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Set sail to celebrate or escape and explore

By 28/04/2022May 4th, 2022Blog

As the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend (2-5 June 2022) provides us with an extended four-day bank holiday weekend, we’ve put together our suggestions for sailing into the celebrations or sailing away on a ferry escape this summer.

Sail to Celebrate

The biggest holiday-weekend celebrations are happening in London. In addition to the ticketed events, such as Trooping the Colour and the Platinum Party at the Palace, there are plenty of activities going on for those wanting to take part in the celebrations, both during the bank holiday weekend and into the summer. The Tower of London, home of the Crown Jewels, will transform the moat into a vibrant sea of flowers as part of ‘Superbloom’ and Buckingham Palace’s Summer Opening will feature an exhibition on the Queen’s accession to the throne. Enjoy the views and avoid the crowds as you sail through the city soaking up the Royal atmosphere with a trip on Uber Boat by Thames Clippers.

Superbloom in the moat , Tower of London. ©Historic Royal Palaces

For a fun and nostalgic Jubilee celebration, Belfast will host a 1950s-styled street party for the whole family to join in. Later in June, music-lovers in Belfast can enjoy a summer of favourites in the UNESCO City of Music including a jazz theatre experience, musicals and performances from Elbow and Ronan Keating. Sail away to Northern Ireland with P&O Ferries and Stena Line.

Steeped in royal connections, the Isle of Wight’s historic houses and hotels are the perfect setting for a regal weekend away. Picnic in the beautiful grounds of Queen Victoria’s Osbourne House or indulge in a special Jubilee Afternoon Tea at Ventnor’s The Royal Hotel, available now until the end of August. Red Funnel and Wightlink offer fast catamaran and car ferry services to the island, or get one hundred percent into the spirit of the occasion and travel aboard Hovertravel’s fleet of Union-flagged hovercraft.

Afternoon Tea, The Royal Hotel, Ventnor Isle of Wight. ©The Royal Hotel

Visitors to the beautiful Isles of Scilly can follow in royal footsteps with a family cycling tour similar to HRH Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s recent family holiday. Explore the stunning beaches and coastal paths on the island of Tresco, owned by HRH Prince Charles himself, and visit the unique sub-tropical Tresco Abbey Gardens, another royal favourite. Or stop for lunch on St Mary’s at Tregarthen’s Hotel with incredible sea views. Travel on the Scillonian for a day trip experience or longer stay with Isles of Scilly Travel.

It’s quite possible that you want to have the best of both worlds and celebrate while off on an escape. DFDS is offering Platinum Jubilee afternoon tea with a glass of fizz on their routes to France throughout the Jubilee period and a collection of Royal souvenirs in their Duty-Free shops onboard.

Sail Away and Escape

Whether you want to make the most of the extra day off work or prefer to travel once the schools are back, then our escapes offer an alternative way to celebrate the summer.

Hit the beach

June to August is the perfect time for a beach escape and if you’re travelling by ferry you won’t have very far to go to enjoy sun, sea and sand. Top beach destinations include the Isles of Scilly, Isle of Wight, Channel Islands, Brittany and Normandy in France, Zeeland in Southeast Holland and of course Cantabria and the Basque Country in Spain.

Crozon, Brittany. ©Thibauld Portiel, Tourisme Breteagne

For the adventure-seekers

For thrill-seeking families, a choice of aqua adventures is available this summer in the Channel Islands. Overlooking Jersey’s stunning St Brelade’s s Bay, try kayaking with cave exploring, surfing, blokarting and for the really adventurous, coasteering. Or head to Guernsey’s Lihou island via the tidal causeway to experience one of the biggest tidal ranges in Europe and take a dip in the refreshing Venus pool. Sail away for this adventurous escape with Condor Ferries.

The Raad ny Foillan, Manx for The Way of the Gull, is a 100-mile coastal path that runs the perimeter of the Isle of Man. A true escape with some of the best coastal walking in the British Isles, the variety in landscapes, from farmland to cliff tops to woodland glens has earned the island the nickname “Britain in miniature”. Experienced walkers can tackle this in four days – enough for an extra-long weekend – or take a more leisurely pace over the summer. Sail away with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. (The Jubilee Weekend coincides with the Isle of Man TT, so is an exceptionally busy time on the island and should only be booked if accommodation is available.)

Join in the fun at festivals and special events

Green-fingered travellers to The Netherlands will relish the chance to immerse themselves in the spectacular floral displays of international horticulture event, Floriade Expo 2022. Held just once a decade, this year’s venue in Almere is easily accessible from Amsterdam, Hook of Holland and Rotterdam. 2022’s theme of ‘Growing Green Cities’ offers ideas of making cities more fun, beautiful and sustainable. Sail away with DFDS, P&O Ferries and Stena Line.

Enact your own real fairy tale adventure in France and ‘fly’ along Calais’ beach on a fire-breathing dragon. Standing at 12m tall and 25m long, it can carry up to 48 people on its back. Visitors can glimpse this scaly resident from the ferry and when he’s out the captain will usually sound the horn in greeting. Travel from Dover with DFDS, Irish Ferries and P&O Ferries.

Calais dragon

Music lovers travelling to Northern France for the long weekend can head to Normandy’s Papillons de Nuit Festival for three days of music and fun. From 3-5 June, performances include Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Royal Blood and American rapper, Macklemore.  Sail away with Brittany Ferries.

In Donegal, Ireland surfers and music lovers can chill at the ultimate festival, the Sea Sessions (17-19 June) by packing up the car or camper van, boarding the ferry to Dublin or Belfast. Sail away with Irish Ferries, P&O Ferries, Stena Line and Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Immerse yourself in history and culture
Soak up the history and heritage of the Hebridean islands by visiting the spectacular castles dotted across the region and all easily accessible via the regular ferry service. Caledonian MacBrayne operates between the peninsulas and islands of Scotland’s West Coast and is a fantastic way for visitors to experience Duart Castle (Mull), Breachacha Castle (Coll), Kinloch Castle (Rum) and Kisimul Castle (Barra).

Hit the road and explore Meath in Ireland’s Ancient East, known as the Royal County after aspiring High Kings of Ireland came to the Hill of Tara to be crowned. Discover the engraved stones at the ancient tombs of Newgrange and Loughcrew Cairns, the ruined medieval priory in the historic town of Kells, and of course the local tipple with a tour of the Slane whiskey distillery. Sail away to Dublin port with Irish Ferries, P&O Ferries, Stena Line and Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Newgrange, County Meath ©Tourism Ireland