France so the first day I hired a car and had 2 Canadians I had linked up with on the roll call come with us as I planned to drive up to Dieppe - I did French exchange visits with a French pen pal from there so knew and loved the area. We visited the Canadian war graves cemetery there - there had been a disastrous Canadian practice landing in Dieppe about 1942 and many poor young men lost their lives there. From North of Le Havre I then drive us south over the massive bridge over the Seine estuary to the lovely port of Honfleur. I managed to park right in the centre and we spent the rest of quite a hot day sampling the excellent seafood at a port-side Restaurant. Returned the car at the port and a lovely waitress in a restaurant phoned a taxi for us back to the ship (we could see it but it was a bit of a walk round for me - I have severe osteoarthritis ) A lovely day with a great deal seen. Other people of course take the opportunity to go to Paris..... you can take the Celebrity trips/transport or go by rail.... our Canadian friends did the mammoth trek to Vimy ridge mt train.... a very brave undertaking but they managed it (the ship wasn't;t leaving til pretty late that 2nd day!) We also had a stop at Amsterdam - a great, vibrant city and again we did our own thing as we have been quite a few times before as it is a short and economic flight price from near us.

Up then to Glasgow...well Greenock. My Glaswegian friend came out to join us there so she ferried us a little further along the estuary and we had a lovely relaxed day with her, snacking at one of the best ice cream cafes in Scotland!

Our next point was a highlight for me..... Liverpool. What a welcome the ship received. It was fantastic to sail into the Mersey estuary - to see the iconic port front with its '3 graces' - the famous Liver birds. My Nana used to sail from Liverpool to stay 18 months in Canada with her 2nd husband so to sail in was quite emotional for me. What greeted us was the Mayor of Liverpool and a great band of singers and musicians playing Beatles music..... really great! I had offered to take a couple of Americans from the roll call on a tour of the city (I live fewer than 20 miles from the city) My daughter drove my car to the dock and we set off on the tour I have done quite a few times with visiting US relatives...... Beatle sites... John and Paul's houses, Strawberry field Gates, Penny Lane..... barbers..... then Matthew st and the site of the Cavern, The Beatles shop, Drove past the 2 cathedrals..... and visiting the new Liverpool museum with it video Beatles show with part of the original first stage they played on. Previously have included and trip on the Mersey ferry but gave it a miss this time. We took them to the places they had selected really. Back to the ship in good time..... for the highlight of the day which was the send off given the ship.... the band again.....and all the dock workers had the giant foam hands to wave us off... with ticker tape canons placed along the dock and the captain serenading them with the ships horn !! A wonderful experience.

Dublin was next day but we were in recovery mode as we have visited Dublin many times... there is a good HOHO service which works well (as indeed there is in Liverpool)

Down then to Cork...we did a ship's tour of Cork which was a little disappointing in a way as despite it advertised as mild activity with little walking the guide decided to lead people through a park with inclines for 45 mins...luckily I baled at the start but a few folk gave up and made their way back to the coach!

Guernsey now concluded the trip - lovely little st Peter Port to mooch around. The tenders were greeted by volunteer local people who supplied maps and info and gave their tourists a very genuine welcome !

 

So... many pluses on this cruise and I am glad I did it. Loved the Eclipse but suspect this trip will be another ship from S'hampton or maybe based in Amsterdam (which for UK cruisers means a flight over :(

 

As we discovered you have to maybe expect the unexpected - people of course lost their Normandy private trips because of the swapping of ports. Americans coming to Europe to visit the Normandy beaches etc would have been bitterly disappointed - for something maybe that important ....it might be better to stick with the Celebrity tours...... or you take a risk.

AS people have said.... there are many possible weather variables....our day in Guernsey was by far the warmest day we had (in June) - you really need all eventualities weather clothing.

The one drawback was this was a very port intensive holiday.... only 2 sea days.... tho we had overnights in Le Havre and Amsterdam. Would I do it again?? In an instant :)

 

If anyone were interested in my Liverpool tour...... I am always happy to create a trip for folk..... my new son in law is from S Carolina (near Greensboro) ...I am acclimatising to the us accent !!!

