Posts tagged with "Scotland"

Stay in Your Own Private Castle with Wilderness Scotland

The Emerald Isle and Scottish Highlands are brimming with iconic landmarks (a.k.a tourist traps). But what about those who want more than a pint of Guinness or a bite of haggis? Wilderness  Scotland  (Europe’s No. 1 Rated Adventure Travel Company) and sister company  Wilderness  Ireland  offer Tailor Made trips designed by locals and delivered by local legends—making them a great way to discover the essence of a place in a way that few visitors have access to. 

From enjoying a moonlight paddle in Yeats Country—home to unparalleled star gazing—to uncovering the secrets of the Loch Ness Monster to rappelling off sea stacks, Wilderness’ Tailor Made adventures unearth the true character of the destination. 

Forget everything you thought you knew about Ireland and Scotland with these one-of-a-kind experiences: 

Go Glamping in Yeats Country  

On a camping expedition in Sligo, Ireland, hike the breathtaking lakes, mountains, beaches and waterfalls that once inspired many of the great works of the Nobel Prize winning writer, W. B. Yeats. As the sun sets, hop in a kayak for a nighttime paddle on the “Lake Isle of Inisfree” to a private island. Leap onto the sand where a forested paradise awaits, along with a night of glamping in one of the world’s premier stargazing destinations. But first, enjoy wood-fired pizzas al fresco, while a local expert shares in the tales and legends of the area.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Hunt for Nessie with a Career Monster Tracker 

While Scotland is known for its legends and fables, none are quite as famous as the Loch Ness Monster. While considered by some as folklore, the storied creature has been likened by scientists to a plesiosaur that dates back to the end of the last ice age. To unearth the history of the mystical creature, meet Adrian Shine, a naturalist and researcher, for a private boat ride as he shares his insider knowledge after years of studying Nessie. You’ll fly across the waters of Loch Ness, one of the largest and deepest expanses of water in the UK, as you search for this elusive creature.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Spend the Night in Your Own Private Castle 

Nestled in the countryside on 500-acres lies a palace straight out of a fairytale—Aldourie Castle—and it’s easily bookable for a private rental for you and your closest 20 friends with Wilderness Scotland. This rare experience is set on the shores of Loch Ness, where well-tended courtyards, 16th-century gardens and horseback riding can be found as you stroll vast woodland grounds. For a closer look at the garden’s soaring pergolas, meet with your private guide for a tour, while keeping eyes peeled for deer, sea eagles and even basking sharks—the world’s second-largest fish. Stop for a tour at a world-famous malt whisky distillery to sip the Scottish ‘Water of Life,’ or hop in a sea kayak to observe the ruins of nearby Urquhart Castle from the water.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Cast a Line with an Expert Ghillie 

Grab your waders and wellies for an unforgettable fishing experience with one of Scotland’s most knowledgeable fishing expeditioners. Take to the Highlands to uncover the locals’ best-kept fishing spots along the River Tay in Perthshire. Here, anglers can find the country’s most iconic species—Atlantic salmon—along with pike, rainbow trout and pollock. Cheers to the catch of the day with a glass of distilled whisky on the riverbank.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Forage for Juniper to Make Your Own Gin

While whisky may be the official drink of Ireland, gin is also a popular local tipple. In Ireland’s Ancient East, you can learn the complicated science behind every bottle of Irish-made gin. Head into the forest with a naturalist guide to forage for fresh ingredients, such as juniper and other herbs. Then, head to an exclusive gin school to distill a bottle with your own herbs—making for a memorable souvenir.  

Dates & prices available upon request. 

Climb a Sea Stack High Above the Atlantic  

Head to what Ireland’s Donegal County calls “the most climbable rocks in Ireland” to unearth a secret spot where you’ll be suspended above the Atlantic waves for an adrenaline-fueled climb. But first, visit one of the area’s most remote spots to meet the local Gaelic-speaking characters who call the area home. They’ll guide you through the history of the separation between Northern and Southern Ireland, the basic knowledge of the Gaelic language and their local traditions. Then, you’ll be whisked away to a tiny island, where you’ll climb to the top of a sea stack, then rappel down the steep cliffside high above ocean waves. 

