This trip is a unique, combined salt and fresh water boating experience, perfect for families, couples and singles. The cruise itinerary combines sailing the beautiful sheltered sea lochs of Argyll with the fun of cruising the fresh water Crinan Canal and the opportunity to walk (and cycle) along the pathways and explore onshore. Before entering the Canal at Ardrishaig you will cruise some of the most spectacular sea lochs of the Cowal Peninsula in Argyll on the West Coast of Scotland and watch for rare birdlife and marine mammals.
The Crinan Canal meanders through truly magnificent scenery and is rich in history, with many world-class heritage sites. It is a designated wildlife reserve with miles of forest walks and cycle ways. Managing the locks on the canal and the camaraderie of meeting others along the route is great fun. The combination of the excitement of being on the boat and exploring sea lochs and coastlines, makes this trip the perfect adventure holiday for everyone. To find out more about the Canal have a look at this web site: https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/canals/crinan-canal
The cruise will last for 7 nights/8 days but instead of disembarking in Holy Loch Marina (departure point), you will disembark at the other end of the Canal, near the Crinan Canal Basin. We spend some time exploring the sea lochs before entering the Crinan Canal at Ardrishaig, which is situated on the famous Loch Fyne. En route we spend time at the Kyles of Bute where there is a remarkable rare, common seal and bird colony (in July there are many nesting seabirds and the seal colony is very active). The Kyles of Bute, which we will travel through, are beautiful stretches of water and one of the most scenic sailing areas in the UK.
It will take two to three days (or more if you wish) from Holy Loch marina to reach the Crinan Canal entrance in Loch Fyne, enjoying the Argyll sea lochs and wildlife as we travel. We then explore the tranquil, fresh-water Canal. We have found that working the fourteen locks in the Canal is, although time consuming, a wonderful experience. There are lovely walks, many birds (sea and land) and historic sites, so it is important to have plenty of time to enjoy all these. There are also nice pubs serving real ales, an excellent seafood restaurant in Crinan, and some brilliant standing stones - all within easy reach.
On the 8th day you will disembark at the north side of the Crinan Canal (near the Crinan Basin). We will supply you with all the necessary details of embarking and disembarking the St Hilda.
This cruise is reversed in September when we embark at the north side of the Crinan Canal (near the Basin) and disembark in the marina at Holy Loch.
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