Outer Hebrides and Shiant Isles 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 Outer Hebrides and Shiant Isles cruise, Scotland
Explore the Outer Hebrides on a small ship cruise and you’ll instantly understand why these islands mean so much to so many people. Artists, photographers, poets and wildlife watchers flock to the Northwest Scottish coast like proverbial puffins however, if you’re expecting crowds then you’re sorely mistaken. Everything is relative and this region is still as wild and untamed as the day it was created. A kaleidoscope of turquoise sea, soft white sand and emerald hills await with thousands of sea birds occupying the remote Shiant Isles whilst sea eagles circle overhead.
Elsewhere the Small Isles of Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna remain undaunted and unscathed by the ocean crashing against their cliff faces whilst the Isle of Skye sits silently opposing the jagged mountainous form of the Scottish Highlands.
From Mingulay and Barra to South Uist, Benbecula and Taranay, the 200 islands of the Outer Hebrides are regarded as one of the best in the world for wild and remote small ship cruising.
The Shiant Isles, too, are no slouch when it comes to scenic seclusion with majestic mountains and deep dark sea lochs conjuring atmospheric anchorages from where to spend a night afloat or down the local pub in the village of Plockton that overlooks Loch Carron.
Accommodation throughout this 11 day cruise will be on board one of our fleet of small ships: St Hilda (a traditional wooden sailing ship), Seahorse II (a former ferry cruiser from Norway) or Gemini Explorer (a converted North Devonshire lifeboat cruiser).
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.
All ships feature their own chef who will present a selection of locally sourced and freshly cooked dishes to keep spirits soaring no matter whether it’s cold and dark or bright and breezy.
Talking of the weather, please remember: this is Scotland’s Outer Hebrides we’re talking about here. If the wind’s not in the right direction or it’s blowing way too strong; if sea currents aren’t in our favour or tidal gates aren’t safe for sailing then that’s that. We sail on the skipper’s orders and stop and start when the winds and tides allow although, wherever possible, we’ll keep to an itinerary similar to the one detailed below.
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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.
3 Reviews of Outer Hebrides and Shiant Isles cruise, Scotland
Reviewed on 20 Jul 2022 by Alison JacksonThe ocean, wildlife, amazing crew, Donald, John and Sarah, wonderful food, great guests... Excellent in every way. Read full review
Reviewed on 14 Sep 2021 by Clive BurtonDolphins followed the boat for some miles. Distant view of whale breaching. Also sighted golden and sea eagles.... Read full review
Reviewed on 06 Sep 2019 by Peter CroftThe most exciting part of the holiday was the variety and beauty of the Inner Hebrides islands and lochs. The light. The water. 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 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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