British Isles cruising holidays travel guide


Scotland wins hands down when it comes to British Isles cruising holidays, not surprising given the tradition of marine meanderings along the west coast, where island idylls like the Inner and Outer Hebrides call out to visitors like seductive sirens. Nothing dangerous about these trips, however, neither for travellers nor for the environment, when you travel with skippers who are totally sussed about sustainability. And Scotland is sussed. Respecting and protecting its wildlife filled islands, dolphins, whales and other marine life, and also tapping into plenty of local communities and local food en route. Drop anchor and take the dingy on land to buy mussels for dinner. Or fish for your own mackerel. On British Isles cruising holidays you will also be seduced by the types of boats on offer, from converted wooden fishing vessels to elegant tall ships. There are plenty of options to rock your boat.
Read our British Isles cruising holidays travel guide for more details.

Is a British Isles cruise for you?


Go on a British Isles cruising holiday if…

… you are craving a digital detox and complete switch off from urban madness.

… you are looking for something a little bit different as a family holiday. Great for older children who want to learn some sailing skills, with a bit of fishing, swimming and sometimes kayaking thrown in.

… you enjoy wildlife watching. Scotland, in particular, is a revelation, with dolphins, porpoises, humpback whales, superb birdlife including sea eagles as well as seal colonies on remote sandy beaches.
… you are an island lover. Isles off the Isles. With 51 inhabited islands in the Hebrides alone, not to mention hundreds of others, they are like little gems just waiting to be gathered up and treasured.

Don’t go on a British Isles cruising holiday if...

… you like to be in control. The skipper is boss on these trips. And the skipper’s boss is the weather. And the coastguard. So no messing with them either.

… you are a wheelchair user. Although tour operators do their utmost to cater for people with special needs, steps, narrow doorways and berth beds aren’t always practical for those with mobility issues.

… you don’t like getting wet. Even if it doesn’t rain, you will need to get in and out of dinghies or hop onto beaches. And if you want guaranteed sun, well, these are the British Isles. It’s not our forte.

… you dislike being sociable. Communal eating and hanging out is part of hanging out on a boat.
If you'd like to chat about British Isles Cruising or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700

Best time to go on a British Isles cruising holiday


In Scotland, if you want to see porpoises, basking sharks and minke whales the best time to go on a cruising holiday is the summer months. For whales, April to September are best.
The Dartmouth Royal Regatta, which you can immerse yourself in on board a tall ship, takes place at the end of August every year.
Birdlife is at its most buoyant in Scotland around June.
Scotland is also known for its midges, June to October. The great news is that on boat trips, you will rarely encounter them, as they don’t like the sea breezes.
Going on a small ship cruise out of season is just bliss. April and September are great months for empty waters, beaches and welcoming pubs.
Remember that in Scotland, the summer school holidays are different to rest of British Isles if you want to book a cruising holiday. They tend to start third week of June with schools back mid-August, so popular islands such as Skye and Mull are quieter before and after those dates.
Photo credits: [Scottish loch cruise, topbox: john mcsporran] [Puffins: Scott Presly] [Helpdesk box: Majestic Line]
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: kanu101]