Wildlife sailing holiday in Scotland

“The Scottish wildlife cruises takes guests to the majestic Outer and Inner Hebrides and Argyll - beautiful, unspoiled coastlines of spectacular sea lochs, stunning Hebridean landscapes and incredible wildlife.”

Highlights

Isle of Mull | Staffa | Iona | The Small Isles| Isle of Skye | St Kilda | Inner Hebrides | Outer Hebrides

Description of Wildlife sailing holiday in Scotland

We provide unique wildlife cruises on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. 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.

Come aboard to sail; explore wild sea lochs, islands and coastlines; observe the extraordinary wildlife or just relax and mess about on the water. Each day is as action packed or as relaxing as you please - perfect for recharging the batteries.

Guests can choose to book St Hilda (maximum 6 passengers), Seahorse II (maximum 11 passengers) or Gemini Explorer (maximum 7 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.

Our three small ships will both provide a great wildlife and adventure holiday in Scotland for all ages. Guests love life aboard our wee ships as they can learn about sailing and seamanship. It's great fun for everyone to shoot lobster pots, fish for the evening meal, snorkel around the boat and jump overboard.

The professional and knowledgeable skipper and the chef will look after you and as you travel the islands and lochs and dine on delicious, locally sourced food in the light and spacious saloon.

Below we give an example of one of our six night Scottish wildlife cruises. It is only an example as we have a number of different itineraries for you to choose from whether you wish to visit the Isles of Mull, Skye, Islay or the St Kilda archipelago.

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.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Date
Price
Basis
23 Sep 2019
£800
excluding flights
Full
 
24 Sep 2019
£1125
excluding flights
1 space left
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30 Sep 2019
£960
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2 spaces left
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01 Oct 2019
£1350
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Full
 
08 Oct 2019
£800
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6 spaces left
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09 Oct 2019
£1125
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18 Apr 2020
£1500
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21 Apr 2020
£1350
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7 spaces left
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26 Apr 2020
£2100
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27 Apr 2020
£960
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6 spaces left
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28 Apr 2020
£1620
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05 May 2020
£1280
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06 May 2020
£2160
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15 May 2020
£960
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16 May 2020
£1620
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23 May 2020
£1600
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24 May 2020
£1800
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03 Jun 2020
£2750
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Full
 
04 Jun 2020
£1280
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05 Jun 2020
£2970
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14 Jun 2020
£1120
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16 Jun 2020
£1350
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Full
 
18 Jun 2020
£1350
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24 Jun 2020
£1280
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25 Jun 2020
£2700
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04 Jul 2020
£1280
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6 spaces left
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05 Jul 2020
£2475
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Full
 
07 Jul 2020
£1620
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Full
 
14 Jul 2020
£1280
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15 Jul 2020
£2700
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24 Jul 2020
£960
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27 Jul 2020
£2700
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01 Aug 2020
£960
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08 Aug 2020
£2160
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09 Aug 2020
£1280
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13 Aug 2020
£3600
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18 Aug 2020
£2160
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4 spaces left
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19 Aug 2020
£1280
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25 Aug 2020
£1500
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28 Aug 2020
£750
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29 Aug 2020
£960
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02 Sep 2020
£1500
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9 spaces left
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06 Sep 2020
£1120
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10 Sep 2020
£1600
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15 Sep 2020
£960
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16 Sep 2020
£1890
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18 Sep 2020
£1600
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23 Sep 2020
£800
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25 Sep 2020
£1350
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26 Sep 2020
£1750
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30 Sep 2020
£1120
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02 Oct 2020
£1620
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05 Oct 2020
£1500
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09 Oct 2020
£800
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6 spaces left
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10 Oct 2020
£1350
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13 Oct 2020
£1250
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Our top tip:
Consider coming by train to Oban.
Trip type:
Small group/family/solo travellers. Minimum age 5.
Activity level:
Leisurely.
Accomm:
A choice of double en-suite, twin (en-suite and not en-suite) and single cabins (en-suite and not en-suite).
Included:
Accommodation, all meals, snacks, aperitifs, wine with dinner.
Solos:
Great holiday for solo travellers. Single cabins available.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

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

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 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

Wildlife sailing holiday in Scotland

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

We ask guests to bring their own water bottles which we refill.

We do not use straws, plastic cutlery/plates, drink stirrers, mini butter/jam packets.

We recycle all of our waste where possible.

We buy items with minimal packaging.

Our trips start and finish at or close to railway stations, bus stations and ferry terminals; this makes it easy for our guests to travel to Oban by rail, bus and ferry and we provide you with information which will encourage you to use public transport. Vessel boarding and disembarkation times, where possible, tie in with the train and bus timetables.

Engine revolutions are kept to a minimum to reduce fuel consumption. We do not travel at night as we anchor in secluded in anchorages and in two of our vessels the fuel consuming generators are switched off to give quiet ships. On St Hilda, where possible, we set the sails. All fuel usage is recorded so that fuel consumption can be tightly monitored.

Our company depends largely on the internet and word of mouth for marketing to reduce paper waste.

Bed linen and towels are not changed daily.

We do not use imported flowers.

We try to use seasonal and locally produced food.

Vegans are catered for.

We use low energy LEDs where possible.

