Saga: Deluxe cabins are larger and with more features such as a walk-in wardrobe. Credit: Saga

Discover what’s on your doorstep on a boutique cruise around the UK

Author: Savannah Bowles

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Explore the UK (and avoid the airport queues) on a boutique cruise onboard Saga’s Spirit of Discovery.

While thousands of cruise passengers set sail for sunnier climes every year, the British Isles lie quietly in wait for those who know just how special these islands are.

Make no mistake: ports in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, along with the Orkney Islands, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man prove there’s plenty to discover closer to home – from historic houses and period architecture to national parks and coastal scenery.

The best way to explore the British Isles? From Saga’s boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery. Read on to find out why and to learn a little more about the Saga cruise experience and their ‘The British Isles Revealed’ voyage which sets sail this September – so you’ll need to be quick!

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Every cabin onboard Saga is outside-facing. Credit: Saga.

Why cruise with Saga?
Holding no more than 999 guests, Saga’s elegant and refined boutique ships are a far cry from smaller mega-liners. Their smaller size not only means a less crowded atmosphere, but you’ll also experience exceptional personal levels of service – there’s one member of staff for every two guests. Now that’s a ratio we can get on board with.

What’s more, the fact that the adults-only Spirit of Discovery is a smaller ship means that she can access intimate ports of call that the mega giants are simply unable to.

Accommodation elates too. Every single cabin on board Spirit of Discovery is outside facing and boasts a private balcony.

Meanwhile, the upscale public areas focus on British contemporary design classics. Indeed the Britishness is important: Spirit of Discovery, who counts the Duchess of Cornwall as her godmother, was registered here in Britain, and proudly flies the Red Ensign.

-READ MORE: Saga cruises: New cruise ship Spirit of the Rhine -

Elsewhere, you’ll find a cornucopia of bars, lounges, bars, and restaurants – all included in your cruise fare – as well as an array of complimentary wellness classes, a spa and gym, and a fab selection of entertainment. Whether you love live music or comedy there’s a show for you.

Embark on Seabourn’s 14-night Jewels of the British Isles voyage departing roundtrip Dover with Caroline Holmes. Credit: National Trust.

Saga is also all about hassle-free holidays. Every Saga cruise, including ‘The British Isles Revealed', departs from the UK ports of Dover or Southampton. Translation You won’t have to deal with the airport delays and cancellations currently plaguing UK airports.

All you have to do is get yourself to the port of departure – and you don’t even really have to do that because Saga arranges a private chauffeur service, up to 250 miles each way, included in the fare, for its passengers.

Tell me about Saga’s ‘The British Isles Revealed’ cruise
Departing from Dover, this all-inclusive cruise to Scotland in 2022 visits Invergordon, the gateway to the Highlands, Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness, as well as the fishing town of Scrabster, set close to the famous village of John O’Groats.

You’ll continue to Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast, a centre for the arts, Douglas on the self-governing the Isle of Man, and the maritime port of Portsmouth.

-READ MORE: Cruise ship review: Saga's Spirit of Discovery-

Invergordon is the gateway to the Scottish highlands. Credit: Telfords Coaches.

Are any excursions included?
Absolutely: there are five fabulous excursions – step forward Invergordon, Scrabster, Belfast, Douglas, and Portsmouth – included in Saga’s ‘The British Isles Revealed’ cruise. Let’s find out a little more about each…

Resting peacefully in the Scottish Highlands, this seaside town was a Royal Navy base up until the end of 1993. Enjoy a scenic drive taking in sights such as Macbeth’s Cawdor Castle and Fortrose, one of the best places to see the dolphins of the Moray Firth.

The rugged Highland port of Scrabster is the jumping-off point for the characteristic Scottish village of John O’Groats. Located on Great Britain’s northern easterly tip, captivating coastal views and a tight-knit community come as standard.

Cruise into Northern Ireland's capital and dive into the famous Cathedral Quarter, celebrating all forms of creativity from art to theatre. Then visit the Titanic Belfast to discover more about the Titanic tragedy of 1912.

Enjoy a sightseeing tour on the Isle of Man. Credit: the Telegraph.

Enjoy coastal and inland vistas on an (included) sightseeing tour on the Isle of Man. Charming quirks to this capital include its seafront promenade where you’ll likely get to observe horse-drawn trams. The island is also home to the Viking -constructed Peel Castle, Manx Museum, and the Man Motor Museum, all of which reward a visit.

Fascinating naval history can be unearthed in this marine port city, home to the popular contemporary Spinnaker Tower attraction. Your included tour here will take you along Portsmouth’s coast up until Southsea ensuring you have plenty of opportunities to spot an array of landmarks and attractions along the way including the Gunwharf Quays and the D-Day Museum.

Last word
Seventy years of experience shows you can always depend on Saga for a memorable, boutique cruise in the best of company.

So if you’re after a hassle-free trip this summer and ready to journey around the British Isles and discover the rugged nature, fascinating history, iconic wildlife, and other hidden gems on your doorstep, there’s never been a better time to set sail with Saga.

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