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Grand Tour of Scotland

Grand Tour of Scotland

19 July - 12 August 2020

Walk where your ancestors walked! Join John, Marian and Karl as we embrace our roots and ancestry, and discover the proud history and scenic beauty of Scotland. Every Scottish castle, loch and glen has a legend surrounding it and we take you on an exceptional journey through Scotland and captivate you with those stories.

$17,640 NZD
per person
twin share
Single Room Supplment
- ADD $4,690 NZD
Initial Deposit On Booking
$2,000 NZD
Second Deposit Due 21 January 2020
$3,000 NZD
Final Balance Due 7 April 2020

Grand Tour of Scotland

PLEASE NOTE: This trip links with the Bavaria/Oberammergau Tour One and with the Ireland trip. Contact us for special pricing if you wish to combine trips.

  • We experience real Highland games, a Ceilidh, the Edinburgh Festival and the famous Edinburgh Tattoo.

    We meet the locals and enjoy music evenings presented by the great Marian Burns, Karl Perigo and John Cameron as they join with the locals in singalongs, stirring ballads and a wee dram of whisky!

    We immerse ourselves in Scotland’s fabled history and nature. We are proud to claim our Scottish heritage and the ancestors who, with courage, travelled across the world to a brave new land but never lost their pride and their fervour of all things Scottish. Now we have the chance to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors!

  • Sheraton Mall of Emirates Hotel

    We begin and end our tour with flights to and from Dubai on Emirates. As we arrive into Dubai early in the morning, we have arranged another nights’ accommodation so we can go to our rooms immediately.

    On return we arrive into Dubai late at night so we will again have access to our rooms immediately.

    *Note Today we fly to Edinburgh and coach the short distance across to Glasgow. The flights are more suitable for our schedule this way.

  • Principal Grand Central Hotel

    Glasgow is a port city on the River Clyde in Scotland’s western Lowlands. It is famous for its Victorian and Art Nouveau architecture and its prosperous history in the 18th–20th century due to trade and shipbuilding.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Glasgow include:

    City tour of the great architecture, including Glasgow Cathedral, the oldest house in Glasgow, the Italian Centre, the lighthouse, and Buchanan St.

    Lunch at a quaint pub along the way.

    Welcome dinner and music provided by Marian, Karl and John.

    Visit Robbie Burns’ house, museum, and birthplace and several sites of relevance to the poet in and around the area.

    Lunch at the Robbie Burns cafe, before setting off to Kelvin Grove Art Gallery, a favourite location for Antiques Roadshow.

    Show at Kings Theatre or similar - depending on availability.

    EN ROUTE TO ABERDEEN

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    Ride on a canal boat at Falkirk, plus a ride on the Falkirk Wheel.

    Lunch at the charming village of Culross.

    Visit the great Abbey of Dunfermline as well as the ruins of the former Royal Palace.

    Visit the Abbey Church, where Robbie Burns and many famous members of the Scottish Royal Line are buried.

  • Marcliffe Hotel

    Aberdeen is a port city in northeast Scotland, where the Dee and Don rivers meet the North Sea. It’s known as the ‘Granite City’ for its many enduring grey-stone buildings.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Aberdeen include:

    Walking tour of Aberdeen to see the old town, the Maritime Museum, Cathedral of St Macher and the William Wallace statue.

    Free time to explore the city on your own.

    A private concert from fabulous Marian this evening.

    EN ROUTE TO INVERNESS

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    Visit to Fort George, the mightiest fortification built in Great Britain, designed to keep the Jacobites in line!

    Visit to the Cameron Highlanders’ Regimental Museum.

    Visit to the Battle of Culloden site and Museum and visitors centre.

  • Inverness Palace Hotel

    Inverness is a city on Scotland’s northeast coast, where the River Ness meets the Moray Firth. It’s the largest city and the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands. Its Old Town features 19th-century Inverness Cathedral, the mostly 18th-century Old High Church and an indoor Victorian Market selling food, clothing and crafts.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Inverness include:

    Visit to Cawdor Castle, said to be the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

    Walking tour of the old town of Inverness including the Victorian markets, the cathedral and Inverness Castle.

    Driving tour of some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery: Torridon National Trust Estate, with highland cattle and then to Shieldaig for lunch and a wander, then back via Lochcarron.

    EN ROUTE TO ISLE OF SKYE

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    Drive through the Great Glen to see if we can spot the Loch Ness monster.

    Cruise on Loch Ness to see what we can spot from the boat using sonar, plus visit the Loch Ness Visitor’s Centre.

    For people who want to arrive in Fort William earlier than Friday night for the Clan Cameron Gathering, we will arrange transport from Inverness. You would therefore miss the Skye days and have 5 nights in Fort William.

