South Queensferry Cruise

The mighty Forth Bridges
An attractive old port
Edinburgh’s Old Town

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South Queensferry/Edinburgh

The undisputed charm of the Scottish capital

Eight miles north-west of Edinburgh city centre is the small town of South Queensferry, located at the southern end of the two mighty Forth Bridges.
 
When you are cruising the North Sea with MSC Cruises, South Queensferry will be your port of call. It’s an attractive old settlement, with a narrow, cobbled High Street lined with tightly packed buildings, most of which date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Moreover, a shore excursion on your MSC Northern Europe cruise can be the opportunity to discover the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, a far more handsome city than London; it’s famous for its magnificent setting, majestic castle and ancient royal quarter of Holyrood, not to mention an acclaimed international arts festival and some excellent museums. Edinburgh’s Old Town, although only about a mile long and 400 yards wide, represented the total extent of the twin burghs of Edinburgh and Canongate for the first 650 years of their existence, and its general appearance and character remain indubitably medieval.

Containing the majority of the city’s most famous tourist sights, the Old Town is compact enough to explore in a single day, though a thorough visit requires a bit longer. The history of Edinburgh, and indeed of Scotland, is indissolubly bound up with its castle, which dominates the city from its lofty seat atop an extinct volcanic rock. The disparate styles of the fortifications reflect the change in its role from defensive citadel to national monument, and today, as well as attracting more visitors than anywhere else in the country, the castle is still a military barracks and home to Scotland’s Crown Jewels.

The oldest surviving part of the complex is from the twelfth century, while the most recent additions date back to the 1920s.

Must see places in South Queensferry

Discover our excursions

7 results found

  • EDINBURGH HIGHLIGHTS & CASTLE approx
    4.5 hours

    CULTURE AND HISTORY
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4:30 h

    • Adults£56Price per person

    • Children£42Price per person

    SOQ01

    This tour will take you to Edinburgh, Scotland’s magnificent capital city, dramatically set atop a series of extinct volcanoes and rocky crags. The tour proper begins with a fascinating city tour including most of Edinburgh’s historical monuments and sights in both the medieval old town and the 18th century new town. After that, you will continue on to visit Edinburgh Castle, whose medieval outline dominates the centre of the city and has been home to many Scottish kings and queens throughout the centuries. Following the castle visit, you will be driven down Edinburgh’s historical Royal Mile. Also on the itinerary are Holyrood Palace, Queen Elizabeth II’s Edinburgh residence, and the extensive, rather wild Royal Park, where you will climb up to Arthur’s Seat for some beautiful views across the city. The tour then goes on to the Georgian new town with its elegant townhouses and private parks before heading back to the ship at South Queensferry. Please note : limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. Some areas of the Castle are not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair. All the sites except the Castle will be visited from outside.
  • EDINBURGH ROYAL MILE AND ST. GILES
    CATHEDRAL ON FOOT approx. 4 hours

    CULTURE AND HISTORY
    • Limited seats

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults£56Price per person

    • Children£42Price per person

    SOQ07

    Looking back on a long history that dates back to prehistoric times, the Old Town of the city of Edinburgh is known for its beautiful architecture and fine old buildings, many of which have now been restored to their former glory. This walking tour covers three of the four Royal Mile sections and will take you past St. Giles Cathedral, John Knox House, the former home of the Scottish Parliament (pre-Enlightenment), “Writers’ Close” and Gladstone’s Land, a perfectly preserved 17th-century tenement. Your guide will provide information on the city’s folklore and luminaries, such as David Hume, Adam Smith, Mary, Queen of Scots as well as John Knox. The tour ends with a short coach ride down Canongate, the final section of the Royal Mile, for a view of Holyrood Palace and the modern-day Scottish Parliament. You will then return to South Queensferry and your vessel. Please note : limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. Conservative attire recommended for visiting sites of religious importance. This tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair as it includes long periods of walking (3 km) continually uphill and on cobblestone terrain.
  • MYSTERIOUS ROSSLYN CHAPEL &
    EDINBURGH approx. 4.5 hour

