Wildlife sailing holiday in Scotland

“Our only wildlife sailing cruise among the Kyles of Bute to Isles of Arran, for 6 days on board a traditional wooden ketch, along West coast of Scotland. ”

Highlights

Holy Loch | Firth of Clyde | Loch Riddon | Kyles of Bute | Arran Islands | Burnt Islands | Loch Striven | Isle of Bute

Description of Wildlife sailing holiday in Scotland

A six day sailing holiday in Scotland with a focus on wildlife watching around the stunning Kyles of Bute and Cowal Peninsula. This western coast of Scotland is not only wild and rugged, with mountains on both the mainland and islands, but also home to sea lochs and serene inlets, or sounds, with only seals, cetaceans and seabirds to keep you company.

Sleeping on board a lovingly restored traditional, wooden ketch, with room for only six guests, you will have the company of a skipper and cook couple, experts in local wildlife, landscapes, culture and marine biology. This trip has been firm favourites with families, couples and solo travellers and Michael and Colette can adapt the itinerary to be as busy or laid back as you would like. we have a mix of roomy and very comfortable double en-suite and four comfortable single berth cabins with shared toilet and shower.

One of the first stops is the Isle of Arran, with the company of a vast array of sea birds including sea eagles from time to time, dolphins porpoises and basking sharks en route. They were once lucky enough to see a humpback whale breaching beside the boat. There are also quality microscopes on board for taking time to look at the smaller wildlife filling these waters, examining plankton for example, but also going ashore to do some rockpooling. You can pace things as you wish – fishing and lobster potting are also a popular way to spend a couple of hours with the cook always welcoming the catch of the day in the kitchen. A French cook as well, and so there are always great wines and aperitifs to accompany it.

Other tranquil and wildlife rich places that you will visit on this itinerary include Burnt Islands , Loch Riddon with stunning walks ashore, and Loch Striven, a stunning 12km long sea loch extending north into the Cowal peninsula.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
01 Apr 2017
£ 750
excluding flights
4 spaces left
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08 Apr 2017
£ 750
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15 Apr 2017
£ 750
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22 Apr 2017
£ 750
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07 May 2017
£ 750
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Full
 
12 May 2017
£ 750
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09 Sep 2017
£ 750
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25 Sep 2017
£ 750
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02 Oct 2017
£ 750
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09 Oct 2017
£ 750
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16 Oct 2017
£ 750
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23 Oct 2017
£ 750
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Our top tip:
Consider coming by train. Get a ticket with Scotrail that includes ferry to Dunoon. Quick taxi from there to boat.
Trip type:
Small group/family/solo travellers. Max. 6 passengers. Min. age 8.
Activity level:
Leisurely.
Accomm:
Double and single cabins, ensuite or shared bathrooms.
Included:
Accommodation, all meals, snacks, aperitifs, wine with dinner.
Solos:
Great holiday for solo travellers. Single cabins available.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

This holiday is designed for families, small group and solo travellers

The accommodation is a traditional roomy 54 ft ketch with accommodation for six, consisting of 1 double cabin with en-suite and 4 comfortable single berth cabins with shared bathroom. It is especially suited to families, solos or groups of friends. Children from 8 years old to the most demanding teenager love the experience. Included in the price are all meals and your onboard skipper and cook who will provide an unforgettable holiday for everyone on board. This holiday is operated by a company based in the holiday destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. If possible they will tailor-make your holiday to suit your requirements including length and start date of trip.

This holiday is operated by a company based in the holiday destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. If possible they will tailor-make your holiday to suit your requirements including length and start date of trip.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Wildlife sailing holiday in Scotland

Environment

We are committed to excellence in offering holidays to people who have a feel for the sea and its wildlife, both below and above the waves, as well as ashore. Our holidays operate on a strict “leave only a wake” policy. Our aim is to respect the sea and the local marine and shore-based environment. To leave everything as we find it is our motto, respecting the delicate eco-system balance of sky, sea and shore. Our “leave only a wake” policy is explained by the skipper at the start of every trip and practiced by guests and crew throughout the trip. Sailing is, of course, a very sustainable mode of travel. To achieve this “Leave Only a Wake” policy we have a series of aims:

Our aim is to create sustainable tourism by respecting the local sea and shore-based environment. Our aim is to provide a safe ship and responsible tourism. Our aim is to adhere to high standards of economic, environmental and social policy and practice in our interactions with clients, staff, core suppliers and partners as well as the wider social and ecological environment. Our aim is to look after our clients to the best of our ability and supporting them on the vessel in personnel safety and creating a respect for the marine environment. Our on board skills training aims to develop confidence and competence and we have extensive briefing of our safety procedures. Our aim is to have responsible standards of staff recruitment and development. At all times there are always two team members available. The fully qualified skipper is a scientist and has sailed many thousands of sea miles. All activities in the water are monitored to protect both humans and the marine life.

