12 NIGHT BRITISH ISLES CRUISE ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Amsterdam , Netherlands | Lerwick / Shetland , Scotland | Inverness / Loch Ness , Scotland | Belfast , Northern Ireland | Dublin , Ireland | Dublin , Ireland | Holyhead , Wales | Cork (Cobh) , Ireland | Dover , England | Amsterdam , Netherlands

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BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS

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YOUR SHIP

BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS

BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS

TIME FOR A LATITUDE ADJUSTMENT

Calling all backroads ramblers and culture cruisers— your ship's come in. Whether you're catching a movie poolside or enjoying Tuscan dishes at Giovanni's Table, you're in for the ultimate adventure in between shores.

DAY 1 - Departure Day

Amsterdam, Netherlands

DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

DUTCH DISCOVERIES

Pick up syrupy stroopwafels from a street vendor for breakfast and then enjoy a peaceful walk through Dam Square, home to the Royal Palace. Trace the city’s unique history through artifacts and photos at the Amsterdam Museum. Or get hands-on with the kids at the NEMO Science Center.

The Amsterdam dancing houses over Amstel river in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beautiful sunrise over Amsterdam, Netherlands, with flowers and bicycles on a bridge in spring
Aerial view of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Pick up syrupy stroopwafels from a street vendor for breakfast and then enjoy a peaceful walk through Dam Square, home to the Royal Palace. Trace the city’s unique history through artifacts and photos at the Amsterdam Museum. Or get hands-on with the kids at the NEMO Science Center.

The Amsterdam dancing houses over Amstel river in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beautiful sunrise over Amsterdam, Netherlands, with flowers and bicycles on a bridge in spring
Aerial view of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Things To Do

in Amsterdan

Glass top boat ride along the canals of Amsterdam, Netherlands

CRUISING FOR A PERUSING

No visit to Amsterdam is complete without a boat ride along its picturesque maze of canals. Gain a unique perspective of the city’s UNESCO-listed Canal Ring district as you float under historic bridges and past gabled mansions— whether in a glass-topped tour boat or in your own rented pedal boat.

The Van Hogh museum

GOGH FOR THE ART

Enter the world-renowned Van Gogh Museum to explore the life and greatest works of the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. Home to the world’s largest collection of paintings by the artist, this inspiring space houses many of his famous self-portraits and paintings, like The Potato Eaters and Sunflowers.

A statue of Anne Frank in Amsterdam, Netherlands

JOURNAL TO THE PAST

Relive the harrowing story of young Jewish teenager Anne Frank, whose diary entries during World War II became one of the best-selling books of all time. Step inside the annex where she lived in hiding with her family, viewing the converted museum exhibitions that detail their time in Amsterdam.

Stack of fresh Stroopwafels with honey and coffee, in a shop in Amsterdam, Netherlands

LOCAL CUISINE

Amsterdam delivers a mix of Michelin-rated restaurants, canal-side cafes, and quintessential “Brown Bar” pubs. Hit a street market for herring sandwiches, syrup-filled stroopwafels, or fries slathered with mayonnaise. You can’t go wrong with stamppot (veggie mashed potatoes) or bitterballen (fried meatballs). And if you’re thirsty, sip jenever (Dutch gin)— or taste beer at the Heineken Experience.

Tulips for sale at a flower market in Amsterdam, Netherlands

SHOPPING

De Bijenkorf is the city’s most famous department store since 1870. Daily open-air markets span the city, including the aromatic Flower Market. Browse jewelry shops and boutiques among The Nine Streets— or pick up cannabis-inspired goods in the Red Light District. Also be sure to take home the region’s legendary blue Delft pottery.

