Thursday 6th to Saturday 15th June 2024

Nordic in heritage and culture, lush, undulating Orkney contrasts with the flatter, windswept landscapes of Shetland, closer to the Arctic and Scandinavia than Scotland’s capital. Uncover the myriad secrets of ancient history, hidden for millennia beneath the sands of time.

Thursday 6th June

Once embarkation had been completed in Inverness, we set sail overnight on passage towards mainland Orkney.

Friday 7th June

During the morning sail on passage to mainland Orkney, Bruce Bennison gave the first of his talks in the Tiree Lounge. We arrived and berthed alongside in Kirkwall, Orkney, in the late morning.

After lunch, guests had the opportunity to explore Kirkwall and visit the St Magnus Cathedral.

We remained alongside in Kirkwall overnight.

Saturday 8th June

Guests spent the day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, with a morning visit to the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness.

After lunch on board, guests visited the Neolithic dwelling houses of Skara Brae in the afternoon.

We remained alongside overnight in Kirkwall.

Sunday 9th June

After a morning spent discovering the Iron Age roundhouse, the Broch of Gurness guests returned to the ship for lunch, ahead of the afternoon visits to the Italian Chapel and the Churchill Barriers.

We remained alongside overnight in Kirkwall.

Monday 10th June

Guests enjoyed free time exploring the old town of Stromness this morning.

After lunch they travelled to Birsay and the Earl’s Palace, which was built and occupied by the Stewart Earls.

As the tide was out, they were able to walk the causeway to the Brough of Birsay to visit the church and monastery.

We remained alongside overnight in Kirkwall and Ceilidh band Kirkjuvagr provided entertainment in the Tiree lounge after dinner.

Tuesday 11th June

This morning Bruce Bennison delivered the second of his talks, The Architecture of Life, in the Tiree Lounge.

We spent the afternoon cruising on passage towards mainland Shetland and berthed berthed alongside in Lerwick overnight.

Wednesday 12th June

Guests took the ferry to Mousa for an island tour and visit to the 13 metre tall Broch of Mousa this morning. When they arrived a sheepdog was rounding up 300 sheep and lambs for dipping!

After lunch, guests explored the remarkable archaeological remains at Jarlshof, and Sumburgh Head this afternoon before sailing overnight on passage towards the Orkney Islands.

Thursday 13th June

Ashore on Papa Westray, the Knap of Howar played host to our morning tour.

Our final island port of call was Sanday, where guests visited the megalithic tomb of Quoyness Chambered Cairn.

We then sailed south to our overnight anchorage off Scrabster.

Friday 14th June

We spent the day cruising on passage towards our overnight anchorage off Inverness. Bruce Bennison presented the last of his talks, The Architecture of Ceremony, in the Tiree Lounge during the afternoon.

Saturday 15th June

Disembarkation took place after breakfast in Inverness and we wish all our guests a safe journey home.