A unique expedition cruise with an itinerary tailored to extensive bird watching
For those who go off the beaten path, there are places in the British Isles where nature is still wild and history can be touched. Take advantage of 15% early booking savings and join and an expedition cruise from Plymouth to Edinburgh. Poseidon Expeditions invites you to experience an abundance of birdlife and an eventful 13-day program aboard the m/v Sea Spirit visiting the best destinations for wildlife viewing.
10 May - 22 May 2021
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The birds you’ll be able to see in the cruise
Atlantic puffin
Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica)
A beautiful black-and-white bird with a huge multicolored bill. Puffins cannot take off without a running start, but in the air, they can reach remarkable speeds of 55 miles per hour. Breeding is the only reason they go on land, preferring to burrow near cliff edges for quick access to the sea. They are excellent swimmers and use their wings to stroke underwater with a flying motion.
Northern gannet
Northern gannet (Morus bassanus)
Slender, easily recognizable by its long, sharp bill, and pointed tail. Adult species have a touch of gold at the crown. Known as relentless divers, with their eyes structurally adapted for plunges and spotting prey at the edge of the water. Large flocks of gannets nest on cliff edges, stalk the seas and plunge straight down, effortlessly avoiding collision with each other.
Northern fulmar
Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)
A gull-like medium-sized bird with a short bill and a small rounded tail. Northern fulmars are know to have a surprisingly long lifespan of 30 and more years. They prefer resting on water and breed on steep sea cliffs. Can often be spotted from deck following the ship scavenging for easy prey – the discarded fish or offal.
Black-legged kittiwake
Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)
A cliff-nesting gull with a small yellow bill, white tail with a black tip and black legs (hence the name). Feeds in flocks at the surface of the water, diving just below the water to catch prey. Spread wings show a dark “M” pattern. Spends most of its time at sea.
Razorbill
Razorbill (Alca torda)
A black seabird with a white underside, a blunt black bill and a thin white line in front of the eyes. An agile and nimble bird, commonly diving to escape predators. Chooses rocky islands, boulders and cliffs for breeding. Razorbills are monogamous, choosing one partner for life.
Arctic tern
Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea)
A small grayish bird with angular wings, a breeding adult tern can be recognized by a red bill and legs, sporting a full black cap. This bird is well known for its yearly migration, traveling from pole to pole and covering a distance of about 25,000 miles each year. These social birds forage and nest in groups.
Common murreTake advantage of 15% early booking savings and join and an expedition cruise from Plymouth to Edinburgh.
Common murre (Uria aalge)
A penguin-like medium-sized bird with an entirely black head and white underside. Its egg is very pointed at one side, preventing it from rolling off the nesting shelf. Form colonies in shallow depressions cliffs, ledges and rocks. Dives underwater to capture prey, using its wings to swim.
European shag
European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Commonly referred to as shag, this medium-sized bird has a longish tail and yellow bill. The European shag is one of the deepest divers among the cormorant family. Adults have a small crest in the breeding season, choosing coastal areas of rocky cliffs or small caves to nest.
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Let's go with us
Things to do on a British Isles cruise
Observe the pristine nature and abundant birdlife
Observe the pristine nature and abundant birdlife
Attend lectures from prominent scientists and invited experts
Attend lectures from prominent scientists and invited experts
Capture the best moments of the cruise on film
Capture the best moments of the cruise on film
Privately enjoy the intimate wildlife encounters
Privately enjoy the intimate wildlife encounters
Be among fellow like-minded travelers and bird enthusiasts
Be among fellow like-minded travelers and bird enthusiasts
Tick numerous bird species off your bucket list
Tick numerous bird species off your bucket list
Go on landings at some of the best birding destinations in Europe
Go on landings at some of the best birding destinations in Europe
Relax in your spacious and comfortable suite after a long day of activities
Relax in your spacious and comfortable suite after a long day of activities
Keep a voyage journal of all of your adventures
Keep a voyage journal of all of your adventures
Travel itinerary
Day 1:
Embarkation in Plymouth, England
For those who go off the beaten path, there are places in the British Isles where nature is still wild and history can be touched. Poseidon Expeditions invites you to join an expedition cruise from Plymouth to Edinburgh to experience an abundance of birdlife and an eventful 13-day program aboard the m/v Sea Spirit visiting the best European destinations for wildlife viewing.
day1
Day 2:
Tresco, Scilly Isles, England
The Isles of Scilly is a group of small islands off the coast of Cornwall boasting mild weather, secluded beaches, enchanting wildlife and a relaxed lifestyle. On the lovely, sand-fringed island of Tresco, Bronze Age burial sites and romantic 17th-century castle ruins reveal a long and dramatic history. Here we also find the Valhalla Museum, a collection of colorful figureheads salvaged from the islands’ shipwrecks. Delightful cafés and local shops enrich your experience even further.
day2
Day 3-4:
Republic of Ireland
