2018 Canada / New England group photo
2018 Canada / New England group photo
click to enlarge

A Diary & Photos for our 2019 Cruise - Ireland & the British Isles!
A few days in Ireland and then a 12 day cruise!

Below is some information on where the 2019 Spirit of the West Cruise is going. We hope you enjoy the diary as we head to Ireland and the British Isles. See the map below (or scroll down). We will sail on Princess Cruise's "Crown Princess" - below is a photo showing what she looks like.

See the map below (or scroll down).
Go to the Itinerary below (or scroll down).

Billie and Hugh
on holiday! Billie and Hugh on holiday
click to enlarge

Princess Cruise's Crown Princess   We will sail on Princess Cruise's Crown Princess

Princess Cruise's "Crown Princess"

Diary for August 30th to September 15th, 2019

All photos will enlarge if you click on them

August 30th

As the trip started we felt right at home as the round bales rolled by

agriculture, cattle, sheep and hay everywhere

and just about as many ruins around

and horses ... of all make and size

August 30th

the scenery is spectacular

these made us wonder ... but it was all good at the Temple Bar Hotel

a great half day tour of Dublin with a lunch stop on the coast

Billie and Hugh head back to the bus with Elgar and Annie following

August 30th

ruins photos right from the bus window

and old, old buildings!!

a few of the group overlooking Dublin

the oldest light house site in Ireland, Baily Light House

August 30th

Gerry, our guide, with Bonnie and Larry Speers

Billie and Hugh with Jim & Barb Bauer

a pretty good map of Ireland showing us where we were

and of course some of the group had to check this out

August 30th

we had to know ... "what makes Guinness special"

and even Guinness has branding irons (to mark the kegs)

the view from the top of the Guinness Storehouse

at the Temple Bar Hotel Bar for happy hour

August 31st

how to make a barb wire fence look good - grow a hedge around it

a castle built in 1400s right in the middle of the barns

Jim brought this bull in for us to see - snorty until I took off my hat

Jim (dad) answering all the questions about cattle, hay, etc, etc

August 31st

Jimmy Cosgrave (son) took the group out to see the cattle in the fields

a couple of us held back talking to Jim who invited us into the old castle

view from the 3rd floor the round barn was designed by Temple Grandin

the barns to the left and the riding arena to the right

August 31st

a pretty cool old castle - if you look carefully you can see Kathy in the 3rd floor window

this is the house that Jimmy and his family live in

most of the group in the field learning about cattle in Ireland

a couple of the horse out playing in their large paddock

August 31st

another old castle as seen from the bus window as we head to lunch

one of the larger groups of cattle we've seen on route

canals (tow paths) used in the 1800s as the main freight way till trains

lunch on the group tour was included at Silken Thomas in Kildare

August 31st

one of four large tables that sat the whole group comfortably

three choices on the menu and all were really good

so good that people wouldn't stop to look at the camera

and then we are off to the Irish National Stud & Gardens

August 31st

the stalls, and the whole facility actually were immaculate

our guide was great and everyone learned a lot as we walked the grounds

we cropped this so you can see the stud fees - wow!!

the whole group listened intently

August 31st

Invincible Spirit - stud fee at only 120,000 Euro

but he is a pretty nice looking horse

note the double fences around his paddock

and most all of the other paddocks around the farm - and so nice

August 31st

Hugh trying to get an interview from a man of few words

the walkway through the gardens to more horse paddocks

looking back at the stone walkway

and the waterfall in one of the gardens

August 31st

Monistic cells or beehive huts made with a technique called corbelling

they used no mortar and the cells were water tight

they date back to early medieval times for monks seeking solitude

one of the 4 foals that had been left with their mothers

August 31st

looking to nurse but not really hungry ...

