The best Game of Thrones cruises to book now
By Claire Benktander | 28 Jul 2022
As we prepare for the release of fantasy drama Game of Thrones’ prequel series House of the Dragon in August, we select the best Game of Thrones cruises to book now and explore the settings of the Seven Kingdoms
Kings Landing on Sail Croatia’s Game of Thrones cruise
Sail Croatia has launched Game of Thrones-inspired cruise to mark the August release of prequel series, House of the Dragon. Much of Game of Thrones was filmed in Croatia, with some of its most iconic scenes shot across the region’s picturesque coastline. King’s Landing is the capital of the Seven Kingdoms and home to the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor, site of Cersei Lannister’s legendary naked ‘walk of shame’ from series five.
Although initially shot in Malta, by the second series most of the scenes featuring King’s Landing were being filmed in the narrow, cobbled streets of Dubrovnik. Queen Cersei’s elegant Baroque staircase is actually the Jesuit Staircase leading up to the Jesuit Church of St Ignatius and the Jesuit College. The terracotta-tiled rooftops of the 12th-century fortified town of Dubrovnik – the ‘pearl of the Adriatic’ – glow orange in the Croatian sunshine against a backdrop of glittering turquoise sea.
The seven-day sailing will take place on a luxury small ship, which will call at several of the most famous filming locations, including the city of Dubrovnik, home of Kings Landing. Here, guests can visit the Red Keep, Blackwater Bay and Walk of Shame, as well as have the opportunity to sit on the Iron Throne. Elsewhere, guests can explore Lokrum Island, which was the stand-in location for the city of Qarth, and Klis Fortress, the setting for the city of Meereen.
Entrance and access to various Game of Thrones must-see attractions will additionally be included, such as the Game of Thrones Museum in Split, and a Game of Thrones Walking Tour in Dubrovnik.A dedicated tour manager will be on hand throughout to point out the highlights. Regular swim stops are available, and a number of optional excursions are on offer, including rafting, kayaking, cycling and wine tasting. Breakfast and a three-course lunch are included and prepared by the onboard chef daily.
Sail Croatia’s 8-day Game of Thrones cruise departs on August 20 2022 and starts from £939pp. Find out more at sail-croatia.com.
The Kingdom of Dorne on Viking’s Western Mediterranean Explorer cruise
The castle of Sunspear is the jewel in the crown of Dorne, the southernmost part of the Kingdom of Westeros, and the ancestral seat of Clan Martell. The ornate courtyard gardens are where Prince Oberyn Martell and his inner circle plot the downfall of the Lannisters.
The setting for the castle is the real-life royal palace, Real Alcázar de Sevilla, in the centre of this seductive city, whose port, Cádiz, was once the gateway to the New World. The lavishly decorated palace is one of the must-sees in this modern city that boasts cycle ways and pretty winding streets next to imposing Gothic structures and Baroque churches.
Discover the ancient Mediterranean on board Viking’s Viking Sky. Starting in the once all-powerful empire city of Rome, the cruise continues to explore the Renaissance architecture of Florence and Pisa; glamorous Monte Carlo, and the fortresses and chic harbour of Marseille. There’s time to marvel at the cathedrals and fortifications of Seville and Granada and immerse yourself in the rich history of the silk trade in Valencia. Overnight stays allow time to explore.
The cruise finishes in Lisbon, with an overnight stay, and plenty of time for a tour on the Tagus river to the Glória Funicular, which takes you to the hilltop suburb of Bairro Alto; or visit the Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Viking’s 13-day Western Mediterranean Explorer on board Viking Sky departs 30 November 2023 and starts from £3,990pp. Find out more at vikingcruises.co.uk.
Winterfell on Norwegian Cruise Line’s British Isles cruise
The seat of the King of the North and ancestral home of House Stark, it was the site of the iconic battle which saw Jon Snow and Sansa Stark fight to regain control of Winterfell from the Warden of the North, Lord Ramsay Bolton. Over the first seven seasons, more than 25 different locations in Northern Ireland feature in the Game of Thrones episodes. The 18th-century mansion house of Castle Ward occupies an elevated position with stunning views over Strangford Lough, the largest inlet in the British Isles.
Unearth the history and culture of the British Isles with Norwegian Cruise Line’s British Isles cruise. Sailing from Southampton, discover the sights of Edinburgh: walk along the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse to see Holyrood Abbey and Queen Mary’s chambers, or explore the majestic Edinburgh Castle (and don’t leave without sampling some of the capital city’s buzzy food scene).
There’s time to roam the beautiful Scottish Highlands with a stop at Inverness, and to delve into the Neolithic history of the mystical Orkney Isles with a stop at rugged Kirkwall, Orkney’s largest island. Immerse yourself in one of Europe’s largest art collections at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, or discover the urban chic bars, shops and restaurants of the modern city centre.
From Belfast the cruise will continue on to Holyhead, where you can visit the truly awesome Conwy Castle, or experience the raw beauty of Snowdonia – the largest national park in Wales – and the charming Italianate village of Portmeirion on the coast of north Wales. Southern Ireland then beckons, with stops at both Dublin and Cork, before returning to Portland, from where the intriguing site of Stonehenge is well worth a visit, along with the attractive cathedral city of Salisbury.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s 10-day British Isles cruise on board Norwegian Dawn departs 4 May 2023, from £1,133pp. Find out more at ncl.com.
