Scotland and England on Golden Horizon with Richard Sykes
This scenic voyage will not only ensure you experience the very best of Scotland cities, highlands and islands, but it will be history in the making. For you will be sailing on the wonderful Golden Horizon, the world's largest tall ship, as it embarks on its inaugural voyage. From glistening lochs where mythical monsters swim, to mighty mountains and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, you'll enjoy a 15-day itinerary packed with adventure, as well as the chance to catch up with VTA's former cruise director, Richard Sykes, who joins you for the first part of the cruise.
Leaving Harwich on May Day 2021, you'll sail up the British coast on Golden Horizon. Five-star service levels and the creature comforts of a luxury cruise are combined with the romance of a classical sailing experience on this graceful five-mast, square-rigged ship, a near replica of the 1913-built ocean vessel, France II. With a relaxed atmosphere on board, excellent dining facilities and 140 all sea-view cabins, up to 70 per cent of her voyages are sustainable. Uniquely, these have been planned on the basis of the prevailing winds and currents, often following traditional trading routes sailed for the past 150 years. Plus there's a spa on board where you can book in for treatments or relax in the sauna and hamman, three swimming pools and a piano bar where Richard will be on hand to entertain you. He will also join you for a talk and Q&A in the on-board lecture theatre.
On this voyage, you'll stop at Newcastle where you will embark on a special included excursion to Hadrian's Wall. From there it is on to Leith for Edinburgh, Scotland's elegant capital, where you can visit the famous castle and climb to Arthur's Seat, and Aberdeen, where you can opt for an excursion to Royal Balmoral, the Queen's favourite home.
In the beautiful Scottish Highlands, you'll stop at Loch Ness before reaching Scap Flow, where the magical Orkney's beckon. This is your second included excursion and you will experience the best of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its neolithic sites, dramatic sandstone cliffs and amazing birdlife.
Next you will explore the stunning Isle of Skye and discover Fort William, which sits in the shadow of mighty Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. With plenty of opportunities for whiskey tasting both on and off-board, plus incredible scenery, a rich history, and the chance to take it in by sea and by land, this promises to be a truly memorable British voyage.
Reasons to book
Scotland's Highlands and Islands
Golden Horizon's inaugural sailing
100% Protected Trip*
The best of the Orkneys
Your expert guides
- 14 nights' luxury accommodation on Golden Horizon, the world's largest square-rigged sailing ship in a choice of three cabin grades (all with outside views)
- All on-board meals, plus selected wine and beer with lunch and dinner when served in the main restaurant
- Two amazing included excursions to Hadrian's Wall and the Orkneys
- 12 port visits, including Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Skye, Orkneys, Highlands and Fort William, plus other additional optional excursions (*fee applies)
- Talk, Q&A and entertainment with Richard Sykes
- Free Wi-Fi, entertainment and activities on board
- Gratuities and service charges
- Choice of five bars
- Fitness classes and gym access
- Use of the watersports and marina
- Room service
- Pre- and post-cruise hotel options available in Harwich and Greenock
Day1Board the Golden Horizon in Harwich, EssexHarwich, United Kingdom
You'll set sail from this English Haven Port within easy reach of London for what is the inaugural sailing for Golden Horizon - a chance to experience a very special moment on this classic ship built for the modern age.
What is more, you will be joined by Richard Sykes, the former VTA cruise director, on the first part of this historic voyage.
Day2At SeaNorth Sea, United Kingdom
As you make your way north up the English coastline, relax on board the magnificent Golden Horizon, find a quiet corner in the stylish library, or book a treatment in the spa.
Richard Sykes, the former VTA cruise director, will be giving an exclusive talk and Q&A session and will be entertaining you all in the piano bar.
Day3NewcastleNewcastle, United Kingdom
United by seven iconic bridges across a bustling quayside, Newcastle and Gateshead form a lively city full of Geordie charm in England's North East.
Optional Excursions: Designated a World Heritage Site in 1987, Hadrian's Wall is the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain. The best-known frontier in the entire Roman Empire, it stands as a reminder of one of the world's greatest civilisations. Alternatively, you can visit Durham Cathedral and Castle, among the greatest monuments of the Norman Conquest of Britain or take an introduction tour of Newcastle which includes a visit to the iconic Angel of the North, designed by sculptor Antony Gormley.
