Cruise Port Excursions

Tobermory, Scotland

Colorful Tobermory, Scotland

Colorful Tobermory, Scotland was a fun spot to explore after our failed bird watching expedition to the countryside.  The photo above captures about one-third of the town.  The arrival of our ship doubled the population of this quaint town for the day.  We went into the Mishnish Hotel, the yellow building above, and had some local beverages and a half dozen oysters as part of our shore excursion.  Then we ventured a few doors down for some Indian cuisine.

Local Port Exploration

In this blog, I’m just giving you an overview of what some ship sponsored shore excursions were like.  We generally gravitate to simple exploration on our own, not taking part in too many of the port excursions offered by the ship.  In tiny town like Tobermory, Scotland, it does not take much more than an hour to explore the entire town.

no pets

This store was closed so your guess is as good as mine here.


Mishnish Bar

Inside the Mishnish Bar and Hotel. Open since 1869.

They tell me the Mishnish Bar is recently remodeled.  In true Scottish tradition, this bar had Gaelic sayings on the wall, offered haggis bites with whisky mustard mayo and lots of seafood offerings.  I had a half dozen oysters and some local beer.  Upon paying my bill, I bought those two chaps at the left end of the bar a round of drinks, thanking them for letting our cruise ship invade their tiny town.  Talking to these two working Scotchmen reminded me of the saying “The English and Americans are two peoples divided by a common language.”

hotel Mishnish

Fine rooms are available at the Mishnish Hotel should you wish to stay here for a week.

Cruise Port Excursions

By now it should be obvious this is not a travel blog, packed with travel advice and suggestions for your next holiday adventure.   A cruise is not even a good way to explore the world in depth.  However, cruise ships do offer excursions at each port of call.  The Seabourn Quest offered kayaking to glaciers, island coves and Zodiac trips for longer expeditions.  Others excursions were just bus rides to the country for some exploration.  Afterwords,  they drop you off  in the city for further exploration on your own.



Cider and apple farm shore excursion outside of Cherbourg, France.

Since we had previously visited the Normandy American Cemetery at Omaha Beach , we opted for an excursion to an apple orchard and cider distillery 25 miles outside of Cherbourg.  It rained all day.  They were a bit stingy with their samples, or maybe they just got tired of seeing me in the freebie line….


Train ride in Dover

A train ride in Dover, England to see the countryside and drink tea and have scones in the English tradition.  No photos of scones…

Despite checking at numerous restaurants, there is no Dover sole fish to be found in Dover, England.

Cliffs of Dover

The famous white cliffs of Dover

I’m sure there are better views of the white cliffs of Dover, but this was our view upon leaving.  I did my best to wait for the sunlight to peak through the clouds to highlight them.

Belfast Titanic Museum


Belfast has a reputation for being a very tough, hard scrabble city,

In the 1850s Belfast suffered greatly and went through dramatic changes.  The potato famine killed countless people and migration from the countryside quadrupled the population of Belfast.  These changes helped propel the city workforce toward becoming the most prominent shipbuilder in the world.  The Titanic was built in Belfast in 1911.  The popular saying in Belfast is “She was alright when she left Belfast. ”  The major tourist attraction in Belfast is the Titanic Museum.  We took a bus to the middle of Belfast and walked several miles to the museum.

Belfast Museum

It seems to me the museum architects did a good job of symbolizing the titanic at sea and striking an iceberg.

The points of the building can be seen to symbolize the bow of the Titanic.  The jagged edges may represent the Titanic’s hull being ripped by the iceberg.

titanic mermaid

The Titanic Museum and a mermaid sculpture.


sculpture poop

Maybe it is not so good to be a famous person in history…

Being a seaside town, and commemorating cleaning up the river, a bright blue ceramic salmon sculpture is a favorite spot with tourists.

Throughout Europe, it seems to me the quality of local talent playing for free in the streets or in bars is a cut above.  Like this street musician in York, England.  Guitar Player (scroll to bottom)

This musical duo in a tavern near the Titanic Museum was no exception.  The violinist was much more serious about his music than his hairdo.


Great violinist in a Belfast tavern.



A string duo playing Irish music in a tavern.

Had time allowed, I wanted to ask these two gentlemen who their barber was so I could make sure to never go there.

Back to our Home Away from Home…

So goodbye to quaint and colorful Tobermory…

Tobermory, Scotland

Tobermory, Scotland

Hello Seabourn Cruise ship.

Cruise Director

Our rather outgoing Cruise Director, getting the guests ready for a couple days at sea, heading for Iceland and our new good friend Bernie in the background.

Better travel photos are coming, really…

2 thoughts on “Cruise Port Excursions

  1. Thanks for posting, Harold. We try when we can to avoid the packaged cruise expeditions but somethings it’s hard to do,

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