From Edinburgh to Glasgow, PONANT brings you aboard Le Champlain for an exceptional cruise to Celtic lands following an 8-day itinerary along the magnificent Scottish archipelagos of Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands and Hebrides Islands.
Departing from Edinburgh, city of history and labelled city of literature by UNESCO, you will first call at the port of Lerwick in the Shetland Islands. This port is well known because just a few kilometres inland lie the remarkable ruins of Scalloway Castle, built in 1600.
You will then head for the Orkney archipelago and its windswept moorland landscape. Stromness, a small fishing port with stone houses, reveals a rich history of Vikings, merchants and sailors.
You will also discover Stornoway, the largest city in the Hebrides with a warm and friendly atmosphere, before calling at Ullapool on the shore of Loch Broom in the western Highlands. This former herring fishing port boasts a picturesque atmosphere made up of white cottages and colourful fishermen’s boats.
You will then sail towards Fort William. This harbour town on the shores of Loch Linnhe is steeped in Scottish history and tradition, close to the beautiful and spectacular scenery of Glencoe.
Finally, you will reach Glasgow, Scotland’s warm cultural capital with a rich artistic and architectural heritage, your disembarkation port.
JUNE 12, 2023 – ROSYTH (EDINBURGH), SCOTLAND
Situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth opposite to Rosyth, the great city of Edinburgh has served as Scotland’s capital since the 15th century. Although no longer the largest city in the country, it remains the political, religious, and cultural focus of Scottish pride. Edinburgh Castle, in the very center of the city, is one end of the world famous Royal Mile that leads through the Old Town to the Palace of Holyrood, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is a wonderful place to shop and to sample local delicacies, like haggis and the whisky for which Scotland is renowned.
JUNE 13, 2023 – AT SEA
JUNE 14, 2023 – LERWICK, SHETLAND ISLANDS
The small and charming capital of the Shetland Islands, with its sea front of old houses and narrow streets, offering travellers its old districts and a warm port atmosphere. Geopark Shetland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located to the north. Incredibly well-preserved archaeological sites and ruins prove that the islands’ occupation dates back to the first Neolithic colonies. The Shetland Museum and Archives recounts the Shetlands’ history of heritage and culture: Lerwick’s abundant waters were even fished by the Dutch in the past.
JUNE 15, 2023 – STROMNESS, ORKNEY
The stone houses stand proudly facing the sea in the charming town of Stromness, the second most populous town in Scotland’s Orkney Islands. Long ago called Hamnavoe – meaning “safe harbour” – because of the safety it provided to Viking travellers, sailors and merchants sailing around Great Britain, the town has retained its gentle way of life. Strolling along its picturesque streets will immerse you in the history of the fishermen and whale hunters, but also allow you to discover a lively town with a living culture.
JUNE 16, 2023 – STORNOWAY, HEBRIDES
Discover Lewis, the largest island of the Hebrides, considered to be the cradle of Gaelic culture. Here, the peat- and heather- covered valleys and lochs stretch on to infinity, and numerous bird colonies have taken up residence in the long, jagged coastlines where. Not far from Stornoway, the island’s main town, built by the Vikings in the 9th century stands one of Scotland’s most prominent prehistoric sites: The Standing Stones of Callanish. Dating back to more than 3,000 years B.C., these imposing stones placed in a cruciform pattern were laid out according to the moon and stars and their main purpose was to keep track of seasonal cycles, as this was essential for farmers at the time.
JUNE 17, 2023 – ULLAPOOL, SCOTLAND
On the West Coast of the Northern Highlands, you’re sure to be charmed by the picturesque city of Ullapool, so often admired by holidaymakers passing through. While this delightful fishing port has proven to be the ideal departure point for exploring the region on foot, the place itself is worth the detour. Stretching along the quiet, majestic banks of loch Broom, whitewashed cottages line the harbour and the pretty pebble beach. The view of the surrounding mountains only makes this image postcard-perfect. To find out more about Ullapool’s origins, you can visit the town’s museum dedicated to local history.
JUNE 18, 2023 – FORT WILLIAM
A port town on the eastern shore of Loch Linnhe, Fort William is sometimes described as the “Outdoor Capital of the UK.” Because it sits at the base of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the British Isles, and is in close proximity to the dramatic landscape of Glencoe, it is a popular destination for hikers and rock climbers. For those looking for a less adventurous experience, the nearby Ben Nevis Distillery offers tours and tastings, and Old Fort and Old Inverlochy Castle are interesting historical sites.
JUNE 19, 2023 – GLASGOW, SCOTLAND
In the heart of the Clyde Valley, the bustling city of Glasgow contrasts starkly with the wild beauty of the surrounding countryside. Scotland’s biggest city overflows with landmarks from its extensive artistic heritage and outstanding architectural tradition. The city’s chequerboard layout makes walking through the major pedestrian thoroughfares easy: go with the flow and let the lively street atmosphere take you past the many Victorian monuments. Don’t miss the collections on display in the numerous museums and art galleries. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is an outstanding example.