they were pretty much self weaned but were left for the public to see

our guide explaining how they use markings for id as well as chips

as well as an amazing tour we lucked out with the weather too

August 31st

I think Hugh is telling Billie which one he wants to take home

a tiny part of the beautiful Japanese Gardens at the farm

back on the ship the waiter clowns around with Hugh's hat

Dave Rogers with Hella MacDonald & her twin sister Sella Balzer

August 31st

Bev Thompson, Bonnie & Larry Speers, Calvin & Donna Beamish

Len & Regina Chrapk0 with
Bill Barritt & Bev Thompson

Diane & Les Antoniuk

Jim & Barb Bauer

August 31st

Arnold & Barbara Lachman with their waiter

Alex & Liz Melnyk

Pat & Phil Brewer

Doreen Van Eaton, Gladys & Ralph Spence

August 31st

Gary & Vicki Hetrick, Bonnie Speers and Bob Tabor

Bob & Pinky Tabor

Lena & Jerry McKenzie

Patsy Fries and Garry Westergaard

August 31st & September 3rd

Hugh had no band this year for a first time but it was great

and Donna Beamish joined in with a poem

and Kathy Friesen sang a few songs

the next day we saw Dunluce Castle en route to Giant's Causeway

September 3rd

a map of the different walking routes to the Giant's Causeway

most of our group walked instead of hopping on a shuttle

two sisters explore the weird rock formations - Bonnie Speers & Liz Melnyk

if you look close you can see the crowds out on the causeway

September 3rd

Diane & Les Antoniuk checking out the different rock formations

Jim & Karen and Billie & Hugh watching everyone have a good time

then a lunch stop at Bushmills Inn - delicious beef

the Scotland countryside from the bus window - beautiful place

September 3rd

Carrickfergus Castle - built in 1177

the wall between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

cowboys on the gangway - watch those hats in this wind

and a happy birthday to Hugh!!!

September 3rd

then in the bar the girl singing came out to sing to Hugh

and Billie and Hugh hit the dance floor with the Speers

Calvin & Donna Beamish and Kathy Fries helped celebrate Hugh's day

Pat Brewer, Barb Lachman, Phil Brewer, Bonnie & Larry Speers, Calvin Beamish

September 4th

the Glasgow Cathedral

an amazing old church

the hop on hop off in Glasgow

all different types of whiskey!!

September 4th & 5th & 6th

the transportation museum was great

Les Antoniuk sang a few songs at the sing-a-long

Larry Speers closed the show leaving everyone in stitches

look at the very top deck - we heard someone shout "Kathy!"

September 6th

ah, it's Jim on his morning walk around the upper deck

Fuchsias grow wild here and are everywhere

one of the attractions in Inverness was Culloden Moor Battlefield

The Battle of Culloden was fought on this moor in 1746

September 6th

at Culloden - conservation grazing by Shetland Cattle

these are not Holsteins they're Shetland Cattle

another Inverness attraction was Cawdor Castle

here we also found some Highland Cattle

September 6th

Herbridean sheep from the Hebrides Isles, Scotland

Fort George another amazing old site

back at the dock and under the bow of the enormous Crown Princess

these are off-shore drilling rigs stored in the harbour

September 6th & 7th

the pilot comes aboard to guide us out of the harbour

Jim & Karen with their bubble guns as we leave Invergordon

we were serenaded by seadoos in the morning at South Queensferry

a tender port and the tenders ran steady all day

September 7th

the Crown Princess as seen from the tender

a Maserati ... not a lot of them around

and even fewer of these ...

the narrow and very crowded streets of Edinburgh

September 7th

the line up to get a ticket to enter the Edinburg Castle

like a city inside a castle - it was huge

and the views spectacular - note our ship in the background

tons of history and well displayed

September 7th

the line up to see the Crown Jewels (Scotland's)

Edinburgh is very hilly compared to the other cities we stopped at

and the streets were packed all day!

a monsterous railway bridge above with the ship in the background

September 8th

one of the ship photographers taking our group photo

Jim organizing everyone for the photo K & K supervising

Hella & Jim, Hugh & Billie, Kathy and Karen at the start of the galley tour

then into the galley and a sea of stainless steel

September 8th

the kitchen staff all friendly and fun

the tour was wonderful - amazing how they can feed so many at once

followed by a gorgeous sunset at sea

then a sing-a-long - Arnold Lachman joined in

September 8th

Jim Bauer shared a story

Pat Brewer a couple of songs

Jim Bell a joke and a poem

and Dave Rogers a couple of songs

September 8th & 9th

some guys, like Arnold, have a sense of humour about their bald spots

Hugh unveiled next year's cruise destination and closed the show

one of the narrow, but fascinating streets ....

in the town of Honfleur, neighbouring Le Havre

... and the 2020 cruise will head to Alaska! A 7 day return cruise leaving Vancouver on July 18th. There will be a pre-cruise stay in Kamloops and/or Sun Peaks and a visit to Billie and Hugh at the McLennan Ranch. Billie and Hugh have announced that this will be their last cruise, although they will continue to promote future cruises which help support the Spirit of the West radio show. See the cruise page for details as they become available.