Dunmore East is a popular tourist and fishing village in County Waterford on Ireland’s southeastern coast. From here it is a short journey through scenic countryside to the House of Waterford Crystal. Here you can take a guided tour of the factory to see the master craftsmen at work as well as the world’s largest collection of their wares.
day3-4
Day 5:
Llandudno, Wales
Our port for today is the vibrant seaside town of Llandudno in the north of Wales. From here we embark on a scenic overland tour of Snowdonia National Park. We drive through some of the wildest and most dramatic landscapes in Britain as we discover craggy mountains, stunning waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, dense woodlands and flowering meadows. Snowdonia is also renowned for wildlife including otters, water voles, wild ponies and rare birds such as dotterel and peregrine falcon. We enjoy a delightful stop at the charming and distinctively Welsh town of Betws-y-Coed in the Gwydyr Forest.
day5
Day 6:
Northern Ireland
Today we disembark at the small seaside resort town of Portrush in Northern Ireland. We travel overland to the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. Here we discover a geological masterpiece - 40,000 closely packed hexagonal basalt columns of varying heights descending like a staircase into the sea. According to legend, the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant. In this area we are also able to spot various seabirds such as fulmar, petrel, cormorant, shag, redshank, guillemot and razorbill.
day6
Day 7:
Inner Hebrides, Scotland
Weather permitting, we also plan to visit the uninhabited island of Staffa. This island of volcanic origin is easily recognized by its striking colonnade of hexagonal basalt pillars. The rugged island also provides nesting sites for seabirds including guillemots, razorbills and puffins.
Today we also explore beautiful and serene Iona, a small island in the Inner Hebrides just off the Isle of Mull in western Scotland. At the gorgeous Iona Abbey, founded in 563 AD, we are spellbound by one of Scotland’s most historic and sacred sites and indeed one of the oldest Christian religious centers in Western Europe. In addition to its historical and religious significance, Iona is well known for its soul-soothing tranquility, white sand beaches and excellent birdwatching.
day7
Day 8:
Outer Hebrides, Scotland
The Outer Hebrides, also known as the Western Isles, are a chain of dramatically rugged islands off the west coast of mainland Scotland. The most isolated of these is St Kilda. This remote and storm-ravaged island was continuously inhabited for at least two millennia by peoples of extraordinary hardiness. But as the modern world closed in after World War I, the remaining inhabitants chose to evacuate. Now we find only their rough stone buildings and distinctive storehouses called cleitean, all set amidst some of the most dramatic island scenery in the British Isles. Nature-lovers will be delighted, as the island is home to hundreds of thousands of seabirds, two early types of sheep, and over 130 species of flowering plants.
day8
Day 9:
Kirkwall, Orkney Islands
Upon arrival at the historic port of Kirkwall we embark on an overland tour of Mainland, the largest of the Orkney Islands off the northeastern coast of Scotland. Attractions such as the well-preserved 5000-year-old village site at Skara Brae and the ancient Ring of Brodgar within the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Heart of Neolithic Orkney” showcase the world-class cultural heritage of the island. Back in the charming village of Kirkwall we also find the impressive Saint Magnus Cathedral, built in the Romanesque style by Vikings in the 12th century.
day9
Day 10-11:
Shetland Islands
On the uninhabited island of Mousa we find the famous Broch of Mousa, the finest preserved Iron Age fortification in the British Isles. The island itself supports a rich diversity of plant life and is also known for grey and common seals, Arctic terns, and a significant colony of storm-petrels.
We come alongside at the port of Lerwick on Mainland, the largest of the Shetland Islands. On a walking tour of this historic town we visit the award-winning Shetland Museum to learn all about Shetland’s fascinating heritage and culture. Birders will relish the opportunity to visit the historic lighthouse at Sumburgh Head, the southernmost point of Mainland Shetland. These rugged cliffs attract thousands of seabirds and the grassy slopes above are particularly great for enjoying close encounters with puffins amongst beautiful wildflowers.
On Fair Isle - an isolated island of rolling moorlands and rugged coastlines - one is easily enchanted by historic crofts, picturesque lighthouses, and friendly locals. The island is famous among birders for its abundance of British birds and for its numerous records of eastern rarities and migrants. Fair Isle is also one of Europe’s best places to watch seabirds, especially puffins, at close range.
day10-11
Day 12:
Bass Rock, Scotland
Bass Rock is an uninhabited island in the outer part of the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland. This bastion of volcanic rock, also known as “the Bass”, plays host to over 150,000 northern gannets in the breeding season, making it the world’s largest colony of these magnificent birds. The island’s steep walls are white with guano and the sky all around is darkened by the vast multitude of seabirds in flight. Our voyage is perfectly timed to coincide with this amazing spectacle - truly one of the wildlife wonders of the world.
day12
Day 13:
Disembarkation in Leith (Edinburgh), Scotland
After breakfast on board Sea Spirit we say farewell in Leith, Edinburgh’s vibrant port district. We provide transfers to the airport or to Edinburgh city center if you wish to spend more time in the wonderful capital of Scotland.
day13
Your experienced guides on this birdwatching voyage
Expedition leader
Dr. Huw Lewis-jones
Polar historian