DAY 2 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T MISS FAVORITES

Family Enjoying a Round of Mini Golf
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch

Family Enjoying a Round of Mini Golf
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch

Things to Do

Man Climbing Down the Rock Wall
Rock Climbing Wall

A BOLDER BOULDER

Rise to the occasion and take on the signature Rock Climbing Wall. From beginners to speed climbers, everyone can enjoy an unparalleled view from 40 feet above deck. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas
Mini Golf

ON PAR FOR ADVENTURE

Hit the links on the high seas! Refine your mini-golf game on a green that overlooks a sea of blue. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

DAY 3 - TENDERED

Lerwick / Shetland, Scotland

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

ADVENTURE ON LOCH

Begin your Lerwick adventure at the Shetland Museum and Archives, where you can learn about the Viking roots of this far-northern corner of Scotland. Then, wander around the harbor and town center and make your way to Fort Charlotte, a five-sided artillery fort built in the 1600s. In the afternoon, head to Clickimin Loch and the Broch of Clickimin, an Iron Age drystone structure that dates back to the first century A.D.

View of the town hall in Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland
The ruins of old stone homes in Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland
Buildings in the old town of Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland

Begin your Lerwick adventure at the Shetland Museum and Archives, where you can learn about the Viking roots of this far-northern corner of Scotland. Then, wander around the harbor and town center and make your way to Fort Charlotte, a five-sided artillery fort built in the 1600s. In the afternoon, head to Clickimin Loch and the Broch of Clickimin, an Iron Age drystone structure that dates back to the first century A.D.

View of the town hall in Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland
The ruins of old stone homes in Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland
Buildings in the old town of Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland
Things To Do

in Lerwick / Shetland

A vintage textile loom

Be Tempted by Textiles

Learn more about the heritage textile skills unique to these islands at Shetland Textile Museum. The museum's collection includes hundreds of items, dating from 1870 to 2016. These include Shetland lace, Fair Isle knitting, Shetland Taatit rugs and woven tweed. The museum also has tools, papers and patterns on display.

A man bicycling on a road in Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland

Cycle the Isles

The North Sea Cycle Route runs through Norway, Scotland, England, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden. Visit one of Lerwick's bike hire companies and spend a day exploring the coastline along the section of the North Sea Cycle Route that stretches through the island during your Norway cruise. There are signposts around Shetland for directions.

Sliced black pudding on a fresh salad

Local Cuisine

Hay's Dock Cafe Restaurant is a waterfront dining option, located inside the award-winning Shetland Museum and Archives. Fjara Cafe Bar is also on the waterfront; serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Fjara focuses on local produce. Here you'll find, pork, leek sausage, black pudding and espresso to satisfy your cravings. Lerwick Brewery is a family-run business with four beers on constant rotation.

An assortment of Scottish wool

Shopping

Shetland Museum and Archives' gift shop also has Shetland-theme books and maritime souvenirs. The Shetland Times Bookshop stocks both an array of books and gifts. On Commercial street, you'll find shops selling handcrafted homeware and items made from Shetland lace and wool — including hats, sweaters, scarves and even jewelry.

INSIDER TIP

Unless you want to cycle the North Sea Cycle Route, Lerwick's top attractions are within walking distance of each other.

DAY 4 - DOCKED

Inverness / Loch Ness, Scotland

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

WOAH, NESSIE!

The name of the port city of Inverness means "mouth of the River Ness," and the port is just 15 minutes away from Loch Ness itself. Combine a boat ride on the lake with tours of nearby castles — the ruins of Urquhart, perched a top a hill overlooking the Loch, are a must-see. Shakespeare fans should visit Cawdor Castle, home to Macbeth and one of the bard's most famous murder scenes.

The ruins of Urquhart Castle overlooking Loch Ness
City view of Inverness in Scotland
The Inverness Castle in Inverness, Scotland

The name of the port city of Inverness means "mouth of the River Ness," and the port is just 15 minutes away from Loch Ness itself. Combine a boat ride on the lake with tours of nearby castles — the ruins of Urquhart, perched a top a hill overlooking the Loch, are a must-see. Shakespeare fans should visit Cawdor Castle, home to Macbeth and one of the bard's most famous murder scenes.