  • Eilean Iarmain Hotel and Ardvasar Hotel

    The Isle of Skye, connected to Scotland’s northwest coast by bridge, is known for its rugged landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles. It is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Isle of Skye:

    Sights of Isle of Skye coach tour including lunch.

    Distillery tour of Talisker Whisky Distillery, the oldest distillery still operating on the Isle of Skye.

    Dinner and music from our escorts with some local musicians joining in and jamming with Marian and Karl.

    EN ROUTE TO FORT WILLIAM

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    We catch a ferry, Over the Sea from Skye, from Armadale to Mallaig.

    We board the famous Jacobite Express steam train for a one-way train journey in style including a Jacobite High Tea along the way. For those of you who have seen the Harry Potter films, the Jacobite stars as the Hogwarts Express!

  • Glenspean Lodge Hotel

    Fort William is a town in the western Scottish Highlands, on the shores of Loch Linnhe. It’s known as a gateway to Ben Nevis, the U.K.’s highest peak, and Glen Nevis valley, home to Steall Falls. It is also the home of the Cameron Clan!

    HIGHLIGHTS in Fort William include:

    Visit the West Highland Museum.

    Attend the Clan Cameron Gathering events being held at Achnacarry Estate, home of the Camerons! A chance to see Highland games, dancing and pipe bands up close.

    Attend the evening Ceilidh celebrations. Do you think we can stop Marian joining in! We hope not!

    For those who do not wish to join in the celebrations today we can organise an alternate tour to Isle of Mull and Duart castle, returning via Glencoe.

    Free time to enjoy this lovely town.

    Tour up the approaches of Ben Nevis, highest peak in the U.K with lunch and a visit to Kilmallie Church.

    Dinner and concert from our hosts at our hotel.

    EN ROUTE TO DUNDEE

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    Visit the mighty Blair Castle for tour of castle and grounds plus lunch. This is one of the greatest castles in Scotland.

  • Apex City Quay Hotel

    Dundee, a creative and dynamic city in the North-East of Scotland, situated on the Firth of Tay.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Dundee include:

    Driving city tour of Dundee, visiting many of the revitalised parts.

    Tour of HMS Unicorn and then RRS Discovery, Scot’s Antarctic Expedition ship and then the brand new museum attached to it.

    Visit the V & A Museum, the first branch of the famous Victoria and Albert Museum outside of London.

    EN ROUTE TO EDINBURGH

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    Glamis Castle, home of the beloved Queen Mother, now open to the public. Castle tour and then free time to wander the gardens.

    Tour onwards via the pretty village of Glamis, over the famous Firth Bridge.

  • Principal George St Hotel

    Edinburgh is Scotland’s compact, hilly capital. It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings. Looming over the city is Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish rulers.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Edinburgh include:

    A show, opera or play as part of the Edinburgh Festival.

    Dinner and show Taste of Scotland, at Prestonfield House.

    The spectacle of the Edinburgh Tattoo, one of the most iconic shows in the world and we see it from excellent seats!

    Walking tour of the old town, Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle.

    Visit to Rosslyn Chapel, famous from the Da Vinci Code book, and one of the most remarkable buildings in Scotland.

    Free time to wander on your own and take in the atmosphere of this gorgeous city and the festival with its street parades and buskers.

This trip includes

  • PLEASE NOTE: No booking will be accepted for this trip without the initial deposit.

  • Airfares Emirates Auckland - Dubai - Edinburgh // Edinburgh - Dubai - Auckland including all taxes.

  • 25 day grand tour of Scotland to retrace and remember your Scottish roots and heritage!

  • All accommodation at historic hotels, in beautiful settings: Dubai (4 nights includes early check-ins), Glasgow (3 nights), Aberdeen (2 nights), Inverness (3 nights), Isle of Skye (2 nights), Fort William (3 nights), Dundee (2 nights), Edinburgh (4 nights).

  • Numerous musical experiences including private concerts with Marian Burns and Karl Perigo some with local musicians, Edinburgh Tattoo, Edinburgh Festival show, Taste of Scotland show, Highland Games visit and Clan Cameron events and Ceilidh.

  • Historic experiences including tours to the battle of Bannockburn site, Fort George, site of the Battle of Culloden, Robbie Burns’ birthplace and grave, and Cawdor Castle, said to be the setting of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

  • Numerous tours to historic towns and houses including Alloway, Torridon National Trust Estate, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen old town and Inverness.

  • Glorious scenic drives and rides including Isle of Skye sights and ferry, Jacobite Express Steam Train, Loch Ness boat tour and Ben Nevis.

  • All tours and entrances as listed on itinerary including Stirling Castle, the Great Abbey of Dunfermline, Edinburgh Castle, Blair Castle, Royal Yacht Britannia, Rosslyn Chapel, Eilean Donan Castle.

