The world watched the spectacular Coronation of His Royal Highness King Charles III and the Queen Consort Camilla in Westminster Abbey in London, U.K., on Saturday, May 6, 2023. It was a fabulous spectacle of colorful pageantry, pomp and people watching. Crowning a king or queen doesn’t happen every day.
In fact, the last U.K. coronation was the crowning of Charles’ mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953, 70 years ago. This year’s coronation was a stellar event attended by heads of state, celebrities, members of the royal family and other notables from across the globe.
TV viewers and U.K. citizens along the parade route delighted at viewing highly ornate, historic horse-drawn carriages, a vestige from the past. That said, travelers can, at times, see those types of traditional carriages around London during other occasions as well. For example, the photo above shows one such carriage in front of the The Rubens at the Palace, Photo is courtesy of Tauck Creative.
Many folks watched the coronation festivities on Saturday including one of Pavlus Travel’s own — personal travel planner Lauren Riesenberger, a self-acknowledged royal fan! “I’m very ‘into’ the Royal family and all that history of the country,” she says. “I totally get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle!”
Crowning a King and U.K. Travel Interest
After watching or streaming the Coronation coverage, you might be thinking of the storied history of the Crown. Of course, many sites with British “royal connections” are in or around the London area. Others are further out in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Many luxury cruise and tour companies offer vacations around the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Meandering Traveler outlines one cruise and one tour below, but there are so many more too. Talk to a skilled personal travel planner to express your interest and learn about more U.K. and Ireland options.
Viking’s “British Isles Explorer”
One robust luxury cruise is Viking’s 15-day “British Isles Explorer.” It plies ocean waters between Bergen, Norway and London (Greenwich, or occasionally Tilsbury), U.K.
After an overnight in Bergen, the ship will arrive at Lerwick, the Shetland Islands of Scotland. We’d opt for Viking’s “Shetland Pony Experience” or “Ancient Civilizations of Shetland” shore tours.
Other Scottish ports of call include:
- Invergordon, the cultural capital of the Highlands and where cruisers can head to Loch Ness;
- Edinburgh (New Haven Harbour), Scotland’s capital, where guests can stroll the Royal Mile, visit Edinburgh Castle, and learn about Mary Queen of Scots;
- Orkney Islands (Kirkwall), Scotland, where the big draw is the UNESCO-listed Ring of Brodgar and other impressive henges of the Orkney Islands; and
- Ullapool, a fishing town, nestled on the shores of Loch Broom in The Highlands.
The cruise also travels to Belfast, Northern Ireland, U.K., home to the Albert Memorial Clock and Grand Opera House. Then it’s on to Liverpool, England, where Beatles fans can explore the Fab Four’s hometown and Beatles sites.
At Holyhead, Wales, a port with a strong royal connection, guests can choose from myriad shore trips. We’d opt for immersion in 700 years of royal history by touring Caernorfon Castle.
Did you know that in 1969, the 20-year-old Charles (yes, King Charles III now) was formally invested at this castle? So, while in 2023, the world has watched the U.K. “crowning a king,” it’s interesting to recall that in his younger life, Charles was presented the title, “Prince of Wales,” at Caernorfon Castle.
Royal Matters: London Awaits
Visitors can also learn about Dover’s role in World War II, before the ship sails for Greenwich (or alternatively, Tilsbury), near London.
On the final night, travelers will spend an overnight in Greenwich/Tilsbury. They’ll have opportunities to explore a cornucopia of “royal-focused” sites including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey (the “crowning a king” site) and so on.
Departures and Ships
One big plus? Viking offers robust flexibility in vacation timing. Between April/May and September, travelers have their choice of 11 departures in 2023, 19 in 2024 and 10 in 2025.
Guests will sail on a 930-passenger Viking ocean ship. Among the ships tapped to operate this itinerary are Viking Venus (see photo above), Viking Sky or Viking Jupiter. The Meandering Traveler sailed on Viking Venus last year.
