The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Celtic Lands

May 24 – June 2, 2018 Sold Out


Join this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to commemorate the historic D-Day landings during this eight-night Celtic Lands voyage.

Cruise for eight nights aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star small ship M.S. Le Boréal from Glasgow, Scotland, to Wales, Ireland and France, with guided excursions in each port. By special arrangement, walk the hallowed beaches of Normandy with Dwight David Eisenhower II, grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and meet Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre at the University of Cambridge. Travel into the Scottish Highlands aboard The Jacobite steam train; visit the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Caernarfon Castle near Holyhead, Wales; experience the austere beauty of the Inner Hebridean isles; and view Celtic treasures in Dublin. Glasgow/Edinburgh Pre-Cruise and Paris/Giverny Post-Cruise Options.

Tour highlights and included features

  • Professor Eisenhower’s lectures will focus on the Normandy landing in 1944 and his grandfather, “Ike.”
  • Exclusive, specially designed historical and cultural itinerary to Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France
  • Unique full-day Scottish Highlands excursion with specially arranged rail journey aboard The Jacobite steam train, immortalized as Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films
  • Tour the 13th-century Caernarfon Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Audio headset is provided for each participant to enjoy clear narration from guides on all excursions
  • Glasgow and Edinburgh Pre-Cruise Option and Paris and Giverny Post-Cruise Option
  • Elegantly appointed, Five-Star, Suite or Stateroom, each with a private bathroom
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available throughout the cruise
  • All meals—early continental breakfast, buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea and dinner—throughout the cruise, featuring fine international and regional cuisine, served at single, unassigned seatings
  • Wine is served with lunch and dinner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship
  • Scenic excursion to visit Clan Donald’s Armadale Castle on the Isle of Skye and to Kyle of Lochalsh for the iconic Eilean Donan Castle
  • Panoramic tour of the Isle of Mull, featuring an excursion to Duart Castle, with lunch and time at leisure in Tobermory
  • Visit to the Isle of Iona, Scotland’s “cradle of Christianity,” featuring the historic Iona Abbey
  • Private performance by the renowned Welsh Maelgwyn Choir and lunch in Llandudno
  • Visit to Caernarfon Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and 19th-century Bodnant Garden, with picturesque views of the magnificent Snowdonia Mountains in Wales
  • City tour of Dublin, featuring a visit to Trinity College to see the iconic Book of Kells, and free time to explore the city at your own pace
  • Traditional Irish music and dance entertainment aboard ship while in Dublin
  • Full-day excursion to the historic D-Day beaches of Normandy, including a visit to the American Military Cemetery and lunch; and an opportunity to watch a short film documenting the D-Day campaign at the Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema overlooking Gold Beach and the Mulberry Harbor site, or to see the legendary Bayeux Tapestry, chronicling the Norman Conquest of 1066
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad for participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s)
  • All excursions and visits, as outlined above, with experienced local guides
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers
  • Complimentary bottled water in your Suite or Stateroom and on excursions
  • Hospitality desk aboard ship
  • The services of experienced Gohagan & Company Travel Directors throughout the program
  • Complimentary use of a state-of-the-art audio headset for each participant during guided excursions
  • Travel document wallet and pre-departure information

Dates May 24 – June 2, 2018 Sold Out

Cost $6,395* (*From Price. Airfare is not included. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and early booking deadlines. Dates, itineraries, and prices are subject to change.)

Type Cruise

Region Europe

Activity level



Contact Laura DeRose
614-292-2372 or
800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 2



Gohagan_2018_CelticLands_01_Scotland_EileanDonanCastle_(C)(WT-shared) Albion at wts wikivoyage_WC_CC.jpg
Gohagan_2018_CelticLands_02_JacobiteSteamTrain_Ref 29 Jacobite climbing to Glenfinnan May Dick Manton.jpg


Depart the U.S. for Glasgow.

On arrival, embark the Five-Star m.s. Le Boreal. Enjoy dinner on board the ship Wednesday evening. (D)

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Enjoy a full day’s journey through the lush, resplendent beauty of the legendary Scottish Highlands. Enjoy the splendor of majestic Glencoe—Scotland’s most scenic glen, the majority of which is owned and preserved by the National Trust for Scotland—and continue along the verdant shores of Loch Linnhe. After lunch in Fort William, board The Jacobite steam train—immortalized as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter film series—for “one of the great railway journeys of the world” through awe-inspiring natural landscapes. Begin your train journey in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, and travel past Loch and River Morar to Mallaig near Loch Nevis, the deepest seawater loch in Europe. Along the way, visit the bucolic village of Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie rallied Jacobite Highlanders against King George II in 1745.