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We’ve done around the UK on two cruises and loved it. Weather is too unpredictable to say which season is the best, so I’ll stick with ports and what to do. The Celebrity UK cruises are departing out of two ports that I can tell for 2018/19: Dublin and Amsterdam. Leaving from Dublin, I’d For Sure spend a few days there prior. It’s a great city and lots of fun to explore and easy on your own. Amsterdam is the same, so it’ll be tough picking. The Amsterdam cruise does spend overnight in Dublin so that’s nice.

 

Ports:

Dublin. Too much to do. We found a ‘Literary Pub Tour’ on line, local tour and it was fantastic. At night, went to a number of pubs where famous writers hung out and actors came out and were the writers. Lots of day tours out of town to see Ireland, but we loved doing a local walking tour of Dublin too.

 

Liverpool: Did the Beatles bus tour an it was really fun. There’s a Beatles Museum walking distance of the port also. Excellent. Next time in port, did an all day tour of Wales. One of our favorites. Private tour that took us all over N Wales.

 

Belfast: Did a tour of town - I’d do a out of town tour. DId Not enjoy seeing baracades, barbed wire and wall paintings of masked men carrying AK-47’s. Did the Giants Causeway. Great tour of N Ireland coast.

 

Cork: Did the Blarney Castle tour. Nice. Great shopping. Waterford - the acteual crystal factory is gone. Excellent info on the Irish sailing for US at Cork harbor.

 

Gurensey: loved going to this Island. Great for wandering. Very hilly. Went to Victor Hugo’s home. Unbelievable place. Most unique I’ve seen. Very hilly walk up to it. Spent rest of time on own. Small, intimate port town.

 

Le Havre: Now they are overnight, so worth going to Paris if you wish. We went to Honflur on our own. Small, classic town around a small harbor. Loved it. Beautiful. And sitting at a cafe was classic French. Lots of tours there. Do not stay in Le Havre. Working port and city. Did a city bus tour and too much to see outside the town instead of staying there.

 

Check if one of the cruises does a Scotland port in August - the Tatoo in Edinburgh is unbelievable. We did the ship tour from Glasgow for it. Well worth it.

 

Enjoy and there is way too much to say what to do.

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Agree with Denny01 about the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. We are on the Eclipse now and had an overnight in Edinburgh instead of Dublin. We chose to stay overnight in a hotel to avoid the hassle of tendering back to the ship at midnight. It was very crowded in town due to the Fringe Festival also going on... but so glad we got to experience the Tattoo. Weather has been really variable. Beautiful in Inverness, cloudy and cool in Edinburgh but no rain, Belfast cloudy and cool, today in Liverpool rainy for the first half of the day so we came back to the ship. Supposed to be wonderful in Dublin tomorrow... hoping!

 

 

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We went 6/30-7/12 and had amazingly warm, sunny weather, BUT it was very unusual to experience that. You have to go knowing you’ll likely have rain and cooler temps. Edinburgh is easy to DIY with the local X99 shuttle, pre-booking Edinburgh Castle tix online, and walking along the Royal Mile. Out of Greenock, I loved Invereray Castle. Invergordon, I had to hunt Nessie in Loch Ness and had a blast doing so on the boat ride. Dublin is easy to DIY within the city by hoofing it around and pre-booking tix to the main attractions. There are loads of independent excursion companies to take you outside the city. In Belfast, there’s so much Titanic history and interesting places to explore by going north to the coast for Giant’s Causeway and that whole region. We were able to hire a private taxi for the cost of a ship’s excursion that allowed us to customize our day. In Cobh, I adored Blarney Castle and the whole estate. In LeHavre, we did the Overlord tour to Normandy and were really pleased with it; the owner was our guide and very knowledgeable.

 

 

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I have done two British isles cruise. Both were in July and were the open golf cruises. I loved both. Greennock has a free tour that was great. Belfast I have been to twice. Once was giants causeway and other time just a taxi to the titanic museum. Liverpool was great. I also did the Beatles museum near the port and another one I can’t recall. In Cobb, I did Blarney Castle the grounds were amazing. The other time toured cobh and had lunch in town. Edinburgh is one of my favorite places. It is DIY port. Also used the celebrity shuttle. In le Harvey did Normandy beaches.

