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Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour

Queensferry, United Kingdom
Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour

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icon8 hours  (approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

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Experience the grandeur of Scotland’s brooding capital with a full-day shore excursion of Edinburgh. With an expert guide, journey by coach to the city’s main attractions such as the formidable Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, and the Royal Yacht Britannia, owned by the British Royal Family for more than four decades! Accompany your local guide on a stroll along the Royal Mile and through Old Town, the city’s oldest quarter strewn with historic landmarks.
  • Full-day shore excursion around Edinburgh’s historical highlights
  • Visit mighty Edinburgh Castle, once home to many of Scotland’s monarchs
  • Explore Holyrood Palace, the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland
  • Tour the luxurious Royal Yacht Britannia and learn about royal life on board
  • Start with a panoramic tour to see Edinburgh’s main highlights from your coach
  • Enjoy free time to stroll the impressive Royal Mile
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship
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Port pickup and drop-off
Professional driver-guide
Air-conditioned vehicle
Worry-free shore excursion guarantee
Food & Drinks
Attraction Tickets
  • Queensferry , Queensferry, South Queensferry, UK

    Depending on where your cruise ship docks in Edinburgh.

  • Rosyth , Rosyth, UK

    Depending on where your cruise ship docks in Edinburgh.

  • Newhaven , Newhaven, Edinburgh, UK

    Depending on where your cruise ship docks in Edinburgh.

  • This activity will end right where it started.
    Your tour of historic Edinburgh begins in the morning with coach pick up from our departure point. Meet your friendly guide and settle in for your tour through the historic city. Your first stop is at the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith. You may purchase an independent audio tour through the glamorous boat that is a site of much royal history, including serving as the Queen’s floating palace for more than 40 years. See the five decks and hear about illustrious guests like Winston Churchill.

    Next, head to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (Holyrood Palace), Her Majesty the Queen’s home in Scotland. Take an optional tour (own expense) of the palace interior to see the chambers of Mary, Queen of Scots and the State Apartments where Queen Mary witnessed the murder of her secretary at the hand of a jealous contingent.

    Next, continue to Edinburgh Castle. There, admire the castle and the sweeping views from Castle Rock, or take an interior tour (own expense). Explore grand buildings and learn about medieval life in the palace, its royal residents like Mary, Queen of Scots, and the many bloody battles fought here such as the War of Independence in the 14th century.

    Afterwards, take some time to independently explore the Royal Mile and grab your own lunch before returning to the coach.

    Your full-day tour concludes at the departure point in time for dinner and evening activities.

    Worry-Free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to Edinburgh port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
    Stop At:  
    Arthur's Seat
    Our tour will begin with a panoramic tour of Edinburgh City Centre. We'll enjoy fantastic views from Arthur's Seat (Mon-Sat only), the streets of the Old and the New Town, and pass by the Royal Yacht Britannia.
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Admission Ticket Free
    Stop At:  
    Edinburgh Castle
    We will travel to the Royal Mile to visit historic Edinburgh Castle, Scotland’s most iconic castle and named the UK’s best heritage attraction in 2014. Spend time touring the castle, learn all about its history and even see the famous Stone of Destiny; the traditional crowning seat of the ancient Scottish monarchs.
    Duration: 2 hours 
    Admission Ticket Not Included
    Stop At:  
    Royal Mile
    After a tour of the Castle, enjoy free time for refreshments and explore Castlehill, the city’s oldest street, and discover one of the many atmospheric ‘closes’ or alleys running off the back-bone of the Royal Mile, and attractions such as St Giles Cathedral.
    Duration: 1 hour 
    Admission Ticket Free
    Stop At:  
    Palace of Holyroodhouse
    Your Edinburgh Shore Excursion will then travel to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the British Royal Family in Scotland, with enough time to visit the palace. This baroque palace is full of history and is perhaps best known as the home of Mary, Queen of Scots, and was the setting for many dramatic episodes during her short and turbulent reign.
    Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Admission Ticket Not Included
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 3 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
    • Minimum age is 4 years old.
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Most travelers can participate
    • Children must be accompanied by an adult.
    • Collapsible wheelchairs with removable wheels can be accommodated providing the passenger is accompanied by someone who can assist them board and disembark the bus.
    • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately.
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 47 travelers
    • OPERATED BY Timberbush Tours
    You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
    • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
    • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
    • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
    • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

    Learn more about cancellations.


