Cruises & Travels

British Isles Cruise 2024

Oceania Sirena

18 April to 3 May 2024,  Cruise was 22 April to 3 May

Started with a 3 day pre-cruise stay in London with daily excursions.

Cruis Itinerary

Actual itinerary stopped at Cobh not Waterford as shown on map.

18 April 

 Flew British Airways from SFO to LHR (Heathrow), plane was an A380, older plane, business class seats had some mechanical issues and were generally not very comfortable.  Food was so-so.

19 April London

Met at airport (Terminal 5) by driver and had ride to hotel in London, Mayfair, hotel.  Dinner at the Footman in Mayfair, good Fish and chips.

 Dinner at Footman

20 April London, Hampton Court, London

Breakfast at hotel then coach ride to Hampton Court, beautiful!  Lots of orange tulips!  Wonderful art, faded (sadly) hanging fabrics, lovely chapel,

 Hampton Court


 then lunch in London One Twenty One Two Restaurant, then boat ride on Thames (Hornblower Yachts).

Boat ride started at Big Ben

Big Ben

and ended at Tower of London

Tower of London

Stopped a Buckingham Palace after boat tour

Buckingham Palace

21 April London, Oxford, Burford, Stow-on-Wold, London

 Coach ride to Oxford, supposed to be a tour of New College, but we didn’t feel like the walk, so once we were there, we stopped at the Ashmolean Museum which was a great place with a lot of great exhibits!  Lunch at The Lamb Inn in Burford, chicken, mashed potatoes, etc. supposed to be a typical menu. Then visit to Stow-on-the-Wold.

22 April London, Stonehenge, Southampton

 Coach ride to Stonehenge, then to Southampton and boarded ship



Dinner at the Red Ginger upgrade restaurant onboard. Not particularly impressed. The food was good, but not great, and they kept trying to upsell us with drinks and even chopsticks. Cancelled our other reservation for this place later..

 23 April At Sea

 Donna got a pedicure in the morning (become trend on cruises).  Sailed into North Sea that evening.  Channel was fine, but North Sea was fairly rough sailing.

 Apr 24 Edinburgh (Rosyth), Dunfermline

 Walked on our own through Dunfermline where we were docked, saw the wonderful Abbey Church of Dunfermline and took pix for Mike’s friend the Episcopal priest St. Margaret’s of Scotland in Halifax, NS.  Visited Andrew Carnegie Museum and Library.


Apr 25 Kirkwall (Orkney Islands)

 Took the Scotland Ancient Treasures of Orkney Skara Brae shore excursion!   Got off the bus at standing stones but didn’t go up the hill. Loved the ruins at Skara Brae including walking through one of the tunnels!  Very windy, no wonder they built underground.

 Skara Brae-1

Skaraa Brae -2

Skara Brae -3

Then wandered about Kirkwall, Mike got new tweed jacket at Aurora. 

Apr 26 Stornoway (Hebrides)

Decided to skip the Scenic Lewis and the Standing Stones shore excursion.  Instead wandered around the historic toen,  Had a great Fish & Chips lunch at Blake’s.

 Blake's Stornoway

Apr 27 Glasgow (Greenock)

Bus tour to Loch Lomond, which turned out to be a mixed tourist trap with a deck to see an unremarkable body of water, the outside of a museum and no time to do anything because our stop was only 20 minutes.  Then we went to the Glengoyne Distillery which had a marvelous tour and sampling.

Loch Lomand

 Loch Lomand




Apr 28 Belfast, Ireland

Walked around town, saw a lot of stores that were the same as in the U.S. (Starbucks, KFC, H&M, TK Maxx (TJ Maxx here), and McDonalds (had a hamburger & fries and diet coke).  Not impressed. Got blue plaid scarf and green bead bracelet at Carrolls.

Belfast downtown

Did drive by Harlan & Wolf yards, still in operation

Harland & Wolf

Dinner at Tuscan Steakhouse restaurant onboard. Donna had the whole lobster. Great! 

Apr 29 Dublin, Ireland

Bus trip to Powerscourt, Wonderful gardens and got to see the Pepperpot Folly!!!!




 At dinner could see 11 Guinness tankers (truck) waiting to go out.


Apr 30 Holyhead, United Kingdom

 Took the shuttle bus to town then walked a ways, including a bridge with a circular walkway going up. Walked around town for a while and checked out some shops, but it was cold, windy, and rainy, so we went back to the ship for lunch.  Cocktail party for Oceania Club members in Sirena Lounge with music and drinks, and recognitions for staff.

May 1 Cork (Cobh), Ireland 

Decided to not go to the Blarney Castle and stone (yuck on the kissing and climbing all those stairs). Walked around Cobh for several hours. Beautiful town, walked off the ship to historical center with shops, but first walked along the waterfront, stopped in several shops, purchased ponytail holder, Christmas “JOY” ornament at Tregan next to the Titanic Experience.   Walked to the end of town and on the way back stopped in a coffee shop in an off-shoot street near their library for cocoa. Beautiful and sunny!  Had coco at a sidewalk café.

Cobh -1


May 2 Plymouth, United Kingdom

 Tour of the Dartmoor and nature preserve and tea and scones at A Taste of Devon: Devonshire Cream Tea at Tudor Rose Tea Rooms.  Dinner again at Tuscan Steakhouse

 Park Visitor Center

Tudor Rose

Discussed how Devon crem Tea was different from Cornish cream tea, but clotted cream served, while served in Devon was from Cornwall.

Cream Tea

Last Night dinner

Last night dinner

May 3 London (Southampton), United Kingdom

Two-hour bus ride to Heathrow, then waited about 4.5 hours in the United Loungs (advantage of flying business class).  Then 11.5-hour flight to SFO, cleared customs and home by 9:30 pm, very long day.  United Polaris class on a 777-200 is much better than BA A380-300, both food and seat comfort.


 For more information here are Oceania Currents from the cruise (daily newsbulletins) (click here).