Cruising the Celtic Coastlines
from Dublin to London
April 29 – May 9, 2017
Onboard Ponant’s Le Soléal –chic cruising without the crowds: experience the comfort of a private cruise onboard vessels of an intimate size, exclusive to 264 guests.
City Stays – 1 night stay in Dublin and London to experience what these great cities have to offer
Included shore excursions –Local guides introduce you to the endless wonders we discover on our journey. Let our experience and past guest impressions work for you. Our Journey Manager takes care of all the details so you can relax.
Journey of Research –Occasionally we offer our guests the unique opportunity to join us on a journey of research. This is one of the special occasions.
Why do we encourage you to reserve now?
YOUR 11-DAY JOURNEY
|DAY 1||DEPART CANADA|
Enjoy our private car home pick up service. Jerry Van Dyke staff and your Journey Manager greet you at Toronto Pearson airport and assist with your check in. Meet your fellow travellers and board your flight to Dublin
On arrival in Dublin, we are greeted by our local guide and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure to relax or explore. Join us this evening for a welcome dinner. Overnight Dublin, Camden Court, 1 night
|DAY 3||DUBLIN (IRELAND) |
Today we discover Dublin and see some of the city’s most prominent attractions including St. Stephens Green, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College and the Old Library to see the Book of Kells, a stunningly beautiful manuscript containing the Four Gospels. It is Ireland's most precious medieval artifact, and is generally considered the finest surviving illuminated manuscript to have been produced in medieval Europe. Following lunch in Ireland’s oldest pub we will transfer to the cruise terminal to board Le Soléal. Overnight, Le Soléal, 7 nights
|DAY 4||BELFAST (UNITED KINGDOM)|
Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital is a port city known as the birthplace of the RMS Titanic, and for its political murals, documenting the ‘Troubles’ of the 20th century. In the city’s renovated dockyards, the Titanic Quarter includes the Titanic Belfast museum, an aluminium-clad edifice reminiscent of a ship’s hull, shipbuilder Harland and Wolff’s drawing offices and the Titanic slipways, which now host open-air concerts. Included Excursion – Panoramic Belfast and the Titanic – approx. 4 hours Belfast is a city of industry and elegance and boasts a rich and varied past. Its origins go back to an ancient fort controlling the ford across the River Lagan, which flows through the city. The panoramic tour of the city will introduce you to the many varied features of Northern Ireland’s largest city. Built with 19th century industrial money, many fine buildings from this era grace the city still and are reminders of its prosperous past. You will drive past the Grand Opera House and the Albert Memorial before passing Queen’s University, the Botanic Gardens and Belfast City Hall – an impressive building with a 300ft long façade of Portland stone, which dominates Donegall Square. A stop here will allow you to photograph what is perhaps the most noteworthy of the statues in the grounds. It is the marble figure of "Thane"on a granite pedestal, sculpted by Sir Thomas Brock and commemorating the sinking in 1912 of the R.M.S. Titanic, the ill-fated Belfast built liner.
Next, you will visit the newly constructed Titanic Belfast. Opened in April 2012, the new signature building telling the story of Titanic contains nine galleries containing a variety of interpretative materials and media including film and video, audio, archival materials and scale models; a high point will be a ride through the Titanic under construction. The adventure begins the moment you walk through the door and into the building's giant atrium surrounded by the four high impact ‘hull’ shaped sections which house the experience. As you wander up through Titanic Belfast, you will experience a thrilling ride through the re-construction of the shipyards and the Titanic under construction. The stories of passengers, crew and the heroes of the day will be told in an exciting and modern way. At the conclusion, you can visit the wreck at her resting place on the floor of the North Atlantic. After the visit, reboard your coach for the return drive to the port and your awaiting ship.
|DAY 5||DOUGLAS / ISLE OF MAN (UNITED KINGDOM) |
The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland. It’s known for its rugged coastline, medieval castles and rural landscape, rising to a mountainous center. In the capital, Douglas, the Manx Museum traces the island’s Celtic and Viking heritage. Fiercely proud of its diverse culture and fascinating heritage this sea-bound kingdom has a captivating story to tell – one which stretches back for thousands of years. Legend has it that the Island’s name comes from the Celtic sea god Manannan Mac Lir who protected the land from invaders by shrouding it in a cloak of mist. It is these folklore stories, and the history that follows, which are carefully safeguarded by the Manx people to ensure the Island doesn’t lose any of its unique charm of character. Included Excursion - Historic Manx – approx. 4 hours Today our tour takes us along the south east coast of Isle of Man, taking you to the original capital of the island, Castletown. You will discover the beautiful Rushen Castle and its important role in the history of the Isle of Man before enjoying the great pleasure of travelling on a traditional old train in this tour through the lush countryside of the Isle of Man.