Environment

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 holidays operate on a strict “leave only a wake” policy. 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. Our “leave only a wake” policy is explained by the skipper at the start of every trip and practiced by guests and crew throughout the trip. Sailing is, of course, a very sustainable mode of travel. To achieve this “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. Where possible we buy line caught, sustainable fish from the local fish-monger.

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 onboards 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.

Community

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 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.

30 Reviews of Wildlife sailing holiday in Scotland

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 26 Aug 2019 by

The two trips were lovely, food very good on both. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Jun 2019 by

Having a seal follow us whilst out zodiac went ashore was memorable. Watching an otter fishing was also good. So was the whisky tasting. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Oct 2018 by

We loved it, quite different from our usual sort of holiday. We were well looked after. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Oct 2018 by

The most memorable part of the holiday was... life aboard an authentic, well-looked after and wonderful small ship! Seeing plenty of wildlife and plotting our navigation routes each evening and morning before travelling throughout the Hebrides. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2018 by

Great. The company Sea Adventures logo is definitely deserved but we always felt safe! Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Oct 2018 by

Kayaking along the "lochs" was the highlight of the trip. On board they have very good and safe kayaks and lifejackets, all you need to go exploring the wildlife. I and my 10 year old daughter saw many seals Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Oct 2018 by

The captain, bosun and cook were all great though - friendly, caring towards everyone, attentive, great humour, skilled, and the cooking and 'service' were excellent. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Jul 2017 by

Our encounter with a big group of white-beaked dolphins jumping playfully and the beautiful beaches and peaks of the islands. Barra and Canna were amazing and the red sunset in Muck was unforgettable. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Sep 2016 by

The whole experience was wonderful, particularly enjoyed the dinghy trip round the Burnt Islands reserve where we were treated with great views of the Common Seal colony. Also enjoyed discovering another world through the microscope investigating plankton samples. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Sep 2016 by

No light pollution and clear skies allowed for spectacular stargazing. As an added bonus we got to collect and view plankton under the microscope, a truly unique experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Jul 2016 by

Increased our awareness of the interplay and delicate balance between various species of flora and fauna - in particular, plankton. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Jun 2016 by

Learning to handle the gear, and to participate in the marine explorations, from mammals to microbes, was fascinating. We became a real 'crew' - shipmates. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Sep 2015 by

A very interesting experience for people who loves nature, sea and peace. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Jul 2015 by

Michael and Colette are wonderful hosts and very patient with teaching us. We enjoyed their company. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Sep 2014 by

Brilliant holiday...both Michael and Colette were passionate about conservation matters and the threat to the marine environment which couldn't help but rub off on everyone on board. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Jun 2014 by

10/10, relaxing and rewarding....Great hosts and fellow travellers, stunning scenery and wonderful food, on and off the boat Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Jun 2014 by

My family and I enjoyed it very much. The wonderful scenery and the good food on and off the boat, Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2013 by

Wonderful holiday and great value for money. I'm considering running away to sea! Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2013 by

The most memorable part of my time on St. Hilda was the amazing spectacular scenery of Scotland, the sea lochs, seals, birds, jelly fish and the warm welcome. The knowledge and expertise of Colette and Michael on the whole trip. The lovely food, Colette is a great cook, but very modest! The being at sea. Sleeping in a Bunk, hearing the sound of the wind and waves, feeling warm and cosey! Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2012 by

What can one say about this holiday it has to be one of the best holidays I have ever been on with two of the best hosts you could ever wish to meet in Michael and Colette who make your trip so wonderful and informative and the fellow passengers John, Julie, Peter and Mike who it was a pleasure to sail with. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Aug 2012 by

The magic of this holiday can be summed up by our first morning afloat. Having learnt how to lay an anchor the night before, we woke to the gently lapping waters of a secluded loch...A wonderful holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Jun 2012 by

The most memorable part would have to be watching what must have been over 100 gannets dive bombing again and again like WW2 fighter pilots circling round for yet another attack...Michael and Colette are superb hosts - interesting, kind, great company. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Jun 2012 by

The most memorable parts included fishing, throwing lobster pots, looking at all these amazing colourful creatures under the microscope, relaxing and sunbathing! Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Jun 2012 by

The most memorable bit was being part of an amazing team (crew and guests). Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2012 by

Highlights included catching fish, watching seals from the dinghy, and working with Michael and Colette on the many aspects of sailing the boat...This was an excellent and challenging holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Sep 2012 by

Learning to sail with Michael was the best bit in my opinion. He taught us loads of knots, and we turned off the engine and sailed for a bit...It was fantastic! I really enjoyed it! It was one of the best adventury actiony holidays I've ever been on! Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2012 by

On the first night we anchored in one of the sea lochs. It was calm and the moon was out. We could hear the fish jumping out of the water and see the phosphorescence as they were chased by either a seal or porpoise. That was a great experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Jun 2012 by

The most memorable part of the holiday was sailing to Arran with all the sails out watching the wildlife. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Jun 2012 by

The food and the company of Michael and Colette (who is also a wonderful cook) were outstanding...This holiday was great and I would recommend it to anyone with the right attitude. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Jul 2010 by

Memorable for me for wonderful wildlife we really saw ( so often we have been disappointed, even in Amazon rain forest). We saw dolphins and seals and lots of beautiful sea birds, we fished and laid lobster pots. We caught a lobster, along with crab and star fish, and netted plankton which we examined under microscope. Read full review

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