Santana Adventures always dreamed of offering a British Isles adventure spanning all six kingdoms. In 2019, we chartered the Star Breeze for a cycling cruise of Northern Ireland and the Northern Coast of Scotland. The cycling was spectacular, but our vision was not yet fully realized. Our new Dublin to London itinerary is a culmination of over a dozen years of planning and scouting in order to offer you the ultimate British Isles cycling experience with rides in all six countries!
Embark Day – Santana’s 2024 British Isles Cycling Cruise embarks in Dublin, where a warm-up ride from our optional Dublin PreTour will take you through the heart of the Irish Capital.
After a short jaunt through Temple Bar district, a vivacious section of Dublin with live music and dozens of pubs, we’ll glide a few miles down the coast to meet the Star Breeze for embark. After a brief introduction and route talk, a welcoming-night culinary experience awaits!
Day 2 – The following morning we’ll wake up in Northern Ireland, where our ride along one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world will take us to a clifftop castle perched over the Atlantic. As we pedal down the coast we’ll pause at one of the natural wonders of the United Kingdom.
Climbing across the stones at Giant’s Causeway, it’s incredible to imagine how an ancient underwater volcano created such a unique honeycomb pattern in the rocks along the cliffs.
A little further down the cliffs, we’ll take a jaunt across the rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede to enjoy the splendor of the Northern Irish coast.
Next we’ll take a short stop at a castle built in the 4th century to fend off the Saxon raiders along Northern Ireland’s coast.
As our rides loop inland into the Irish countryside, the Bushmills Distillery greets us as we pedal into a small village. After a quick tour and a little liquid courage, we’ll ride through the eerie Dark Hedges of Northern Ireland on our way back to Portrush.
Day 3 – After sailing up the Firth of Clyde, our third day of riding begins in a small town outside Glasgow. Today’s route options will let you choose between pedaling the Scottish countryside or a bit of urban cycling through Glasgow’s city center for a tour of the gothic architecture.
Whether you’re seeking a challenging cycling tour with long miles or a relaxing glide through nature; every day you’ll have a choice of rides and route stops. All of the rides are GPS led, so that you can enjoy the British Isles your way and at your own pace.
A “Late Lunch” is available every day aboard the Star Breeze after returning from your ride. Additionally, many of our participants do love to stop for lunch at local restaurants and pubs for a more authentic local experience during their rides.
On each night of our cruise we’ll enjoy dinner in any one of the five restaurants aboard the Star Breeze, while our floating five-star resort transports us to our next hand-selected cycling destination.
Day 4 – This morning we’ll hop on our bikes to explore the fourth country in four days, the Isle of Man. Famous for an annual motorcycle race, the roads traversing the coast of the island hug the hillsides so that you can take in the majestic views with hardly any climbing.
Riding from Douglas, we’ll pedal alongside a rail trail with an accompanying steam train, before accepting a blessing at the Fairy Bridge. Our rides continue across the Isle of Man, weaving our way past ancient castles, Victorian churches, nature preserves… and a brief stop at the cat sanctuary.
Day 5 – The next morning we’ll arrive in the fifth country of our cycling voyage, Wales. It’s now technically part of the UK… just don’t tell the Welsh that! Our rides from Holyhead explore the island of Anglesey, where the bike paths wind through awe-inspiring sequoia forests.
One of Jan’s favorite highlights is a short hike down the “thousand steps” and across a bridge to reach a picturesque island lighthouse perched over the sea.
Long routes have the option to cross into mainland Wales by way of a scenic suspension bridge that crosses the Menai strait. Although it’s so narrow that it looks just like a river, it’s actually a saltwater strait that separates Anglesey from the mainland.
Day 6 – After a cruise across the Irish Sea, we’ll awake in Cork for an authentic Irish experience.
Today’s rides wind through the emerald green fields of the Irish countryside as we make our way to one of the age-old mysteries of the British Isles.
The exact origins of these ancient stone circles remain elusive, many speculate they were erected as tombs to great chiefs, sacrificial altars to the old gods, or even portals to another realm.
Regardless of your beliefs about these enigmas, the majesty of these sacred places is palpable as you stand before them in the lush green fields.