The ruins of Urquhart Castle overlooking Loch Ness
City view of Inverness in Scotland
The Inverness Castle in Inverness, Scotland
Things To Do

in Inverness / Loch Ness

Yellow flowers blooming on the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland

Search for a Sea Monster

Cruise Scotland's famous lake, Loch Ness, with camera at the ready to see if its legendary monster, Nessie, will finally make a definitive appearance. Or cast your eyes wide over the lake from the ruins of Urquhart Castle.

View of Dunrobin Castle from a garden

Castles and Shakespeare

The Scottish Highlands have several castles to explore. Dunrobin Castle has a museum, a falconry and gardens inspired by those at France's Palace of Versailles. Check out Cawdor Castle's tower and legendary thorn tree, where Shakespeare set one of the (many) murder scenes from "Macbeth."

Four glasses of malt Scotch

A Wee Dram

No trip to Scotland would be complete without sampling some fine single-malt Scotch whisky, with its distinctive smoky, peaty quality. There's no "e" in the Scottish spelling; "whiskey" is for the Irish and American versions. Learn about the whisky-making process at the award-winning distillery Glenmorangie.

A bowl of Cullen Skink fish soup in Scotland

Local Cuisine

Fans of Boston clam chowder should try cullen skink, a similarly rich fish soup made with potatoes and smoked haddock. For dessert, cranachan is the Scottish version of parfait, with raspberries, cream, toasted oatmeal — and a little Scotch whisky, of course. As you wander the streets of Inverness, the scents wafting from the local chippy will make it hard to pass by without ordering some fish and chips.

Various kilts for sale in Scotland

Shopping

Scottish sweets like shortbread, toffees, caramels and Edinburgh rock make an ideal gift — if you can prevent yourself from eating them before you get home. Cruise to Loch Ness and pick up a bottle of the favorite single-malt you sample from one of the local distilleries. You'll find many products made in tartan patterns, a type of plaid associated with specific Scottish clans.

INSIDER TIP

Scots take pride in being Scottish. Remember, Scotland is distinct from England, though both are part of the U.K.

DAY 5 - AT SEA

CRUISING

FOR FOODIES

Salmon Salad bowl with Watercress served at Izumi, a fine dining Japanese Restaurant. One of our best vacation cruise dining.
Sushi chef prepping a sushi plate at Izumi Japanese fine dining restaurant. One of the best vacation cruise dining.

Salmon Salad bowl with Watercress served at Izumi, a fine dining Japanese Restaurant. One of our best vacation cruise dining.
Sushi chef prepping a sushi plate at Izumi Japanese fine dining restaurant. One of the best vacation cruise dining.

Things to Do

Assorted Sushi Rolls Platter served at Izumi, Japanese Restaurant. One of the best fine dining cuisine on a cruise.
Izumi

A FAR EAST FEAST

Say “Konnichiwa” to a reimagined favorite. Sushi, sashimi and more, all made-to-order with intense flavors, the best ingredients and impeccable presentation. Now that’s fresh.

Lobster & Alaska king crab main entree, served at the Elegant Chefs Table restaurant. One of the best cruise line fine dining
Chef's Table

AS VIP AS CAN BE

Located in an intimate, exclusive spot onboard, this private epicurean experience for a limited number of guests, treats you to a five-course, menu and wine tasting.

DAY 6 - DOCKED

Belfast, Northern Ireland

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

A REVOLUTIONARY CITY

Belfast is easy to explore on foot. If visiting on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, start your day at St. George's Market. Then walk along the waterfront towards the Titanic Quarter and Titanic Belfast, the city's major tourist attraction. Don't miss out on exploring the Cathedral Quarter — here, you'll find traditional Irish pubs, hip modernist restaurants, live music and a wealth of nightlife options.

The city hall building in Belfast, Northern Ireland
The exterior of the Palm House and exterior gardens in Belfast, Northern Ireland
A beautiful view of Queens University of Belfast

Belfast is easy to explore on foot. If visiting on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, start your day at St. George's Market. Then walk along the waterfront towards the Titanic Quarter and Titanic Belfast, the city's major tourist attraction. Don't miss out on exploring the Cathedral Quarter — here, you'll find traditional Irish pubs, hip modernist restaurants, live music and a wealth of nightlife options.

