Northern Isles Explorer
9 nights including 2 Gala Dinners
Discover the far-flung islands of Orkney and Shetland, as Hebridean Princess sails where the Norse once ruled. These contrasting archipelagos boast some of the finest Neolithic sites in Britain and both played vital roles during the Second World War.
A gentle sail to Kirkwall leads us to St Magnus Cathedral, known as the ‘Light in the North’ and founded by the Viking, Earl Rognvald, in 1137.
Having explored the highly ornate Italian Chapel, and series of causeways known as The Churchill Barriers, we discover the heart of Neolithic Orkney on a tour of the dig at the Ness of Brodgar, the Standing Stones of Stenness and the iconic Ring of Brodgar.
Steaming north, we pause a while on the remote Fair Isle, an irresistible bird and wild flower haven.
On the same latitude as Oslo, we learn of the war time history of Burravoe, at the Old Haa Museum, before continuing to mainland Shetland and surveying Lunna House, designated by the Scottish Office as a building of outstanding regional importance.
From Lerwick, we tour the once ancient capital of Shetland, Scalloway, prior to marvelling at the complexity of Jarlshof, where more than 4,000 years of human settlement can be witnessed.
Continuing south, we stretch our legs on Westray, and participate in a ranger led walk on Sanday, famed for its sandy beaches, turquoise seas and gentle landscape.
Our final island visit is to Stronsay and the collapsed sea cave, Vat of Kirbister, before sailing the Pentland Firth and visiting the Wick Museum, recounting the history of this Caithness town.