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January 2015

 

2015 Clan MacRae Gathering Tour of Scotland

 

2015 Clan MacRae Gathering Tour of Scotland
Join us for a wonderful Clan MacRae Gathering tour of Scotland!
Day 1 - Sunday, July 26 July 26 - August 8, 2015
Arrive in the morning at Glasgow International Airport where we will greet you outside of customs. First we will do a City Tour of
Glasgow from the comfort of our coach including a stop at the Hunterian Museum which is part of Glasgow University. We will
also visit the Riverside Museum with its transport collection and rich interpretation of Glasgow’s maritime history. Then we drive to
Dundee and you are on your own for dinner for many will want to turn in early. Overnight at Apex City Quay Hotel in Dundee.
Day 2 - Monday, July 27
Today we head north to visit Braemar Castle built in 1628. Even though the restoration of this castle is ongoing, the castle guides are
passionate about their corner of Scotland. Then we are off to Balmoral Castle (Queen Victoria’s “paradise in the Highlands”) which
is still a private residence for the royal family. We will tour the ballroom, stables and gardens. Then we will visit Crathie Church, a
place of worship since the 6th century, where the royal family worships when at Balmoral. Back at our hotel, we will enjoy a special
Welcome Dinner together in a private dining room. Overnight at Apex City Quay Hotel in Dundee. (Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 3 - Tuesday, July 28
Today we tour Scone Palace in Perthshire where the Kings of the Scots, including Robert the Bruce, were crowned on the Stone of
Destiny. In the late afternoon, we drive to Edinburgh and after we are settled into our hotel located right on the Royal Mile, the rest of
the day is free time in that historic city! Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel in Edinburgh. (Breakfast)
Day 4 - Wednesday, July 29
Today the Clan MacRae Gathering begins. In the morning we will re-enact the 1778 march up Arthur’s Seat, The Affair of the
Wild MacRaes, which is the only successful mutiny of the British army. Then we will tour Edinburgh Castle where you can view
Scotland's crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny. Or you can choose to tour on your own other highly rated sites including St. Giles
Cathedral, where John Knox preached, or The National Gallery of Scotland. That evening, we will enjoy a Clan MacRae Reception
at the Royal Scots Club. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel in Edinburgh. (Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 5 - Thursday, July 30
This morning we head to Sheriffmuir for a special commemoration of the 1715 Battle of Sheriffmuir where 58 MacRaes died. 2015
is the 300th anniversary of the battle and the 100th anniversary of the stone memorial. That afternoon we tour the magnificent Stirling
Castle, besieged at least 16 times, with recently renovated areas now open. In the evening, we will enjoy a Clan MacRae Reception
at the Old Churches House in Dunblane. Overnight at Stirling Highland Hotel in Stirling. (Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 6 - Friday, July 31
Today we depart for the Highlands and Clan MacRae country! Our route takes us through Glencoe and Fort William and then
through Glen Shiel where members of Clan MacRae fought in 1719. Today we will experience our first glimpse of Eilean Donan
Castle. Lunch and registration will take place in Dornie and that evening we will enjoy a Clan MacRae Banquet at Dornie Hall.
Overnight at Plockton Inn or Plockton Hotel in Plockton. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Day 7 - Saturday, August 1
This morning we tour the magnificent Eilean Donan Castle which is the ancestral home of Clan MacRae. There is much to explore
between the castle, visitor center and gift shop. Clan MacRae is arranging local day trips for you to attend and in the evening we will
have great fun at the Clan MacRae Ceilidh. Overnight at Plockton Inn or Plockton Hotel in Plockton. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Going to Scotland is no ordinary trip, especially if you have MacRae blood in your veins.
It is a pilgrimage for the scattered children of Kintail to come “home” and nothing stirs
the blood like that first glimpse of Eilean Donan Castle. Scotland is a land of restoration.
The land calls for her children to come “home” and once there, you find that which was
lost. For those with MacRae blood, going to Scotland is always about coming “home”.
The highlight of this tour will be the 2015 Clan MacRae Gathering occurring over five
days. Then we will tour the best of scenic and historic Scotland. Fellow MacRaes, we
invite you to come “home” to Scotland and the trip of a lifetime!
Bruce and Judy McRae and the Clan MacRae Society of North America
Day 8 - Sunday, August 2
This morning we attend the memorial service at Clachan Duich, the ancient burial ground of Clan MacRae. After lunch, we head north to Ullapool to catch the late afternoon ferry to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Free time prior to the ferry departure will allow you to enjoy the Ullapool Museum which has some MacRae interest. Dinner will be on your own on the ferry which has very good food! Overnight at Cabarfeidh Hotel in Stornoway. (Breakfast)
Day 9 - Monday, August 3
Today we tour the Isle of Lewis visiting the Callanish standing stones, the Broch at Carloway, the Black House at Arnol and also the Butt of Lewis and its lighthouse which is the most northerly point. Overnight at Cabarfeidh Hotel in Stornoway. (Breakfast)
