Experience the rich traditions, wild beauty and archaeological treasures of the British Isles and Northern France’s storied coastline throughout this unforgettable Celtic Lands voyage. During our specially designed itinerary, traverse the soul-stirring lands and seas of the influential Celts and discover first-hand their bold legacy, enshrined in Iron-Age duns, brochs and menhirs, and recalled in picturesque towns where poetry and songs date to the Bronze Age and Gaelic is widely spoken.
In commemoration of the anniversary of D-Day, visit the solemn shores of Normandy accompanied by David Eisenhower, grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Professor Eisenhower and Allen Packwood—an expert on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill—will join us for a portion of the cruise and share their exclusive insights on two of the most influential figures of the 20th century
Cruise the waters of the Irish and Celtic Seas and cross the English Channel. Enjoy the luxuries of the exclusively chartered, Five‑Star, small ship Le Boréal—featuring only 110 Suites and Staterooms. Call at ports inaccessible to larger vessels and visit the historic territories, villages, islands and breathtaking landscapes entwined with the treasures of Celtic heritage.
Discover Scotland’s seldom-visited Inner Hebridean Islands and admire the austere landscapes of the United Kingdom steeped in local lore and natural splendor. In North Wales, follow in the footsteps of medieval and modern-day princes and enjoy a privately arranged musical performance by the renowned Welsh Maelgwn Choir. In Dublin, Ireland, view treasures of Celtic heritage and revel in the lively delights of traditional Irish song and dance. Stroll amid the rare subtropical flora at the exquisite Tresco Abbey Gardens, the jewel of England’s unspoiled Isles of Scilly.
This extraordinary visit to the pivotal D‑Day beaches of Normandy and the beautiful Celtic Lands of the British Isles is an exclusive program that will sell out quickly. Make your reservations now, as space is limited!
Days 1 and 2
Depart the U.S. for Glasgow. Upon arrival, embark the Five-Star Le Boréal. Enjoy dinner on board the ship Sunday evening.
Kyle of Lochalsh
Enjoy sweeping views of the Black and Red Cuillin mountain ranges at Sligachan and the heather-woven hills and rocky shorelines of Sleat, the “Garden of Skye.” Visit the 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle, named for a sixth-century Irish saint. Magnificently sited at the entrance to Loch Duich, the castle was built in 1214 to defend against attack from the Danes. Today, the castle is home to a small museum that displays Jacobite relics.
This evening, attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner.
Tobermory, Isle of Mull/Isle of Iona
Steeped in Viking myth and Celtic lore, the Isle of Mull is a land of extraordinary beauty, with pink granite cliffs, white-sand beaches and clear, blue waters. Occupied since the Ice Age and known to the classical Greeks, the island’s mysterious moors are studded with Iron-Age duns, brochs and menhirs that recall the Hebridean Island’s rich prehistory. Go ashore at the photogenic port of Tobermory, the island’s capital, where brightly painted houses are nestled between woodland-fringed hills and the boat-filled harbor. Enjoy time at leisure.
Late this morning, cruise to the neighboring Hebridean Isle of Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. In A.D. 563, the Irish monk Columba founded a monastery here, where scribes would spend their lives painstakingly copying religious tracts and transcribing ancient Celtic sagas. Stroll through the serene, restored abbey and see the churchyard’s intricate Celtic crosses.
Later, join Allen Packwood on board the ship as he discusses the complexity of the D-Day operations and Sir Winston Churchill’s role in its undertaking.
From Holyhead, transfer across the diminutive Isle of Anglesey and over the Menai Strait to North Wales, the cradle of Celtic culture, where Welsh remains the mother tongue.
Visit beautiful Bodnant Garden, one of the finest examples of 19th-century Victorian landscape artistry, framed by the magnificent peaks of the Snowdonia Mountains. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant followed by a private choir performance of Welsh hymns. Experience the grandeur of the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Caernarfon Castle, an impenetrable 13th-century fortress built by Edward I of England as a defense against the marauding Welsh.
Built astride the River Liffey, Ireland’s historic capital has retained its rich heritage of Georgian architecture. The panoramic tour of the city highlights the landmark St. Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedrals and grand O’Connell Street, lined with bronze and marble statues of Irish statesmen. Stroll through the stately quadrangles of Trinity College, founded in 1592, and view the ninth-century Book of Kells, the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. Your afternoon is at leisure.
On board the ship this evening, enjoy specially arranged, traditional Irish music and dance performed by a local band.
Tresco, Isles of Scilly, England
On board the ship this morning, Professor David Eisenhower will share captivating personal insights about his grandfather and Operation Overlord, the Allies’ code name for the military campaign that launched the D-Day airborne and amphibious invasion at Normandy.
After lunch, visit the family-owned island of Tresco, famed for its magical 19th-century Tresco Abbey Gardens, weather permitting. This subtropical landscape is blooming with more than 6000 exotic plant species and was built around the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey. Walk among spires of indigo viper’s bugloss, broad-leafed tree ferns, flourishing aloes and bright pink South African suikerbos. Visit the garden’s Valhalla Museum, home to an eclectic collection of 60 shipwrecked figureheads recovered across the Isles of Scilly.
Cherbourg, France, for Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc and Sainte-Mère-Église/Caen
From Cherbourg, drive to Sainte-Mére-Èglise, one of the first French villages to be liberated by American forces during World War II. Sainte-Mére-Èglise occupied a key location in the line of defense along the road to Omaha Beach. The town is famous for its church, where American soldier John Steele caught his parachute on the steeple and “played dead” for two hours before being taken prisoner.
Continue to the Church of Angoville-au-Plain, an emergency aid station on D-Day, and view its modern stained-glass rendition of the American Airborne parachute drop. Nearby, visit Utah Beach, the westernmost shore of the five landing areas of the Normandy invasion, and the Utah Beach D-Day Museum for a chronological account of the landing retold through an immersive curation of artifacts and oral histories.
Visit Pointe du Hoc to envision the heroic U.S. Army Second Ranger Battalion scaling this cliff promontory, and survey the serene English Channel.
This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board the ship.
Caen for Arromanches and Omaha Beach
Drive to Longues-sur-Mer, where the coastal German artillery battery remains intact. Continue to Omaha Beach, where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, and walk this historic Normandy shore.
In the company of Professor Eisenhower, contemplate the solemn commemorative crosses and Stars of David in the American Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.
Following lunch, view a wraparound short film documenting the D-Day campaign at the Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema or choose to see the world’s most famous embroidery, the 230-foot-long Bayeux Tapestry, a graphic chronicle of the Norman Conquest of 1066.
Following breakfast, disembark and continue on to the Paris and Giverny Post-Cruise Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S.