Holyhead stands on the far side of Anglesey, which is technically an island separated from Wales by the narrow Menai Straits. The distant mountains provide an ever-present backdrop, enticing the visitor to investigate their beauty. The rural charm of North Wales is juxtaposed with some unexpected features, for, perhaps to the casual visitor's surprise, this is an area that has participated in some of the great moments of our history.

Port: Holyhead
Experience

Holyhead

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  • Executive Collection Half Day Van

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 4 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

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  • Caernarfon Castle

    A memorable visit to famous Caernarfon Castle awaits you on this delightful half-day tour.

    Setting off from the pier, you'll travel through Anglesey to cross the Menai Strait and on to Caernarfon with its legendary castle that dates back to 1283. Standing at the mouth of the Seiont River, this imposing fortress with its unique polygonal towers, intimidating battlements and color-banded masonry dominates the walled town.

    Of the four castles in northern Wales built by order of Edward I, Caernarfon Castle is surely the most magnificent. The grandeur that Caernarfon Castle displays signifies King Edward I's intent that it should serve as the powerful seat of English government in Wales. It is said to have been designed to echo the walls of Constantinople, the imperial power of Rome and the dream-castle, 'the fairest that ever man saw', of Welsh myth and legend.

    Caernarfon's symbolic status was further emphasized when Edward made sure that his son, the first Prince of Wales, was born here in 1284, and a statue of King Edward II can be seen above the entrance at the King's Gate. In more recent times, Prince Charles - the heir to the British throne, was crowned Prince of Wales here in 1969.

    Your time here includes a guided visit inside the once impregnable castle where you will be able to explore its fascinating ruins. Following your guided tour, you'll enjoy some free time to shop or further explore at your leisure before re-boarding your coach for the return to Holyhead.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 hours of walking which includes a gradual slope to reach the castle. Once inside, there are steps and uneven ground to negotiate. At guests' discretion, a visit to the towers is possible; however, there are steep spiral stairs to climb to do so. The tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns should evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. It is recommended that guests wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the possibility of rain.

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  • Portmeirion

    This full day of touring showcases the beauty of the Snowdonia National Park and the very popular village of Portmeirion.

    Setting off from the pier, you will first traverse the Menai Strait and drive through the picturesque Snowdonia National Park, enjoying the awesome passing scenery along the way. Your coach will then head south towards Porthmadog and the very unique Italianate fantasy village of Portmeirion - designed by the eccentric Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. The village, which commands magnificent sea views towards Snowdonia, was built from 1925 to 1976 with the intention of proving how it is possible to develop a beautiful setting without spoiling it. Portmeirion is now recognized as one of the most successful British architectural projects of the twentieth century. After a 1-hour guided walking tour, you are free to wander through the streets of the village at your leisure, exploring the shops that sell famous Portmeirion china. Portmeirion has become famous for its distinctive pottery - now very much a collector's item. There will be plenty of opportunity to buy some pieces during your visit here which would make an ideal gift for friends and family back at home.

    Before re-joining your coach for the return journey to Holyhead, you will be treated to a relaxing lunch at the atmospheric Castell Deudraeth - a wonderful bistro restaurant located in the castle that looks out over the village of Portmeirion.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 hour of moderate walking - this includes some slopes and uneven surfaces. Any additional walking during free time is at the guest's discretion. Tour is not recommended for guests with walking or mobility concerns. It is recommended that guests wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the possibility of rain. The trip to Portmeirion is 1 1/2 hours in each direction.

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  • Conwy Castle

    This half-day tour takes you to marvelous Conwy Castle, considered by many to be the most impressive of all the Welsh castles. Boasting massive towers and a well-preserved wall that soars to an imposing height, the Castle is truly an awesome sight to behold.

    Starting off from Holyhead, your journey will take you across the island of Anglesey and a short distance along the North Wales coastline to the old town of Conwy. Here, your guide will take you on a guided tour of this picturesque Welsh fortress. The present castle was begun by Edward I in 1283 and although ruined now, remains dramatically striking as it stands by the River overlooking a somewhat peculiarly designed pair of bridges that bring the road and railway into the town.

    From the castle runs the original medieval town wall which is 1400 yards long and has an average height of 30 feet. This was built at the same time as the castle and is the best example in Britain of the defense works introduced by Edward I. Conwy's old wall is virtually intact all around the town, fortified with 21 towers and 3 gateways. As a result, Conwy town center has never been over-run by modern development (all of which has happened outside the walls) and therefore, retains a wonderful ambiance.

    Following your castle tour you will have some free time to wander through streets that remain essentially the same as they were in medieval times or join the guide for a half-hour walking tour. After your tour of both the Castle and the highlights of the walled town, you'll re-join your coach for the return to Holyhead.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 1/2 hours of walking - some of it over uneven and cobbled surfaces. There is also a slope to negotiate and steps required to access the castle. Participants should be in good physical condition. The tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. It is recommended that guests wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the possibility of rain. Order of sites visited may vary.

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  • Anglesey's Beaumaris Castle

    Beaumaris Castle is recognized for its architectural design and beauty and sits in a lovely pastoral setting. Thought by many to be the most "technically perfect" castle in Britain, it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Traveling from the pier, you'll make your way across Anglesey to this stunning castle that was intended to present itself as an impregnable fortress. The partly unfinished castle is almost perfectly symmetrical with two impressive moated walls of defense which, even today, stand as a formidable barrier. Your guided tour includes a visit to the small chapel, which, with its vaulted ceiling and pointed windows, is one of the highlights of the castle.