Do you have the Gift of Gab? After a ride through the gentle countryside we’ll come upon a castle that may bestow its gift upon you. All it takes is one kiss of the Blarney Stone, a relic with nearly as much intriguing lore as the stone circles themselves.
As we return to Cork, we’ll pause to receive the blessings of an ancient Holy Well, where the healing waters are said to restore the body and soul.
Day 7 – Our next day of cycling in Southern Wales explores the Gower Peninsula from Swansea. Nestled amongst the bays and beach side towns, today’s rides journey through the UK’s very first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (similar to State Parks in the US).
Today’s long route will pass by TEN castles as we weave our way through the countryside of Glamorgan and Southern Wales. As we arrive back in Swansea, we’ll have ample time to explore “the Market,” a glass-ceiling marketplace with over 100 local shops and vendors offering everything from Welsh-Italian ice cream, Welsh Cakes, Glamorgan Sausage, and handmade jewelry.
Day 8 – On the eighth day of our British Isles Cycling Cruise, we’ll arrive in the sixth and final country of our epic adventure, England, for an exploration of Cornwall & Devon.
Starting our ride in Falmouth, we’ll journey just outside town to the iconic Pendennis Castle & Half Moon Battery where the British defended their shores from German U-Boats and the threat of invasion.
Today’s routes glide along the roads and bike paths nestled along the beaches of Cornwall before splitting up to enter Devon in two directions. One route will trace the Lynher River Valley, crossing the river via the picturesque Lynher Viaduct to enjoy the natural beauty of Devon’s countryside as you ride into Plymouth.
The second option coasts along the Rame Peninsula overlooking Plymouth Sound and pauses at the posh Mount Edgcomb House before taking a short ferry ride across the sound into Plymouth.
Day 9 – Our ninth day of cycling begins from Newhaven, where we’ll explore the jewels of East Sussex. A combination of white chalk cliffs and trendy beach side towns, our rides through the nature parks of East Sussex provide a idyllic and relaxing final day of riding before the hustle & bustle of London.
As our overnight cruise to reach London is longer than most, we’ll depart in the early afternoon and repack our bikes on the sun deck as we cruise along the coast.
Disembark Day – The Crown Jewel of our cruise is our morning arrival into London.
We’ll cruise up the Thames through the morning fog and pass under the floodlit Tower Bridge just before sunrise, docking a few hundred yards away next to the HMS Belfast, the most coveted cruise port in London.
From disembark, our included shuttles will take you to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) or Santana’s PostTour hotel in London.
MS Star Breeze
Dublin to London 2024
British Isles Cycling Cruise
Santana has chartered Windstar’s all-suite Star Breeze for our Dublin to London Cycling Cruise!
The Star Breeze is an ALL-SUITES motor yacht!
The smallest suite, at 277 sq.ft., is twice as large as staterooms found on other new cruise ships.
All 156 suites were completely rebuilt and refurbished in 2020
Beautiful new bathrooms in every single suite
10 different suite categories, all with an exterior view, makes it easy to find one that’s right for you.
Ocean View Suite
A total of 5 gourmet restaurants provide a variety of fresh culinary options. Jan wants you to know that 24-hour room service is a no-cost extra!
The Star Breeze has a 1:1.5 crew-to-passenger ratio to provide award winning service.
Santana has worked with Windstar since 2010. With this win-win relationship, Santana obtains the lowest pricing and best availability. Their yacht-sized fleet allows Santana’s charters to use small ports that are better suited for cycling. We’ve now worked with Windstar to create custom-for-cycling itineraries in the Mediterranean, Baltic, Tahiti, New Zealand, Japan, and Australia—and now for the first time, Dublin to London!
Santana and our participants love the intimate size of Windstar’s yachts, as does the cruising public and industry critics. Year after year, Windstar wins all the major awards for small ship cruising, and scores the highest return-client loyalty.
In 2020, the Star Breeze was withdrawn from service to take part in Windstar’s “Star Initiative Project”—a quarter billion dollar stretch of their 3 motor yachts (they’re triplets). After cutting the Star Breeze into front and rear halves, a precursor to the installation of quieter new eco-friendly motors and generators, they replaced the entire ship’s decor and furnishings—Every single suite has been rebuilt like new. Before buttoning things up, they slid in a new 84-foot midsection.