Departing from Douglas, drive through the south-east of the island, passing over the Fairy Bridge, where it is considered bad luck to pass over the bridge without acknowledging the fairies known to be there. Arrive at the town of Castletown that traces its origins back to 1090, and holds true as one of the oldest towns in the British Isles. Its narrow streets and small fishing cottages prove this ancient past at every corner. Before enjoying some free time to explore this delightful town, visit the fabulous Castle Rushen, which is the best example in the British Isles of a medieval castle. The exact date, when it was built, is unknown, though is believed to be around 1200. The Castle served as the residence of the last Norse King of Man, who died in 1266. Part of the castle was destroyed in a siege by Robert the Bruce in 1313, but was rebuilt by Sir William de Montacute in around 1344. In the clock room, formally used as the castle chapel, lies a clock presented by Queen Elizabeth I in 1597, while she held the island in trust pending a dispute. The clock is of simple construction with only one hand, but still keeps very good time.
Following your free time, arrive at Castletown’s train station and board your train on the 125 years old Victorian railway. The railway still uses much of the original rolling stock with passengers travelling in carriages pulled by the original engines that first worked the line in the 1890’s. From the train, enjoy very impressive views over the inland countryside. Arriving at Douglas train station, transfer by coach back to the quayside and your ship.
|DAY 6||LIVERPOOL (UNITED KINGDOM) |
Few English cities have such a unique character as Liverpool. This could be due to the large influx of Irish and Scottish immigrants in past centuries, or to the very distinctive local accent, called Scouse, almost incomprehensible by most other speakers of English (in addition to the rising and falling tones, a word like "town" is pronounced "toon", "back" sounds like "bax", "technology" is "texnology" and "get" is "gerr"). Liverpool's past glories have come to an abrupt end after WWII, and the subsequent high unemployment and poor economic situation have made it a bastion of radical left-wing politics. But it is best known to the world as the city from where The Beatles originated.
Included Excursion – The Story of the Beatles – approx. 4 hours
Liverpool and The Beatles – the two go hand in hand. This panoramic tour shows you some of the locations around the city that are associated with “The Fab Four”.
Departing Liverpool docks, you first head into the city centre to begin your panoramic tour of the city. While the tour focuses on The Beatles and their lives in the city, we will also pass two magnificent cathedrals, leafy parks and drive along the impressive waterfront that comprises Liverpool's World Heritage Site.
Continuing your panoramic tour, pass many of the sites and locations associated with the Beatles’ childhoods and the early years of the band. Places that will be passed include: Penny Lane, St. Peters Woolton, The Art College and the Liverpool Institute, The Casbah, The Empire Theatre, Arnold Grove, Dovedale School & Quarry Bank School (subject to traffic conditions and time available).
Reboarding the coach, head back to the city centre, arriving at Mathew Street, where you take a short walking tour to view the Cavern Club and Wall of Fame. From here, travel to the purpose-built Beatles Story, the World’s only Beatles-themed attraction. Located in the city’s Albert Dock, this unique exhibition will take you through the lives, times and culture of the extraordinary young men from Liverpool who became household names forever! Following the tour, the coach heads back to Liverpool Docks and the ship.
|DAY 7||CORK/COBH (IRELAND) |
Cobh is situated on the southern shore of the Great Island in one of the world’s finest natural harbours. Between 1848 and 1950, over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland, which 2.5 million form Cobh, making it the single most important port of immigration in the country. Cobh was the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic. Later the steamers and ocean liners continued carrying the Irish to new lives and new lands. Included Excursion – Blarney Castle and Kinsdale – approx. 8 hours
From the pier, board your coach and drive 45 minutes towards Blarney. The village lies in the protective shadow of the historic ruins of Blarney Castle, which was built in two sections with a massive oblong keep and typical Irish battlements. Enjoy a visit to the castle – to kiss the famous Blarney stone which, legend tells us, imparts the gift of eloquence to all those who kiss it. Blarney is also home to Blarney Woollen Mills, which dates back to 1793, and is now one of the finest craft and gift centres in Ireland. Enjoy an Irish coffee and browse through the wide range of Irish clothing, crystal, linen and handicrafts.
After your visit, drive to the cosy sailing town of Kinsale where lunch will be served upon arrival. Kinsale is one of the most picturesque, popular and fashionable resorts of the south-west coast of Ireland. The town nestles between the hills and the shoreline, a maze of narrow streets, never far from the water and little changed in many hundreds of years. Amongst buildings of later periods are those of another age with historical links to the French, Spanish, British and Americans. Some free time will be allowed afterwards for you to explore this town independently.
