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Shuttle to ports on British Isles Cruise

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Hi All, 

We are a family of 10 ages 75 to 5 thinking of taking the 12 day cruise around the British Isles this summer and was wondering about the cost of the shuttle to ports?  I know that Paris is a two hour drive so I assume if you don't go with the Cruise ship then you rent a car.  Has anyone done this cruise and felt like most of the time was wasted traveling to the ports? Does the cruise line offer shuttle buses to ports that aren't too far from the dock?

 

 My sister is concerned that it will be a challenge to get to many of the cities if we don't do the excursions from the cruise line.  Thoughts?

Any insight would be helpful. 

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We did this cruise in August.  Yes getting to Paris is very long, in fact you spend more time getting there and back than you actually do in Paris.  Definitely consider a day trip to Honfleur or the Normandy beaches.  For all the other ports we booked private tours which are considerably cheaper than a Princess tour, in many cases about half the price.  Google tours for each of the cities and you can decide what interests your group.  Most of these tour companies cater to cruise ship passengers and are very cognizant of the time you need to get back so as not to miss the ship.

 

Enjoy your cruise.  It was one of our best ones.

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Some information:

leHarve to Paris is more like 2 1/2 to 3 hours each way. I believe Princess tours are the most popular. A lot of passengers go to Normandy Beaches about 2 hours each way. Honfleur is a very nice town about 30 minutes from the port and around a 25 Euro taxi ride.

Cobh has a train station right on the pier that can take you into Cork. After departing the train in Cork it's another 20 minute walk into city center. Cork itself is a commercial city, not tourist. The small town of Cobh is very nice.

In Belfast there was a shuttle to market square. If you wish to go see the Titanic experience you have to take a cab at the pier. Purchase tickets on line before you go. Show up early it does get crowded.

Greenock, you have to take a trip to see pretty much anything. Not too much right at the port.

Dublin, there is a shuttle into center city. There may be a charge, don't remember.

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Guernsey is a tender port. There are some nice sights within walking distance of the pier, including the castle. Cobh is also a town where you could do things locally without traveling to Cork or Blarney Castle. We opted for the latter on an independently booked excursion with eCoach. It went through Cork to Blarney Castle and then stopped in Kinsale. We had a great guide, and the company accommodated a last-minute change to our itinerary.

 

We did Dublin on our own. When we were there, Princess offered a free shuttle. I think they were charging for it this year. We took the hop-on/hop-off bus one day to go to the Guinness Storehouse and see more of the sights around the city. Princess also offered a free shuttle in Belfast. We walked around the city, going to the botanical gardens and Ulster Museum. 

 

In Invergordon, we booked an excursion independently that took us to Urquhart Castle, a cruise on Loch Ness, to the Clava Cairns, by the Culloden Battlefield, and to Cawdor Castle. It was a lot less than the excursions Princess was offering. In Greenock, we took the train into Glasgow and did the hop-on/hop-off bus to get around to several museums. I have a fondness for Mackintosh. Our cruise was in August, so a lot of people did excursions from there to Edinburgh for the Tattoo.

 

When our ship made it to Edinburgh, we went to the castle and along the Royal Mile. We took the train from the port in South Queensferry. I hear there's now a shuttle bus offered. We stayed in Le Havre and enjoyed going to the art museum there. It has a ton of paintings by the impressionists. 

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Would definitely suggest a Princess tour if wanting to go to Paris. We were one of the last Princess tour buses returning late to the port because of an accident on the freeway. Heard we departed without 5 passengers who were on independent tours. It's such a great distance to Paris, that anything can happen. Good thing is, it's the last port, so you'd only have to find your way to Southampton. Wasn't passing up the chance to go to Paris! 

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Not sure I can add much to what's been written, however if your itinerary includes Liverpool Princess tie up directly downtown in the middle of the city centre, lots to do a short walk away.

 

I'll second the comment that Cobh is a very nice small town in it's own right.  There are a number of small cafe's and shops within a short walk from the pier.

 

 

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I did this last year. Its a very short walk from the ship to Castle Cornet at St Peter Port. There's a tour there (oddly) it's the same tour guide as the ship. Only  a fraction of the price.

 

A great Le Harve - Honfleur option was:

Screenshot_20191105-150522_Photos.thumb.jpg.21406902336d1adb8743f69e9b65d6f1.jpg

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Our family just did this cruise in June. Yes you will definitely want to use a Princess excursion in Le Havre because it is a long drive each way. There is one called Paris on your Own that is reasonably priced that basically provides bus transportation and you do your own thing. We did the one to the Louvre and lunch by the Eiffel Tower and it was worth the cost. For the other ports, most are walkable into the towns. In Dublin and Belfast you can't really walk into town so we used the ship shuttle service. These were double decker busses and they drop off/pick up in good sightseeing areas. We found lots of great shopping in both places (and a mall in both, much to the delight of our teens). Cost was $8pp each way, so $16 roundtrip. 

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I would recommend private tours.  You can get in and out of the ports quicker and tailor the tours to your needs/wants. Make sure that the private tours will get you to the next port if they miss the ship. In saying that  they are very good with knowing when the tour needs to end to  get you back in time and if they frequently got back late they would not be in business long. If you decide to do the tour of Paris I would go with the Princess tour because of the long drive and Paris traffic.

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