Outer Hebrides and Shiant Isles cruise, Scotland

“Set sail on a 6 passenger sailing ship or an 11 passenger small motor cruiser as you embark on a 11 day voyage around the Outer Hebrides where puffins, pubs and holy isles await. ”


Tobermory | Canna, the Small Isles | Lochboisdale, South Uist | Lochmaddy | East Loch Tarbert, Isle of Harris | Shiant Isles | Loch Torridon | Plockton village | Loch Nevis | East coast of Skye | Loch Aline | Sound of Mull |

Description of Outer Hebrides and Shiant Isles cruise, Scotland

Explore the Outer Hebrides on a small ship cruise and youíll 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 youíre expecting crowds then youíre 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).

All three vessels are spacious with St Hilda comfortably accommodating six passengers, Seahorse II sleeps 12 and Gemini Explorer has seven passenger berths. The added benefit of Seahorse II is that she comes fully-equipped with a launch for sea kayaks although the pleasure of cruising on wooden decking as sails billow overhead is quite something to add to any Outer Hebredian experience onboard the St Hilda. Gemini Explorer, on the other hand, has an extensive offshore capability and still holds many of her original features which provide further insight into her exciting seafaring past.

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 itís cold and dark or bright and breezy.

Talking of the weather, please remember: this is Scotlandís Outer Hebrides weíre talking about here. If the windís not in the right direction or itís blowing way too strong; if sea currents arenít in our favour or tidal gates arenít safe for sailing then thatís that. We sail on the skipperís orders and stop and start when the winds and tides allow although, wherever possible, weíll keep to an itinerary similar to the one detailed below.

Travel Team

If you would like some help or advice, or just want to discuss your ideas for your next trip, do give us a call.

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17 Aug 2019
excluding flights
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Holiday type

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

Our wildlife cruises in Scotland take place on a choice of three converted small ships: St Hilda (a traditional wooden sailing 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 6 guests). All three ships have been converted to cruise the western islands of Scotland in comfort and style and are especially suited to 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. 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: Outer Hebrides and Shiant Isles cruise, Scotland


Sailing can be a sustainable mode of travel and our holidays operate on a ďleave only a wakeĒ policy. You are free to bring on board cycles on this trip to help ensure no negative environmental impact as you explore onshore too. Our cruising area is among the most unique and unspoiled in Europe and we have a responsibility to ensure it remains so. We are committed to excellence in offering holidays to people who have an appreciation of the sea and its wildlife, both below and above the waves. We value the marine and shore-based environment in which we operate and leave everything as we find it, respecting the delicate eco-system balance of sky, sea and shore.

Your skipper is an experienced sailor who knows the marine environment and local ecology. He will happily educate on all aspects of sea and shore to be found on this trip. When operating the vessel, great care is taken to have negligible impact on the local wildlife including the breeding seal and bird colonies in this cruising area.

Our hope is that people who experience the sheer beauty of the landscape and wildlife on our cruises will return home invigorated and with a greater understanding of the unique environment of the South West Coast of Scotland. All waste generated on board is brought ashore for recycling and we use locally produced ingredients for out meals wherever possible; including eating your own catch of crab, lobster or mackerel!


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 and many of the more remote islands in Western Scotland. 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 the Sandbank/Dunoon region 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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