Mull Odyssey: Staffa, Iona and the Ross of Mull Cruise

Fri 11th August 2017

From £900 p/p

From £900 p/p

6 nights / Private charter

Departs: Tobermory

Mull Odyssey: Staffa, Iona and the Ross of Mull Cruise

6 nights

Mull is the heart of the Inner Hebrides and this is a magical Scottish islands cruise, which makes a circumnavigation of the island to visit the famous islands of Staffa and Iona. Iona, birthplace of western Christianity was where, in AD563, Saint Columba founded an abbey when he traveled over from Ireland.

Iona has been for centuries a place of Christian pilgrimage and here the early abbey monks created the wonderful Book of Kells. Saint Columba and 48 Scottish kings, including Macbeth, as well as some Irish and French kings, are buried on Iona. One can walk in peaceful solitude along the island paths away from the Abbey.

Staffa has one of the world's most spectacular natural marvels in Fingal's cave - one of the islands many sea caves. The soaring beauty of  the island and the cave's towering, six-sided basalt columns are famously captured by Mendelssohn's Hebridean Overture.

As we travel around Mull we can see incredible wildlife  - soaring sea and golden eagles, basking sharks, minke and killer whales, porpoises, dolphins, seabirds and seals. On board St Hilda do as little or as much as you want. Sit back and enjoy the trip as you travel through the island's picturesque Sounds and sea lochs; view the spectacular mountains of Mull including mighty Ben More; marvel at the headland lighthouses and castles and get involved in working the ex-tall ship St Hilda – it is all up to you.

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

Day

1

Arrive Tobermory, one of the most picturesque and colourful towns in the Western Isles. A dinghy ride from a pontoon in this most sheltered of natural harbours to St Hilda, quietly riding at anchor. After a short introduction to life on board our small ship, we set sail for the west Coast of Mull. Keeping well clear of Caliach Point we head down towards the Treshnish Isles, breeding grounds for seals and puffins, to Loch Tuath. Our destination is a pretty anchorage in Soribay Bay where we see, in the distance, the mountains of Mull dominated by Ben More (963 m) and close-by, across the Loch, is the picturesque Eas Fos waterfall tumbling into the sea.

Day

2

Up anchor and we are off to Staffa and its famous Fingal's cave. It may be difficult to anchor off the island because of the lack of sheltered anchorages but we can sail close to the island to see all of its natural beauty. If time we can head up to Loch Na Keil with its great views of mighty Ben More, to circle round the Island of Eorsa before we head south to the north side of the Ross of Mull. Dolphins and porpoises often follow us into our secluded anchorage in Loch na Laithaich near the little village of Bunessan.

Day

3

As there are no sheltered over-night anchorages on Iona, we organize a daytrip from the village of Bunessan. There is a short ferry crossing across the Sound of Iona to Iona.

Day

4

Up anchor and travel down the Sound of Iona. This a special Sound where the clear blue waters flow over the white sand and where the Abbey tower is used as a navigational mark to denote a safe passage. Out of the Sound the dangerous Torran Rocks have to be avoided as we travel along the rocky southern shores of the Ross of Mull to enter remote Loch Spelve. A narrow entrance leads us in to the tranquil waters of Loch Spelve with its surrounding ancient oak forest. The anchorage gives us a different perspective than our previous views of the wonderful mountains of Mull. There are resident otters along the loch's shoreline.

Day

5

Negotiating the narrow entrance to Loch Spelve we head out in to the Firth of Lorn to sail for a delightful little sea loch, Loch Aline, on the coast of Morvern. On the way we pass close to the imposing 13th century Duart Castle, home of the Clan Maclean.

Day

6

In Loch Aline there are woodland walks and, at the head of the loch, is ancient Ardtornish castle and woodland gardens. We return by the beautiful Sound of Mull to Tobermory where we will finally anchor for the night. Aperitif on deck and then dinner and malts.

Day

7

Disembark by dinghy after breakfast at around 11am - the end of a perfect voyage.

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Prices

Fore Cabin - 4 Berths (p/p)£900.00
Double Cabin En-suite (p/p)£1,380.00
Private Charter (whole boat)£6,360.00
2018 Accommodation Layout

Alternative dates for this cruise

Mon 29th May 20171 spaces
Check 2018 availability

Dates don't suit?

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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

Landing mackerel by the dozen and enjoying them as fresh as it's possible to be. Waitrose will never be able to compete!

Sue Fletcher, June 2012