Next, drive to Cork City. A short panoramic tour will introduce you to the city situated on the River Lee. Afterwards, you will have the option of enjoying some free time or you can choose to join your guide for a short walking tour of the city. See the English Market and the Hugenot Quarter of the city: fleeing from religious prosecution in the 17th and 18th centuries, over 300 French Protestants settled in Cork city. The Huguenots played an important role in the life of the city. The area where they lived is now a charming district of narrow pedestrianized lanes full of little restaurants, cafes, interesting specialized shops and small galleries. Re-board your motor coach for your 30 minutes return drive to your awaiting ship.
|DAY 8||SCILLY ISLES (CORNWALL, UNITED KINGDOM) |
Cornwall is a county in the far south west of England. Often referred to as the Côte d’Azur of the United Kingdom, this Celtic territory is famous for its beautiful coastline and numerous seaside resorts. The breathtaking scenery which was the backdrop for part of the Tristan and Isolde tale has inspired famous novelists, such as Daphné du Maurier (Jamaica Inn) and Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse). The Isles of Scilly (or Scilly Isles) are havens of peace that some say inspired the legendary Avalon of King Arthur. Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty their shores harbour the rare grey Atlantic seal and their waters are a marine nature reserve. Comprising five inhabited islands and some 40 uninhabited islets, the archipelago also features a chain of 150 rocks grouped together in the greeny-blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are breeding sites for seabirds such as the storm petrel and the lesser black-backed gull, and are an important staging post for a wide variety of migratory birds, often very rare ones. Included Shore Excursion – Tresco Abbey Gardens – approx. 3 hours
The Isles of Scilly are a sub-tropical haven for plants and wildlife. In this walking tour you will visit the lovely island of Tresco and tour one of the most remarkable gardens in the world, the glorious Tresco Abbey Gardens, containing 20,000 exotic plants, which flourish in the warm Gulf Stream climate of these parts. Meet your local guide who will take you on a 3 hour walk around the island. The stunning Tresco Abbey Gardens were created nearly 170 years ago by Augustus Smith around the remains of the 12th Century St Nicholas Priory. Succeeding generations of the Dorrien-Smith family and their gardeners have collected one of the most fascinating and varied botanical collection of plants from all around the world. These include hotter, drier terraces at the top to suit Australian and South African plants, whilst the bottom ones provide the humidity that favors flora from New Zealand and South America.
Fringing the lush grid of paths criss-crossing the gardens are cacti, date-palms and rarities like lobster claw and shocking-pink drifts of pelargonium. The Valhalla museum reminds the visitor of the shipwrecks that surround the islands and the storms that caused many of them.
|DAY 9||GUERNSEY (ANGLO NORMAN ISLANDS) |
Guernsey, a British Crown dependency in the English Channel, is one of the Channel Islands. It's known for beach resorts like Cobo Bay and the scenery of its coastal cliffs. Castle Cornet, a 13th-century harbor fortification in the capital of St. Peter Port, now contains history and military museums. Hauteville House is the lavish former home of French writer Victor Hugo.
|DAY 10||PORTSMOUTH (UNITED KINGDOM)|
We disembark in Portsmouth and board our private coach with guide and travel to London. We have an introduction to this fantastic city before arriving at our hotel. (B,L) Overnight London, Royal Garden, 1 night
Today we board our flights for home. All guests enjoy our private car service to their home (where available). Guests departing by ground at Pearson Airport are personally greeted and assisted to their private car home or to their hotel transfers.
|CANADIAN DOLLARS PER GUEST||DOUBLE||SINGLE|
|Prestige – Deck 4||$13,080||$18,490|
|Prestige – Deck 5||$13,330||$18,550|
|Prestige – Deck 6||$13,430|
|Prestige Suite – Deck 5||$20,700|
All features listed above
Dublin, Cobh, Ireland Belfast, Isle of Man, Liverpool, Scilly Isles, London, United Kingdon Guernsey (Anglo Norman Islands), Channel Islands
Early reservation bonus ends August 10, 2016
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JERRY VAN DYKE DIFFERENCE
Quality. Value. Peace of Mind.
We pride ourselves in providing personal service and quality in everything we do. All our journeys are personally researched, orchestrated and operated. Our Guests experience them only after we are sure every ship or hotel inspected, guides interviewed and every detail pre-arranged. When you contact our office, you know you are speaking to experts.