The Star Breeze we’ve chartered for New Zealand is essentially a new ship with larger additional public areas, a tripled-size ocean-view swimming pool, new tenders, new lifeboats, and a fleet of expedition-worthy zodiacs.
The Compass Rose Lounge
The new Lounge
The new Sun Deck & Pool
Existing suites have all been completely rebuilt, now have enhanced soundproofing, and feature all-new bathrooms. Added suites include new categories at both ends of the price range. After relaunch you’ll not only have a wider range of staterooms to choose from, the Star Breeze will have five gourmet dining venues to provide a wider range of fresh cuisine.
Owner’s Suite Mid-Ship (Living Room)
Ocean View Suite
The new Star Grill
The Yacht Club
The new Cuadro 44 Restaurant
Frequently Asked Questions
Dublin to London 2024
British Isles Cycling Cruise
Q: What are the exact dates?
A: June 7 to 16, 2024. 10-Days / 9-Nights aboard the Star Breeze. While the climate in the British Isles can be predominantly chilly and rainy from fall to spring, summertime is quite warm and dry by comparison. Our cruise is scheduled for June, when the warm weather is in full swing, the dry season has arrived, and it’s just before the tourists descend upon the region.
Q: Will I get seasick?
A: Unlikely. The MSY Star Breeze uses its gyroscopes and electronic stabilizers to provide a ride than belies its yacht-like dimensions. Santana’s itinerary stays predominately within the Irish Sea and doesn’t venture into the Atlantic. Summertime in the Irish Sea provides the calmest waters of the year.
Q: What’s the cost?
A: Due to Santana’s long history with WindStar, our per-person first-in pricing for this 10-day Event in the British Isles on an ALL-SUITES ship starts at $5,399. Premium stateroom categories cost more. Lowest pricing in every category is limited to the first few rooms. Booking early is easy and RISK FREE. Our reservations page shows pricing of available suites.
Q: Is this a good deal?
A: This is an excellent deal! Back in 2017, Santana’s 1-night shorter cruise of Northern Ireland and Scotland’s Northern Coast started at $5,599. This 10-day cruise offers cycling in all six legendary realms of the British Isles.
Q: What about tipping?
A: Shipboard gratuities are $180 per person. Santana’s cruise hosts don’t accept tips. Santana’s comprehensive “cruise extras” fee of $500 per person includes cycling-specific extras and support across all six countries. Port Fees and taxes $350. Fuel surcharges (typically $0) can be imposed after a substantial increase of market prices.
Q: All Suites?!
A: Every stateroom is an exterior suite. About 40% have balconies. Pricing varies by location and floor plan (see the Stateroom Reservations section below for pricing details).
Q: Are there differences between the suites?
A: Certainly. The Star Breeze features deluxe bedding and spacious floor plans. The suites have a private bathroom with a double-vanity & double-sinks, air-conditioning with adjustable thermostat, and are soundproofed. All Star Breeze staterooms are located on the exterior, and offer exquisite views or balconies. The smallest room on the ship is 277 square feet.
Q: Has anyone done this before?
A: Santana is the only company to offer a luxury cycling cruise of the British Isles. While participants of Santana’s 2019 British Isles cycling cruise experienced Northern Ireland and Scotland’s Northern Coast, this is the world’s first cycling cruise that includes rides in: Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Wales, and England.
Q: What’s the next step?
A: To lock-in availability and the lowest pricing on a RISK-FREE basis, reserve your space through our PayPal portal. PayPal’s secure website is open 24 hours per day, accepts all major credit cards, and automatically adjusts for remaining stateroom availability. Reserving your spot is RISK-FREE. In each category the prime location staterooms will be assigned in the same order as the time stamp of your booking.
Q: What do you mean by RISK-FREE?
A: When you use your credit card and book through PayPal, we’ll give you 14 risk-free days to think it over and clear your schedule. If you change your mind, send an email to Cancellations@SantanaAdventures.com within two weeks to cancel the PayPal transaction and obtain a full refund. Here is a full listing of Santana Adventures’ Terms & Conditions.