Dates & prices available upon request.

International Whisky Day

3 Countries, 3 Whiskies, 1 Day — International Whisk(e)y Day

Raise your favorite glass on March 27 and sip on some of the best whiskies from around world. Whether you’re a traditional Scotch whisky drinker or are looking to explore something new like premium whisky from India or France, understanding the history about the countries distilling the spirit makes it an even more fulfilling experience.

  • INDIA – Whiskies from India have been gaining popularity in the past few years and for good reason. With India having a predominantly warmer climate, the maturation process is much faster as compared to other countries like Scotland — some say 4x faster!
    • The Indian Whisky To Try: Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky (SRP: $70) knows there’s much more to the equation than age when it comes to creating a memorable expression. Nestled at the foothills of the Himalayas in the Indian city of Rampur, the spirit has a distinctive flavor profile replete with vanilla, honey, spices, and dried fruits. The spice is balanced but still present and representative of a premium-quality single malt whisky; to be savored neat or on the rocks.
  • FRANCE – In the land of Cognac, whisky you ask? The French have actually been distilling whisky for centuries and consuming it too! French Whiskies are often characterized by notes replete of fruit-forward flavor.
    • The French Whisky To Try: Bastille 1789 (SRP: $39.99) – Bright orange and amber in color, Bastille has intriguing aromas of orange marmalade, dried apricot, spice cake, pineapple blossoms and suede with a vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a long accented finish. A remarkably fruity, exotic and enigmatic whisky that will make for a fabulous Old-Fashioned.
  • SCOTLAND – Not much needs to be said about Scotch whisky. As one of the most popular categories in the world, some scotches are flavored heavily by peat and smoke while others are light and fruity.
    • The Scotch Whisky To Try: The Famous Grouse (SRP: $29.99) is ranked number one by volume in Scotland for a reason. All at an affordable price, Famous Grouse offers candied fruits and buttery shortbread on the nose, with flavors of cinnamon and ginger, dried fruits and oak. Stir it in a Hot Toddy or enjoy it on the rocks, this whiskey will be your go-to after a long day, and a staple of bartenders around the world.

MAD MUSEUM

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) presents an annual exhibition and sale of one-of-a-kind artisan jewelry called LOOT: MAD About Jewelry. Returning this spring (April 9 – 13), it will feature work from 55 artists from 18 countries (South Korea, UK, Finland, Chile, Scotland, Spain, France, Italy to name a few). These hand-picked artists specialize in different techniques and use unique materials such as glass, wood, metal, embroidery, horse hair and latex. Open to the public during museum hours – April 9th – 13th from 10am – 6pm.

For more information visit their site here.

Chivas & Manchester United Soccer Club

The original luxury blended Scotch whisky, Chivas, has teamed up with the world’s biggest football club, Manchester United, in a three-year global partnership.

The collaboration will see Chivas and Manchester United join forces to celebrate their collective belief that blended is better – in life, football and Scotch. Just as Chivas brings together Scotland’s best malt and grain whiskies to create something extraordinary in the bottle, Manchester United brings together the world’s best footballers, a dedicated club team and a legion of fans all around the world to create extraordinary results on the pitch.

The partnership was revealed to fans in advance of the Club’s first Premier League home game of the 2018/19 season on Friday 10th August, through a film that explores the unique blend of characteristics that make up the Manchester United team. Shot in Los Angeles during the Club’s pre-season tour, the film stars an array of Manchester United first team players revealing an often unseen side to them, showing what defines who they are, both on and off the pitch.

Throughout the season, Chivas will be collaborating with Manchester United to demonstrate that blended is better – by encouraging fans to celebrate the blend that makes them unique, and showing that when players collaborate with their teammates they can achieve the greatest success.