The Red Keep on Silversea’s Valletta to Lisbon cruise
Formerly occupied by the Baratheon and Targaryen kings, The Red Keep in Malta holds many secrets and has been the site of weddings, imprisonments, murders and executions. Malta’s capital, Valletta, is breathtakingly pretty and 17th-century Fort Ricasoli, with its distinctive plaited entry gates did duty for most of the first series as The Red Keep. Valletta is a joy to explore, with ancient churches, statues and fountains around every corner – all in the distinctive honey-coloured stone of the area. Take a tour of the famous Upper Barrakka Gardens, and you’ll spot Fort Ricasoli across the Grand Harbour.
Silversea’s Silver Cloud will whisk you from cosmopolitan Lisbon to Valletta, Malta, in style on an expedition cruise. After treading in the footsteps of the Knights of St John in Valletta in Malta, it’s time for the mosques and markets of Sousse, Algiers and Oran, before back to Europe and the old town streets and squares of Motril. An overnight in Seville offers lovely respite, before taking your relaxation to the next level in the waterfront perfection of Portimao and disembarking in Lisbon.
Silversea’s 10-day Valletta to Lisbon cruise on board Silver Cloud departs 17 September 2022, from £15,100 pp. Find out more at silversea.com.
Beyond the Wall on P&O’s Iceland cruise
The astonishing landscape of Iceland lends itself perfectly to portray the frozen lands ‘Beyond the Wall’, rumoured to be the original lair of the White Walkers as well as the home of the Free Folk. From the otherworldly lava fields and caves (one, Grjótagjá, the setting for Jon Snow and Ygritte’s famous love scene) to the seemingly endless snow and ice of the glaciers, Iceland is a place of inescapable beauty.
Join P&O Cruises for a suitably adventurous itinerary on board Aurora from Southampton, taking in the natural beauty of Norway’s fjords before calling in at the charming Icelandic port of Akureyri which boasts more striking volcanic scenery, cascading waterfalls and Game of Thrones excursions, while the fishing port of Ísafjörður offers plenty of opportunity for outdoor activities perfect for soaking up the beauty of the West Fjords.
An overnight in cosmopolitan Reykyavik will enable you to experience the majestic glaciers and bathe in the famous Blue Lagoon; while the castles and museums of Cork are a treat for history lovers.
P&O’s 14-night Iceland cruise on board Aurora departs 11 July 2023, from £1,479pp. Find out more pocruises.com.
The Kingsroad’s Dark Hedges on Celebrity Cruises’ Iceland & Ireland cruise
At the very beginning of series two, Arya Stark, disguised as a boy, escapes King’s Landing and travels the eerie Kingsroad on the back of a cart, the same road that sent her father, Ned Stark, to his death.
The spellbinding tunnel of beech trees lines the road to Gracehill House in Stranocum, Ballymoney, Co Antrim, and was planted more than two centuries ago. Stretching from Belfast, just under an hour away, to Londonderry/Derry, the causeway coast takes in some of Northern Ireland’s most dramatic scenery, including the whimsical beauty of the Giant’s Causeway and the fairy-tale Glenarm Castle. If you’re visiting the Dark Hedges, make sure you pick up some delicious local fish and chips from Morton’s in nearby Ballycastle.
Combine a visit to discover the vibrant culture and rich history of Ireland with the dramatic landscapes and natural beauty of Iceland with Celebrity Cruises’ unique itinerary. Start in Amsterdam, then set sail to explore the glaciers, geysers and hot springs of Iceland, with ports of call in both Reykjavik and Akureyri.
Get goosebumps as you listen to the emotional story of the legendary RMS Titanic in Belfast at the award-winning visitor experience, or take a compelling (and a trifle unnerving) tour of the Crumlin Road Gaol before heading to the lively city of Cork to wander the easily accessible city centre. Visit the Crawford Gallery to learn more about some of the celebrated Irish artists, or discover the sights, smells and tastes of the famous English Market, before returning to Amsterdam.
Celebrity Cruises’ 12-night Iceland & Ireland cruise on board Celebrity Apex departs 7 July 2023, from £1,379pp. Find out more at celebritycruises.co.uk.
Daenerys’ Throne Room, Meereen on Marella Cruises’ Adriatic Delights cruise
After freeing the slaves at Meereen, Daenerys takes residence along with her dragons in the former slave city. Croatia’s second largest city, Split, was once a province of Rome, and was chosen by Emperor Diocletian as a nice spot for his retirement home. The ruins of the palace are some of the best preserved, and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Marella Cruises offers a wonderful voyage to some of the iconic cities lining the Adriatic. The cruise visits Dubrovnik and Kotor, then heads to Split and Zadar before sailing north to romantic Venice, where there’s time to explore the sites by gondola, or go behind the scenes at a glass factory in Murano.
Ancona is a little more off-the-radar, but deserves to be explored, with its pretty terracotta rooftops and abundant Roman and Greek architectural treasures, before you finish back in Dubrovnik.
Marella Cruises’ 7-night Adriatic Delights (adults-only) cruise on board Marella Explorer 2 departs 13 July 2023, from £1,251pp. Find out more at tui.co.uk/cruise.