It’s a busy time for the United Kingdom: William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are preparing to celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary April 29 while also awaiting the birth of their second child (the baby will be fourth in line to the throne, after his or her grandfather, father and brother). In addition, Queen Elizabeth will celebrate her 89th birthday on April 21. She is on her way to becoming Britain’s longest-reigning monarch; her reign will surpass that of Queen Victoria on September 10.
With all of these happy events, the U.K. will celebrate all summer long, making it a wonderful time to cruise this part of the world. The British Isles include Great Britain – England, Scotland and Wales – and lots of offshore islands, as well as Ireland. The coastlines are beautiful, and ships can move from one port to another quickly, giving you more time to explore the ports and take day excursions to inland attractions, such as England’s Stonehenge.
A summer cruise of the British Isles means mild weather (generally in the 70s during the day) and long hours of sunlight. Spring, when the countryside is in bloom, and fall, when the leaves change color, are lovely times to cruise as well. Some cruise lines sail the British Isles through the winter months, too, when the chilly air is warmed by the lights and aromas of Britain’s Christmas markets.
Ports that you may visit include Belfast, Ireland, where Titanic Belfast is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the ill-fated ship. History buffs will also love the Orkney Islands, just off the northeast coast of Scotland, which were visited by the Vikings and have wonderful archaeological sites. In Edinburgh, Scotland, stately Edinburgh Castle watches over the city’s medieval and Georgian architecture.
London, England, lies inland on the River Thames, so your ship will probably dock at Southampton, Dover or Tilbury. Each of these ports has its own attractions, as well as being a gateway to London. To see as much of London as possible, consider a Thames river cruise, which can take you to the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. If you have time, you’ll also want to visit Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and some of the fabulous museums.
To plan your ideal United Kingdom cruise – for this summer or some future time – talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AtthetaTravel