Jean-Christophe Coutures, Chairman and CEO at Chivas Brothers, commented: “Blending has been in our DNA ever since James and John Chivas pioneered the art in 19th century Scotland. Partnering with Manchester United was therefore a natural fit; we both firmly believe that great things can be achieved when we come together – from balancing the perfect blend of malt and grain whiskies that go into our Scotch, to using the perfect combination of players’ skills on the pitch to create a winning team. We look forward to using our spirit to help showcase the spirit of the Club and its fans all around the world.”

Richard Arnold, Group Managing Director at Manchester United, commented: “Manchester United’s history is built on teamwork and we embrace Chivas’ belief that ‘blended is better.’ Our success both on and off the pitch allows us to bring together the best mix of people who help to make our Club the global name it is today. Each individual has their own skills but the way in which they blend together is what makes us a united team. It is a pleasure to welcome Chivas as Manchester United’s Global Spirits Partner and we look forward to working together to share this belief with our fans.”

The partnership will be brought to life through a 360 campaign activated across all touchpoints globally from August 2018. Chivas branding will also be displayed on digital perimeter boards at Old Trafford as well as throughout the stadium from the first game on Friday.

Find out more about the partnership and why blended is better at Chivas.com.

About Chivas

Chivas believes that blended is better, in life and in Scotch. The original luxury blended Scotch whisky, Chivas’ belief in blending was instilled by founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who pioneered the art of blending in 19th century Scotland. Since then, Chivas has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide – by bringing together the best malt and grain whiskies to create something extraordinary.

Chivas believes in the power of blending in life, as well as in Scotch. In bringing people together to create a greater whole – which is why Chivas is proud to be the global spirits partner of Manchester United, the world’s biggest football club; and in blending ambition with generosity and using success to enrich the lives of others – which is why the Chivas Venture supports social startups with $1m in annual funding.

Chivas blends its home in Speyside, Scotland, with more than 100 countries across the globe, who together have made Chivas the global success it is today, selling more than 4.2 million 9L cases every year. The Chivas range blends timeless classics with modern innovation, including: Chivas 12, Chivas Extra, Chivas XV, Chivas Mizunara, Chivas 18, Chivas Ultis, Chivas 25, Chivas Regal The Icon, and the Global Travel Retail exclusive Chivas Brothers Blend.

Chivas. Success is a blend. www.Chivas.com

About Manchester United

Manchester United is one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world, playing one of the most popular spectator sports on Earth. Through their 140-year heritage the Club has won 66 trophies, enabling them to develop the world’s leading sports brand and a global community of 659 million followers. Their large, passionate community provides Manchester United with a worldwide platform to generate significant revenue from multiple sources, including sponsorship, merchandising, product licensing, new media & mobile, broadcasting and match day. www.manutd.com

Man to Swim around Great Britain

Strongman on the challenges he faces in his 3,220-kilometre, 100-day voyage.

Strongman Ross Edgley is bidding to become the first man to swim around the whole of mainland Great Britain.

Renowned for such feats as a rope climb to the height of Everest and swimming 100 kilometres in the Caribbean with a tree strapped to his back, his 3,220km swimming marathon (2,000 miles) is his latest venture.

He set off on June 1 and is swimming on average six hours at a time in a clockwise direction, and will not touch shore until arriving at London’s Tower Bridge in an estimated 100 days.

Here’s what the epic voyage takes in his own words…

‘Swimming the Channel on a daily basis’

“It’s the equivalent of swimming the English Channel every day. But I know my body can take it. I know I can be the first person in history to achieve it.”

‘Unfinished business from the Caribbean’

“Earlier this year, I attempted to swim from Martinique to St Lucia while tied to a tree. I’d aimed to swim 40km point to point but the current was totally against me and kept dragging me back. Even though I didn’t reach the shore, I actually swam over 100km in the end. While the athlete in me was happy with that, the adventurer in me had unfinished business. So, I phoned up the Royal Marines when I returned to the UK and asked if I could swim for 48 hours straight, just to see what I’ve got in the locker. The swim went really well and I hit 126km. One of the Marines mentioned the idea of swimming around the entirety of Britain – something that’s never been done before – and I thought, ‘why not?’”