Huw is a historian with a PhD from the University of Cambridge and the author of award-winning books, now living in Cornwall.

As an experienced polar guide, over the last decade Huw has wandered on both sides of Antarctica and in the Arctic, from the Ross Sea and the Southern Ocean, to Siberia, Greenland and the North Pole.

Back in Britain, Huw regularly appears on television, BBC documentaries and radio as a historian and cultural commentator.

Region Expert
Dan Brown
Ornithologist

Dan is a nomadic British naturalist who has spent his entire life searching for weird and wonderful wildlife around the world.

After studying Ecology at the University of East Anglia, Norwich he became a professional Ornithologist and Ecologist publishing two books on British birds.

Dan now works all around the world as a lecturer, naturalist, photographer, consultant ecologist and scientific advisor to the BBC natural history unit.

M/v Sea Spirit is the best ship to experience the British Isles
Contemporary international cuisine
Contemporary international cuisine
Presentation lounge with state-of-the-art equipment for lectures
Presentation lounge with state-of-the-art equipment for lectures
A fleet of Zodiacs for close-up cruising and landings
A fleet of Zodiacs for close-up cruising and landings
Spacious and comfortable suites that feel like a five-star hotel
Spacious and comfortable suites that feel like a five-star hotel
Intimate, club-like atmosphere with only 114 passengers aboard
Intimate, club-like atmosphere with only 114 passengers aboard
Big enough to not be scared of rough seas, yet petite to sail to most islands
Big enough to not be scared of rough seas, yet petite to sail to most islands
Poseidon’s 114-passenger Sea Spirit is just the right size to maneuver into the secluded harbors and bays and reach the most remote islands while providing safe and comfortable cruising. Travelers are sure to be impressed with spacious staterooms, thoughtful amenities, and fine cuisine. The open decks provide an ideal platform for wildlife viewing and nature photography.
Contact us today to take advantage of Early Booking Savings up to 15%
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