  • All breakfasts, 1 morning tea, 1 high tea, 7 lunches and 9 dinners and whisky tastings plus all tips, taxes, porterage.

  • Hosted by John Cameron, Marian Burns and Karl Perigo.

  • MODERATE WALKING TOUR This tour requires a better level of fitness with no wheelchairs or walkers. Generally, there may be times when we can’t get the coach close. We also will have much longer flights and long walks through airports.

  • IMPORTANT INFORMATION

    • All trips are subject to change but any changes will be of equal or greater value.

    • Deposits refundable until final payment date minus any costs incurred, or an administration fee of up to $300.

    • Travellers need to be independently mobile and fit to travel.

    • Travellers are required to obtain comprehensive travel insurance for all international trips.

    Please refer to terms & conditions on our booking form.

PLACES WE STAY

Principal Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow - This hotel is located in a landmark Victorian building and was one of Glasgow’s most prestigious hotels in its heyday, hosting residents as famous as Frank Sinatra, and Winston Churchill. In recent years it has had a complete renovation and once again stands proudly to serve visitors to Glasgow.

Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen - This refined hotel in a Victorian manor house features grand accommodation and a restaurant serving some of Scotland’s finest products. Set amidst mature trees in eight acres of wooded grounds, it is perfectly placed for exploring Aberdeen and the surrounding area.

Inverness Palace Hotel, Inverness - Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa is located on the banks of Inverness opposite Inverness Castle. It is just a few minutes’ walk to the town centre.

Eilean Iarmain Hotel and Ardvasar Hotel, Isle of Skye - We will stay at both of the above hotels as there’s no hotel big enough for us on Skye. Overlooking the Sound of Sleat channel, Eilean Iarmain is a quaint hotel and whisky distillery. The Ardvasar Hotel is a former coaching inn with sea & mountain views.

Glenspean Lodge Hotel, Fort William - Majestically situated in the Scottish Highlands, within 5 acres of gardens and woodland, Glenspean Lodge has been a famous landmark in an area of outstanding natural beauty since the 1800’s. Built as a private hunting lodge, for the Laird Macintosh of Macintosh it is ours exclusively for our stay.

Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa, Dundee - The Hotel & Spa is frequently rated #1 in Dundee by guests on TripAdvisor and combines a modern place to stay with award-winning spa facilities, a restaurant, bar and meeting rooms.

Principal George St Hotel, Edinburgh - A modern classic, inspired by Scotland’s heritage, the 5-star Principal Edinburgh on George Street has been welcoming hotel guests since 1881. At its heart are five listed Georgian townhouses, built in 1775 as homes for its most illustrious citizens.

Travel Insurance

Every customer is required to take out insurance for all international travel when taking a trip with Operatunity Ltd. We have our own travel insurance broker and we invite you to ring direct for your insurance requirements.

Phone Harriet on 09 3629038 Or email Harriet.lawrence@aon.comYou are of course welcome to make your own insurance arrangements for travel, just be sure that your insurance policy covers you extensively especially when travelling to certain countries such as USA with its high health costs.

 

MOBILITY

Operatunity provides group senior travel and with this in mind we plan trips to suit our target market. But not every trip is created equal in terms of mobility. We want to give you the best possible experience but that will only be achieved if you are able to enjoy everything that our trips have to offer.
Most of our long haul trips require a better level of mobility. We will look after everyone as well as we possibly can, but we cannot look after one at the expense of the rest of the group. We also cannot have one person slowing the rest of group to the point where the group is not able to enjoy every experience we are able to provide.
With this in mind we have put a mobility clause into every trip. Under each explanation here I have popped a statement. Ask yourself if this is ‘you’, when booking on a trip.

None of the following mobility clauses preclude you from ordering a wheelchair at the airport if required.

1. GENTLE TOUR This tour will suit most people, even with a stick or a walker, but sorry not someone in a wheelchair. The activity level is gently paced, but you still need to be able to get on and off buses easily. There will be walking, but not a lot. “I love travelling, but at a gentle pace. I like to avoid stairs or too much activity, but I am able to get on and off buses easily.” 

2. EASY TOUR This tour will suit people with a stick, but not a walker. You will be required to walk to get from place to place and stand in museums, but it is designed to be an easy tour with lots of times to rest, travel on a coach and walk easy leisurely distances.  ”Walking is fine. I can get on and off a coach. I am happy to stand for an hour or two in museums and galleries and gently stroll through places of interest. I am happy to climb the odd set of stairs.” 