‘Around Great Britain in 100 days’

“By looking at my swim metrics and comparing them to people who’d rowed around the entirety of Great Britain, I was able to estimate 100 days as a target. Oddly enough, in very bad conditions, my open water swimming times are the same as those of the rowers. A friend of mine named Sean Conway once swam the length of Great Britain in 135 days. I’m looking to do more than double that distance in less time.”

‘Turning into a prune’

“A lot of experienced open water swimmers have told me that my skin will eventually reject being in salt water for such a long time. I got a taste of this during my 48-hour swim with the Marines, where my hands and feet pruned – essentially I got trench foot. What’s more, being in a wetsuit for months on end will probably mean I develop sores. Hopefully these turn to calluses, otherwise the pain could be unbearable under my armpits and parts where the wetsuit rubs. My body’s going to break down at sea, I know that but I must be mentally ready.”

Chess with Mother Nature’

“To do this sort of challenge I need the ability to swim 50km day and night, powering through 3m waves. But if the currents are against me I have no chance. The GB rowing challenge, which follows the same route, is labelled the world’s toughest rowing race on account of the tides, unpredictability and weather. When I told its organisers I’d be swimming it they told me I was crazy. “If you get it wrong around The Highlands you’ve eight knots coming against you,” they said. “So even if you are swimming two to three knots, an Olympic level, you’ll still be going back four knots.” It’s basically going to be a game of chess with Mother Nature – you can swim hard, but you need to swim smart.”

‘A wardrobe of wetsuits’

“We’re doing it in the spirit of open water swimming – no buoyancy aids, gloves only needed during cold periods. The only advantage I’ll have is a collection of swimsuits tailored for estimated weight loss, ranging from full Ross, to emaciated Ross 60 or so days in, when I’ll have shifted a few stones. My legs will probably atrophy first. I won’t be using them, they’ll probably shrivel – kicking your legs account for only 10 per cent overall propulsion, even with Olympic swimmers. We’ll also be taking a picture of me each day, so people can see my body’s transformation as I go.”

‘Turning into a five-year-old’

“It’s not a solo mission at all, it’s a team event, and the captain of my boat is going to be my hero. He will plot everything – he has all the tidal maps, all the electronic versions, all over the boat. I’ll also be plotting where I am on a map every day to boost morale. When you’re out at sea and all you can see is the bottom of the sea bed, it’s very easy to lose track of where you are. So it’ll be nice to clamber back on the boat and see that I’ve made progress. Ultimately, when you’re fatigued you have the cognitive function of a 5-year-old, so I’ll be like ‘point me in the right direction and let me know when I’ve got to change’.”

‘An anti-jellyfish beard’

“Wildlife is always a danger when you’re isolated in the sea. Giant jellyfish are a particular worry. I won’t shave. Because you’re leading with the head and the face will be most exposed, any protection, like a big beard, will help. I’ll try and grow it so by the time I get up to Scotland it’s fairly rugged. I’ll also encounter sea otters, dolphins and killer whales along the way, which I’m actually looking forward to. It’ll help break things up for me and be an incredible privilege to see.”

Credits: https://www.redbullcontentpool.com/international/AP-1VVDW3RA91W11

Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Three years after the beginning of a gruelling testing programme that has seen it conquer every corner of the globe from freezing snowfields to searing deserts, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan will undertake The Final Challenge to prove itself Effortless Everywhere in the public eye. In an unprecedented partnership, Rolls-Royce and National Geographic will work together to publish daily film and photograph updates as Cullinan undertakes trials in Northern Europe, the Middle East and the United States for a final time ahead of its world debut later this year.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan will embody all the values and capabilities that drove Rolls-Royce’s two founding fathers, the Honourable Charles Rolls and Sir Henry Royce, to secure the marque’s reputation early last century, as they took top honours in rigorous public adventures such as the Scottish Reliability Trials, the London to Edinburgh event and the Alpine Trials.