The city hall building in Belfast, Northern Ireland
The exterior of the Palm House and exterior gardens in Belfast, Northern Ireland
A beautiful view of Queens University of Belfast
Things To Do

in Belfast

A vintage ship propeller and rudder

A Titanic Legacy

Travel back in time to the Titanic Quarter. Titanic Belfast is a must-see — it was named the world's leading tourist attraction in 2016. Step aboard Titanic's little sister, the SS Nomadic, or the HMS Caroline. Finish your visit at McHugh's pub, located in one of Belfast's oldest buildings.

A man walking down the road at the famous dark hedges in Northern Ireland

Winter(fell) Is Coming

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Belfast's Titanic Studios is where the series is filmed. Take a tour to visit filming locations across Northern Ireland — you'll experience Winterfell, Dragonstone and the Wall like never before.

a street in the student quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland

Political Paths

If you're interested in learning more about Belfast's political history, strike out on Irish Tour Ticket's Belfast Political Walking Tour. Cruise to Ireland and walk the streets where the city's historic political events took place and learn more than any guidebook can tell you.

a tray of fish and chips

Local Cuisine

Belfast cuisine is about more than fish and chips (although there's plenty of that, too). It's also about fresh-caught seafood including oysters and small crabs — served alongside a proper pint of ale, of course. Upscale modernist fare more your thing? Head to one of the restaurants that overlook the River Lagan, where you'll find everything from forward-thinking updates on British cuisine to Italian small plates.

a replica souvenir bell from the titanic

Shopping

Check out the Titanic Store at Titanic Belfast with your Ireland cruise. Souvenirs include vintage posters, food products, collectibles and clothing. On weekends, St. George's Market has a variety of local vendors selling handicrafts. Danielle Morgan's Flax Fox brand specializes in gift ware and limited edition Irish-inspired prints.

INSIDER TIP

There's a free bus running every 20 minutes on Fridays and Saturdays, from the city center to St. George's Market.

DAY 7 - DOCKED

Dublin, Ireland

ARRIVES:
11:30 AM
DUBLIN UP

ON THE THRILLS

Begin your day with a history lesson at one of the city's many historic sights. Check out Dublin Castle, originally a medieval fortress built on the site of a Viking settlement. See Kilmainham Gaol, which was built in 1796 and held many of the most prominent figures from Ireland's fight for independence. Then do as the Irish do and have a drink — Dublin is home to both the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery.

View of the Trong Tower of the Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland
The Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head in Ireland
The Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland

Begin your day with a history lesson at one of the city's many historic sights. Check out Dublin Castle, originally a medieval fortress built on the site of a Viking settlement. See Kilmainham Gaol, which was built in 1796 and held many of the most prominent figures from Ireland's fight for independence. Then do as the Irish do and have a drink — Dublin is home to both the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery.

View of the Trong Tower of the Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland
The Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head in Ireland
The Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland
Things To Do

in Dublin

A glass filled with a dark Irish stout beer

A Proper Pint

Ireland's No. 1 tourist attraction is the Guinness Storehouse. With seven floors of interactive experiences, the end reward is a perfectly poured pint at the world-famous Gravity Bar. If beer isn't your thing, visit the Jameson Distillery for a 40-minute tasting tour of Ireland's best-selling Irish whiskey.

Frontal view of the Malahide Castle in Dublin, Ireland

Toast the Past

Dublin has a long history, beginning with the Viking raids in the 9th and 10th centuries. Explore the city's past at attractions like Malahide Castle, which dates back to the 1100s and houses a complex walled garden. Check out St Patrick's Cathedral, another 12th century built in dramatic Gothic style.

A fallow deer in Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland

Play in a Park

Dublin has many open green spaces. Phoenix Park, which is the largest enclosed public park in any European capital city. It's home to a herd of fallow deer, Dublin Zoo, gardens and Ashtown Castle. St Stephen's Green is another option, as is the National Botanic Gardens.