    CULTURE AND HISTORY
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4:30 h

    • Adults£56Price per person

    • Children£42Price per person

    SOQ08

    Board a coach and team a visit to one of Scotland’s key architectural highlights, Rosslyn Chapel, with a sightseeing tour of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. Your first stop will be at the quaint village of Roslin and the wonderful mid-15th-century Rosslyn Chapel. Situated on a small hill overlooking the Esk Valley, the exquisite chapel has been called an “architectural wonder” and a “library in stone” due to its many carved surfaces. You will then return to Edinburgh for a tour of the city’s best sights in both the medieval Old Town and the 18th-century New Town. After going down the Royal Mile, past the 16th-/17th-century Holyrood Palace – the Edinburgh residence of Queen Elizabeth II – and through the extensive Royal Park, you will then reach Edinburgh’s main shopping centre at Princes Street, the Scott Monument and the lovely Princes Street Gardens. Relative to its size and population, Edinburgh is home to an unrivalled number of art galleries and museums, some of which you will pass as you head for the Georgian New Town with its elegant townhouses and private parks. Your tour then comes to a close with your return journey to the port and your ship. Please note : limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. Guests using a wheelchair can take part in this tour although the crypt inside the Chapel is not accessible. A helper to get on/off the coach must accompany wheelchair guests. Wheelchairs must be foldable, as the coach has no ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements. During the visit to the Rosslyn Chapel, guests will receive audio guides.
  • STIRLING, THE TROSSACHS & CULROSS
    approx. 7 hours, 15 minutes

    CULTURE AND HISTORY
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      7:30 h

    • Adults£64Price per person

    • Children£47Price per person

    SOQ06

    The tour first heads to the city of Stirling, with its towering Wallace Monument and imposing castle, set high atop a rocky hill overlooking the whole of the surrounding area. Located at the centre of Scotland, the city was of huge strategic importance in the past. Visit and explore the historic castle and its magnificent architecture as well as enjoy the Royal Palace, which has been returned to its former glory. The visit ends with a visit to the tapestry studio to see world-class weavers restoring one of the world’s finest surviving sets of medieval tapestries. The excursion continues with a scenic drive through the rugged heather-covered mountains of the Trossachs – the miniature highlands – and will also pass Loch Venacher on the way. Then travelling westwards, you will head for the pretty town of Aberfoyle, the gateway to the Trossachs, with Ben Venue towering in the background. A stop will then be made for lunch. Afterwards, the tour continues deep into the heart of the Trossachs and then eastwards to the 16th-century village of Culross. A large part of Culross is original, with narrow, cobbled wynds, including the evocative and probably once descriptive "Stinking Wynd", the Mercat Cross in the village square and plenty of stunning whitewashed buildings. Having immersed yourself in 16th- and 17th-century Scottish life, you will return to South Queensferry and the ship via the world-famous Forth Bridge, which has been admired for its elegant beauty and as a feat of engineering the world over. Please note : limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. The Castle is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
  • EDINBURGH AND THE “WATER OF LIFE”
    approx. 4.5 hours

    SCENIC ROUTE
    • Drink included

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4:30 h

    • Adults£56Price per person

    • Children£42Price per person

    SOQ05

    This excursion begins in Edinburgh, Scotland’s magnificent capital city, dramatically set atop a series of extinct volcanoes and rocky crags. A brief sightseeing bus city tour follows that includes most of Edinburgh’s historical monuments and sights in both the medieval old town and the 18th century new town. The excursion then continues at the thrilling Scotch Whisky Experience. Take a swirling, bubbling barrel ride through a replica distillery as you become part of the whisky making process. Information will be provided at each stage of the process and you will have a chance to discover the sort of aromas and flavours that appeal to your palate. The visit ends with a dram-tasting session and the chance to see the world’s largest 3,500-strong collection of whisky bottles. A drive down Edinburgh’s historical Royal Mile then follows. Also on the itinerary are Holyrood Palace, Queen Elizabeth II’s Edinburgh residence and the extensive, rather wild Royal Park, where you will climb up to Arthur’s Seat for some beautiful views across the city. The tour then goes on to the Georgian new town with its elegant townhouses and private parks before heading back to the ship at South Queensferry. Please note: limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. A helper to get on/off the coach must accompany wheelchair guests. Wheelchairs must be foldable, as the coach has no ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements. Alcohol is not served to guests under 18 years old.
  • EDINBURGH SIGHTSEEING TOUR approx 6.5
    hours