We offer training in sailing and navigation and how to behave in a responsible manner to the animals (seal colonies) and birds (especially breeding colonies) that we encounter. Our onboard policy is that all rubbish is brought ashore and we have a strict recycling policy of all non-organic waste. Our skipper and other professionals discuss the local shore and marine environment, wildlife and ecosystems. Clients are able to visit local places of beauty such as the local Botanical gardens. Historical sites, such as castles and pre-history sites, can be visited. We also help clients gain an awareness of local marine environment by encouraging them to study the nautical charts of the region as well making them aware of the ever changing Scottish weather patterns. The skipper keeps the clients regularly informed of local meteorological reports.

Community

We only employ the services of the local marina, shops, services, restaurants and guides. These suppliers all employ local staff. We encourage our guests to visit locally important heritage sites, visit local Botanical Gardens, craft shops, restaurants and participate in cultural events. Tourism is increasingly a vital part of the income for the local residents of this somewhat remote, isolated but beautiful region of the Cowal peninsular. Thus we use all local products and local services with the intention of helping to support local businesses, create employment and contribute to the overall sustainable development of the Sandbank/Dunoon region.

Reviews of Wildlife sailing holiday in Scotland

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 20 Sep 2016 by

The whole experience was wonderful, particularly enjoyed the dinghy trip round the Burnt Islands reserve where we were treated with great views of the Common Seal colony. Also enjoyed discovering another world through the microscope investigating plankton samples. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Sep 2016 by

No light pollution and clear skies allowed for spectacular stargazing. As an added bonus we got to collect and view plankton under the microscope, a truly unique experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Jul 2016 by

Increased our awareness of the interplay and delicate balance between various species of flora and fauna - in particular, plankton. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Jun 2016 by

Learning to handle the gear, and to participate in the marine explorations, from mammals to microbes, was fascinating. We became a real 'crew' - shipmates. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Sep 2015 by

A very interesting experience for people who loves nature, sea and peace. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Jul 2015 by

Michael and Colette are wonderful hosts and very patient with teaching us. We enjoyed their company. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Sep 2014 by

Brilliant holiday...both Michael and Colette were passionate about conservation matters and the threat to the marine environment which couldn't help but rub off on everyone on board. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Jun 2014 by

10/10, relaxing and rewarding....Great hosts and fellow travellers, stunning scenery and wonderful food, on and off the boat Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Jun 2014 by

My family and I enjoyed it very much. The wonderful scenery and the good food on and off the boat, Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2013 by

Wonderful holiday and great value for money. I'm considering running away to sea! Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2013 by

The most memorable part of my time on St. Hilda was the amazing spectacular scenery of Scotland, the sea lochs, seals, birds, jelly fish and the warm welcome. The knowledge and expertise of Colette and Michael on the whole trip. The lovely food, Colette is a great cook, but very modest! The being at sea. Sleeping in a Bunk, hearing the sound of the wind and waves, feeling warm and cosey! Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2012 by

What can one say about this holiday it has to be one of the best holidays I have ever been on with two of the best hosts you could ever wish to meet in Michael and Colette who make your trip so wonderful and informative and the fellow passengers John, Julie, Peter and Mike who it was a pleasure to sail with. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Aug 2012 by

The magic of this holiday can be summed up by our first morning afloat. Having learnt how to lay an anchor the night before, we woke to the gently lapping waters of a secluded loch...A wonderful holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Jun 2012 by

The most memorable part would have to be watching what must have been over 100 gannets dive bombing again and again like WW2 fighter pilots circling round for yet another attack...Michael and Colette are superb hosts - interesting, kind, great company. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Jun 2012 by

The most memorable parts included fishing, throwing lobster pots, looking at all these amazing colourful creatures under the microscope, relaxing and sunbathing! Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Jun 2012 by

The most memorable bit was being part of an amazing team (crew and guests). Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2012 by

Highlights included catching fish, watching seals from the dinghy, and working with Michael and Colette on the many aspects of sailing the boat...This was an excellent and challenging holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Sep 2012 by

Learning to sail with Michael was the best bit in my opinion. He taught us loads of knots, and we turned off the engine and sailed for a bit...It was fantastic! I really enjoyed it! It was one of the best adventury actiony holidays I've ever been on! Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2012 by

On the first night we anchored in one of the sea lochs. It was calm and the moon was out. We could hear the fish jumping out of the water and see the phosphorescence as they were chased by either a seal or porpoise. That was a great experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Jun 2012 by

The most memorable part of the holiday was sailing to Arran with all the sails out watching the wildlife. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Jun 2012 by

The food and the company of Michael and Colette (who is also a wonderful cook) were outstanding...This holiday was great and I would recommend it to anyone with the right attitude. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Jul 2010 by

Memorable for me for wonderful wildlife we really saw ( so often we have been disappointed, even in Amazon rain forest). We saw dolphins and seals and lots of beautiful sea birds, we fished and laid lobster pots. We caught a lobster, along with crab and star fish, and netted plankton which we examined under microscope. Read full review

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