A typical Irish breakfast on a white plate

Local Cuisine

There are almost too many choices for dining in Dublin, from Michelin-starred restaurant to character-filled pubs. To fuel up for you adventure, take down a plate of beans in spiced tomato sauce with toast, topped with a fried egg — the dish is often paired with black pudding, a traditional type of blood sausage.

A clover leaf pendant souvenir from

Shopping

Dublin's two main shopping streets are O'Connell and Grafton Streets. For a unique souvenir, visit Avoca for clothes, accessories, wool blankets and home wares. The Ireland-only store still uses the wool mill where it all began in the 1700s. The Irish Design Shop also stocks home wares, jewelry and gifts.

INSIDER TIP

Dublin is famous for its colorful Georgian doors, which can be found around Fitzwilliam and Merrion Squares.

DAY 8 - DOCKED

Dublin, Ireland

DEPARTS:
11:00 PM
DUBLIN UP

ON THE THRILLS

Begin your day with a history lesson at one of the city's many historic sights. Check out Dublin Castle, originally a medieval fortress built on the site of a Viking settlement. See Kilmainham Gaol, which was built in 1796 and held many of the most prominent figures from Ireland's fight for independence. Then do as the Irish do and have a drink — Dublin is home to both the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery.

View of the Trong Tower of the Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland
The Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head in Ireland
The Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland

Begin your day with a history lesson at one of the city's many historic sights. Check out Dublin Castle, originally a medieval fortress built on the site of a Viking settlement. See Kilmainham Gaol, which was built in 1796 and held many of the most prominent figures from Ireland's fight for independence. Then do as the Irish do and have a drink — Dublin is home to both the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery.

View of the Trong Tower of the Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland
The Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head in Ireland
The Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland
Things To Do

in Dublin

A glass filled with a dark Irish stout beer

A Proper Pint

Ireland's No. 1 tourist attraction is the Guinness Storehouse. With seven floors of interactive experiences, the end reward is a perfectly poured pint at the world-famous Gravity Bar. If beer isn't your thing, visit the Jameson Distillery for a 40-minute tasting tour of Ireland's best-selling Irish whiskey.

Frontal view of the Malahide Castle in Dublin, Ireland

Toast the Past

Dublin has a long history, beginning with the Viking raids in the 9th and 10th centuries. Explore the city's past at attractions like Malahide Castle, which dates back to the 1100s and houses a complex walled garden. Check out St Patrick's Cathedral, another 12th century built in dramatic Gothic style.

A fallow deer in Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland

Play in a Park

Dublin has many open green spaces. Phoenix Park, which is the largest enclosed public park in any European capital city. It's home to a herd of fallow deer, Dublin Zoo, gardens and Ashtown Castle. St Stephen's Green is another option, as is the National Botanic Gardens.

A typical Irish breakfast on a white plate

Local Cuisine

There are almost too many choices for dining in Dublin, from Michelin-starred restaurant to character-filled pubs. To fuel up for you adventure, take down a plate of beans in spiced tomato sauce with toast, topped with a fried egg — the dish is often paired with black pudding, a traditional type of blood sausage.

A clover leaf pendant souvenir from

Shopping

Dublin's two main shopping streets are O'Connell and Grafton Streets. For a unique souvenir, visit Avoca for clothes, accessories, wool blankets and home wares. The Ireland-only store still uses the wool mill where it all began in the 1700s. The Irish Design Shop also stocks home wares, jewelry and gifts.

INSIDER TIP

Dublin is famous for its colorful Georgian doors, which can be found around Fitzwilliam and Merrion Squares.

DAY 9 - DOCKED

Holyhead, Wales

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

HISTORY AND ADVENTURE COLLIDE

Looking to pack in adventure? Immerse yourself in this ancient Welsh city. Walk the Anglesey Coastal Path, taking in jaw-dropping views of the seaside cliffs and brackish waters as you make your way to the lighthouse on South Stack island. Or stroll through the city center, tour Saint Cybi's Church and walk among the remants of Roman ramparts.