    SCENIC ROUTE
    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      6:30 h

    • Adults£47Price per person

    • Children£34Price per person

    SOQ02

    This tour will take you to Edinburgh, Scotland’s magnificent capital city, dramatically set atop a series of extinct volcanoes and rocky crags. The tour includes a 2-hour bus drive around the city and plenty of time at leisure to explore the city centre at your pace. You will begin with a fascinating city tour by bus including most of Edinburgh’s historical monuments and sights in both the medieval old town and the 18th century new town, including a drive down Edinburgh’s historical Royal Mile. Also on the itinerary are Holyrood Palace, Queen Elizabeth II’s Edinburgh residence and the extensive, rather wild Royal Park, where you will climb up to Arthur’s Seat for some beautiful views across the city. The town also boasts an unrivalled number of art galleries and museums, relative to its size and population, like the National Museum on the Mound. The tour then goes on to the Georgian new town with its elegant townhouses and private parks before having free time to explore or to have lunch (not included). Have your camera at the ready to capture all the fabulous sights that Edinburgh has to offer. Return to the ship at South Queensferry. Please note : limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. A helper to get on/off the coach must accompany wheelchair guests. Wheelchairs must be foldable, as the coach has no ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.
  • THE ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA approx. 4.5
    hours

    SOMETHING SPECIAL
    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4:30 h

    • Adults£53Price per person

    • Children£39Price per person

    SOQ03

    Get a taste of a champagne lifestyle on this trip to Queen Elizabeth II’s private yacht. Once described as her floating palace and her ”home away from home”, the Royal Yacht Britannia epitomises style and luxury, and affords a unique insight into the British Royal Family. After reaching Edinburgh, Scotland’s magnificent capital city, you will proceed to Leith, Edinburgh’s port, where the Royal Yacht Britannia is moored. As the venue of glittering state and official occasions, the Royal Yacht remains one of the most famous ships in the world. You will discover Britannia’s fascinating past through exhibits, displays and photographs, before visiting the Royal Apartments, where hundreds of original items are on display in the sun lounge, drawing room and bedrooms, as well as the working deck, officers’ mess, sick bay and the engine room. On leaving the yacht, you will head for Edinburgh city centre for a fascinating sightseeing tour that includes most of Edinburgh’s historical monuments and landmarks in both the medieval old town and the 18th-century new town. Please note: limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. A helper to get on/off the coach must accompany wheelchair guests. Wheelchairs must be foldable, as the coach has no ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements. During the visit to the yacht, guests will receive audio guides.

The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Cruises guests with an idea of the different tours which can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programmes and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
 
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

United Kingdom

God Save the Queen
God Save the Queen

The United Kingdom is not just one country but four – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and a multitude of cultural identities: God forbid you should call a Scot or a Welshman English for example.


Don’t miss the true London experience during your holiday to the United Kingdom; the capital is the one place that features on everyone’s itinerary. 

Brighton and Canterbury offer contrasting diversions – the former a lively seaside resort, the latter one of Britain’s finest medieval cities. 


The southwest of England holds the rugged moorlands of Devon, the rocky coastline of Cornwall, and the historic spa city of Bath, while the chief attractions of central England are the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge

Further north, the former industrial cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle are lively, rejuvenated places, and York has splendid historical treasures, but the landscape, especially the uplands of the Lake District, is the biggest magnet. 


The finest of Scotland’s lochs, glens and peaks, and the magnificent scenery of the West Coast islands, can be reached easily from Glasgow and Edinburgh – the latter perhaps Britain’s most attractive urban landscape. Finally, a cruise to the United Kingdom isn’t complete without a stop in Northern Ireland with its capital city Belfast and the spectacular Giant’s Causeway.