3. MODERATE WALKING TOUR This tour requires a better level of fitness with no wheelchairs or walkers. Generally, there may be times when we can’t get the coach close. In some of our Pacific Island tours we will need you to transfer onto a tender and walk on soft sand. We also will have much longer flights and long walks through airports. “I like walking at a moderate pace. I love to keep my days full and experience everything the tour has to  offer. Stairs, tender transfers and cobblestones don’t bother me.” 

4.  EXPLORING TOUR This is still a moderately paced tour, but you will be required to walk longer distances, walk on cobblestones and stand in museums. To really get the best out of this tour you need to be able to stand or walk for a couple  of hours comfortably, be it at a leisurely pace.  “I like to spend most of the day exploring. Whether walking historic neighbourhoods on cobblestones at a moderate pace or out and about on a coach, I want my days full. Stairs don’t bother me and I am keen to see and do as much as I can with the odd day off to recuperate.” 

  • Operatunity is a company specialising in music lovers tours to the senior market. Each trip has been especially planned to include music and arts experiences and has a level of friendliness and care which cannot be found anywhere else! Our trips are packed with features not found anywhere else

  • Yes we have lots of people who travel on their own. We endeavour to match you up with someone who lives close to you or is close in age to you. Often you will get a chance to meet with your matchup or ring them before you leave on your trip. You also may prefer to travel solo and pay the single supplement price. We travel as a happy band so there will be lots of chances to meet people. You will find fellow music lovers and those with other similar interests. In fact those like the nicer things of life so you will travel with like-minded people.
    It is also important to remember that our singers are our escorts so you will see at least a couple of familiar faces as you leave.

  • If you live outside of Auckland, we can arrange travel and accommodation on your way to meet up with our group. We have access and can book domestic airfares in conjunction with Air New Zealand international airfares. Plus we can book your pre and post tour accommodation if required.

  • It is compulsory for our international trips and highly recommended for our domestic tours. 

  • No as most airlines offer various special meals and any restaurants we visit are happy to accommodate special dietary requirements.

  • While we will endeavour to provide the best possible experience and care, all travellers must be fit to travel and be independent. All trips are catering for a senior market but some trips will suit better than others. Some trips also carry an advisory note as they require a higher level of fitness.

  • We ask that you can walk at least 100 metres unaided and be able to get on and off buses with little or no assistance. We cater for a senior market but it is important that you do not jeopardise the enjoyment of others by requiring more care and holding up the rest of the group. Talk to our office or staff at concerts and any advisory notes for individual trips to get a better idea of your suitability for each trip.

  • We stay at 4 and 5 star character hotels, avoiding package, tourist or big hotel chains. We choose  hotels with a more personal feel often with historic content or hotels of beauty and character, centrally located or in parks, by the water, or with beautiful gardens.

  • Breakfast is included daily, and many dinners and lunches are also included as per our itinerary.

  • There are no hidden costs. Included in the trip are tips, taxes, porterage, breakfast, meals where specified, inclusions listed in the itinerary, entry fees where listed in the itinerary, concert/show tickets where listed in the itinerary, tour escorts and local specialised guides. 

  • Some of our trips sell out very quickly and we recommend you make your booking as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. 

  • We will ask you to pay an initial deposit when making your booking. We will then follow up for a second deposit and then a final balance payment prior to travel.

  • All deposits up until final payment are refundable minus any costs the company may incur.

    After final deposit refunds are unlikely and the refund becomes an insurance claim. We do not charge a cancellation fee.

  • Our numbers vary from destination to destination, please contact our office for further information.  We have a minimum number required to operate a tour. Should minimum numbers not be met, a full refund will be made. 

  • For international trips, all guests must have a valid passport that does not expire earlier than at least 6 months beyond their intended stay. 

  • Music is a key element in making our experiences special. There are special experiences and events every day, such as themed dinners, impromptu concerts, music, art tours with art experts and garden tours with garden experts.

  • Most hotels now have internet connection and all hotels have telephones in the room or at reception. If using your mobile telephone check calling and text rates, and disable data roaming before leaving New Zealand. Consider purchasing a prepaid SIM card. And you can keep in touch using social media such as Facebook. We have a copy of your next of kin details in case of emergency and we are also happy to help out with texts, phone calls and emails if you can’t get in touch with your family and need to while away. We are also happy to help out with getting your phones, ipads and cameras to work if needed while away.

  • We spend less time travelling between regions, allowing more time to enjoy experiences when you arrive. We avoid one night stops and “conveyor belt” travel, so you really can capture the local colour and vitality of the region. Our trips are planned so that there is a balance of included activities and free time for you to relax or do some exploring on your own.

  • Contact Operatunity Travel 

    Phone toll free: 0508 886 489
    Mail your booking form to PO BOX 132 150, Sylvia Park, Auckland 1644
    Email: travel@operatunity.co.nz

  • Phone toll free: 0508 886 489
    Email: travel@operatunity.co.nz

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