Greenock

The palatial Kelvingrove Art Gallery
The stunning School of Art
The hulking George Square

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Greenock/Edinburgh

Attentive post-industrial redevelopment

At your MSC cruise port of call in Greenock, Scotland, you’ll be just a short trip away from Glasgow. Glasgow is a sprawling post-industrial metropolis on the banks of the River Clyde.
 
An upbeat cruise destination, it boasts great bars, clubs and restaurants. Its museums and galleries are some of the best in Britain, while the city’s impressive architecture reflects the wealth of its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century heyday. Set on the banks of the mighty River Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, has not traditionally enjoyed the best of reputations. However, the cityscape has been spruced up, and many visitors are knocked out by the architecture, from long rows of sandstone terraces to the fantastical spires of the Kelvingrove Museum.

Glasgow has some of the best-financed and most imaginative museums and galleries in Britain – among them the showcase Burrell Collection and the palatial Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – nearly all of which are free. Glasgow’s architecture is some of the most striking in the UK, from the restored eighteenth-century warehouses of the Merchant City to the hulking Victorian prosperity of George Square.

Most distinctive of all is the work of local luminary Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whose elegantly Art Nouveau designs appear all over the city, reaching their apotheosis in the stunning School of Art. MSC Northern Europe cruises also offer excursions to Stirling. Straddling the River Forth a few miles upstream from the estuary at Kincardine, Stirling appears, at first glance, like a smaller version of Edinburgh.

With its crag-top castle, steep, cobbled streets and mixed community of locals, students and tourists, it’s an appealing place. Stirling was the scene of some of the most significant developments in the evolution of the Scottish nation as commemorated by the lofty Wallace Monument high on Abbey Craig to the north-east.

Must see places in Greenock

  • Glasgow

    Glasgow

  • Loch Lomond

    Loch Lomond

  • Stirling Castle

    Stirling Castle

Discover our excursions

6 results found

  • GLASGOW ON YOUR OWN

    CITY TOUR

    GRK05

    This tour is the perfect opportunity to explore Glasgow at your own pace and visit only those places you really want to see. On leaving Greenock in a modern coach, a scenic 1-hour drive will take you to Glasgow through Scotland’s appealing countryside. After a brief unguided orientation tour of the city, passing the lovely district of Kelvingrove and Saint Mungo’s Cathedral on the way, you can enjoy plenty of free time to do as you please. Once considered to be the “Second City of the British Empire”, modern-day Glasgow is a vibrant multi-cultural locale with lots to see and discover. Places of interest while in Glasgow include the City Chambers, an impressive late 19th-century building constructed in Italian Renaissance style, the lovingly restored Willow Tea Rooms, which were originally designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1904, as well as the ultra-modern Tradeston Pedestrian Bridge, which is also called the “Squiggly Bridge” – no prizes for guessing why. However, whatever you choose to do while in Glasgow, the friendly vibe of this Scottish city is sure to work its magic on you. Your tour ends with your return trip to Greenock by coach. Please note: guests using a wheelchair are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made.
    • No guide available

    • 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

  • MAGNIFICENT EDINBURGH & CASTLE

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    GRK07

    Edinburgh is not only the capital of Scotland, but also your destination on this all-day tour, to which a relaxing 2-hour coach ride will first take you. You can then look forward to a sightseeing drive around both Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town and the 18th-century New Town. Keep an eye out for lovely views of Holyrood Palace, the Edinburgh residence of Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Park, the towering Scott Monument on Princes Street and the Princes Street Gardens. You’ll then leave the city centre and head for the medieval Edinburgh Castle, which looms large over the city and has been home to numerous Scottish monarchs over the centuries. After the castle visit, free time will be yours to take a stroll down Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile or to check out the lovely Princes Street Gardens before you re-board your coach for the return drive to Greenock 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. 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.
    • No guide available

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      9 h

  • STIRLING CASTLE

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    GRK03

    After boarding a coach at the pier, you will first travel northeast through the scenic countryside en route to Stirling, passing through Dumbarton and the pretty villages of Buchlyvie and Arnprior on the way. Among Stirling’s main attractions are Wallace Monument, built on top of the Abbey Craig hill in honour of the 13th-century Scottish hero, Sir William Wallace, as well as the magnificent Stirling Castle, the destination of this tour. Thanks to its favourable position in the middle of Scotland, Stirling was of huge strategic importance in the past. You will have a chance to visit and explore the historic castle and its incredible architecture as well as the co-located 16th-century Renaissance-style Royal Palace, which has now been returned to its former glory. The furniture and décor in the royal apartments will give you an idea of the Palace’s former splendour. The whole experience is richly brought to life by all sorts of “great lords and ladies” and their “servants” who roam the grounds and will happily explain the details of daily castle life. Your visit will conclude with a stop at the tapestry studio to see world-class weavers restoring one of the world’s finest surviving sets of medieval tapestries. After savouring the fabulous views of the Highlands and Lowlands from the castle’s esplanade and taking some photos, your 1.5-hour return trip to Greenock will begin with more opportunities to enjoy the spectacular Scottish scenery. 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. This tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
    • Limited seats

