Escorted tour operator Riviera Travel is offering voyages around Britain and Ireland for the first time.

Four eight-day sailings are available in July – two around Scotland and two around Ireland – are available on 158-passenger MS Seaventure, which was refurbished in 2019.

Katja Hildebrandt, head of cruise and worldwide product at Riviera Travel, said: “Both cruises offer a unique insight into these countries, as passengers can explore ports inaccessible to larger ships for a much more authentic experience.

“We’ve made our name offering premium river and yacht cruise experiences, so we’re very excited to be taking this know-how to the ocean.”

The ‘Cruising Scotland’s Highlands & Islands’ itinerary departs from Edinburgh and will take in Aberdeen and Balmoral Castle, before heading to Inverness, Orkney, Oban, the Outer Hebrides and County Donegal in Ireland. Tours on offer include trips to Loch Ness, the Neolithic Ring of Brodgar henge and stone circle, and the Callanish Standing Stones.

A ‘Cruising the Emerald Isle’ round-trip departs from Greenock and encompasses Belfast, Dublin, Kilkenny, Galway, County Donegal and Cork. Tours on offer include Kilkenny Castle, Kylemore Abbey, a guided walking tour of Belfast with entry to the Titanic Visitor Centre, access to Trinity College, and a visit to Connemara.

Both cruises can be booked back-to-back for an extended 15-day voyage.

Prices start from £1,999, based on two sharing a cabin.

The operator unveiled its first UK tours in autumn last year in response to demand amid the pandemic.