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Shore excursions in the British Isles.

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We will be cruising out of Dover, England in Sep. We will stop in Dublin,Glasgow and Belfast. Was wondering if anyone has visited these ports. We usually book our shore trips through the cruise line but am seeing some nice looking tours that can be booked online direct. Any thoughts on booking independently.

Thanks for any input.

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I absolutely LOVED cruising out of Dover. We were the only ship in port that day, on the small Ocean Princess, and we literally stepped out of the car, walked into the terminal, right to the reservation desk and onto the ship. How refreshing!

We didn't go to Belfast, so I can't help you there.

For Dublin, I highly recommend the green "Hop On and Hop Off" busses (also called HOHO). They are inexpensive and convenient. You can book ahead on line for a discount. Just be sure to wear or carry rain gear in case you're outside on the top deck.

Free shuttles should be available right at the port for the ride into the city.

For Glasgow, we did not actually see Glasgow. We opted for a private excursion to Loch Lomond, Luss & Stirling (the "Rob Roy" tour with Great Scot Tours. I don't know if you are traveling with others, but the more people on your tour, the more you save. We saved a lot off the price of a similar tour from the ship and had a more personalized experience.

Read more in my full review of our Ireland & Scotland cruise.

You'll also find a few pics in Days 4 and 5 of My Blog.

Have a great time!

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Hi Tim! We haven’t cruised the British Isles yet but we often book tours independently through third-party operators in cruise ports all around the world. Be sure to do your research (or get help from an experienced travel agent) but we’ve found these tours to be less expensive and a lot less crowded than those available through the cruise lines.

On most cruises we seem to end up doing a mix of cruise line excursions, third-party excursions and just exploring on our own – all the different options allow us to really see and do what we want! Independent tours have always been a good experience for us. Happy cruising!

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