 

Both of my trips left from Amsterdam.

 

 

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Looking to book a British Isles Cruise. Would love to hear from those who have taken this cruise. When is the best time to go? What areas not to miss? Great excursions? Any tips? Thanks for any expertise you can offer. What CC is all about!!

 

First you need to realize that there are an almost infinite number of versions of a "British Isles Cruise"...lots of different ports--within the UK...as well as in Ireland...and in other nearby countries as well.

 

We've done so many cruises that start and/or end in Southampton or Dover that we've found we've had ample opportunity to visit England/Scotland/Wales during pre- or post-cruise stays before and after cruises so that we find we don't really need our "British Isles" cruises to visit many ports in those lands (We've done extended pre- and/or post-cruise multi-day trips in London...in Cornwall/Devon/Dorset...in Canterbury...in Wales...and driving to Scotland and back)... and those places are really easy to reach from London/Heathrow--either driving or by bus or train...

 

I like my itineraries to visit ports a little harder to get to--Ireland, Channel Islands, etc.

 

We did a British Isles cruise back in 2005--a 14 night cruise on Celebrity that went to Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Greenock...and then headed over to the Norwegian Fjords and also visited Le Havre...

 

This next July 8 (2019), we've booked this itinerary on Celebrity Reflection:

 

Monday - Jul 8, 2019—Amsterdam 5:00 pm

Tuesday - Jul 9, 2019--At Sea

Wednesday - Jul 10, 2019--Cork (Cobh) 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Thursday - Jul 11, 2019—Waterford (Dunmore East) 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Friday - Jul 12, 2019—Dublin Arrive: 7:00 am

Saturday - Jul 13, 2019—Dublin Depart: 7:00 pm

Sunday - Jul 14, 2019—Belfast 8:00 am to 10:00 pm

Monday - Jul 15, 2019--At Sea

Tuesday - Jul 16, 2019—Guernsey 7:00 am to 5:00 pm

Wednesday - Jul 17, 2019—Cherbourg 7:00 am to 7:00 pm

Thursday - Jul 18, 2019—Dover 7:30 am to 5:00 pm

Friday - Jul 19, 2019-- Bruges (Zeebrugge) 7:00 am to 5:00 pm

Saturday - Jul 20, 2019--Amsterdam, Arrive: 6:00 am

 

It gives us for ports in Ireland/N. Ireland including an overnight in Dublin, a stop in the Channel Islands (Guernsey) and a day in Dover...As well as visits to Cherbourg and Bruges--which add a little variation to the itinerary...Plus, it goes in and out of Amsterdam rather than one of the main UK ports--which is easier to access from the airport...

 

You might want to consider that one?

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Looking to book a British Isles Cruise. Would love to hear from those who have taken this cruise. When is the best time to go? What areas not to miss? Great excursions? Any tips? Thanks for any expertise you can offer. What CC is all about!!

 

 

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Lots of information on the British Isles ports of call forum. There are some specific threads on St Peter Port, Guernsey, where I try to assist and provide information from a local perspective.

 

Areas not to miss - Guernsey, but I may be a bit bias :D:D:D

Great Excursions - take a private tour with an accredited guide to include the Little Chapel, German Occupation Museum and more

Tips - don’t just walk around the town, take a tour to see our beautiful island

 

Any other questions, feel free to post.

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I'm still hoping to get to Guernsey. Be aware that for some ships this is a tender port and occasionally the ship may be unable to tender due to weather conditions. This happened to us last July on the Silhouette. As for all tender ports, I'd check the t & c of any private excursions to avoid any misunderstandings if ship does not call.

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I'm still hoping to get to Guernsey. Be aware that for some ships this is a tender port and occasionally the ship may be unable to tender due to weather conditions.

And it can be quite a bouncy ride even if the surface of the sea looks calm!

 

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We didn’t have anything arranged, so just took the road train which leaves from the harbour and goes around town.

