St Kilda, Outer Hebrides Cruise, Scotland
Longer and shorter cruises available from April to Oct for the Outer and Inner Hebrides.
Minimum child age 5 yrs, no child discount.
Description of St Kilda, Outer Hebrides Cruise, Scotland
This wonderful, 11 or 12 day St Kilda cruise will, if the weather is kind, give us time to explore fabulous St Kilda; the remote Monach Isles; many dramatic islands of the Outer Hebrides; and the spectacular Small Isles. Our starting point is Dunstaffnage Marina, just three miles from Oban which is the gateway to the Hebridean islands.
Our smallships will anchor in scenic, lonely islands, in tranquil bays and, throughout the trip, we see incredible wildlife - soaring sea and golden eagles, many species of sea birds, basking sharks, orca and minke whales, porpoises, dolphins and seals.
Our ultimate destination is Village Bay, Hirta, on the archipelago of St Kilda - a UNESCO world heritage site. Hirta is the largest of the four islands in the St Kilda group and was inhabited for some 2000 years before the villagers were evacuated in 1930, never to return.
The sea cliffs (the highest in the UK) of the St Kilda islands rise dramatically out of the Atlantic and are the protected breeding grounds of many different sea bird species (gannets, fulmars, Leeches petrel, which are hunted at night by giant skuas, and puffins). These thousands of seabirds were once an important source of food for the islanders. The breathtaking islands of Soay and Boreay have rare, ancient species of feral sheep and the St Kildan wren and field mouse are both unique sub species.
Travelling back from St Kilda, we could stop at a remote anchorage on the Monach or Heisker islands, which lie some five miles west off North Uist and are famous for their wild flowers in the Machair, sandy white beaches and for a huge grey seal colony.
Throughout the trip we will explore the many wonderful, breath-taking islands of the Outer Hebrides and the Small Islands.
Guests can choose to book St Hilda (maximum 6 passengers), Seahorse II (maximum 11 passengers) or Gemini Explorer (maximum 8 passengers). St Hilda is a traditional, wooden ex-Tall Ship. Seahorse II is an ex-Norwegian Ferry. Gemini Explorer is an ex-Cruising Lifeboat. All three ships have been converted to cruise the western islands of Scotland in comfort and style. The roomy deck saloons aboard our small ships are where everyone dines and socialises and the outdoor decks are perfect for spotting wildlife, relaxing and eating al fresco. The small ships’ tenders can also take you ashore for some wonderful, serious coastal and cliff walks or you could just wander along the shore beachcombing and examining the pretty seaside rock pools.
The professional and knowledgeable skipper and the chef will look after you as you travel the islands and lochs and dine on delicious, locally sourced food, in the light and spacious saloon.
Please note that your voyage is weather dependent. Weather doesn't just mean good or bad weather. There are many considerations such as tidal gates, wind direction and strength, the strength and direction of currents, overfalls, and fetch.
Check dates, prices & availability
All three ships have been converted to cruise the western islands of Scotland in comfort and style and are suited to couples, families, solos or groups of friends. Children from 5 years old to the most demanding teenager love the experience.
Included in the price are all meals and your onboard skipper and chef who will provide an unforgettable holiday for everyone on board. We are based in Scotland and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge.
7 Reviews of St Kilda, Outer Hebrides Cruise, Scotland
Reviewed on 13 Aug 2022 by Holly ManningThe most exciting and memorable part of our holiday was the sheer abundance of wildlife we saw during our trip. The multiple dolphin sightings brought us illimitable joy and the rare Minke sighting on our penultimate day left us awestruck. Read full review
Reviewed on 21 Jun 2022 by Maureen CrawfordBrilliant, great crew, great food, great company Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Jul 2019 by David SchofieldThe Crew and fellow travellers pulled together as members of an 'expedition'. None of the trip would be enjoyable without this fellowship !A well organised itinerary. Food amazing ! Read full review
Reviewed on 20 Jul 2019 by Elizabeth GlennExcellent - lovely crew, great food, comfortable cabins, stunning scenery and wildlife. Read full review
Reviewed on 27 Jul 2019 by Sandra RhindI would rate my holiday an 8 out of 10. Crew excellent. Food fantastic. Read full review
Reviewed on 12 Jul 2018 by Joan AdamsIt was beautiful. We saw seals, dolphins, a minke whale and all sorts of sea birds...Morag our cook was brilliant serving up tasty meals and even making bread for my husband who is gluten intolerant. Read full review
Reviewed on 11 Jul 2018 by Vivienne ClarkeI rate this holiday as one of the best I’ve had. Everything worked to perfection. The crew were helpful, friendly and skilful. It was a very happy band of travellers who were privileged to visit a seldom visited, beautiful part of the world. Read full review
PlanetWe do all that we can to "leave only a wake" as we travel through the islands of the west coast of Scotland. Our stated aim is to protect the wonderful marine environment and the wildlife it supports.
We are proud to say we have recently been awarded The Green Tourism's Gold Award.
We are also a gold member of the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) so we will only be serving fish, from local fish-mongers, which are sustainable and approved by the MCS.
We are a corporate member of the Shark Trust, and have adopted the magnificent basking shark. Our adoption is helping fund vital basking shark research in our cruising area.
We are also a corporate partner of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust which means we foster environmental awareness and we work to safeguard the future of Scottish seas and cetaceans.
Our crew are officially WiSe Scheme Trained which means they are taught about watching marine wildlife the wildlife-safe way in our cruising area.
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 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. To achieve our “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. We 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. We buy free range eggs, free range chicken and organic meat.
We 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 and environmental procedures to our crew.
We have responsible standards of crew recruitment and development. At all times there are always two team members available. Our fully qualified skippers have sailed many thousands of sea miles. All activities in the water are monitored to protect both humans and the marine life.
Our onboard policy is that all rubbish is brought ashore and we have a strict recycling policy of all non-organic waste.
Our skippers and onboard wildlife guides discuss the local shore and marine environment, wildlife and ecosystems. We explain how to behave in a responsible manner to the animals (for example puffin and seal colonies) and birds (especially breeding colonies) that we encounter. 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.
PeopleWe 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 gardens, craft shops and participate in cultural events. We also work with local wildlife rangers and tour guides. Tourism is increasingly a vital part of the income for the local residents of this somewhat remote, isolated but beautiful region of the Inner and Outer Hebrides. 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 not only our starting point of our voyage but also in the islands and communities of the Inner and Outer Hebrides.
We aim to create a good relationship with tourism and the local communities and at all times are aware and try to bring awareness to the fragile marine ecosystems through which we sail.