Private tours of English royal palaces, an exclusive dinner in Scotland’s finest medieval castle, a stay at the London Ritz and journeys aboard the opulent Belmond Royal Scotsman train and the boutique Scottish ship, Hebridean Princess, are highlights of an exclusive new 2017 cruise tour released by Cruise Express.
Departing Australia on 7 August 2017, ‘A Very Royal Affair’ is a luxurious, 21-night journey by road, rail and sea through England and Scotland. The tour begins with two days in London followed by an in-depth exploration of Scotland, including tickets to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a private tour and morning tea aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia and a ride on the UK’s highest railway.
Among the tour’s many highlights are:
- Two nights in London’s legendary The Ritz.
- Private tours inside Kensington Palace – home to Prince William and his family and once the home of Princess Diana – and Clarence House, home to Prince Charles and his wife and once the residence of the Queen Mother.
- An overnight trip aboard the glamorous Belmond Royal Scotsman train from London to Edinburgh, including a champagne afternoon tea, cocktails, canapés and gourmet dinner and breakfast.
- Three nights in Edinburgh including a private tour and morning tea aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, premium tickets to the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and a visit to the magnificent 17th-century Hopetoun House, billed as Scotland’s finest Georgian manor.
- A visit to Scotland’s famous St Andrews Cathedral.
- A trip up 1245-metre-high Cairn Gorm Mountain along a 40-degree funicular track – the UK’s highest railway.
- An elegant champagne reception and dinner in the multi-towered, 600-year-old Glamis Castle near Blairgowrie. Described as Scotland’s most beautiful castle, Glamis was the childhood home of the Queen Mother.
- A tour of romantic Cawdor Castle and its ornate gardens near Inverness. The castle is linked to Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Macbeth’.
- A visit to 227-metre-deep Loch Ness, home to the world’s most famous monster.
- A private tour with three-course lunch in spectacular Inveraray Castle, nestled by a loch in the Scottish Highlands and home to the Duke and Duchess of Argyll.
The centrepiece of the tour is a seven-night cruise from Invergordon to Oban around the top of Scotland and through the wildly beautiful islands of The Hebrides aboard the luxurious, 49-guest ship, Hebridean Princess. Twice chartered by the Queen for private family holidays, the Hebridean Princess boasts just 30 staterooms, each uniquely named and decorated in rich, baronial style. While enjoying gourmet cuisine, guests will visit ports such as Wick – home to the world’s shortest street (just two metres long) – and picturesque fishing villages like Scrabster, Ullapool and Lochinver. Passengers can also explore the pretty islands of Skye, Raasay and Muck. Shore excursions and beverages are complimentary throughout the cruise.
Including return flights from Australia, 12 nights’ touring and the seven-night cruise, ‘A Very Royal Affair’ is available from $22,990 per person, twin-share from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane and from $22,590 per person, twin-share, from Perth.