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5 March 2021 | 7 nights | Bolette
Southampton, Belfast, cruising Fingal's Cave, cruising by Dutchman's Cap, Lerwick, Kirkwall, Southampton
Be part of something very special and experience the excitement of being one of the first guests to sail on our new flagship, Bolette.
Celebrate as we begin a new chapter of Fred. Olsen history during a rewarding seven-night discovery of fascinating destinations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
You’ll marvel at the intriguing wonders of Dutchman’s Cap and Fingal’s Cave; have time to explore ashore in the Shetland and Orkney Islands; and visit the attraction-packed city of Belfast.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
From beautiful coastlines to a fascinating industrial heritage, Belfast is a modern, vibrant and stylish city. Famous for being the birthplace of the RMS Titanic, Northern Ireland's capital offers visitors the chance to visit the Harland and Wolff shipyard and the fascinating Titanic Experience. Only in Belfast can the Titanic story be traced to its source, and the excitement of an era when the city was at the height of its powers relived.
Close to Queen’s University lie the fascinating Botanical Gardens, established for over 180 years. The unique Palm House was one of the world’s first cast-iron glass-houses and displays a wide range of tropical plants, ranging from bananas to rubber. Alongside, the Renaissance-styled Ulster Museum tells Ireland’s 9,000-year history through art, ceramics, costume, and prehistoric archaeology. To the city’s northern edge is the impressive Belfast Castle, offering wonderful views of the city as it stands 120m above the Irish Sea.
Cruising Fingal's Cave, Scotland
Similar to the famous, UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, Fingal’s Cave is a beautiful basalt sea-cave with distinctive ‘columns’ and a remarkable symmetry that looks incredible as you cruise past.
Often, the cliffs, ledges and grassy slopes are smothered with native seabirds, including guillemots, razorbills, puffins and more, so it’s the perfect place to enjoy a little birdwatching. Just make sure you have your binoculars to hand!
Cruising Dutchman's Cap (Bac Mor), Scotland
The Dutchman’s Cap or Bac Mor is one of a number of uninhabited archipelagos that form the Treshnish Isles near Mull and is one of the most striking and iconic Scottish islands.
The islands have been landmarks for travellers through the Hebrides for at least 1000 years. The names of some of the islands still reflect their importance to the Vikings who once ruled in the Hebrides. Bac Mor is an ancient volcano and the nickname Dutchman's Cap comes from its striking shape.
Lerwick is the friendly capital of the 100 islands and islets of the Shetland. The bustling, cosmopolitan seaport is the islands’ only town, and its wonderful natural harbour is a joy to explore.
Until the 1600s, Leir Vik – Norse for a muddy bay – was little more than a few huts. However, conflict between the British and Dutch, whose fishing fleet fished for herrings off the islands, led to the building of a permanent settlement. This included Fort Charlotte, which once overlooked the harbour but has now been enclosed by the town following land reclamation.
Despite the wealth created by North Sea oil, modern Lerwick retains many fascinating small shops and historic buildings. Wandering along atmospheric Commercial Street is a delight, and the Böd of Gremista – a “fishing booth” built in 1780, is now a fascinating museum. The ground floor has the salt store and the kitchen, where herrings were hung to dry. Outside the town are the well preserved remains of the Broch of Clickimin, a small Bronze-Age settlement excavated in the last century.
Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands, resonates with ancient echoes of Christian, Nordic and Celtic history. It’s a town that feels more Scandinavian than Scottish; in fact, the name Kirkwall comes from the Norse for 'Church Bay', relating to the town's 11th century Church of St Olaf of Norway.
Exploring the town’s atmospheric paved streets and twisting lanes, reveals a number of highlights, including the ruins of the Earl and Bishop’s Palaces, dating from the mid-12th century and serving as a reminder of the Orkney's turbulent past. The palaces are considered by many to be the finest Renaissance buildings in Scotland. Also worth visiting is the recently restored St. Magnus Cathedral, founded in memory of Saint Magnus Erlendsson by Norseman Earl Rögnvald Kali.
Don't miss Tankerness House, a beautifully preserved 16th century townhouse, and the Orkney Wireless Museum, with it's fascinating insights into the history of radio, too.