Coastal cliffs at South Stack in Wales
The St. Cybi church in Holyhead, Wales
A path surrounded by rocky landscape in Wales

Looking to pack in adventure? Immerse yourself in this ancient Welsh city. Walk the Anglesey Coastal Path, taking in jaw-dropping views of the seaside cliffs and brackish waters as you make your way to the lighthouse on South Stack island. Or stroll through the city center, tour Saint Cybi's Church and walk among the remants of Roman ramparts.

Coastal cliffs at South Stack in Wales
The St. Cybi church in Holyhead, Wales
A path surrounded by rocky landscape in Wales
Things To Do

in Holyhead

A stone hut at Breakwater Park in Holyhead, Wales

Throw It (Way, Way) Back

Immerse yourself in all things historic and prehistoric in Holyhead. After you've seen the Roman-era fort walls and the church dating back to 550 AD, head to even more ancient sites — there's a neolithic burial chamber at Trefignath, a mile and half outside town, and a group of Bronze-Age huts on the south slope of Holyhead Mountain.

The view of Holyhead and the harbor from the top of Holyhead mountain

Park It

Holyhead Breakwater Country Park has something for everyone. Check out the wildlife and industrial exhibitions, then explore the Rocky Coast and the lake Llyn Llwynog. The park offers access to both South Stack island and Holyhead Mountain, and walks here are perfect for families.

The South Stack Lighthouse in Wales

Get On Island Time

South Stack is an island located off the Holy Island coast. It's famous for its lighthouse, which you can visit by crossing a footbridge. South Stack's cliffs support large colonies of seabirds — catch a glimpse of the puffins from Ellin's Tower with your Irish Sea cruise.

Four welsh griddle cakes on a blue and white plate

Local Cuisine

Holyhead's dining scene is impressively eclectic. Head to Wavecrest Cafe for traditional Welsh griddle cakes, and hit up the Harbourfront Bistro for modern British cuisine, with lots of local seafood and slow-cooked lamb and beef. Interested in Indian cuisine? Locals love Nuha Tandoori.

Miniature traditional homes souvenirs

Shopping

Head to the streets lining the Old Harbour or take the drive to nearby Anglesey to find independent boutiques stocked with unique souvenirs and giftware. Seek out distinctive finds at vintage furniture stores. Pick up locally made decorations for your home or kitchen as many cruise ship visitors do. There's even a traditional watch and clock shop if you're looking to upgrade your timepiece.

INSIDER TIP

Driving is the best way to reach South Stack and Holyhead Golf Club.

DAY 10 - DOCKED

Cork (Cobh), Ireland

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

IRELAND'S CULTURAL CAPITAL

Spend a few hours in Cobh visiting the Titanic Experience and taking the walking tour of the city, the Titanic Trail. Then, catch the next train — you'll be in Cork in less than 30 minutes. Check out the 360-degree views from St. Anne's Church. Then, indulge your senses at the English Market; crack the crust on a loaf of fresh bread, and sample distinctive artisanal cheeses.

Holy Trinity Church in Cork, Ireland
The Castle of Blarney in Cork, Ireland
Colorful waterfront buildings in Cork, Ireland

Spend a few hours in Cobh visiting the Titanic Experience and taking the walking tour of the city, the Titanic Trail. Then, catch the next train — you'll be in Cork in less than 30 minutes. Check out the 360-degree views from St. Anne's Church. Then, indulge your senses at the English Market; crack the crust on a loaf of fresh bread, and sample distinctive artisanal cheeses.

Holy Trinity Church in Cork, Ireland
The Castle of Blarney in Cork, Ireland
Colorful waterfront buildings in Cork, Ireland
Things To Do

in Cork (Cobh)

The Blarney house in Cork, Ireland

Kiss the Blarney Stone

Don't leave the region without getting up close and personal with the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, located eight kilometers northwest of Cork. Legend has it, if you literally bend over backwards to kiss the stone, you'll gain the gift of eloquence.

