Hebrides cruise, The Sounds of Mull, Luing, Shuna and Jura

“Six days of sublime cruising and sailing in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. With only six other passengers on board. And the best skipper you could hope for.”

Highlights

Tobermory, Isle of Mull | Oronsay island | Firth of Lorn | Sound of Luing | Luing Island | Shuna Sound and Island | Gulf of Corryvrecken | Jura | Sounds of Jura | Loch Spelve

Description of Hebrides cruise, The Sounds of Mull, Luing, Shuna and Jura

This Inner Hebrides cruise in Scotland is one of the most relaxing ways to discover this stunning coastline, its wildlife and remote islands. In the safe and welcoming hands of skipper and chef, you will cruise past the Inner Hebridean Islands of Luing, Lismore, Shuna, Jura and the Isle of Mull.

The itinerary below includes highlights such as Fladda lighthouse in the Sound of Luing, the Isle of Jura and Sound of Jura, historic Loch Linnhe and the Sound of Mull. Whichever Sounds we discover, they have one glorious thing in common. They are all the Sounds of Silence.

Bring a kayak and windsurfer on board if you want to play some more in the sheltered waters around some of these spectacular islands, or we can anchor for as long as you like if you want to swap water shoes for hiking boots and go discover some of the loch shores and mountain routes. With so few passengers, we are always delighted to adapt our itinerary to the adventures you want to have. Or, if you just want to chill on deck and enjoy the tranquillity of the Hebridean waters, that will suit us too.

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.

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

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. If you wish to visit a specific place or have a specific experience, such as fly fishing, sea eagle tours, whisky tasting, then please do let your skipper know and he will endeavour to meet your request.

Below we give an example of a 6 night itinerary. This cruise can be a 5 or 6 night itinerary depending on the dates you choose to travel.
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Date
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Basis
28 Aug 2019
£960
excluding flights
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30 Sep 2019
£960
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01 Oct 2019
£1350
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24 Jul 2020
£960
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25 Aug 2020
£1500
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15 Sep 2020
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02 Oct 2020
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05 Oct 2020
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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

Responsible tourism: Hebrides cruise, The Sounds of Mull, Luing, Shuna and Jura

Environment

Sailing can be a sustainable mode of travel and our holidays operate on a “leave only a wake” 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 fully qualified skipper, is an experienced sailor with extensive knowledge of 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!

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 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 or Mull regions 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.

11 Reviews of Hebrides cruise, The Sounds of Mull, Luing, Shuna and Jura

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 25 Jun 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The entire 6 days brilliant. Every aspect whether scenery, wild life, sailing or food was special

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Having suitable weather gear

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Benefited local trades people on the islands visited. Certainly raises awareness of environmental issues

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


see Question 1

Reviewed on 18 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Being peaceful at sea with great views of the islands and nice walks/ exploration on 'dry land'. We had a spell of very good Scottish weather with no midges and no mist (early May).

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Relax and enjoy your quiet time, and the company of your fellow passengers.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It was a small family company so the benefits would have stayed 'local'. Environmental concepts were respected on board.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very enjoyable

Reviewed on 20 Sep 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The opportunity to see aspects of the beautiful inner islands from the lochs was quite special. Fabulous sunsets and misty mornings, seals and dolphins, hikes and a little fun fishing were all memorable. The Captain and Chef were so attentve and cordial making our stay so comfortable. Not to mention the new friends we made in our cruise mates.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Book early and ask questions. Be prepared for changes in weather and follow all the pre-trip instructions. But most of all welcome this unique adventure as a beautiful experience of the best of the Scottish Isles.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - the crew is very mindful of protecting the environment and operating to respect conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


One of the best ever.

Reviewed on 25 Jul 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Sitting on the deck watching the wildlife & scenery

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It’s fantastic - please try it if quiet, beautiful scenery is what you like

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, I certainly did. The local people were most friendly & helpful overall

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?



Reviewed on 03 Jul 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Kayaking. Having dinner on the deck. Walking along beautiful trails.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


This is a great cross-generational holiday because elderly people can participate as much as they are able and there are activities too for younger people.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I really don't know.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A few comments/suggestions: 1) Given that the median age of our group was 80, if this is not an anomaly, I would suggest you seriously consider restructuring the cabins so that the beds are lower with the storage above. It was difficult for our elderly folks to get up and down from the bunks, especially as they needed to go to the toilet in the night. 2) the instructions in some cases were more appropriate for a sailing ship - such as gloves for sails and rain trousers etc.

