About Edinburgh

This handsome capital has an eclectic mix of medieval and Georgian architecture.  One of the city's most obvious attractions is Edinburgh Castle, first founded in the 7th century. It's still the headquarters for several of the British Army's Scottish regiments and, at noon each day, the sound of a cannon fired from the castle's battlements reverberates throughout the city. The castle sits at one end of the Royal Mile with the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the other. Founded as a monastery in 1128, Holyroodhouse is the official Scottish residence of Queen Elizabeth II. 

Princes Street is the shopping district, while George Street is home to bars and restaurants. Those with a love of art will want to visit the National Portrait Gallery. Alternatively see life as it was once lived by touring the city's remaining underground vaults. For the more active visitor the view from the volcanic sill of Arthur's Seat may be worth a refreshing, if slightly strenuous walk.


Shore excursions in Edinburgh

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Edinburgh On Your Own

Activity lowShopping

Duration: 7 hours

Explore Edinburgh, Scotland’s historic capital, whose Old Town and Georgian New Town form a World Heritage Site.

Edinburgh has a treasure trove of historical monuments and sights in both the medieval `Old Town`, and the 18th century `New Town`. These include Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, famous Princes Street and its shops, the Outlook Tower and its view over the city.

Whether you are sightseeing or shopping there are an abundance of places to eat and drink to keep you replenished. This unguided tour gives you the freedom to choose what to do with your day out.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach.Passengers are advised that this tour is unguided and exclusive of entrance fees. The journey time to Edinburgh is around 45 minutes each way depending on traffic. Maps will be provided. There is approximately 5½ hours of free time. Please take careful note of the departure time and pick up point for your return transfer to the ship.

Falkirk Wheel and Antonine Wall

Activity medium

Duration: 4½ hours

Discover the Falkirk Wheel, a uniquely designed rotating boat lift that joins the Forth and Clyde Canals.

The Falkirk Wheel was designed and constructed to provide a solution to join 2 canals and today it is Scotland’s most exciting example of 21st century engineering. It’s unique and eye- catching sculpture makes it an unusual attraction, and it has already made its claim as a major Scottish landmark.

Upon arrival at the Falkirk Wheel, you’ll embark on a canal boat ride that will take you more than 100 feet into the air. Your boat will manoeuvre into the bottom gondola of the wheel, which then makes a graceful sweep, lifting the boat up and depositing it on the Union Canal that is supported on columns 100 feet above. The ascent takes approximately 15 minutes, allowing plenty of time to enjoy the surrounding scenery. Once lifted, your boat takes you smoothly from the wheel straight into the Union Canal and passes along the aqueduct.

As your boat ride comes to an end and once back on dry land, you’ll take a walk to the Antonine Wall. Built in 142 AD, the Roman wall still remains intact today and has the accolade of being a world heritage site. Here, you can enjoy a photograph opportunity, before rejoining your coach for the return drive to South Queensferry.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves around 1½ hours of walking over some uneven terrain. The walk to the Antonine Wall is optional. Passengers may choose to remain at the Falkirk Wheel Visitors Centre. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. A degree of agility is required to board the canal boat. A warm jacket is advisable as it may feel cooler during the canal boat ride.

Holyrood Palace and Royal Yacht Britannia

Activity high

Duration: 5½ hours

Visit the residence occupied by Her Majesty The Queen whenever visiting Edinburgh, and see her beloved private yacht.

Once described as her floating palace and her ‘home away from home’, a tour around the Royal Yacht Britannia is a master class in style and luxury, and a unique insight into the lives of the British Royal Family. As host to glittering state and official occasions, this remains one of the most famous ships in the world. Discover Britannia’s fascinating past through exhibits, displays and photographs, before visiting the Royal Apartments, where hundreds of original items are on display in the Sun Lounge, Drawing Room and Bedrooms, as well as the Working Deck, Officer’s Mess, Sick Bay and Engine Room.

Holyrood Palace, which stands proudly at the eastern end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile, is the official Scottish residence Queen Elizabeth II. The Palace was built in the style of a French chateau and contains the Great Gallery, which is adorned with over 100 portraits of Scottish monarchs through the ages. There is also a chance to explore the beautiful grounds where the Queen hosts her annual Garden Party.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The tour of Holyrood Palace will be partially guided, so you will have time to explore the rooms on your own. The rooms associated with Mary Queen of Scots are accessed via a narrow, spiral staircase consisting of 25 steps.

Leisurely Edinburgh

Activity low

Duration: 4 hours

Visit the magnificent capital of Edinburgh, a city which offers an interesting balance between traditional and contemporary.

Enjoy a fascinating city tour that embraces most of Edinburgh’s treasure trove of historical monuments and sights, in both the medieval ‘Old Town’, and the 18th century ‘New Town’, both of which form a World Heritage Site.

During your journey, view the many elegant streets, mysterious cobbled alleys with Georgian and Victorian architecture, nestling alongside a variety of vibrant, cosmopolitan and modern elements, including an abundance of shops, bars and restaurants. The most majestic aspect of the city is medieval Edinburgh Castle which dominates the skyline. Before returning to the ship, drive along part of the historic and atmospheric Royal Mile, and pass Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s residence in Edinburgh.

This tour is ideal for those who prefer to sightsee from the comfort of a coach.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach. There will be a comfort stop en route.

Magnificent Edinburgh Castle and City

Activity highShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

Visit Scotland’s magnificent and historic capital, and explore its world-famous medieval Castle.

Travel into Edinburgh, with its dramatic setting perched on a series of extinct volcanoes and rocky crags. Enjoy a fascinating city tour before visiting the impressive Edinburgh Castle.

Dominating the city, the Castle has been home to Scottish Kings and Queens through the centuries. Enjoy a partially guided visit of the Castle, before spending some free time on the historic and atmospheric Royal Mile.

After rejoining the coach, pass Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s residence in Edinburgh, see the extensive, rather wild Royal Park, the landmark Arthur’s Seat and the Georgian New Town, with its elegant townhouses and private parks.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is up to 1¾ hours of walking at Edinburgh Castle, with cobbled pathways and a long sloping pathway to the main area. This tour aims to provide around 30 minutes of free time at the Royal Mile, this is however dependant on local conditions on the day.

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