The Final Challenge will begin in the Highlands of Scotland on Wednesday 4 April and will be broadcast on social media by National Geographic and Rolls-Royce as it continues its adventure through the Alpine snowfields of Austria, the arid deserts of the Middle East and finally across the toughest terrain in the United States. These will include multiple off-road challenges and miles of rough terrain.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan and crew will be accompanied on The Final Challenge by acclaimed explorer and photographer Cory Richards, National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2012. The National Geographic team will document the journey with daily updates broadcast from the spectacular, far-flung locations he and the crew encounter.

“I promised the public three years ago that I would involve them in the development and testing of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and I continue to keep that promise by making The Final Challenge, a public trial”, comments Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce.

“Today’s public and customers will see Rolls-Royce in a wholly new light as Cullinan demonstrates just how capable a Rolls-Royce can be. And in a few short months, our customers will be able to experience this capability for themselves as they get behind the wheel of this truly compelling Rolls-Royce that is Effortless, Everywhere.”

Follow the Rolls-Royce Cullinan’s Final Challenge.

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Cullinan Final Challenge

Three years after the beginning of a gruelling testing programme that has seen it conquer every corner of the globe from freezing snowfields to searing deserts, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan will undertake The Final Challenge to prove itself Effortless Everywhere in the public eye. In an unprecedented partnership, Rolls-Royce and National Geographic will work together to publish daily film and photograph updates as Cullinan undertakes trials in Northern Europe, the Middle East and the United States for a final time ahead of its world debut later this year.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan will embody all the values and capabilities that drove Rolls-Royce’s two founding fathers, the Honourable Charles Rolls and Sir Henry Royce, to secure the marque’s reputation early last century, as they took top honours in rigorous public adventures such as the Scottish Reliability Trials, the London to Edinburgh event and the Alpine Trials.

The Final Challenge will begin in the Highlands of Scotland on Wednesday 4 April and will be broadcast on social media by National Geographic and Rolls-Royce as it continues its adventure through the Alpine snowfields of Austria, the arid deserts of the Middle East and finally across the toughest terrain in the United States. These will include multiple off-road challenges and miles of rough terrain.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan and crew will be accompanied on The Final Challenge by acclaimed explorer and photographer Cory Richards, National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2012. The National Geographic team will document the journey with daily updates broadcast from the spectacular, far-flung locations he and the crew encounter.

“I promised the public three years ago that I would involve them in the development and testing of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and I continue to keep that promise by making The Final Challenge, a public trial,” comments Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce. “Today’s public and customers will see Rolls-Royce in a wholly new light as Cullinan demonstrates just how capable a Rolls-Royce can be. And in a few short months, our customers will be able to experience this capability for themselves as they get behind the wheel of this truly compelling Rolls-Royce that is Effortless, Everywhere.”

Viewers can follow the Rolls-Royce Cullinan’s Final Challenge on www.nationalgeographic.com/rollsroycecullinan and on Rolls-Royce social media accounts as well as www.Rolls-RoyceMotorCars.com.

Brits x Eyes Health Check

Over 18 Million Brits Do Not Consider Eyes As Part of Their Routine Health Check :

New research released by Vision Express to mark World Glaucoma Week reveals over a third of Brits (35%) do not consider having an eye test as part of a routine body ‘MOT’ health check. Worryingly, 1 out of 5 people would choose sight as their least valued sense, with over 1 in 12 Brits (8%) admitting that they have never had their eyes tested.

 

Research shows that 18-24 year olds are the least likely to get their eyes tested, with two in five (40%) saying they do not get them tested at all. This compares to only a quarter (25%) of 66-70 year olds. 1 in 3 Brits who don’t consider eyes as part of their health MOT check only get their eyes tested when they are advised by a doctor and almost a fifth (19%) stated that an eye test is not important.

