Cruise for eight nights aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star small ship M.S. LE BORÉAL from Glasgow, Scotland, to Wales, Ireland and France, with guided excursions in each port. By special arrangement, walk the hallowed beaches of Normandy with Dwight David Eisenhower II, grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and meet Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre at the University of Cambridge. Travel into the Scottish Highlands aboard The Jacobite steam train; visit the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Caernarfon Castle near Holyhead, Wales; experience the austere beauty of the Inner Hebridean isles; and view Celtic treasures in Dublin. Glasgow/Edinburgh Pre-Cruise and Paris/Giverny Post-Cruise Options.
Depart the U.S./Glasgow, Scotland
Day 1 and 2
Depart the U.S. for Glasgow. On arrival, embark the Five-Star M.S. LE BORÉAL. Enjoy dinner on board the ship Wednesday evening. (D)
Oban/Fort William/Scottish Highlands/The Jacobite steam train/Mallaig
Enjoy a full day’s journey through the lush, resplendent beauty of the legendary Scottish Highlands. Enjoy the splendor of majestic Glencoe—Scotland’s most scenic glen, the majority of which is owned and preserved by the National Trust for Scotland—and continue along the verdant shores of Loch Linnhe. After lunch in Fort William, board The Jacobite steam train—immortalized as the Hogwarts™ Express in the Harry Potter film series—for “one of the great railway journeys of the world” through awe-inspiring natural landscapes. Begin your train journey in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, and travel past Loch and River Morar to Mallaig near Loch Nevis, the deepest seawater loch in Europe. Along the way, visit the bucolic village of Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie rallied Jacobite Highlanders against King George II in 1745.
This evening, attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner. (B,L,R,D)
Kyle of Lochalsh/Armadale, Isle of Skye
In Kyle of Lochalsh, visit the 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle, named for a sixth-century Irish saint and one of the most iconic castles in the world.
Skye, dubbed “the Winged Island” after its birdlike shape, is the largest and one of the most scenic of the Inner Hebrides. Visit Armadale Castle’s spectacular 17th-century gardens and learn more about the powerful reign of Clan Donald, Lords of the Isles until 1493.
On board the ship this evening, Allen Packwood discusses the complexity of the D-Day operations and Sir Winston Churchill’s role in its undertaking. (B,L,D)
Tobermory, Isle of Mull/Isle of Iona
Go ashore at the sheltered port of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, where brightly painted houses are nestled between the hills and the harbor. After time at leisure, visit 13th-century Duart Castle, the ancestral home of the Clan Maclean, and enjoy lunch in the castle’s tea room.
Ferry across the Sound of Iona to the neighboring Hebridean Isle of Iona, birthplace of Scottish Christianity. In A.D. 563, the Irish monk Columba founded a monastery here, where scribes would spend their entire lives painstakingly copying and illuminating religious tracts and transcribing ancient Celtic sagas into written form, preserving a record of oral bardic tradition. In later years, Iona became the burial place of Scotland’s kings, including Duncan and Macbeth. At Iona Abbey, stroll through the serene, restored monastery and see the churchyard’s intricate Celtic crosses.
Later, join Allen Packwood as he presents the lecture “Churchill and the Two Republics: France and the U.S.” on board the ship. (B,L,D)
Holyhead, Wales, for Caernarfon
From Holyhead, transfer across the diminutive Isle of Anglesey and over the Menai Strait to North Wales, one of the cradles of Celtic culture. Here, the people hold fast to the old ways and Welsh remains their mother tongue.
Visit beautiful Bodnant Garden, one of the finest examples of 19th-century Victorian landscape artistry. Stop in the charming seaside resort town of Llandudno for lunch, followed by a stirring private choir performance of Welsh hymns.
Tour the imposing UNESCO World Heritage-designated Caernarfon Castle, an impenetrable 13th-century fortress built by Edward I of England as a defense against the marauding Welsh. Following the tradition of seven centuries of monarchs, Queen Elizabeth II invested the heir to the British throne, her son Charles, as “Prince of Wales” at Caernarfon in 1969.
Enjoy views of the beautiful, glacier-sculpted peaks and valleys of the Snowdonia Mountains on your return to the ship. (B,L,D)
Built astride the River Liffey, Ireland’s historic capital has retained its rich heritage of Georgian architecture. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, including the landmark St. Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedrals and grand O’Connell Street, lined with bronze and marble statues of Irish statesmen; stroll through the stately quadrangles of Trinity College; and view the incandescent illuminations of the ninth-century Book of Kells.
The afternoon is at leisure to walk along colorful Grafton Street, savor a pint of Guinness in a neighborhood pub or visit the National Gallery of Ireland, one of the best repositories of Celtic treasures in the world.
On board the ship this evening, enjoy a specially arranged traditional Irish music and dance performance. (B,L,D)
Cruising the Celtic Sea/English Channel
Enjoy enriching educational lectures today while cruising to France’s Normandy beaches. Professor Dwight David Eisenhower II will share captivating personal insights about General Dwight D. Eisenhower and on Operation Overlord, the Allies’ code name for the World War II military campaign his grandfather launched for the D-Day airborne and amphibious invasion at Normandy. (B,L,D)
Caen, France, for Normandy Beaches
Dock in Caen and travel through the scenic countryside to the historic Normandy beaches. In the company of Dwight David Eisenhower II, walk where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, under the direction of his grandfather, Supreme Allied Commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Contemplate the solemn commemorative crosses and Stars of David in the American Military Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. Envision the heroic soldiers of the U.S. Army Second Ranger Battalion, who scaled the 100-foot sheer cliffs to capture German gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc.
Following lunch, continue to Arromanches to see the remnants of Mulberry Harbor, constructed by the British to support Allied landings on the Normandy beaches. View an absorbing wraparound short film documenting the D-Day campaign at the Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema; or choose to see the famous 230-foot-long Bayeux Tapestry, a stunning visual chronicle of the Norman Conquest of 1066.
This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D)
Disembark and continue on the Paris and the Gardens of Giverny Post‑Cruise Option or
transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)