 

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Edited by upwarduk

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I heartily endorse taking a British Isles cruise that overnights in Edinburgh for the Tattoo! Our 14 nighter on the Silhouette in 2016 had a fabulous itinerary in addition to Edinburgh- St. Peter's Port, Cobh, Dublin, Liverpool, Belfast, Shetland Is (Lerwick), Inverness and Bruges.

 

We were fortunate to be part of a roll call in which a member (Shout Out to Dr. Koob!) organized buses to take us to/from the Tattoo. Several of us became "Friends of the Tattoo" for a small honorarium which allowed us to book our tickets before they went on sale to the general public. We had great seats just below the high-end sections which gave direct views of the castle wall scenic lighting.

 

I'm looking forward to hearing from our friends aboard the Eclipse now who booked a Celebrity excursion to the Tattoo- hope they enjoyed the experience as much as we did.

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We did a BI cruise on Infinity in 2013 as well as stopping in some BI ports on an NCL cruise in 2014. Here are my reviews with details on tours.

 

British Isles

 

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=221137

 

 

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=264272

 

Papa, is this the tour you took in Cobh / Cork?

https://www.ecoach.ie/blarney-kinsale-bus-tour.php

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We did this cruise sailing out of S'hampton on the Eclipse. Our ports swapped around a little because of poor sea conditions so we arrived in Cherbourg when not expected - it didn't matter to us as I had visited Mont St Michel before but most of the people who had booked private tours lost out.... we just had an easy day just in the town but most shops had shut. People who visited the maritime museum based near the dock were impressed with it. So Guernsey (Channel islands) was put at the end of the cruise instead of the beginning (It is a tender port)

We did an overnight in Le Havre. I speak French and am used to driving etc in France so the first day I hired a car and had 2 Canadians I had linked up with on the roll call come with us as I planned to drive up to Dieppe - I did French exchange visits with a French pen pal from there so knew and loved the area. We visited the Canadian war graves cemetery there - there had been a disastrous Canadian practice landing in Dieppe about 1942 and many poor young men lost their lives there. From North of Le Havre I then drive us south over the massive bridge over the Seine estuary to the lovely port of Honfleur. I managed to park right in the centre and we spent the rest of quite a hot day sampling the excellent seafood at a port-side Restaurant. Returned the car at the port and a lovely waitress in a restaurant phoned a taxi for us back to the ship (we could see it but it was a bit of a walk round for me - I have severe osteoarthritis ) A lovely day with a great deal seen. Other people of course take the opportunity to go to Paris..... you can take the Celebrity trips/transport or go by rail.... our Canadian friends did the mammoth trek to Vimy ridge mt train.... a very brave undertaking but they managed it (the ship wasn't;t leaving til pretty late that 2nd day!) We also had a stop at Amsterdam - a great, vibrant city and again we did our own thing as we have been quite a few times before as it is a short and economic flight price from near us.

Up then to Glasgow...well Greenock. My Glaswegian friend came out to join us there so she ferried us a little further along the estuary and we had a lovely relaxed day with her, snacking at one of the best ice cream cafes in Scotland!

Our next point was a highlight for me..... Liverpool. What a welcome the ship received. It was fantastic to sail into the Mersey estuary - to see the iconic port front with its '3 graces' - the famous Liver birds. My Nana used to sail from Liverpool to stay 18 months in Canada with her 2nd husband so to sail in was quite emotional for me. What greeted us was the Mayor of Liverpool and a great band of singers and musicians playing Beatles music..... really great! I had offered to take a couple of Americans from the roll call on a tour of the city (I live fewer than 20 miles from the city) My daughter drove my car to the dock and we set off on the tour I have done quite a few times with visiting US relatives...... Beatle sites... John and Paul's houses, Strawberry field Gates, Penny Lane..... barbers..... then Matthew st and the site of the Cavern, The Beatles shop, Drove past the 2 cathedrals..... and visiting the new Liverpool museum with it video Beatles show with part of the original first stage they played on. Previously have included and trip on the Mersey ferry but gave it a miss this time. We took them to the places they had selected really. Back to the ship in good time..... for the highlight of the day which was the send off given the ship.... the band again.....and all the dock workers had the giant foam hands to wave us off... with ticker tape canons placed along the dock and the captain serenading them with the ships horn !! A wonderful experience.

