Sail into a kaleidoscope of colour on Saga Pearl II’s inspiring round-UK cruise

The Saga Pearl II (Dec. 2013, photo Ivan T. at Wikipedia)Watch hot air balloons rise high into the skies, capture a taste of Scottish pageantry at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, visit Gerald Durrell’s Jersey Wildlife Park – these are all inspiring experiences to be savoured on Saga Pearl II’s new 2018 Western Skies and Scottish Isles cruise.

The 449-passenger ship sails round the UK from Dover with the first port of call into St Helier, in Jersey.

Tours includes a visit to the Durrell Wildlife Park founded by naturalist Gerald Durrell (1925-1995) in 1958 and there is also an opportunity to discover the island’s floral beauty at two contrasting gardens; Le Clos du Chemin, a private garden built on a series of terraces, and Samarès Manor, formerly home to shipping merchant Sir James Knott, who created stunning the Oriental style gardens in the 1920s.

Saga Pearl II sails west to Avonmouth, in Bristol, giving guests the chance to watch the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta where more than 150 balloons lift off each morning and early evening. Visits to the ship SS Great Britain, Tintern Abbey and the historic city of Bath can also be chosen as optional excursions.

The cruise continues north, close to the shore, offering a unique perspective of the British Isles before arriving at the maiden port of Campbeltown, probably the western-most town on the Scottish mainland.

Campbeltown is close to the Mull of Kintyre, immortalised in song by Paul McCartney and Wings in 1977, and is home to three distilleries which produce single malts: Glen Scotia, Glengyle and Springbank.

The next call is to Scrabster and optional tours include the magnificent Dunrobin Castle, seat of the Dukes of Sutherland, and a drive to John O’Groats, the northern-most community in mainland Britain, where there are wonderful views across the waters of the Pentland Firth to Orkney.

The round-UK cruise continues to Leith, for Scotland’s beautiful capital Edinburgh, where guests can capture a taste of Scottish pageantry on an included excursion to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo; a military band spectacular set against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. As the Tattoo closes, a Lone Piper high on the Castle ramparts plays a haunting lament before the colourful, cosmopolitan cast marches off the Esplanade to the strains of the melody ‘The Black Bear’.

13 nights from £2,261 departing from Dover on August 8, 2018. Price includes UK travel package to and from Dover, all meals and entertainment, choice of table wines at lunch and dinner, afternoon tea, 24-hour room service, welcome cocktail party, unlimited tea and coffee in selected venues, free Wi-Fi internet, all on-board gratuities, porterage, free shuttle bus to nearest town centre (whenever possible and when the ship is berthed more than 500 yards away), optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a discount if passenger has own insurance. Optional excursions are in addition to the cruise price.

Price based on two people sharing the lowest available Inside cabin grade and includes any relevant booking discount. Fare was correct at the time of sending and is subject to availability and change. Further terms and conditions apply.