 

Even if you don’t think you’ve got any problems with your eyes, you should still get them tested every two years. The research also reveals that 3.6 million Brits (7%) had their eyes tested as long as over six years ago.

 

As World Glaucoma Week puts the condition at the top of the health agenda, research conducted by the National Eye Health Research Centre (NERC) unveils a worrying landscape for glaucoma over the next 30 years. It is estimated that the condition may affect 3.2million in the UK in 2050, but unless detection rates are improved, only 1.28million will have been diagnosed and be receiving the treatments they urgently need.

 

To know more about World Glaucoma Week, watch video here.

Vagabond’s Irish Adventure

Hike, Horseback Ride, Pub & Fiddle Crawl Thru Castles, Celtic Ruins, Manors and More On 12-Day Vagabond Giant Irish Adventure :

COUNTY WICKLOW – Glimpsing how people lived in times gone by is part of the fun of exploring Ireland and a painless way to absorb history.

 

On an active 12 Day Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland “Giant Irish Adventure” that circumnavigates the island nation out of Dublin, guests poke around impregnable fortresses, ring forts, beehive huts, manor houses and everyone’s favorites – castles. The theme common to these sites is stone – indestructible and a metaphor for the Irish spirit.

 

Nature’s stone edifices also play a role in the Giant Irish Adventure that includes Ireland’s highest mountain range called the Macgillycuddy Reeks or black stacks of glacial-carved sandstone; the Cliffs of Moher of shale and limestone overlooking the Atlantic; and the Giant’s Causeway, a natural sculpture playground of basalt columns created by volcanic activities in the Atlantic Ocean a millennia ago.

 

Per person double rate of €2,769 includes the services of a highly trained professional Vagabond tour guide for 12 full days; 11 nights accommodation (4 nights B&B, 6 nights hotel, 1 night in a castle); 11 full Irish breakfasts; guided walks; entrance to most of the historical and archaeological sites and to some natural sites; demonstrations of local craftsmen at work; and all relevant fees and taxes.

 

This tour answers the needs of active travelers who want time aplenty to explore where they are by foot. Hikes of up to two hours are daily highlights. Some activities such as horseback riding, sea kayaking and surfing are optional, as is biking in Killarney National Park. The tour is flexible and guests can arrange to opt out of one activity and into another.

 

Following are a sampling of the historic stone structures that guests have the option to visit on this tour. Each tells its own story about how people have lived and worked here for the past 2,000 years and longer.

  • Dunluce Castle is a cliff-edge ruin from the 13th century, with views over the Irish Sea to Scotland.
  • Stone Ring Fort (1700 BC) comes with 360˚ views the Celts would have enjoyed.  Bronze Age farmers constructed defenses against cattle thieves, using easily accessible materials, building earthen mounds with timber that fenced in the flat, lush green pastures of the Midlands or by the coast hauling granite to strategic heights to create circular stone forts. These were stone structures of such precision that no mortar was required.
  • Uragh (Neolithic) Stone Circle
  • Dry stone walls coursing across Dingle Peninsula are a fraction of its 6,000-year-old history reverberating with Stone Age standing stones.
  • Glenveigh Castle and Gardens is a Victorian (1867) edifice in now-Glenveagh National Park. The original owner drove poor tenants from the land so he could transform it into an aristocrats’ hunting playground; today an Irish-American philanthropist has gifted it back to the Irish nation.
  • Donegal Castle was built in the 15th century on the site of a one-time Viking fortress.
  • Abbeyglen Castle Hotel where the mountains of Connemara meet the sea was constructed in 1832. Vagabond guests overnight here.
  • Aughnanure Castle is an Irish tower house from 1500 and the lore of the O’Flaherty clan whose motto “Fortune favours the strong” sets the tone for its setting on a rocky island.
  • Dunguaire Castle is 16th century fortress.
  • Listowel Castle is a 15th century fortress.
  • Beehive huts (Clochán) date to 5th century monastic settlements (think Luke Skywalker’s retreat in Star Wars).
  • Blarney Castle dates to medieval times; kissing the Blarney Stone is said to bestow the gift of eloquence.
  • Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick’s Rock from the 12th century boasts a Romanesque chapel harboring ancient frescoes.
  • The tomb on Knocknaree Mountain is thought to be that of Celtic warrior Queen Maeve who in her 60-year rule had five (known) husbands.
  • Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled garden date to the 20th century, thanks to the Benedictines.
  • Ancient monastery on Skellig Michael, an island.

