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Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour

Queensferry, United Kingdom
Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


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 and drinks, unless specified
Entrance fees to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Castle and Royal Yacht Britannia

Departure Point

Queensferry, South Queensferry, UK

Tours Departing: 10, 22 May 3, 15, 27 June 9, 20, 21 July 2, 14, 26 August 7, 19 September

Return Details

Returns to original departure point

Departure Point

Rosyth, UK

Tours Departing 15 & 23 August

Return Details

Returns to original departure point

Departure Point

Newhaven, Edinburgh, UK

Tours Departing 10 June, 18 September

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
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.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour.
What is the policy on sanitization during Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour.
What is the social distancing policy during Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour.


47 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 47 reviews
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.

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