Dublin was next day but we were in recovery mode as we have visited Dublin many times... there is a good HOHO service which works well (as indeed there is in Liverpool)

Down then to Cork...we did a ship's tour of Cork which was a little disappointing in a way as despite it advertised as mild activity with little walking the guide decided to lead people through a park with inclines for 45 mins...luckily I baled at the start but a few folk gave up and made their way back to the coach!

Guernsey now concluded the trip - lovely little st Peter Port to mooch around. The tenders were greeted by volunteer local people who supplied maps and info and gave their tourists a very genuine welcome !

 

So... many pluses on this cruise and I am glad I did it. Loved the Eclipse but suspect this trip will be another ship from S'hampton or maybe based in Amsterdam (which for UK cruisers means a flight over :(

 

As we discovered you have to maybe expect the unexpected - people of course lost their Normandy private trips because of the swapping of ports. Americans coming to Europe to visit the Normandy beaches etc would have been bitterly disappointed - for something maybe that important ....it might be better to stick with the Celebrity tours...... or you take a risk.

AS people have said.... there are many possible weather variables....our day in Guernsey was by far the warmest day we had (in June) - you really need all eventualities weather clothing.

The one drawback was this was a very port intensive holiday.... only 2 sea days.... tho we had overnights in Le Havre and Amsterdam. Would I do it again?? In an instant :)

 

If anyone were interested in my Liverpool tour...... I am always happy to create a trip for folk..... my new son in law is from S Carolina (near Greensboro) ...I am acclimatising to the us accent !!!

 

 

 

Thank you so much for all the port information! These are several of the ports we want to visit. When we book I would love to take you up on the Liverpool tour. We sailed on the Solstice with a group from Liverpool and they were a super fun group!! We live about 3 hours from Greenville.

 

 

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I heartily endorse taking a British Isles cruise that overnights in Edinburgh for the Tattoo! Our 14 nighter on the Silhouette in 2016 had a fabulous itinerary in addition to Edinburgh- St. Peter's Port, Cobh, Dublin, Liverpool, Belfast, Shetland Is (Lerwick), Inverness and Bruges.

 

 

 

We were fortunate to be part of a roll call in which a member (Shout Out to Dr. Koob!) organized buses to take us to/from the Tattoo. Several of us became "Friends of the Tattoo" for a small honorarium which allowed us to book our tickets before they went on sale to the general public. We had great seats just below the high-end sections which gave direct views of the castle wall scenic lighting.

 

 

 

I'm looking forward to hearing from our friends aboard the Eclipse now who booked a Celebrity excursion to the Tattoo- hope they enjoyed the experience as much as we did.

 

 

 

Thanks for all the info. We sailed with Dr Koob on a cruise and he is quite the organizer. He made our cruise so much easier. We have gotten many recommendations to see the Tattoo. We will definitely do that.

 

 

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Hi SSCGirls3211

 

When do you sail so your date in Liverpool would be ?

 

My email is

 

Helen.remfan@gmailDOTcom just substitute the DOT for a . Am always game to lead a Liverpool tour. Just wish Celebrity would base a ship there !!!!

 

Regards

 

Helen

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Hi SSCGirls3211

 

When do you sail so your date in Liverpool would be ?

 

My email is

 

Helen.remfan@gmailDOTcom just substitute the DOT for a . Am always game to lead a Liverpool tour. Just wish Celebrity would base a ship there !!!!

 

Regards

 

Helen

 

 

 

Helen:

We will book in November while on the Infinity. I will keep your contact info to set up a tour and let you know the date. Thanks.

 

 

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We did this cruise a number of years ago. In Liverpool we went to the town of Chester. Chester is a quaint town with many Tudor buildings. The other would be the Cliffs of Moher out of Dublin. The cliffs are on the other side of Ireland. So might be best on a overnight or pre or post trip.

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