 

On the daily walks and hikes intrinsic to this tour, guests will access…

  • Slieve Gullion Mountain, the highest point in Ireland which harbors Neolithic passage tombs
  • Cliffside Trail including 132 steps to Giants Causeway
  • Glenveagh National Park’s low mountain trail leading to Glenveigh Castle
  • Slieve League, the highest sea cliffs in Europe
  • Croagh Patrick, the famous holy mountain where every step taken means a sin forgiven
  • Cliffs of Moher, 700-foot sea cliffs
  • Kilkee Cliff Walk overlooking the Atlantic
  • Glacial valley of Lough Annascaul

 

Throughout the journey, the Vagabond staff will arrange stops at locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the company’s mission is to have their guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows intimate access beyond where regular tour buses go.

 

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland 
Since 2002, Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named a “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2016, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and was the recipient of the Irish 2017 Green Awards in the Tourism and Travel category.

For details on all of Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/.

 

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Poseidon Expeditions

Poseidon Expeditions for 2019-2020 Adds

New Cruises off Scotland’s Coast,

More Arctic and Antarctic Departures

Book by Nov. 1, 2018, Receive Discounts of up to 15 Percent on Most Itineraries

Poseidon Expeditions, the go-to company for Arctic and Antarctic cruises, has a jump on the 2019 and 2020 seasons with new destinations, additional departures of favorite journeys and if booked by Nov. 1, 2018, discounts of up to 15 percent on most itineraries.

The company maintains two vessels, the 114-guest Sea Spirit, recently fully refurbished, and the 128-guest 50 Years of Victory, purpose-built as an ice breaker for expedition cruising. Both are in northern climes in the North American summer; Sea Spirit moves south in the winter for explorations of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

New 2019 Sea Spirit Itineraries

A brand-new itinerary launching for 12 days June 3-14, 2019, is From Scotland Highlands to Arctic Glaciers.  Guests depart on Sea Spirit from Leith (Edinburgh), Scotland, and cruise to Norway’s Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen), tracking routes of Vikings who invaded Scotland’s (among other) coastlines in search of arable land – and gold. Guests visit:

• Skara Brae, a 5,000-year-old village and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Orkney Islands

• a birder’s paradise (over 345 species recorded) on Fair Isle (think sweaters) in the Shetland Islands

• Denmark’s Faroe Islands (think salmon) that National Geographic Traveler has designated as “Authentic, unspoiled and likely to remain so”

• Norway’s stunning and wild Jan Mayen

• and the High Arctic wilderness of Svalbard, with ghosts of whaling camps and trappers’ cabins and very present polar bears, reindeer, walrus, whale and more, all frisky in Nature’s 24-hour days.

The per person double rate is from $5,396 in a Main Deck Suite, after the discount.

A second brand-new Sea Spirit itinerary, a 12-day May 21-June 3, 2019, Best of the British Isles cruise (web link and more details to come), is also a new direction for Poseidon Expeditions because this adventure has nothing to do with either the Arctic or Antarctica. This trip begins in Plymouth, UK, and proceeds along the magical Scottish coast among legendary islands of both Scotland and Ireland, ending in Leith (Edinburgh), Scotland. Many stops will introduce designated birding – including puffin — habitats. Like all of its journeys, an expedition team that specializes in exploration of the natural world will be aboard to curate the adventure for guests. Also figuring into this journey:

• the high cliffs of Scotland’s St. Kilda (think sea bird eggs harvested for human fodder)

• the basalt columns of Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway

• castles and monasteries (including Iona Abbey)

• Waterford (crystal)

• Snowdonia National Park and a 13th century castle in Wales

• Shetland ponies

• a Highland distillery

The per person double rate is from $5,795.