Richard Sykes, the former VTA cruise director, who will be on hand for drinks and to entertain you in the piano bar.
Day4Leith (for Edinburgh)Leith, United Kingdom
Only three miles from the Scottish capital, Leith is also home to the world-famous Royal Yacht Britannia, now a floating museum.
Optional Excursions: Discover the spectacular military landscape surrounding Stirling; visit the historic castle, the iconic battlefields of Bannockburn, and the Wallace Monument. Alternatively, enjoy a panoramic tour of Edinburgh including Edinburgh Castle, perched on an extinct volcano which overlooks the city and offers magnificent views.
Day5DundeeDundee, United Kingdom
Known as Scotland's cultural centre, this coastal city on the Tay estuary is the country's fourth largest and home to two must-see nautical museums on the regenerated waterfront.
Optional Excursions: Embark the RRS Discovery and follow in the footsteps of Captain Scott, Ernest Shackleton and their crew as they took her on her first mission to the inhospitable Antarctic. Alternatively, join an excursion to Scone Palace, former crowning place of Scottish Kings, including Macbeth and Robert the Bruce, and boasting an impressive 125 sumptuous rooms house a fabulous collection of French furniture, clocks, 16th century needlework, ivories, and one of the finest collections of porcelain in the country.
Day6AberdeenAberdeen, United Kingdom
Enjoy sailing up the panoramic north-east coastline to Aberdeen, Scotland's sparkling 'granite city', and one of the best places to spot dolphins as there's a resident pod in the harbour. You will journey through spectacular scenery to breathtaking Royal Deeside and visit the charming picturesque 'Royal Village' of Ballater, situated in the heart of the River Dee Valley. Arrive at the Scottish home of the Royal Family and discover this world-famous castle as you can opt to take a tour of the Balmoral Estate (fee applies).
Day7InvergordonInvergordon, United Kingdom
In the centre of the eastern Highlands, Invergordon is the perfect base to explore the "Great Glen" and discover the legend of Loch Ness.
Optional Excursions: Journey along the deep, dark waters of Loch Ness searching for 'Nessie' and visit the impressive ruins of Urquhart Castle. Or choose to visit the Glenmorangie Distillery where just sixteen people - the Sixteen Men of Tain - craft its singular taste. Another more active option is to walk around Rogie Falls, a beautiful spot located on the Blackwater River near the village of Contin.
Day8Scapa FlowScapa Flow, United Kingdom
Sail through this body of water in the Orkney Islands, sheltered by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Hoy.
Today, you will discover the neolithic heartland of Orkney on a special included tour. This area is designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology and you will pass the Standing Stones of Stenness, stop at the Ring of Brodgar, and visit the 5000-year-old village of Skara Brae to see the remarkable dwellings revealed from beneath the sand dunes by storms only 150 years ago.
Day9ScrabsterScrabster, United Kingdom
Gateway to the far north of Scotland and John O'Groats, this small settlement and harbour is one of the top fishing ports in the country.
Optional Excursion: Travel inland to Wick for a 'wee dram' at the the famous Pulteney Distillery, the most northerly on the Scottish mainland. Or join a local countryside ranger for a coastal walk to Holborn Head.
Day10UllapoolUllapool, United Kingdom
Your tour of the Scottish Highlands continues with a stop at this picturesque fishing town, nestled on the shores of Loch Broom.
Optional Excursions: Visit the three stunning, pink sand beaches of Gruinard Bay and walk to the dramatic, 65-metre Measach Falls, in the Corrieshalloch Gorge, a National Nature Reserve. Hiking lovers can take a walk to Knockan Crag at the heart of the North West Highlands Geopark.
Day11Portree, Isle of SkyePortree, United Kingdom
Capital of the Isle of Skye, Portree's harbour is fringed by dramatic cliffs and a great place for walking.
Optional Excursions: Discover Eilean Donan Castle, built in the 1930s on a tiny island where three sea lochs meet, or learn about the fascinating history of the Isle of Skye on a scenic tour, including the curious outcrop known as the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, a dramatic 200-foot high cliff and tumbling waterfall, and the crofting township of Staffin.