This evening, attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner. (B,L,R,D)

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In Kyle of Lochalsh, visit the 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle, named for a sixth-century Irish saint and one of the most iconic castles in the world.

Skye, dubbed “the Winged Island” after its birdlike shape, is the largest and one of the most scenic of the Inner Hebrides. Visit Armadale Castle’s spectacular 17th-century gardens and learn more about the powerful reign of Clan Donald, Lords of the Isles until 1493.

On board the ship this evening, Allen Packwood discusses the complexity of the D-Day operations and Sir Winston Churchill’s role in its undertaking. (B,L,D)

Go ashore at the sheltered port of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, where brightly painted houses are nestled between the hills and the harbor. After time at leisure, visit 13th-century Duart Castle, the ancestral home of the Clan Maclean, and enjoy lunch in the castle’s tea room.

Ferry across the Sound of Iona to the neighboring Hebridean Isle of Iona, birthplace of Scottish Christianity. In A.D. 563, the Irish monk Columba founded a monastery here, where scribes would spend their entire lives painstakingly copying and illuminating religious tracts and transcribing ancient Celtic sagas into written form, preserving a record of oral bardic tradition. In later years, Iona became the burial place of Scotland’s kings, including Duncan and Macbeth. At Iona Abbey, stroll through the serene, restored monastery and see the churchyard’s intricate Celtic crosses.

Later, join Allen Packwood as he presents the lecture “Churchill and the Two Republics: France and the U.S.” on board the ship. (B,L,D)

From Holyhead, transfer across the diminutive Isle of Anglesey and over the Menai Strait to North Wales, one of the cradles of Celtic culture. Here, the people hold fast to the old ways and Welsh remains their mother tongue.

Visit beautiful Bodnant Garden, one of the finest examples of 19th-century Victorian landscape artistry. Stop in the charming seaside resort town of Llandudno for lunch, followed by a stirring private choir performance of Welsh hymns.

Tour the imposing UNESCO World Heritage-designated Caernarfon Castle, an impenetrable 13th-century fortress built by Edward I of England as a defense against the marauding Welsh. Following the tradition of seven centuries of monarchs, Queen Elizabeth II invested the heir to the British throne, her son Charles, as “Prince of Wales” at Caernarfon in 1969.

Enjoy views of the beautiful, glacier-sculpted peaks and valleys of the Snowdonia Mountains on your return to the ship. (B,L,D)

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Built astride the River Liffey, Ireland’s historic capital has retained its rich heritage of Georgian architecture. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, including the landmark St. Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedrals and grand O’Connell Street, lined with bronze and marble statues of Irish statesmen; stroll through the stately quadrangles of Trinity College; and view the incandescent illuminations of the ninth-century Book of Kells.

The afternoon is at leisure to walk along colorful Grafton Street, savor a pint of Guinness in a neighborhood pub or visit the National Gallery of Ireland, one of the best repositories of Celtic treasures in the world.

On board the ship this evening, enjoy a specially arranged traditional Irish music and dance performance. (B,L,D)

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Enjoy enriching educational lectures today while cruising to France’s Normandy beaches. Professor Dwight David Eisenhower II will share captivating personal insights about General Dwight D. Eisenhower and on Operation Overlord, the Allies’ code name for the World War II military campaign his grandfather launched for the D-Day airborne and amphibious invasion at Normandy. (B,L,D)

Dock in Caen and travel through the scenic countryside to the historic Normandy beaches. In the company of Dwight David Eisenhower II, walk where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, under the direction of his grandfather, Supreme Allied Commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Contemplate the solemn commemorative crosses and Stars of David in the American Military Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. Envision the heroic soldiers of the U.S. Army Second Ranger Battalion, who scaled the 100-foot sheer cliffs to capture German gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc.

Following lunch, continue to Arromanches to see the remnants of Mulberry Harbor, constructed by the British to support Allied landings on the Normandy beaches. View an absorbing wraparound short film documenting the D-Day campaign at the Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema; or choose to see the famous 230-foot-long Bayeux Tapestry, a stunning visual chronicle of the Norman Conquest of 1066.

This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D)

Disembark and continue on the Paris and the Gardens of Giverny Post‑Cruise Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

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*Itinerary subject to change due to local conditions.


Contact Laura DeRose at Ohio State Alumni Tours:
Phone: 614-292-2372 or 800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 2

Space is limited. Book your tour now!