Malt Whisky and Wildlife

Sun 26th August 2018

From £1,200 p/p

From £1,200 p/p

8 nights / 6 spaces

Departs: Tobermory

Private charter available: £9,584

Malt Whisky and Wildlife

8 nights

Single Malt whisky, made in an individual distillery from malted barley, distilled in copper pot stills and matured in oak casks, is one of the wonders of Scotland. Mixed with magnificent wildlife and spectacular islands it creates an unforgettable Hebridean cruise on the ex-tall ship St Hilda.

In this whisky and wildlife cruise you can sample the delights of some of the most famous single malts from some of the most famous of Scottish "malt whisky islands" – Mull, Jura and especially Islay with its many distilleries. On the way you can see the incredible wildlife - soaring sea and golden eagles, basking sharks, minke and orca whales, porpoises, dolphins, seabirds and seals.

Reservations at the distilleries and transport costs (to and back from the boat) are already included in the price.

Please note that the below itinerary is an example only and is weather dependent.  



Arrive Tobermory, one of the most picturesque towns in the Western Isles and home to one of the oldest (1798) commercial distilleries in Scotland. Here they produce two malts: the un-peated Tobermory and the smoky Ledaig. You can visit the distillery and sample these very different flavours before embarkation or, if you prefer, after disembarkation. A dinghy ride from a pontoon in this most sheltered of natural harbours brings you to St Hilda, quietly riding at anchor. After a short introduction to life on board our small ship, we set sail for delightful Loch Aline in the Sound of Mull.



After breakfast we lift anchor and re-enter the beautiful Sound of Mull. Our destination is the remote island of Shuna. On the way, and at anytime during the trip, we may see soaring white-tailed or golden eagles (Mull is the best place in the UK to see eagles), basking sharks, whales, porpoises and dolphins, as well as many types of seabirds. From Sound of Mull we enter the Firth of Lorn and then, with the tide in our favour, (a must as the currents can run at five knots in these parts) we enter the Sound of Luing. Shooting past the famous Fladda lighthouse - the over falls and eddies of these fast-running waters make extraordinary spiral patterns and glassy runs in the sea. The waters calm as we pass the southern tip of Luing Island and enter Shuna Sound. Our quiet anchorage off the north coast of Shuna Island is a spot where otters frequently play along the shoreline.



Up anchor and down the Shuna Sound with tidal planning again important as we will pass the notorious Gulf of Corryvreckan with its six knot tides which can be heard roaring 30 miles inland when there is a storm of wind against tide. We pass the northern headland of Jura, where George Orwell’s cottage can still be seen where he wrote 1984, to sail down the Sound of Jura. The magnificent Munro mountains, the three “Paps of Jura”, can be seen rising over the craggy cliffs of Jura's shoreline to dominate the southern end of the Sound of Islay. Our destination anchorage is off Craighouse the home of the Jura Distillery and home to two distinct malts: sweet Origin and smoky Superstition.



We can visit the distillery before lifting anchor and setting sail for the Malt Whisky capital of the world – Islay. Our anchorage is in Kilnaughton Bay, off Port Ellen, which is Islay's main town (the Port Ellen distillery closed in 1983 but the maltings are still in operation).



We are spoilt for choice for distillery visits: Lagavulin distillery is just north of Port Ellen and, close by, are the other world famous distilleries of Ardbeg and Laphroaig. They all use Islay's peaty water and peated malt to give their famous powerful, salty, peaty, iodiney flavours. In contrast, the northern distilleries of Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich draw their water directly from springs to give lighter, nuttier flavours. Caol lla, close to Bunnahabhain, produces a delicate flavoured malt, while Bowmore, the oldest distillery on the island (1779), in the middle of the town of Bowmore and on the banks of a loch, has its own very distinctive peaty, salty taste.



Our destination is an anchorage in the upper reaches of beautiful Loch Sween - its seal population lining its banks to watch our progress.



Up anchor and we pass the natural anchorage of Tayvallich, once a famous Viking harbour, and head back down Loch Sween and then up the Sounds of Jura and Luing to our next destination - remote Loch Spelve, on the south side of Mull. Here the anchorage in this sheltered loch with its ancient oak forest gives us unparallel views of the mountains of Mull. There are otters along its shoreline.



Negotiating the narrow entrance to Loch Spelve we head out in to the Firth of Lorn to return by the Sound of Mull to Tobermory where we will finally anchor for the night. Aperitif on deck and then dinner followed by some malts - the end of a perfect voyage.



Disembark by dinghy after breakfast at around 11am. And, if you are not totally malt whiskied-out, there is always the Tobermory distillery!

Enquire now


Twin Cabin (p/p)£1,200.00
Twin Cabin En-suite (p/p)£1,592.00
Double Cabin En-suite (p/p)£2,000.00
Private Charter (whole boat)£9,584.00
2018 Accommodation Layout

Alternative dates for this cruise

Fri 19th May 20173 spaces
Check 2018 availability

Dates don't suit?

Get in touch and we will do our best to meet your requirements


Reasons to book

  • Extraordinary wildlife
  • Ex-tall ship with skipper and chef
  • Hoist the sails
  • Great value for money
  • Cruises through the Crinan Canal
  • Maximum of 6 guests per cruise
  • Breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner
  • Organised whisky tour
  • Organised activities for free
Holiday Tips

I felt that I was on a gourmet tour and it was often hard not to waddle out onto deck with how much we were given

Alison Hosker, 2016