Take in Edinburgh on your next Cruise
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The cruise port of Leith is becoming more and more popular with cruise lines and passengers as the vibrant city of Edinburgh is just a short bus or taxi ride away. Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, is beautiful and has an exciting and interesting history that visitors to the city always enjoy learning about.

Edinburgh Castle

It is overlooked by the imposing Edinburgh Castle which sits atop an extinct volcano and can be seen from most spots in the city. If you are a fan of history, or are travelling with children, then Edinburgh Castle is an attraction you should not miss.

The steep road that leads up towards Edinburgh castle is appropriately titled The Royal Mile (which at 1.1 miles is actually a Scots mile!). The Royal Mile has a large number of small streets, called closes, which lead off of it and have an abundance of stories attached to them.

There are many rumours that say that after a breakout of the plague in some of these closes in the 1600s, the streets were bricked up and the people with the plague left inside to die. As a result there are many ghosts said to be wandering the underground streets!

Next to The Royal Mile is an area called The Grassmarket where visitors to Edinburgh will find an abundance of boutique shops and quirky cafés. The area is full of independent retailers so it’s the perfect spot to get a real flavour of the city, rather than visiting shops and cafes owned by the same international brands that can be found all over the world.

Grassmarket

At the heart of the city lies Princes Street and Gardens. The beautifully maintained gardens are a lovely spot to walk through and relax in during a sunny day in the city in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Princes Street itself is lined with shops if you’re looking for presents for yourself, or gifts for friends and family at home.

Princes Street

If you enjoy walking, or would just like to burn off some of the extra calories you’ve no doubt indulged on during your cruise holiday, then a walk up Arthur’s Seat could be perfect. It’s an easy, comfortable walk that affords you some spectacular views of the city on the way up the hillside, and from the summit.

Arthurs Seat

Even on a hillside you can still experience some of the history which makes Edinburgh so charming and exciting. The remains of St. Anthony’s Chapel, which dates all the way back to the 15th century can be found on the hill and make for some great photographs.

If you’re travelling with children, or are just young at heart, then I definitely recommend a visit to Camera Obscura on The Royal Mile. It has interactive exhibits and the view from the camera over the city is wonderful.

Edinburgh is a city which has something to all its visitors. From its charm and history to the chic shops, bars and restaurants, there’s something to please everyone.

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Three Cruise Destinations to see in 2013
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Kotor, Montenegro

Sailing down the magnificently dramatic ria towards the charming city of Kotor remains one of my favourite cruise moments ever. The beautiful, natural scenery is reminiscent of a Norwegian fjord and is utterly breath-taking.

The city of Kotor is quaint and welcoming. The cobbled streets and narrow archways are perfect for exploring and shopping in some of the adorable boutiques that are dotted around. If you prefer to really stretch your legs you can walk the historical city walls, built to protect Kotor from potential invasions, all the way up in to the hills and enjoy the view of the city and the ria from above.

Another reason Kotor is so hot for 2013 is that the prices of food, drinks and clothes are all dramatically lower than the majority of other European destinations. Perfect!

Kotor Montenegro

Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish capital is a perfect cruise port no matter what the weather or the time of year. The city has many wonderful attractions including the Vasa Museum, the imposing city hall building (which I highly recommend you venture inside), and The Royal Palace. Gamla Stan is one of Stockholm’s best attractions as it is one of the most well preserved medieval city centres in the entire world. The buildings are cute and colourful and it’s the perfect place to get lost wandering the streets.

In summer a boat trip around the archipelago is a must. Stockholm’s archipelago contains a staggering 30,000 islands and islets, many of which have beautiful summer homes for the people of the city.

Stockholm Sweden

Scotland

There are many reasons why you should visit Scotland, and 2013 is the perfect year to do so. 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, celebrating all of the stunning scenery and places that Scotland is blessed with. Scotland was also named as CNN’s ‘top destination for 2013’ and there’s so many reasons why.

There are many different cruise ports in Scotland suitable for ships of all sizes. If you stop in Greenock you can enjoy the beauty of nearby Loch Lomond, or the vibrant city of Glasgow only 25 minutes away. If you dock in Leith on the east coast of the country you’re within easy distance of Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh where you can visit the wonderful old town which contains the imposing Edinburgh Castle atop an extinct volcano.

Edinburgh Castle

2013 is the perfect year to embark upon a cruise holiday, all you need to do is decide where!

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