Skye and the Small Isles sailing holiday

One of our most popular Scottish cruises gives you access to the wildest and least-explored parts of the Small Isles and surrounds aboard a uniquely repurposed small-sailing vessel, skippered by an expert sea-faring family with unrivalled local knowledge.
Sailing and cruising around the Small Isles Isle of Oronsay Isle of Eigg Rum Island Isle of Skye Loch Scavaig Black Cuillins Mountains Isle of Canna Isle of Mull Loch Spelve, Whale and dolphin watching
£1520To£2480 excluding flights
Convert currency:
9 Days
Ship size
St Hilda 6, Seahorse 11, Gemini 8 passengers
More info
Price includes meals, snacks, aperitifs and wine with dinner.
Longer and shorter cruises available from April to Oct for the Outer and Inner Hebrides.
Minimum child age 5 yrs, no child discount.
Make enquiry

Description of Skye and the Small Isles sailing holiday

This Skye and Small Isles cruising holiday starts three miles North of Oban.

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.

Starting in Oban, we head north towards the Isle of Eigg and other Small Isles of Canna, Rum and Muck. This is a wonderful sea odyssey for wildlife lovers, where you will hopefully see a cornucopia of cetaceans, including minke and humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises and even a killer whale if you are lucky. The waters are also home to basking sharks, otters and many species of rare sea birds, including sea eagles. We then move on to the famous Isle of Skye, the largest Inner Hebridean Island and home not only to stunning lochs and mountains but also the famous Talisker Whisky Distillery. One of our most popular anchorages on this holiday is in the wild environs of Loch Scavaig on Skye at the foot of Black Cuillins Mountains.

The itinerary on this sailing or cruising holiday is, of course, dependent on weather and tidal conditions. What is always dependable however, is the professional expertise of our skipper, and also that of our chef, who produces fine local fare. All meals included in the price of the holiday.

Below we give an example of a 8 night itinerary. This cruise can be a 6, 7 or 8 night itinerary depending on the dates you choose to travel.

Price information

£1520To£2480 excluding flights
Convert currency:
Price includes meals, snacks, aperitifs and wine with dinner.
Longer and shorter cruises available from April to Oct for the Outer and Inner Hebrides.
Minimum child age 5 yrs, no child discount.
Make enquiry

Check dates, prices & availability

Travel guides

Scotland cruising
You need to engage with a whole other language before embarking on one of our Scottish seafaring sojourns. Places like the Kyles of Bute, the Gaelic w...
Western Isles (Outer Hebrides)
The Hebrides comprise dozens of islands, inhabited and uninhabited, just off the west coast of Scotland. Mull, is just 45 minutes by ferry from the ma...

Holiday information

The ships:
Our small ship cruises in Scotland take place on a choice of three converted small ships: St Hilda (a traditional wooden ex-tall ship with maximum capacity for 6 guests), Seahorse II (a former ferry cruiser from Norway with maximum capacity for 12 guests) or Gemini Explorer (a converted lifeboat cruiser with maximum capacity for 7 guests).

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.
Dietary requirements:
We can cater for vegetarian and vegan diets.


12 Reviews of Skye and the Small Isles sailing holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2022 by

The fantastic friendly crew helped make it an exciting holiday by making sure they did their best to help us see wildlife + stunning scenery & serving scrumptious meals. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Sep 2022 by

This was a wonderful trip. The crew were generous with their time and talents. I look forward to trying another of their itineraries. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 May 2022 by

Wonderful! Comfortable boat - even if our cabin was a little cosy. Really good food. Friendly and helpful crew. Wonderful views and birdlife. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Sep 2022 by

Wonderful opportunity to explore beautiful coastal waters around Jura and Mull. Food was outstanding, great crew. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2022 by

4 star Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Oct 2021 by

Brilliant, highly enjoyed it all Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Sep 2021 by

Excellent - great scenery, food and crew Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2021 by

Very good, food and accommodation great and wildlife watching wondering where they would appear Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Aug 2021 by

5/5. We thoroughly enjoyed this and would look to book another. Fabulous food by Jenna! Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Aug 2021 by

Enjoyable some of the time ! - on board we had good helpful staff, and good company. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Oct 2018 by

The most memorable part was... exploring the beautiful coastline around Mull, Loch Sunart and Loch Teacuis...Superb scenery and wildlife. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Aug 2017 by

I was very happy that we found the puffins rock (Dún Mòr) on Sanday. With another traveller I surrounded the peninsula with the help of a map with only a few details like some walls, the church and the silhouette of the island - no paths! Read full review

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


We 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 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.


We 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.

Popular similar holidays

Wildlife holiday in the Isle of Mull, Scotland

Wildlife holiday in the Isle of Mull, Scotland

From £575 - £790 5 days excluding flights

Spot whales, otters and eagles on Isle of Mull, Scotland

Hebrides cruise, Mull, Islay, Luing, Shuna and Jura

Hebrides cruise, Mull, Islay, Luing, Shuna and Jura

From £1140 - £1860 7 days excluding flights

Sail by the spectacular islands of the Southern Hebrides

Isle of Mull and west coast of Scotland cruise

Isle of Mull and west coast of Scotland cruise

From £2400 - £3200 7 days excluding flights

Cruise the idyllic coast around the Scottish Island of Mull