Scottish Hebrides guided wildlife tour
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 Scottish Hebrides guided wildlife tour
Climb aboard our small ships, Gemini Explorer or Seahorse II, for a unique look at the wildlife inhabiting the Scottish Inner and Outer Hebrides in the company of a wildlife guide.
Cruise spectacular isles and sea lochs where there are large areas of sheltered waters and remote anchorages that are perfect for observing the wildlife. The west coast of Scotland is rich in sea birds and marine life and you will never forget your sightings of otters, seals, porpoises, basking sharks, orcas and minke whales. We have even seen a humpback whale breach right in front of the boat.
Guests can choose to book a berth aboard Seahorse II (maximum 11 passengers) or Gemini Explorer (maximum 8 passengers). Seahorse II is an ex-Norwegian Ferry and Gemini Explorer is an ex-Cruising Lifeboat. Both small 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.
Below we give an example of one of our Scottish cruises with a wildlife guide. We have a number of different itineraries for you to choose from which vary from five to eleven nights.
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.
1 Reviews of Scottish Hebrides guided wildlife tour
Reviewed on 18 Aug 2019 by Annabel Cope
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Impossible to say. I loved it from the moment I got on-board to the day I had to leave.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Take warm clothes as being on the water is much colder than being on land. Binoculars are a must too.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes I think it probably did all of the above
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Oh at least 6 stars. Christophe was all one could want in a skipper esp. as I
was rather nervous doing the big boat to little boat transfer.....calm as could
be and so professional. Kerry produced amazing meals in her wee galley and was very good company.The holiday was right out of my comfort zone and I LOVED it.
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 Silver 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.
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