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

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4:30 h

  • PANORAMIC SCOTTISH LOCHS

    NATURAL WONDERS

    GRK02

    Any visit to Scotland should include some time spent enjoying its incredible scenery, which this tour of mountains and lochs gives you a chance to do from the comfort of a modern coach. Leaving the port, you will first travel eastwards to cross the River Clyde and then make your way up to Loch Lomond, Scotland’s largest freshwater lake. Watch out for the quite dramatic change in scenery as you approach the loch. The mountainous backdrop and clear blue of the water serve to epitomise the rugged splendour of this Scottish landscape – and are certainly worth a photo or two. A stop will be made in Luss, a picturesque village that is thought to have taken its name from an adaptation of the French for the heraldic iris, a so-called fleur-de-lis. Evidence suggests that Luss was founded sometime in the 1300s when it is known that a church dedicated to Saint Kessog stood here. You will have some free time to stroll along the banks of the loch or have a drink in a traditional Scottish pub (not included in the price of the tour). Next up is a stop at the “Rest and Be Thankful” viewpoint for another chance to take some photos of the incredible scenery. Your return journey will take you past Loch Fryne, Loch Eck and Holy Loch for more splendid vistas to enjoy. A crossing on the car ferry from Hunter’s Quay to McInroy’s Point completes the final leg of your return trip to Greenock pier. 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 are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made.
    • 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

  • GLASGOW SIGHTSEEING TOUR

    SCENIC ROUTE

    GRK01

    An enjoyable 1-hour coach drive through Scotland’s spectacular landscape will first take you from Greenock to Glasgow, which was widely known as the “Second City of the British Empire” for much of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Nowadays, Glasgow is a vibrant multi-cultural locale and one of Europe’s top financial centres. Your city tour begins at the heart of Glasgow in George Square, the site of various statues, before continuing for an external viewing of the impressive Gothic-style St. Mungo’s Cathedral, which is said to have been built on the spot where Saint Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow, once built a church. A stop will be made in the area known as Townhead for a short walking tour that will give you an outside look at the medieval Provand’s Lordship, Glasgow’s oldest building dating back to 1471, and the Museum of Religious Life and Art. En route to the beautiful district known as Kelvingrove, home also of the gorgeous red-brick palace housing the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, you can admire several examples of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s inspired architecture. Continuing with a drive through the city’s main park, your tour of Kelvingrove will culminate at the university for an outside viewing of the wonderful historical buildings, which lend this venerable seat of learning a distinctly medieval flavour. 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 are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made.
    • 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 h

  • STUNNING LOCH LOMOND: CRUISE & SHOPPING

    SCENIC ROUTE

    GRK04

    Only a short coach ride from the pier in Greenock will see you reach Scotland’s most famous lake, the scenic centrepiece of the National Park and the largest body of freshwater in the whole of the U.K.: Loch Lomond. After leaving the coach and boarding a pleasure boat at the loch, you can look forward to a relaxing 1-hour cruise with a whole host of amazing views for you to enjoy. As you cruise, you will pass by six of Scotland’s most elegant Victorian stately homes, built by rich Glaswegian merchants on the banks of the loch, and the isle of Inchmurrin, the largest of 60 isles in Loch Lomond and home to the ruins of a 7th-century monastery and Lennox Castle. Nowadays, no more than ten residents and a few farm animals inhabit the isle. Following the cruise, the next leg of the tour will take you to Balloch, situated a little north of Dumbarton, for a quality shopping experience. With a luxury outlet of Jenners, a well-known Edinburgh department store, plus shops of other well-known brands, local jewellery and arts & crafts to browse, you can shop to your heart’s content and maybe pick up a special souvenir or two. Your return trip to Greenock will take you via Dumbarton, site of the famous fortifications on Dumbarton Rock. 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 are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made.
    • Shopping

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

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that 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 programs 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.