Day12Fort WilliamFort William, United Kingdom
Sailing slowly down the west coast, you'll stop in Fort William, which sits at the head of Loch Linnhe beneath the brooding mass of Ben Nevis.
Optional Excursions: Enjoy a walk through the dramatic steep-sided Nevis Gorge to the cascading Steall Falls or take the gondola up Aonach Mor, for breathtaking views of the Scottish Highlands, including the Great Glen and Ben Nevis.
Day13Port Ellen, IslayPort Ellen, United Kingdom
This small and pretty town on the island of Islay, in Argyll, Scotland is named after the wife of its founder, Frederick Campbell of Islay.
Optional Excursion: Islay is probably best known for its malt whiskies, one of the most important sources of income for the island. With eight working distilleries on the island this excursion includes a visit to one where the process of whisky-making will be explained from start to finish.
Day14Day at SeaFirth Of Clyde, United Kingdom
Take in more beautiful scenery as you sail down Scotland's west coast towards Glasgow and enjoy the wonderful facilties, food and entertainment on board.
Day15Disembark in Greenock (for Glasgow)Greenock, United Kingdom
Disembark today at Greenock, a short journey from Glasgow where you can spend time admiring its Victorian and Art Nouveau architecture, much by the brilliant Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The world's largest square-rigged sailing vessel, Golden Horizon. A near replica of the 1913-built ocean vessel, France II, she retains the charm, adventure and romance of an historic ship.
Discover iconic and remote locations of the world, on board a ship which perfectly marries rich sailing heritage and modern luxury, with a sustainable twist.
All 140 cabins are outside facing, so guests can enjoy the breath-taking views. Cabins evoke the luxury and facilities expected of a boutique cruise ship, whilst retaining the charm, adventure and romance of a truly historic sailing vessel.
Style & Character
Golden Horizon attracts like-minded adventure seekers for a sailing experience which allows guests to connect with the elements of the natural world.
The ambience on board is relaxed, casual, elegant and without unnecessary formality. We have created an environment which will encourage our guests to return to time and time again, and to share their stories and experiences.
With grace and beauty, the Golden Horizon is a sailing ship first and foremost, sailing to share adventures with our friends, our guests.
Facilities & Services
Guests can unwind in our on-board spa which boasts a Sauna, Hamman, Snow Room and Jacuzzi. The spa offers a range of treatments including massages, facials, wraps and scrubs. There is also beauty salon, which offers an assortment of treatments including manicures, pedicures and blow-dries and there is a well-stocked library and complimentary wifi.
There are three pools to choose from, plus a Marina from which you can enjoy a variety of watersports and diving.
Our destination speakers will provide guests with engaging insights, specifically related to the voyage and ports of call.The on-board cruise team offers a full programme of activities including wine tasting and cooking demonstrations.
All 140 cabins and suites enjoy a sea view, as well as twice daily housekeeping and luxury amenities. Cabin interiors offer contemporary luxury, with traditional features and furnishings - a tribute to the nautical heritage of a tall ship.
Owner's Suite: Double or twin beds, living
& dining area, balcony, en suite (shower & bath), sofa bed
& guest bathroom, walk-in wardrobe, complimentary mini bar and
Deluxe Balcony Room: Balcony, double or twin beds, sofa bed, en suite with shower over bath, complimentary mini bar.
Cabin: Double bed or twin beds, two portholes, deluxe bathroom with a shower, complimentary water.
Food & Drink
Breakfast, lunch and daytime offerings can be traditional or light and fresh and include dishes with a local flavour.
Our full-service dinner is served over two levels in our spectacular main dining room. A selection of wines and beers are complimentary in the main dining room.
There are five bars including two outside bars and a piano bar which is perfect for enjoying a drink with new friends. Elsewhere, our premium beverage bar, Debeljak's, is stocked with some of the world's finest spirits.
Our resident pianist and musical duo will entertain guests and, as we travel the world, local shows, dancers and singers will help to immerse our guests in the local culture.
Our philosophy is simple but unique - we will follow the sun, using the winds and the currents, to take us to magical beaches and port destinations.
Our aim is to be powered by nature whenever possible and we intend to sail, without using propulsion, for around 70% of each season.