Q: What if we change our minds after 14 days?
A: Because full-boat charters are binding, non-cancelable contracts, Jan and I will only enter into this charter based on your confirmed-through-PayPal commitment. In effect, we undertake a huge risk by guaranteeing full payment on your behalf. After entering into this obligation, we cannot afford for you to back out—for any reason. This is no different than the clear written policy that existed for all of Santana’s prior chartered-ship cruises. Here it is (again) in writing:
Santana’s acceptance of your registration and non-refundable deposit for this event is subsequent to your agreement to pay the remaining balance in full. While Santana allows limited refunds on rallies and tours, Santana’s cruises are non-cancelable and non-transferable. When the possibility of paying yet not attending is unacceptable, Jan and I recommend Travel Guard trip insurance. For the past 25 years hundreds of our clients have relied on Travel Guard coverage without complaint. An informative application will be mailed with your invoice; and further information is available online. Here is a full listing of Santana Adventures’ Terms & Conditions.
Q: Have you ever relaxed your refund policy?
A: Jan and I have willingly resold a number of fully prepaid staterooms for a fee of $1,000 per stateroom—which was waived when a vacating couple found someone to take their place. When there has been more than one pending resell request, those who paid-in-full earliest had their space resold next. Using this non-guaranteed method (which is grossly inferior to trip insurance) Jan and I have cheerfully refunded over $500,000 in otherwise non-refundable and non-transferable cruise fares. Here is a full listing of Santana Adventures’ Terms & Conditions.
Q: How are staterooms assigned?
A: In any category all rooms are identical. Using the PayPal timestamp, those who reserve earliest get staterooms closest to the center of the ship, which Bill and Jan both prefer. If friends desire a pair of adjacent staterooms the timestamp of the first reservation determines the location of both rooms. In short, we will not take requests for specific room numbers. Those who book early obtain prime positioning.
Q: How do we get to and from the tour?
A: Detailed info by July ’23. Those who arrive and leave on the embark and disembark days will receive FREE airport transfers.
Q: Are rental bikes available?
A: Yes. If you own a nice bike that fits, however, bringing it with you is relatively easy and inexpensive. More info on this in Bill’s Travel Tips. Single bike rentals will be arranged: rental includes delivery to Dublin and retrieval at the end of the last ride. We will email rental info to participants about 45 days prior to the event—so there’s no need to make up your mind until then. E-bike rentals will be available.
Q: How many miles each day?
A: In addition to our daily pair of zero-mile options (remaining on the ship or taking our non-rider shuttle), every day has multiple cycling routes. Anyone who can ride 30 flat miles will be able to enjoy cycling in all six countries. If you prefer hills or want to spend additional hours in the saddle, we’ve got you covered. At each morning’s breakfast you’ll get a map charting the day’s cycling routes and recommended stops. During a brief route talk you’ll hear about each route’s grades and difficulty. For more info on the GPS units we recommend, take a look at our GPS Guide: SantanaAdventures.com/gps/
Q: Are beverages included?
A: Alcohol is not included but can be charged to your room. Soft Drinks, Coffee, Espresso Drinks, and Juice are all complimentary all day long.
Q: Which meals are included?
A: During Santana’s earlier charters of Windstar cruises the culinary staff appreciated our appetites as much as we appreciated their multi-course gourmet meals. A 5-star chef will curate a new menu for each meal, and will always include a surprising selection of local fruits and produce, regional specialties, the freshest-possible seafood, vegetarian options, and grilled-to-order meats. A changing assortment of desserts and pastries are produced aboard each day. Breakfast and Lunch are served buffet style, perfect for active cyclists. Dinner is a plated multi-course menu with plenty of gourmet options for all of our participants.
Q: Does the Star Breeze have WiFi?
A: Yes, WiFi access can be purchased.
Q: Does the Star Breeze have an elevator?
Q: Will there be menu selections for vegetarians, vegans and picky eaters?
A: Yes, Dietary Restrictions/Preferences can be accommodated.
Q: What if we have more questions?
A: The quickest and easiest way to get help is to use Santana’s Contact Form. One of our team members will follow up with you as soon as possible.