Ireland cruises

Cruising in Ireland

With a history that dates back ten thousand years, the cities and countryside of Ireland are full of fascinating sights, and spectacular landscapes. A British Isles cruise usually includes Dublin and Belfast in its itinerary, the capital cities of the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland, respectively.

Situated on the banks of the River Liffey, the history of the city of Dublin is well over a millennium old, and includes occupation by Viking, Norman, and British invaders, following its initial settlement by early Celts. With such a long and storied history, the city is an impressive mixture of architectural influences, with gorgeous examples of Georgian, Victorian, and modern styles. Despite this, the most traditional thing to do in Dublin isn’t to visit a museum or go sight-seeing—it’s to visit one of the more than 1,000 pubs in the city and enjoy one of the many local beers, or visit The Guinness Storehouse, dedicated to recounting the history of Ireland’s most famous brew. Dublin is a small and compact city, and easy to walk around in; one of the best ways to see the sights is to take a guided walking tour, or simply wander the streets as you please.

Belfast is in Northern Island, and as such is actually part of the United Kingdom; while this status has historically been the source of a great deal of political turmoil, the country is now enjoying a period of stability and restoration. A day spent exploring the city and surrounding countryside reveals that although Northern Ireland has much in common with both England and the Republic of Ireland, it possesses its own very distinct character. The most spectacular thing you’ll see must be the Giant’s Causeway on the Antrim Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of several natural sites referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. The causeway is a long stretch of interlocking basalt columns, created by volcanic activity an estimated 60 million years ago; there is little to compare to walking on these ancient rocks, and the sense of wonder they evoke.

Ireland and the British Isles in general are best visited during the summer months, with the most pleasant weather typically enjoyed between May and August; outside of the late spring to early autumn period, the temperature drops sharply and winter brings plenty of rain. Even in high summer the weather can often be unpredictable.

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Cruise lines that visit Ireland

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