Day 10 - Tuesday, August 4
Today we tour the Isle of Harris which is known for two things - its white sand beaches and Harris Tweed. We will be sure to experience both and will also make a stop at St. Clements Church and an arts center. Overnight at Harris Hotel or Hebrides Hotel in Tarbert. (Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 11 - Wednesday, August 5
Today we catch an early ferry in Tarbert and head to the Isle of Skye. Leisurely touring of Skye as we head back to the mainland. Our hotel is on the Caledonian Canal with its famous Neptune’s Staircase Locks. Overnight at Moorings Hotel in Fort William. (Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 12 - Thursday, August 6
This morning we will enjoy a cruise on Loch Lomond, and then we are off to Edinburgh. We will get settled in to our rooms at a spa hotel and in the evening, we will enjoy a Farewell Dinner in a private dining room at our hotel. Overnight at Norton House Hotel and Spa in Edinburgh. (Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 13 - Friday, August 7
Today you can sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast and a fun day of touring. This day will be a surprise, but one sure to delight or you can stay and enjoy the hotel spa for the day. We will pack for our departure home and that night we will richly enjoy the opening night of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo! Overnight at Norton House Hotel and Spa in Edinburgh. (Breakfast)
Day 14 - Saturday, August 8
After breakfast, we are just two miles from the Edinburgh airport and your trip home. It’s goodbye until the next time! (Breakfast)
Details of the Tour
Rates - The price of the tour is $2,900 per person based on double occupancy and $3,400 for a single based on 42 individuals participating on one coach. A single person is higher because most hotels charge an additional single supplement charge. The cost may be higher or lower depending on the final number attending and the prevailing exchange rate. Participation is first-come first-served and once full, a waiting list will be in place. All discounts for seniors and families are considered. A deposit of $750 per person is required to reserve your spot which is not secure until the deposit is received. A second payment of $1,100 per person is due November 1, 2014 with the third payment of $1,050 per person due March 1, 2015. All payments are made payable to Judy McRae in US dollars by personal or cashier's check. We pre-pay all expenses prior to departure. Please note that as the exchange rate of dollars to pounds fluctuates on a daily basis, an additional surcharge or refund could be necessary. We will not know until 60 days prior to departure, so we reserve the right to levy a surcharge, but we hope to treat you to a refund (which happened in 2007 and 2009)!
Hotels - We work hard to keep costs reasonable and we choose comfortable accommodations. Our hotels in Edinburgh and the larger cities are of a higher quality with the remainder of the hotels being quaint local hotels. All rooms are ensuite (bathroom in your room). Most hotels are centrally located which invites exploring on foot in the evening. Please remember that Scottish hotels are not always like those in the U.S. The rooms can be smaller, might not have air conditioning or an elevator/lift. The bathrooms can be small, but they are functional. As you can tell from the itinerary, we won't be spending much time in the rooms other than sleeping!
Tour Guides - Our tour guide is Iain Macdonald who is the best Blue Badge Guide in all of Scotland. This will be his fourth time to lead a tour for us and his website is www.touringscotland.com. Even though a Macdonald, he is well versed in MacRae history!
Sightseeing - Several of the places we will be touring have websites where you can learn more about them before the tour. Just go to google.com and search on these sites and begin learning about Scotland. You will really appreciate it once you are there. Please note that our itinerary is subject to change, but we will always do our very best to give you an exquisite experience in Scotland!
Flights - You need to secure air travel flying “open jaws” into Glasgow and out of Edinburgh. Your flight into Glasgow needs to arrive on the morning of Sunday, July 26, 2015, which requires a July 25th or earlier US departure. Should you arrive outside of this timeframe, you will need to provide your own transportation to meet our tour. We recommend you avoid flying through London and find a flight with only one stop. Use www.airfare.com to search for air travel or we recommend Cristiane De Paula who works with EconomyTravel.com which specializes in non-profit travel. She can be reached at 1-888-222-2110 ext. 114 or you can email her at cristiane@economytravel.com. She is familiar with our tour dates and requirements. Roundtrip flights to Scotland will be available for purchase around September 10, 2014. Your departure from Edinburgh to fly home is on Saturday morning August 8th unless you choose to stay extra time in Scotland.
Travel Insurance - We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. The website www.insuremytrip.com compares and sells insurance policies for various providers. Consider Travel Guard (800-826-4919, www.travelguard.com). They can customize your insurance needs to include trip cancellation, interruption and delay coverage, emergency medical treatment or evacuation coverage, lost, stolen or damaged baggage or travel documents, luggage delay and accidental death and dismemberment coverage.
