Minerva Bridge Cruise
Shores of the Emerald Isle
Sun 18th – Thu 29th Aug 2013. Ref: 13026
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Cruise Description And Itinerary
Embark Minerva in England’s most historic naval city of Portsmouth, setting a westerly course into the Celtic Sea. Explore the wild and beautiful Dingle Peninsula dominated by rocky mountains and steep sea cliffs plunging into the ocean. Due to its remote location, the region boasts a remarkable number of well-preserved ancient monuments, testimony to its unique and complex history. Discover the dramatic Dunbeag Promontory Fort and Gallarus Oratory, an early Christian church.
Cruise past the magnificent Cliffs of Moher to anchor off Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. Discover independently the unique landscape and ancient heritage of the island and town where the native Gaelic is still spoken.
From the fishing port of Killybegs, explore the stunning Donegal Peninsula. The Glencolumcille Folk Museum gives insight into everyday life of centuries gone by while a visit to Donegal town, framed by the Blue Stack Mountains may appeal.
Located on a mile long peninsula, Portrush offers panoramic views over the Donegal Hills and Antrim Coast. Visit the Giant’s Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, and the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Alternatively enjoy a scenic drive passing the historic ruins of Dunluce Castle perched on a cliff top and view the famous chasm crossed by the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. The afternoon is free to explore the pretty town of Portrush.
The islands of the Inner Hebrides protect the town of Oban, on Scotland’s west coast. Visit Arduaine Gardens, a plantsman’s paradise perched on the sheltered coast overlooking the Sound of Jura, or drive across the bleak Rannoch Moor and down through Glencoe, one of Scotland’s most dramatic valleys. Enjoy a free afternoon to stroll through Oban independently before setting sail south past the Isle of Mull.
Minerva sails south through the North Channel and into the Irish Sea to Ireland’s capital city, Dublin.The Georgian heritage of this city is revealed in the architecture of Merrion Square, St Stephen’s Green and Trinity College. Whilst in the beautiful countryside of the ‘Garden of Ireland’, is County Wicklow and Powerscourt House with its wonderful Italianate gardens.
Enjoy an independent visit to peaceful Lundy Island with its rich history and diverse flora and fauna before cruising to the beautiful archipelago of the Isles of Scilly. Visit the sub-tropical Tresco Abbey Gardens – home to many rare plants which thrive on this island. There will also be the opportunity to explore independently the gentle island of St Mary’s where the Star Castle fortifications were built following the threat of the 1588 Spanish Armada.
Finally enjoy the tranquillity of the tiny, traffic-free, island of Sark in the Channel Islands. Walk up Harbour Hill to explore the island on foot, perhaps visiting the fine La Seigneurie Gardens, before returning to Portsmouth.
Independent travel to Portsmouth to embark Minerva.
Sail: 1700 hours..
Dingle, Ireland. Arrive 1200 hours.
Dingle, Ireland. Sail 1200 hours.
Inishmore, Ireland. Arrive: 1400 hours. Sail 2100 hours.
Killybegs, Ireland. Arrive: 1400 hours. Sail 1900 hours.
Portrush, Ireland. Arrive: 0800 hours. Sail 1700 hours.
Oban, Scotland. Arrive: 0730 hours. Sail 1700 hours.
Dublin, Ireland. Arrive: 1200 hours. Sail 1830 hours.
Lundy Island, England. Arrive: 0800 hours. Sail 1300 hours.
Isles of Scilly, England. Arrive: 0700 hours. Sail 1800 hours.
Sark, Channel Islands. Arrive: 1200 hours. Sail 1830 hours.
Portsmouth. Arrive: 0700 hours.
Mr Christopher Bailes – a remarkable diversity of plants and gardens. RHS speaker
Trained at Kew; on graduating in 1979 he became Supervisor of Kew’s orchid collection, leaving in 1985 to manage the Eric Young Orchid Foundation in Jersey. In 1988 he became Curator of Rosemoor Garden for the RHS, and from 1995-2000 was also Curator of Hyde Hall Garden. He joined the Chelsea Physic Garden as Curator in 2011, and is a member of the Orchid Committee of the RHS.
Dr Hugh Doherty – Medieval history
Dr Doherty is a Hugh Price research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. He teaches the history of the medieval British Isles between the collapse of Roman imperial authority in the fifth century and the creation of the Tudor state in the sixteenth. He is currently preparing an edition of the charters of King John, in time for the 800th celebration of the publication of Magna Carta in 2015.
Professor Mark Horton – Archaeology
Professor Horton is the Professor in Archaeology at the University of Bristol, and one of the team of expert presenters for the popular BBC2 Coast programme. He studied for his PhD at Cambridge University, and worked as a research fellow at the University of Oxford, before taking up a position at Bristol. He has directed archaeological excavations in the Caribbean, East Africa, Sri Lanka, Egyptian Nubia, as well in the United Kingdom and has a particular interest in maritime archaeology and has published two books and numerous articles. His work for the BBC has taken him around the coasts of Britain and Ireland, exploring numerous archaeological sites.