    48 Reviews

    Reviews by Viator travelers

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    Showing 1-10 of 48 reviews
    City Highlights
    , May 2022
    Beautiful views of the city but the places we were to tour were closed and nothing was substituted. Too much independent time on our own.
    Time to enjoy the castle and the royal mile.
    , Dec 2019
    Good tour with enough time to see the castle and enjoy walking the royal mile. Even had lunch on the mile. Would recommend this tour.
    Edinburgh Shore Excursion
    , Oct 2019
    Fantastic tour. Our bus driver and guide (David) grew up in the area and had interesting and funny tales to tell. They were filming a movie in Edinburgh and many streets were closed. No problem for David as he detoured us around the closures and was able to get us to all the sites listed on the itinerary. The tour was through Timberbush Tours. Can not say enough good things about our guide. Best shore trip on our 12 day cruise.
    Less than we thought it would be.
    , Oct 2019
    The tour guide was very pleasant but maybe less experienced than others. The Royal Yacht Brittania was a highlight. Edinbugh Castle was sooo crowded. Not enough stops for picture opportunities and the tour seemed a bit unorganized.
    Timber bush tour of Edinburgh
    , Sep 2019
    Our tour guide was excellent and went above and beyond in delivering an exceptional tour of the city. As he comes from Edinburgh his tour of his city was knowledgeable and humorous at the same time. I would recommend him without question
    Edinburgh City Highlights Tour
    , Aug 2019
    Loved the Royal Yacht Britannia tour. So glad we began there. However, due to the large number of people in Edinburgh, it was very difficult to get into the Castle, even with the "Skip the Line" tickets.....we never got in. Other than that, tour very nice.
    Great fun!
    , Jun 2019
    Wonderful day touring the Yacht Britannia and visiting the city and Castle. Daniel a great guide. Town on a hill so be prepared to walk! Would have liked more information on restaurants and shops.
    wing l
    , Jun 2019
    The Tour guide, David and the driver, James, were fantastic. We had an enjoyable time and wished we had more to enjoy this lovely city. Definitely recommend.
    Wonderful tour
    , May 2019
    This port was a tender port for crown princess but this company was on time and met us at the dock. David and James were great. Very knowledgeable, informative and organized. They were very helpful if you have any questions. Also very accommodating to the passengers. I would definitely recommend this tour.
    The Royal Yacht & Edinburgh Castle were both fabulous
    , Sep 2018
    Both key points of interest were excellent except the Edinburgh Castle was too huge a place that 1-1/2 hours allowed by the tour was not sufficient.
    These tours follow the same program...
    , Jul 2018
    These tours follow the same program as the ship. However, please note that the ships excursions often include the cost of food and entrance fees, and Viator's do not.
    1 traveler found this review helpful
    We Love Scotland
    , Jul 2018
    This excursion provided us sufficient time to explore the Castle but not Holyrood Palace as we had thought. It was only a photo stop for the Palace and we had pre-purchased tickets. But, they refunded our tickets! WE enjoyed touring the Royal Britannia Yacht and seeing a lot of Old Edinburgh. We returned back to the port in plenty of time to have drinks and food at a Pub before taking the tenders back to the ship. Very interesting Old City and great tour!
    The tour started out great. however...
    , Dec 2017
    The tour started out great. however we had a few couples who wanted more time at the palace of Holyrood house which did not give us enough time to eat lunch. It also shortened our time at Edinburgh castle. We were a little disappointed.
    Just enough time on this tour.We did...
    , Nov 2017
    Just enough time on this tour.We did not want to do another castle so this gave us a good flare for the city. Driver was very knowledgable
    Mark was a great tour guide and the...
    Virginia R
    , Oct 2017
    Mark was a great tour guide and the Royal Yacht and Edinburgh Castle were both tremendous. I would suggest that you find a different way include it in the fare for the fast-pass tickets, instead of making that a separate transaction with your tour company. We got a little short-changed at the beginning because the bus had to wait for stragglers off the ship, which made those of us who prepared and were on time not too happy! Mark handled it well and the rest of the day went well, but we'd suggest that it be made clear that there's only so much margin for being late - not putting the driver/guide in the position of making the majority upset for the benefit of a scant few! Great city, great guide, great tour!
    Not enough time was allowed for the...
    Larry K
    , Oct 2017
    Not enough time was allowed for the Edinburgh Castle. A very long walk up the cobblestone hill. Once inside, long que lines! Best if tour is done on your own.
    Good tour, saw lots of the city...
    Francis P
    , Sep 2017
    Good tour, saw lots of the city, 11/2 hours at the Royal Yacht, time at Holyrood Castle and the Edinburgh Castle was the topping on the cake. Great view of the city below at the Castle. Shopping stores was abundant outside the Edinburgh Castle
    Pretty good excursion except due to...
    , Sep 2017
    Pretty good excursion except due to bad weather, the excursion was started late and cut down the tour of the Royal Cruise. Driver is very good and coach is comfortable.
    This was a shore excursion run by...
    John B
    , Sep 2017
    This was a shore excursion run by Paddy Wagon and was on time and very well run. This was in fact the second day in a row that we had this driver/tour guide and coach. The first was in Cork. We have stopped using the cruise line tours as we find those supplied by others are better and more affordable. We got back to the ship in plenty of time and had a good day. Driving through the Irish country side is a pleasure with the input from the driver guide to make the time pass. He also introduced us to some Irish drinking tunes that required the passengers to clap to the beat. It was great.
    Tour was good. Driver could have had a...
    JOHN B
    , Sep 2017
    Tour was good. Driver could have had a slightly better personality.

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