Make sure you check into pre-existing conditions for this extra coverage only applies when purchased within 15 days of deposit. Also www.medjetassist.com provides medical evacuation from anywhere in the world to the hospital of your choice.
Baggage - Due to the numbers attending and space available on the coach for baggage, we ask that you take one medium to large size suitcase and one carry-on bag per person. We will send you detailed packing lists and tips on what to “lightly” take to Scotland. Bringing a really large size bag is not advisable mainly due to the quaint hotels we are staying in. Some do not have lifts.
Included in the tour cost: Not included in the tour cost:
13 nights lodging in mainly quaint local hotels (bold on itinerary) Passport fees
13 full breakfasts, 2 lunches (Clan MacRae), 7 dinners (bold on itinerary) Air travel cost
Luxurious touring coach transportation Telephone calls, drinks, gratuities, room service
Services of an experienced coach driver and a Scotland Blue Badge tour guide 11 lunches and 6 dinners
All transportation by ferry Other transportation needs outside of our coach
Activities for the 2015 Clan MacRae Gathering (except Aug 1st day trips) Clan MacRae Gathering day trips for Aug 1st
All group sightseeing tours and admissions (bold on itinerary) Taxi from Edinburgh airport hotel to airport (2 miles)
Transportation from Glasgow airport (within tour timeframes) All guide and driver tips
Pre-tour planning information and Tour Book Travel insurance
Picture CD of tour pictures (delivered after the tour) Souvenirs
Cancellation Policy - Those canceling prior to January 1, 2015 will receive all monies back. Those canceling between January 1 and March 1, 2015 will receive half their money back and those canceling after March 1, 2015 forfeit all monies. We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance for there are no exceptions to this cancellation policy.
Contact - Contact Bruce at mcraebruce@aol.com or Judy at judymcrae@aol.com or call 303-670-9611. Please remember that we are volunteers for the Clan MacRae Society of North America of which Bruce is a Director. We are not a for-profit tour company! _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How do I get started?
- Send in the bottom portion of this page with your deposit. Call or email first to make sure there is availability!
- Make sure you have a valid passport for the dates of travel. If not, go to the Post Office now to start the process.
- Once you receive your tour confirmation letter, obtain your roundtrip air ticket flying into Glasgow and out of Edinburgh.
- We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Extra coverage when purchased within 15 days of deposit.
- Secure your flights or contact Cristiane De Paula (EconomyTravel) at 1-888-222-2110 x114 or cristiane@economytravel.com.
- Your tour confirmation letter will include a form to return to us with your airline details and other specifics.
- You will also need to sign and return our Travel Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability form which we will send.
- Make your second payment by November 1, 2014 and the final payment by March 1, 2015.
- Sit back and relax and start day-dreaming of Scotland! Once you arrive, all will be taken care of!
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Please detach this bottom section, complete and mail with your deposit or payment for the trip.
Yes, we want to go on the 2015 Clan MacRae Gathering tour! (Please provide contact info for all listed below.)
Name: _____________________________________________________________ Date of Birth: ______________________
Name: _____________________________________________________________ Date of Birth: ______________________
Name: _____________________________________________________________ Date of Birth: ______________________
Name: _____________________________________________________________ Date of Birth: ______________________
Address: ______________________________________________________________________________________________
City: ____________________________________________ State: _______________ Zip Code: _______________________
Home #: _________________ Work #: _________________ Cell #: ________________ Email: ________________________
What type of room? Single (1 bed sleeps 1): ______ Twin (2 beds sleeps 2): ______ Double (1 bed sleeps 2): _______ Family: _______
____ I am enclosing a check for the amount of $750.00 per person as a deposit for the tour.
____ I am enclosing a check for the amount of $2,900 per person or $3,400 for a single for the tour (limited availability of singles)
How are you a MacRae? _________________________________________________________________________________
Are you a member of the Clan MacRae Society of North America? ______ Would you like to join? ______
Do you have a National Trust for Scotland membership? ______ Do you have a Historic Scotland Explorer Pass? ______
Do you have any special dietary requirements? _______________________________________________________________
Checks are to be made payable to Judy McRae. Please mail your payment to:
Bruce and Judy McRae, 10665 W. 26th Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO 80215
See you in Scotland in 2015!
An áit a bhfuil do chroí is ann a thabharfas do chosa thú.
♥ "Your feet will bring you to where your heart is." ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                        

                                     

                              

 

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