Expanded Sea Spirit Departures in 2019

Poseidon Expeditions has added a second departure of East Greenland

Under the Dome of Northern Lights. This 11-day trip departures in 2019 Sept. 6-16 and Sept. 15-25. This cruise – round trip from Reykjavik – has sold out for four consecutive seasons.  The per person double rate inclusive of an early booking discount is from $7,556.

There will also be two departures of the unique Franz Josef Land Archipelago – Russian High Arctic cruise, a 14-day program exploring the Russian High Arctic that is not available through any other expedition ship operator. Departures in 2019 are Aug. 1-14 and Aug. 13-26. The per person double rate inclusive of an early booking discount is from $12,056.

Sea Spirit in Antarctica 2019-2020

For the 2019-20 Antarctic season, Poseidon Expeditions again offers a variety of classic Antarctic Peninsula programs as well as three longer Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands voyages, all utilizing Sea Spirit. The season begins with the 23-day Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctic Islands“Antarctica Awakening” program Oct. 20-Nov.11, 2019, embarking in Montevideo, Uruguay, and ending in Ushuaia, Argentina. The final voyage of the season, also 23 days, includes the same Southern Ocean destinations, February 25-March 18, 20 embarking in Ushuaia and disembarking in Montevideo. Please see: https://poseidonexpeditions.com/antarctica/ for itinerary and information on early booking offers.

Sea Spirit guests enjoy the freshness of a brand-new $1 million refurbishment of all 55 guest suites (square footages up to 463) and public areas. There are two multi-purpose lounges for educational programming and entertainment, a restaurant that can accommodate all passengers in one seating, a well-stocked library, and ample outdoor deck space to enjoy the polar landscapes and wildlife. Activities directed by a team of experienced polar guides and educators include Zodiac excursions, hiking and optional kayaking and camping, along with informative presentations aboard. The ship’s expedition staff-to-passenger ratio of 1:9 is one of the best in the business.

50 Years of Victory and 2019 at the North Pole

Poseidon Expeditions will offer three prime season departures in 2019 – July 7, July 18 and July 29 – of its signature Expedition to the Top of the World, a 13-day voyage to the North Pole aboard the nuclear-powered 50 Years of Victory. The gateway is Murmansk, Russia. The voyage north includes sightseeing helicopter flights across a frozen land and seascape. After celebrations at the North Pole, on the south-bound voyage Poseidon Expeditions brings passengers through Franz Josef Land, an archipelago of 191 uninhabited, volcanic, mostly glaciated islands (part of the Russian Arctic National Park). The per person double rate inclusive of an early booking discount is from $28,495.

Powered by two nuclear reactors generating 75,000 horsepower and capable of crushing a clear path through multi-year ice up to three meters (10 feet) thick, 50 Years of Victory is the largest and most powerful icebreaker ever built. This 525-foot working vessel offers comfortable accommodations, all with exterior views and en suite facilities; a dining room; aft salon for lectures, presentations and socializing; a bow-facing bar and lounge; library; a gym, two saunas and swimming pool with heated seawater. The ship is equipped with a modern clinic and physician.

For inquires and reservations in North America, or to request a catalog, agents can contact the company’s Providence, RI, sales and reservation office at SalesUSA@poseidonexpeditions.com or by telephone at 347-801-2610.

In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, contact Poseidon’s Hamburg office – Anfrage@poseidonexpeditions.com or telephone +49-40-7566-8555. In the UK and elsewhere on the globe, contact Sales@poseidonexpeditions.com or telephone +44-870-068-9142.

About Poseidon Expeditions

With offices in the US, UK, Germany, Russia and China, Poseidon Expeditions is a leading provider of polar expeditions in the cruise industry. The company is committed to safe and environmentally responsible polar travel. It is a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO)