Individual travel arrangements to Hamburg, departure 17.00 hrs
Relaxation at sea
Torquay/Britain, 12.30 – 19.30 hrs
Counties – history’s open book
Your cruise experience will begin with one of Great Britain’s most attractive areas: southern England. In the elegant seaside resort of Torquay, the English Riviera provided inspiration for Agatha Christie, who was born here. Dr Carsten Seick will take you to a world straight from her novels on his expert excursion: Gardens, literature and culture – a trip with the steam train to Greenway manor house*. The Georgian villa belonged to the crime writer, who spent her holidays here. You will also discover the county’s exciting side in medieval Totnes and on a visit to Buckfast Abbey*, which was built in 1018 by Benedictine monks.
England’s flourishing natural world is no less impressive than its flourishing culture: on Tresco, the second largest of the Scilly Isles, the warm Gulf Stream allows subtropical plants from all over the world to be cultivated here. Relax and enjoy the diversity of the gardens, which are unique throughout Great Britain.
Avonmouth (Bristol), 6.00 – 15.45 hrs (subject to the tides)
Seldom visited by cruise ships, Bristol is another impressive location. After travelling here from Avonmouth, immerse yourself in a history dating back to Roman times. Discover historic pilgrimage and assembly sites as well as the remnants of Celtic settlements on the trail of Christianity: Wells and Glastonbury*. Feel as though transported back to the Middle Ages on a visit to Cardiff Castle*, which will bring the turbulent history behind the castle walls to life. In addition to the Norman castle, the Victorian manor house presents a vivid history with murals and stained-glass windows.
Holyhead/Wales, 14.00 – 19.00 hrs
From Holyhead, you will travel along the enchanting landscape to a 13th-century castle that was highly important for England’s monarchs. To this day, regal Caernarfon Castle* is the setting for the conferment of the title of “Prince of Wales”, most recently to Prince Charles in 1969. Nature lovers can look forward to a different type of crowning highlight on the expert excursion: Bodnant Garden, one of the world’s most beautiful gardens*. Learn all about the special features of the stylish terraces with roses, rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias.
Greenock/Scotland, 11.00 – 23.00 hrs
A realm as full-bodied as its whisky
The Scottish coastal town of Greenock is your gateway to the rugged highlands. Pass typical villages and little lakes on a striking scenic journey to Loch Lomond*. For centuries, this has been the setting of stories and songs passed down through the generations. You could hardly imagine a more beautiful abundance of plants than here on the west coast, for which we have the Gulf Stream to thank. See some of the warm climate’s greatest creations on the expert excursion: Geilston Garden and Glenarn*. The head gardener will also seize the opportunity to welcome you with a diverse kitchen garden, herbaceous borders and a 100-year-old sequoia. The Inner Hebrides will impress as soon as you spot them from the deck, a rugged island world off Scotland’s coast. Here, the wind and weather have shaped raw natural beauty. The Zodiacs and a range of shore excursions will bring you close to nature and culture.
Islay, 13.30 – 18.30 hrs
For the first time, the HANSEATIC will visit Port Ellen in the south of Islay. The panoramic view of the “Queen of the Whisky Islands” is shaped by a broad, undulating landscape up to 500 m high. This is fertile ground for producing the famous single-malt whiskies of the Isle of Islay*, their peaty and smoky taste reflecting the region’s allure. Passage through the Sound of Islay will also showcase the natural character of this place. The sun sets late and, if the weather is good, the panoramic coastal views will glow as if in a very special summer night’s dream.
Cruising off Fingal’s Cave/Staffa
Experience the creations of wild nature when the HANSEATIC cruises off the Hebridean island of Staffa. Thousands of years of spray breaking against the cliffs have formed the famous basalt Fingal’s Cave, which inspired Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy to compose his Hebrides overture. Even from the sea, the Scottish Orkney Islands hint at their fascinating secrets – a mystical aura surrounds the rough and imposing steep cliffs.
Stromness/Orkney Islands, 7.00 – 17.00 hrs
From Stromness, you will travel back to the islands’ early history on a scenic journey to the Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae and Skaill House*. What was the purpose of the formidable stone circle, built around 2,700 BCE? What was life like in a Neolithic settlement or in a venerable manor house in the 17th century? Without question, the pure natural beauty of the area is a thrilling sight – as you will discover on the excursion Wind, water and walking: active on the Orkneys*.
Aberdeen/Scotland, 8.00 – 18.00 hrs
In north-east Scotland, cultural traditions and modern industry come together at the mouth of the rivers Dee and Don. Aberdeen, the city of flowers and granite*, fascinates with its tropical winter gardens in Duthie Park as well as its massive granite buildings and old town. You will also get a taste of the Scottish soul on a visit to a historic whisky distillery and Dunnottar Castle*, once the home of the Scottish crown jewels.
Leith (Edinburgh), 11.00 – 19.30 hrs
Be in royal company in Leith: the Britannia, the former Royal Yacht, has been anchored in Edinburgh since 1997. Just as majestic is the castle in the middle of the city, which sits on an extinct volcano – just one of the highlights of your exploration of Edinburgh with a tour of the castle*, home to many Scottish kings. Your many impressions will be rounded off in style by the expert excursion: the Royal Botanic Garden*. This is one of the oldest in Europe, with majestic trees and the Queen Mother’s Memorial Gardens. A magnificent and stylish setting in which to reflect on your “Best of Britain” expedition.
Relaxation at sea
Hamburg, arrival 9.00 hrs
Individual travel arrangements from cruise arrival point
The following programmes can be booked.
Please note that our pre- and post-cruise programmes are conducted in German.
For individual programmes kindly consult your travel agent.
Following programmes we offer in German:
* The shore activities are not included in the cruise price and are in the planning stage. Subject to changes.
A skilled landscape gardener who has studied the history of garden art, Dr Carsten Seick has been travelling the British Isles since he was a child. He studied at University College London and has worked in both the Museum of London and Kensington Palace.