The Grand Cruise

Delve into the intriguing history of the British Isles on a Princess cruise that stops in nine storied cities.

Sheep’s Head Peninsula

Photo: Alamy

Ireland or Scotland? London or Paris? Ancient castle ruins or thriving cultural hubs? One special itinerary aboard Princess Cruises®’ Caribbean Princess® makes the choice easy this summer: Do them all. Departing from Southampton, England, the 12-day Princess Cruises® “British Isles” AAA Vacations® sailing is notable for extended stays in iconic locations, which allow guests to explore well beyond the ports of call.

The itinerary lands at three storied cities on the island of Ireland. In Dublin, tour historic Trinity College; the library’s amazing Long Room displays its rarest volumes in a gallery lined with marble busts. Or stroll the equally hallowed grounds of the Guinness Storehouse and drink a pint of Ireland’s most famous export. (The Gravity Bar at the end of the tour is worth it for the views alone.)

The city of Cork is close to Cóbh, where Caribbean Princess® calls, but you can also explore some of Ireland’s lushest coastal scenery just to the west, particularly along the windswept Sheep’s Head Peninsula. In Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, you’ll encounter a once-divided city that has been transformed into a vibrant modern cultural center. The Titanic was built here; the ship is memorialized in a museum that’s housed at the head of its slipway.

Caribbean Princess® also makes three stops in beautiful Scotland, including at Invergordon, not far from Loch Ness; and Edinburgh, where a walk on the Royal Mile leads to the battlements of Edinburgh Castle. The ship overnights in Glasgow, allowing for explorations further afield. Golf and hiking lure us to the scenic Isle of Arran on a day trip, while Scotch whisky lovers will delight in the trove of distilleries, such as Glengoyne. In Glasgow, enjoy the fine Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, or dive into the city’s legendary pub and music scenes.

Caribbean Princess® at sea

Photo: Courtesy Princess Cruises

The Princess Cruises® British Isles cruise also includes visits to a couple of off-the-beaten-path ports of call, such as swell Guernsey, the largest of the Channel Islands, and Liverpool. The final port of call is Le Havre, France, gateway to both Paris and the beaches of Normandy. With more than 12 hours docked here, you’ll have time to visit either: World War II landing site Omaha Beach is an hour and a half from Le Havre; the drive to Paris is slightly longer than two hours.

Caribbean Princess® “British Isles” sailing offers cultural immersion on board. A traditional pub-style lunch is offered on sea days in the Wheelhouse Bar, and afternoon tea is served daily, with an array of brews and elegant pastries brought by white-gloved waiters. The rollicking musical revue “British Invasion” explores British music from the 1960s to the present; Irish jigs, Scottish Highland dancing and bagpipes round out the entertainment. To enhance the experience, Princess Cruises®’ new Global Partners + Local Experts program introduces passengers to the most meaningful and authentic experiences on shore—many of which are exclusive to Princess.

Photo: Kate Francis

Caribbean Princess® came out of dry dock in April following an extensive refurbishment that enhanced the dining rooms, redesigned the youth and teen centers (in partnership with Discovery Communications), added connecting staterooms and integrated Princess’ new Club Class amenities to mid-ship Mini Suites on the Dolphin Deck. The main dining room now includes options from award-winning chef Curtis Stone and decadent treats designed by master chocolatier Norman Love.

Book this AAA Vacations® Princess Cruises® British Isles departure and you’ll receive not only a price guarantee but preferred check-in on your day of embarkation, an exclusive wine- and cheese-tasting experience, and $100 in onboard spending credit. Use that credit toward pampering at the Lotus Spa or onshore excursions, or at one of the ship’s specialty dining venues. The private Chef’s Table experience, held on several nights of the cruise, is an add-on available on several previous Princess cruises, but be sure to book this popular activity soon after you board.

Ready to explore the British Isles and beyond? Book now or call 877-396-7159 to speak to a AAA Travel Counselor.

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Janice Yip-Hudson, AAA Travel Counselor, Daly City, Calif.

Today, people's lives are so busy. We're thinking three days ahead just to get through our to-do lists. I love helping my clients plan vacations where they have nothing to do but relax; where time stands still, and you're just on vacation.

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