    Following your castle tour, a short stroll brings you to a nearby hotel where a refreshment of coffee and cakes await you. Before re-joining your coach for the return to Holyhead, a leisurely walk with your guide gives you the opportunity to see some of the historic buildings and sites of Beaumaris.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 hours of walking - mostly over flat grass walkways. There are up to 50 steps in the towers and walkways for views; however, this is at the guest's discretion. The tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns should evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. It is recommended that guests wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the possibility of rain. Order of sites visited may vary.

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  • Penrhyn Castle

    Owned by the National Trust, Penrhyn Castle is often referred to as a fantasy castle as the present building was actually built in the 19th century for a wealthy family. Originally a medieval manor house that was reconstructed to its present state; however, an original spiral staircase from the manor house remains as well as a vaulted basement.

    Your guided tour starts by heading through the heart of Anglesey to the Menai Straits that separate Anglesey island from the Welsh mainland. Cross the Straits and here, close to the Welsh coastline, you will find the charming Penrhyn Castle. Although not necessarily a medieval castle, this fabulous fairytale-style castle is a more recent example of how a lived-in castle would have appeared in its day. Completed in 1837 by Thomas Hopper for the Pennant Family, the present castle was built over most of the original manor house buildings. The style is richly gothic with a distinctly Moorish flavor. A large collection of old masters was brought to the house in the nineteenth century, adding to the already extensive collection of family portraits. The collection is considered to be the finest in Wales outside the National Museum. A recently restored Victorian kitchen and domestic rooms add further interest to this visit.

    The grounds are also an impressive example of estate parkland and include formal gardens, semi-wooded walks and a Victorian walled garden. Discover these at your leisure following your guided tour of the castle interior.

    After approximately a 2-hour visit at the castle, you'll re-board your coach and travel back to Holyhead.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 hours of walking and there are 2 flights of stairs in the castle. While the stairs are not steep or narrow, not all have handrails. The tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns should evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. It is recommended that guests wear comfortable walking shoes (please no heels that can damage the delicate flooring) and dress for the possibility of rain.

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  • Snowdonia

    This mostly panoramic tour gives you a nice overview of the Welsh countryside and Snowdonia while including time for photos at some points of interest along the way.

    You will begin by first traveling through Anglesey to cross the Menai Strait and then on to Caernarfon with its famous castle that dates back to 1283. It was here that the heir to the British Throne, Prince Charles, was crowned Prince of Wales in 1969. A stop for photos of this once impregnable castle is made before continuing inland towards the magnificent landscapes of the Snowdonia National Park. This incredible park boasts some of the most amazing scenery to be found anywhere in Wales and is a visual delight.

    As you travel deep into the Park, there will be a short stop for photographs at Llanberis, which rests beside the Llyn Padarn Lake. From here, you will next take the incredible Llanberis pass that skirts the base of Snowdon, the highest peak in Britain south of the Scottish highlands at 3,560 feet high. Weather permitting; there will be opportunities to photograph the fabulous scenery. Arriving at lovely Betws y Coed; a spot renowned for its popularity with hill walkers and adventure seekers, you will have some free time to stretch your legs, do a bit of shopping, or enjoy a cup of tea before it's time to head back to Holyhead.

    Please note: Walking on this tour is at the guest's discretion. Tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair and are able to make their own way on and off transportation. Guests must be self-sufficient or if assistance is required, they should travel with a companion who can provide this. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes, dress in layers and be prepared for the possibility of rain.

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  • Anglesey Coastline

    Enjoy the scenery of coastal Wales on this mostly panoramic half-day tour that takes you around the Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn in Welsh), which has a rich history passed on from its Viking, Celtic and Medieval settlers.

    Boarding your coach, you'll first head for the very western point of the Isle where you will see the tiny islet known as South Stack. Separated from Holyhead Island by 30 meters of turbulent sea, it features a glorious lighthouse designed to allow safe passage for ships on the treacherous Dublin - Holyhead - Liverpool sea route. The cliffs at South Stack are home to over 4,000 seabirds that nest here during the summer and from your lookout point, you'll have the opportunity to perhaps spot puffins, fulmars, guillemots and razorbills.

    From here, your drive continues south along the coast road, passing through Aberffraw which between the 7th and 13th centuries was the capital of North Wales and home to the Princes of Gwynedd. Next, it's on through the village of Newborough (time permitting stops for photographs will be made). Before long, you'll arrive in the town with the longest name in the world: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch. This long name actually means, 'The Church of St. Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio near a red cave'. The name is usually shortened to Llanfairpwll, or Llanfair PG by the locals. The extended name is almost probably the work of a local tailor who wanted to put the village on the map in the mid 1800's. One of Llanfairpwll's unusual claims to fame is that the Women's Institute movement was founded here in 1915. The now disused railway station still bears the longest name in the world and has been converted to a tourist attraction housing a good quality Woolen shop and souvenir center. Some free time will be afforded here to stroll around before continuing on your way.

    From Llanfairpwll, you'll drive along the Menai Strait and through the picturesque town of Beaumaris where you will have an outside view of Beaumaris Castle. This stunningly beautiful World Heritage Site castle was the last and largest of the castles to be built by King Edward I in Wales. Continuing along the coastal road, you'll pass through the most northerly village in Wales, Cemaes, which is set on Anglesey's wildest and most unspoiled stretch of coastline, before heading back in a southerly direction to Holyhead.

    Please note: Walking on this tour is at the guest's discretion. There is a steep incline to negotiate from the coach to the viewing area at South Stack. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Layered, weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

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