Read the operator's response here:

All our shopping is done locally before departure and supplementary shopping done during the cruise is done at the various ports of call.
All of our waste is taken back to our base port where all waste is separated between recyclable and general waste.
We have a very strict “look and leave alone” approach for our holidays, with regards to the wildlife and marine ecosystem. Throughout the trip our “leave only a wake “ policy is reinforced by the skipper and crew who also often discuss with our passengers how marine life is endangered by over fishing and pollution.

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing all the wild life

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


St Hilda is an old boat and is very slow, going to Islands further out like Sky etc is too long a journey for a 5 day trip.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


No

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Disappointing and expensive for what it was.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Donna, Thank you very much for your feedback. St Hilda is an ex-tall ship. She was built in 1973 specifically for sail training with a crew of 20. We are extremely aware of the pristine waters in which we travel and operate a "leave only a wake" and a "look and leave alone" policy to respect the unique environment and wildlife. Our guests find that their trip offers a fantastic opportunity to observe birds and sea animals in pristine environments, no rubbish is left behind and a contribution is often made to the local economy with purchases from the crew and passengers at each stop en route. We also purchase all the food for the cruise locally before departure.

We are proud to keep competitive prices while our vessels undergo constant improvement and routine maintenance to maintain our high standards. All the reviews our company received this season were 5 star reviews.





Reviewed on 23 Jul 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


All kinds of weather while on sea. It made me feel very vivid :)

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Let it go, your luxurious city life. On the boat exists another kind of luxury: the sounds of the sea, a good cuisine, giving a hand while sailing, time to read a book, the birds, jellyfish, seals, dears and otters.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I think so.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very good. On a scale of 1 -10: 8,5.

Reviewed on 21 Jul 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Had a fantastic experience onboard St. Hilda. Simon and Louise were perfect hosts and made our trip magical. The food was super and plentiful, the weather caused some changes to be ade to our plan but this did not detract from a marvellous holiday.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared to look at changes to the planed trip as weather conditions really affect tge comfort onboard. We had a great time as we all agreed to changes to ensure that we did not face very stormy seas.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the context of everything onboard revolved around being conscious of environmental impacts and conservation, recycling etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A great experience.

Reviewed on 18 May 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The good views. The food was good.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I feel other travellers should be warned that there are steep steps down to the cabins. The trip also involved moving from the boat on to a small tender. I found
this quiet difficult.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All the food was locally sourced and so benefited the local economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The hosts were good and the other passengers friendly. The views were wonderful. The food was good. However I was disappointed because we seemed to spend a lot of time at anchor and not much time moving. We did not come close to following our itinerary, although I realise that the weather played a part. I also feel some warning should have been given about the steep stairs to the cabins.

Reviewed on 29 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The sailing trip was amazing and the best of all was meeting Colette and Michael, there where wonderful. Colette is a great chef, breakfast, lunch and dinner was very, very good! Even tea time is good. I am a Cook so i can tell food was exceptional. We fished and Colette prepared delicious macarel, and the most amazing rice.
It was an unforgetable experience and hopefully we will do it again. We worked at the boat and Colette and Michael were good teachers, we learned about sails, knots, nature, whisky, scotland of course... Spending time with that beautiful couple was a privilege.

Very profesional, pasion ate, and fun. We were very lucky to meet onboard another traveler from Australia, Ian, he brought magic to the trip with his good
humor and vibe. I will never forget the views, the seals, the birds, nature is all arround so you feel very conected with.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Do This trip! Take just the basic, and enjoy every single minute

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic !

Reviewed on 25 Jul 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The stunning scenery and peaceful moorings. The wildlife especially the seals and beautiful shoals of jellyfish floating like alien creatures in a calm sea. The first ever fish caught by one of our party - a splendid mackerel! The delicious food and good company of Michael and Colette. The successful descent into the dinghy of a nervous member of our party - if she can do it with Michael's patient help anyone can. Raising and lowering the anchor - tying knots and rope throwing and all things nautical!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Leave the smart clothes at home along with your mobile (signal so patchy it is frustrating , so unless essential best to forget it)! and settle into a different rhythm. Don't forget sunscreen and insect repellent for on shore - the midges can be fearsome! Read 'Para Handy' by Neil Munro for an insight into the atmosphere of the west highland ports and eccentric characters of the past.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Michael and Colette are committed to protecting the environment and this was obvious - recycling, local shopping etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A fantastic experience - not to be missed.

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