The gaol in Cork's old city

Go to Gaol

Going to prison is usually a bad thing, but Cork City Gaol (the Celtic spelling for "jail") is the exception. The castle-like building once housed 19th century prisoners. It closed in 1923 to become a broadcasting station and reopened as a museum in 1993. Today, you can tour the cells and see the artifacts of early radio broadcasting.

A building at Fort Mitchel on Spike Island in Ireland

Fortify Yourself

Take the short, scenic ferry ride from Cobh to Spike Island — named the top European tourist attraction at the 2017 World Travel Awards — and explore Fort Mitchel. Over 200 years old, the star-shaped fortress previously held 2,300 prisoners. For brave souls, the island even offers After Dark tours.

A serving of traditional stew with a pint of beer on the side

Local Cuisine

Visit the local artisans selling their fresh produce at English Market in Cork, where trading has been happening since 1788. You'll find artisan cheese and bread, locally raised meats, fresh produce and seafood. Then, head to a traditional restaurant on Oliver Plunkett street for a classic dinner of fish and chips or lamb stew with potatoes and vegetables.

Various souvenir Irish magnets

Shopping

St. Patrick's Street in the city center is Cork's main shopping district to see with your Ireland cruise. You'll find modern pop-ups like Wild Design, which offers ethically made handicrafts and jewelry. Traditional Irish stores like Kilkenny Shop specialize in everything from pottery to home decor. The common theme here is high-quality, Irish-made goods.

INSIDER TIP

In Cobh, walk up West View — one of Ireland's steepest hills — to photograph St. Colman's Cathedral backdropping the rainbow houses.

DAY 11 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SUN DRENCHED DAYS

Family Swimming and Enjoying the Pool
Sunset at the Solarium Pool

Family Swimming and Enjoying the Pool
Sunset at the Solarium Pool

Things to Do

Girls Diving and Swimming in the Covered Pool
Pools

SWIM IT TO WIN IT

Soak up the sun or savor the shade on expanded pool decks, with complimentary loungers, live music, and the opportunity to enjoy a frosty cocktail.

Guests Enjoying the Drinks and Pool at the Solarium
Solarium

SUN AND SERENITY

Slip away to this adults-only indoor and outdoor retreat. The Solarium is your slice of paradise, with soothing whirlpools, warm sunshine and a refreshing water mist.

DAY 12 - DOCKED

Dover, England

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
4:00 PM

CELTIC CLIFFHANGER

Discover Dover's history in a day. Start at the National Trust's White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Centre. Then head west to Dover Castle and its historic Secret Wartime Tunnels. Continuing west will take you into Dover's town center, which is home to Pencester Gardens and Dover Museum. The day's final stop is Western Heights of Dover, a 1800s hilltop fortification.

View of the white cliffs of Dover
Exterior view of Dover Castle in Dover, England
St. Mary Castro church in Dover, England

Discover Dover's history in a day. Start at the National Trust's White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Centre. Then head west to Dover Castle and its historic Secret Wartime Tunnels. Continuing west will take you into Dover's town center, which is home to Pencester Gardens and Dover Museum. The day's final stop is Western Heights of Dover, a 1800s hilltop fortification.

View of the white cliffs of Dover
Exterior view of Dover Castle in Dover, England
St. Mary Castro church in Dover, England
Things To Do

in Dover

Aerial view of the white cliffs of Dover, England

Walk the White Cliffs

The chalk composition of the White Cliffs of Dover gives them their stunning natural appearance. Walk along the cliff top to soak in the views of the busy English Channel and French coast. Or carry a book in your back pocket and wander aimlessly through a field of green.

Aerial view of Dover Castle in Dover, England

Castle Crawl

Dover Castle dates back to the 11th century. Its Great Tower is fantastically furnished to resemble a medieval court — performers included. The castle is also home to the Secret Wartime Tunnels. Built during Napoleonic times, the tunnels were used until the end of WWII, where you can now find exhibits inside tracing their history.

An assortment of five different bronze age tools

Museum Medley

Dover Museum is free, with exhibitions on Dover's history from the Stone Age to the Saxons and the town's growth since medieval times. Then, there's the award-winning Bronze Age Boat Gallery, which is home to the world's oldest known seagoing boat. The Dover Museum Shop is also stocked with souvenirs such as postcards and figurines.