We found it a lovely vessel that’s true to the Viking brand’s consistency in Scandinavian design. The cuisine was high quality, especially in Manfredi’s. Our balcony stateroom accommodations were comfortable and the balcony afforded a great perch for seeing the scenery and ports.
Pricing and Low Deposit!
As for pricing on the “British Isles Explorer” cruise, that starts at $999 to $1,299 per person, double occupancy for 2023, and from $1,299 per person, double occupancy for 2024 and 2025; all prices are subject to change.
One added perk? Did you know that this year marks Viking’s 25th anniversary? Yes, it certainly is, and Viking is providing incentives for people to book a cruise.
So, through May 31, 2023, guests can pay as little as a $25 deposit (talk to your travel advisor about requirements), making booking the travel easy-peasy. Plus, guests can also receive reduced airfare and reduced cruise fares.
Contact your travel advisor today for details.
Tauck’s “England, Scotland & Wales”
For those seeking a full-bodied, luxury escorted U.K. tour, Tauck’s 14-day “England, Scotland & Wales” itinerary is a good option to consider. Among the Tauck highlights is a choice of West End theater shows during a three-night stay in London at The Savoy.
In addition, select August departure dates include the evening performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. That’s an extraordinary display of Scottish traditions.
Crowning a King (or Prince in the Past)
Two nights in Wales include a guided tour of stately Caernarfon Castle (as cited above for its 1969 investiture ceremony for the Prince of Wales). It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hampton Court Palace
Dating from the early 16th century, Hampton Court Palace, now an iconic landmark on the banks of the Thames River, was King Henry VIII’s favorite palace. Travelers will see his Great Hall, gaze upon Tudor treasures and stroll the gorgeous gardens.
A humorous aside? The Meandering Traveler once got “lost” in the outdoor garden maze at Hampton Court. We had a flight to catch at London’s Heathrow Airport, so we finally called out for assistance. A palace staff member on site called back to us and helped direct us out! What a hoot!
Guests taking this Tauck escorted tour will also learn about literary history and traditions in Chester, Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford, England.
Pricing and Questions
At press time, pricing for Tauck’s “England, Scotland and Wales” escorted tour started at $7,890 per person, double occupancy. Both Classic touring and Small Group Touring options are available.
When can you go? The company still has availability on 18 departure dates in 2023 and 22 dates in 2024.
Crowning a King, Creating Travel Interest
“With all the interest in King Charles III’s coronation and royal traditions, this year or next is a great time to explore England, Scotland and Wales,” says Shelby Steudle, president, Pavlus Travel. “Our agency sells more Tauck tours than anyone in the world, so why not contact the experts to assist you, answer questions and help in planning your next Tauck vacation.”
So, as the coronation is now “history,” it’s an optimum time to check out all the options for a vacation to London and the United Kingdom.
Pavlus Travel’s own Lauren Riesenberger and other advisors will happily show travelers how cruising to certain ports in the U.K. or taking an escorted land tour through England, Scotland and Wales may just be the perfect ticket to exploring royal history and having fun along the way.
Important Information from Pavlus Travel
- If anything tweaks your interest in this blog and you’d like to talk about a future vacation, please DO call us at 800-528-9300.
- Definitely, if you have questions about specific pricing, brochures, savings, itineraries, dates of travel, accommodations, accessible options and so on, please contact us.
- Again, call us at 800-528-9300 or visit and “live chat” at Pavlus Travel’s official agency Web site.
Note to Readers: Please do not use the reply section of this site to ask questions about potential vacation options. Instead, call the number above or visit the Pavlus Travel website. This blog site offers “basic, general information” about travel; it’s not designed to provide specific pricing nor is it staffed by travel advisors. Any personal views expressed reflect the anecdotal perspective of the author — simply one opinion by a frequent traveler. The views expressed in the blog above should not substitute in any way for use of a professional travel advisor.