September 9th & 10th

hey a pickup! sort of anyway ... only about the 3rd one we've seen

a view of Honfleur from Mont-Joli ...

... and the Crown Princess in the background

the horse guard heading from the parade square to Buckingham Palace

September 10th

they turned into the yard in front of the palace and then disappeared

the world famous guards in front of Buckingham Palace

I think almost everyone had fish 'n chips at some point in some place

Westminster Abby with police and sidewalk blockades for some dignitary

September 11th

the docks, with some tenders dropping off folks, in front of Guernsey

Karen, we had no idea that you had your own Le Boat in Guernsey

Barb & Jim Bauer on the walkway from town to Castle Cornet

looking in the other direction at the skyline behind Guernsey

September 11th

Kathy with Barb & Jim in front of the lighthouse that was built in 1866

a great overview of Guernsey from the lighthouse

this guy spoke of the German occupation when he was 9 to 14 years old

perfect timing for the 12 noon firing of the cannon

September 11th

2 Canadian Cowboys pose for a photo with 2 Guernsey military guys

so whats this? ... a changing of the hats ...?

and now 2 Guernsey cowboys with 2 Canadian military guys ??

ok this looks better ... mainly because the girls joined in

September 11th & 12th

inside the Castle Cornet it seemed to go on and on - huge overall

a bowl of soup and a Guinness for lunch hoping the lineup would get shorter

well that didn't work - and this is just a little part of it

a different lighthouse as it had a bunch of farm buildings adjoining it

September 12th

Jim talking to an employee at the train station who didn't hesitate to share his political views on Ireland

not sure about others but Karen and Mark thought this was a pretty good sign

look at the big picture and you can see the outside plumbing on the walls

farewell party Jim Bauer won 2 passes for 2 to the Kamloops Cowboy Festival

September 12th

Patsy Fries also won 2 passes for 2 to the Kamloops Cowboy Festival

Karen told the waiter nothing for dessert and they brought her just that



For more photos see the Support Crew website diary page at: www.MeadowSprings.com.

Our Itinerary!         Top of Page





Day 1

August 29th

Depart Canada

Fly to Dublin Ireland

Day 2

August 30th

Arrive Dublin

11:00 am half day Dublin tour with drop off at 2:30 at the Temple Bar Hotel

Day 3

August 31st

Dublin Ireland

Tentaive ... 8:00 am bus pick up, tour to Cosgraves beef farm in New Castle, lunch at Silken Thomas, then National Stud Farm. 3:30 return to Temple Bar Hotel.

Day 4

Sept 1st

Dublin Ireland

12:00 pickup and transfer from Temple Bar to Crown Princess. Overnight in Dublin.

Day 5

Sept 2nd

Dublin Ireland

Spend the day in Dublin and set sail at 3:30 PM

Day 6

Sept 3rd

Belfast, N Ireland

Arrive 5:30 AM. 8:30 AM Belfast & Giants Causeway Tour (with lunch). Depart 10:30 PM

Day 7

Sept 4th

Glasgow, Scotland

Arrive 8:00 AM set sail at 7:00 PM

Day 8

Sept 5th

at sea


Day 9

Sept 6th

Invergordon, Scotland

7:00 AM arrival depart 6:00 PM

Day 10

Sept 7th

Edinburgh, Scotland

7:00 AM arrival. Tender port. Depart 7:00 PM

Day 11

Sept 8th

at sea


Day 12

Sept 9th

Paris / Normandy, France

7:00 AM arrival and depart 8:00 PM

Day 13

Sept 10th

London, England

5:00 AM arrival and depart 5:30 PM

Day 14

Sept 11th

Guernsey, England

Arrive 7:00 AM. Tender port. Depart 4:00 PM

Day 15

Sept 12th

Cork, Ireland

9:00 AM arrival and depart 7:00 PM

Day 16

Sept 13th

Dublin, Ireland

9:00 AM pickup and transfer to Airport Radisson Hotel.

Day 17

Sept 14th

Dublin, Ireland

AM Return to Canada

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Here is a map - showing the Ireland & the British Isles cruise stops. click to enlarge.

2019 Group T-Shirt
2019 Group T-Shirt
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2019 Ireland & the British Isles
2019 Cruise - Ireland & the British Isles!
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2018 Group selfie by Jim (L to R)
Jim, Karen, Mark, Billie, Kathy & Hugh 2018 Group selfie by Jim in a Light house on PEI
click to enlarge

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