Grilled shrimp on a black board

Local Cuisine

Dover's dining options range from traditional, no-frills eateries to hip urban bistros. Naturally, seafood is a specialty — try shell-on local king prawns or whitebait, lightly battered and fried golden-brown. Cruise to Dover, England and head to a pub for English fish pie, with smoked cod, haddock or halibut in bechamel sauce with mashed potatoes, covered in flaky puff pastry.

Assorted porcelain china cups and plates

Shopping

The Vintage Bubble, located inside The Wrong End of Town, is Dover's only handmade and personalized gift shop. It stocks gifts for everyone (including pets), with handmade home furnishings and an extensive collection of wooden toy boxes. Head to Pebbles Kiosk for Dover souvenirs or De Bradelei Wharf for an outlet shopping center during your England cruise.

INSIDER TIP

Remember to bring extra layers year-round if walking along the White Cliffs of Dover.

DAY 13 - Arrival Day

Amsterdam, Netherlands

ARRIVES:
6:00 AM

DOUBLE DUTCH ADVENTURE

Spend the afternoon in Amsterdam exploring the UNESCO-listed Canal Ring area, either by bicycle or boat. Stop by the Anne Frank House and see her wartime diaries. Check out Holland’s legendary windmills while learning about its reclaimed land. Or view mind-bending modern art at Stedelijk Museum. Top off the day with cocktails in a Red Light District watering hole.

Traditional old buildings and tulips in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sunset shot of bridges over canals during Autumn in Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Spend the afternoon in Amsterdam exploring the UNESCO-listed Canal Ring area, either by bicycle or boat. Stop by the Anne Frank House and see her wartime diaries. Check out Holland’s legendary windmills while learning about its reclaimed land. Or view mind-bending modern art at Stedelijk Museum. Top off the day with cocktails in a Red Light District watering hole.

Traditional old buildings and tulips in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sunset shot of bridges over canals during Autumn in Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Things To Do

in Amsterdan

Glass top boat ride along the canals of Amsterdam, Netherlands

CRUISING FOR A PERUSING

No visit to Amsterdam is complete without a boat ride along its picturesque maze of canals. Gain a unique perspective of the city’s UNESCO-listed Canal Ring district as you float under historic bridges and past gabled mansions— whether in a glass-topped tour boat or in your own rented pedal boat.

The Van Hogh museum

GOGH FOR THE ART

Enter the world-renowned Van Gogh Museum to explore the life and greatest works of the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. Home to the world’s largest collection of paintings by the artist, this inspiring space houses many of his famous self-portraits and paintings, like The Potato Eaters and Sunflowers.

A statue of Anne Frank in Amsterdam, Netherlands

JOURNAL TO THE PAST

Relive the harrowing story of young Jewish teenager Anne Frank, whose diary entries during World War II became one of the best-selling books of all time. Step inside the annex where she lived in hiding with her family, viewing the converted museum exhibitions that detail their time in Amsterdam.

Stack of fresh Stroopwafels with honey and coffee, in a shop in Amsterdam, Netherlands

LOCAL CUISINE

Amsterdam delivers a mix of Michelin-rated restaurants, canal-side cafes, and quintessential “Brown Bar” pubs. Hit a street market for herring sandwiches, syrup-filled stroopwafels, or fries slathered with mayonnaise. You can’t go wrong with stamppot (veggie mashed potatoes) or bitterballen (fried meatballs). And if you’re thirsty, sip jenever (Dutch gin)— or taste beer at the Heineken Experience.

Tulips for sale at a flower market in Amsterdam, Netherlands

SHOPPING

De Bijenkorf is the city’s most famous department store since 1870. Daily open-air markets span the city, including the aromatic Flower Market. Browse jewelry shops and boutiques among The Nine Streets— or pick up cannabis-inspired goods in the Red Light District. Also be sure to take home the region’s legendary blue Delft pottery.

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