Responsible tourism: South Argyll wildlife cruises in Scotland
Loving the area as he does, owner Iain is very careful not to pollute the marine environment. All waste on board is brought ashore, for recycling.
During the skippers briefing, before casting off, passengers are advised on our environmental responsibility, for example not to throw anything overboard. . The company vessel “Splendour” is herself a wonderful example of re-using materials as she is a converted wooden trawler, which had outlived her usefulness as a working boat but serves magnificently in her new role as a small-boat cruising vessel.
All food and drink on board is sourced locally to keep the carbon footprint to a minimum and also because no finer provisions can be found elsewhere, especially seafood from the Skipper’s birthplace of Tarbert, Loch Fyne. Our guests will love going ashore with our Chef to buy live seafood from Neil Prentice in Tarbert who only sells seafood which has been caught in a sustainable way, i.e. potted or hand dived. All fresh produce is sourced within our cruising grounds.
Our vessel “Splendour”was chosen for our cruises because she boasts a magnificent Gardner engine, which is known worldwide for economy and reliability. The engine is also perfect for economical cruising and good for the marine environment. The engine is ‘keel cooled’ which means there is no overboard discharge from the cooling system and therefore no possibility of heavy metal contaminants entering the ecosystem.
There is masses of space on the deck for stowing passengers own bicycles or kayaks. This encourages guests to explore the waters we visit and also onshore “under their own steam”, thus causing no pollution through their activities.
We cruise in an area which is a magnificent habitat for a large variety of bird and animal species. When these are spotted we are very careful to observe at a respectful distance to ensure we cause no disturbance to the presence of wildlife
Owner and Skipper Iain Duncan believes that his beloved corner of Argyll in Scotland is best viewed from the water, as traditionally this is how people and goods travelled in the area. He intends to introduce his guests to the most idyllic and secret parts of the coastline of Argyll from the sea. During their trip, guests will get to know the true nature of the area; the natural environment, the wildlife, the culture and the heritage through Iain’s expert local knowledge.
Our cruising area is dotted with delightful communities along the coastlines and we love to introduce our guests to these through shore visits. Any local event such as food or music festivals, may be included in our itinerary to give our guests a true flavour of the area and meet the locals.
The operations of the compnay are embedded in the local area and will help the local economy. Many guests will require on-shore accommodation before and after their cruise and we will recommend the best places to stay. We only use local produce in our menus and will highlight the food specialities of the area, which are of excellent quality. We take our guests onshore to find out more about the history and culture of the area and find authentic local food, drink and craft gifts to purchase and take home. Local trades are used in the maintenance of our vessel, with berthing fees supporting the local marina.
1 Reviews of South Argyll wildlife cruises in Scotland
4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on 12 Jun 2016 by Etta Geras
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The weather was amazing but even more so were the wonderful crew - Steve, our chef - so inventive and creative. He went out of his way to make sure we all had food we loved, but also stretched our taste buds in the way he cooked and displayed the dishes. Iain our skipper made sure all needs were catered for. For example I made an off-the- cuff remark about another hook in my cabin. When I came back from my walk there it was! Another passenger had difficulty walking- he took her in the tender to find seals.Booking the holiday was a treat too - Jamie was always willing to give information. Beautiful country - right on our doorstep - I'm so pleased I took a chance on a boat trip!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Go and enjoy. I am not a sailor but I loved it. I found sea bands (for travel sickness)really worked. I even read books while the boat was moving.Good walking boots, sun cream and insect repellant for the midges!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes - very much so. We visited local communities who rely on tourists. We were able to learn and find out about local conservation projects and how they are helping this fragile environment survive. The small boat enabled us to travel with less disruption to sea life. The crew were responsible and made us aware of how to respect the sea, and places we stopped at.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Expect the unexpected, travel outside your comfort zone - this holiday was a sheer delight. Coming away I felt enriched - I felt better physically, emotionally and mentally!