Guest Reviews

Our guest comments give a real flavour of the experiences they had on their Scottish wildlife cruise holidays so please read some of their comments below.  Click here for independent reviews from  Responsible Travel.

A truly transformative and wonderful journey. Being on a ship and moving according to the elements is regenerative. Not to mention finding my sea legs, learning about being at sea, laughing until my sides ached and eating wonderful food and finding out what it's like to be in a forgiving team. St Hilda is the real star - taking us to beautiful places and holding so much fun. It's like Noah's Ark meets Moby Dick meets the Simpsons!

—lAmanda - UK, Sept 2017

Great week with fabulous company and food - thanks Michael and Colette and guest Amanda. Look forward to seeing you again soon.  

—lDave, Peter & Ken - UK, Sept 2017

Absolutely fabulous week. Good weather, spectacular scenery, competent, cheerful and boisterous skipper, pleasant company and outstanding chef who served us incredible "Michelin" cuisine daily. 

—lMariella & Ken - Australia, Sept 2017

Time to say goodbye my lovely St Hilda. It's my second time sailing with this ship. She gave me a deep memory in my life. This voyage still gave me a great time. I want to come back again to see her. Hope more Chinese come to visit and shail on this ship. She has intelligence. She is my lovely ship.

—lGlory Gu - China, Sept 2017

Great time. See you both again!

—lVicky - Holland, Sept 2017

What an amazing week. Simon and Louise did a fantastic job, made me feel like an old friend and not a paying customer. Simon is a superb skipper and Louise's food is to die for. An unforgettable experience!!

—lGary - UK, Sept 2017

I had a wonderful time on the St Hilda.  Thank you.  In fact, I am struggling to get my land legs back. It feels very peculiar that the land doesn't move and I miss the sound of the sea slopping against the boat.  It was so lovely and quiet and peaceful.   Simon was such fun and so knowledgeable.  He knows so much about sailing, tides, navigating and everything was second nature to him.  He gave me absolute confidence that whatever happened he knew exactly what to do.  Louise never stopped and the food and drink was amazing.  They are the perfect hosts and looked after us so well.   The views and the scenery were beautiful.  I just wish we had seen more sun, but it really didn't matter.  Even the rain was fun when raising the anchor.  Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity on your beautiful boat.  I had a fantastic holiday.    

—lAlison - UK, Sept 2017

I have really enjoyed the whole holiday, one of the best I've ever been on. Full of amazing wildlife and unforgettable memories with great people.    

—lHolly - UK, Aug 2017

What a week. Everything we expected and more. Simon and Louise made it more enjoyable. Food good. The perfect crew.   

—lKevin - UK, Aug 2017

Lovely, lovely, lovely. Awesome crew, awesome guests, awesome experience!   

—lOlive - New Zealand, Aug 2017

Fab time! Excellent food and enjoyable sailing. Simon and Louise lovely hosts. Wish the trip could have been longer.   

—lBill & Vanda - UK, Aug 2017

I had a wonderful boat trip with the St Hilda and Simon and Louise were fantastic - food was great and service amazing.  

—lBelinda - Australia, Aug 2017

Such a spectacular trip around Mull. So enjoyed seeing the smaller isles and snorkeling around the boat. Lots of birds and some amazing skies with some memorable tranquil mornings watching birds, seals, dolphins and the secretive otter. Thank you to Simon and Louise for giving us a truly memorable week with all our family, keeping us safe, taking us on adventures and definitely very well fed.  

—lJustine - UK, Aug 2017

My intention in booking the trip was to get away from phones and try to de-stress. Mission accomplished! I enjoyed the trip enormously and cannot speak highly enough of the fabulous team. The trip has made me want to explore the islands more and this was a lovely way to do it. The wildlife we saw was fabulous too.Thank you for a truly memorable trip.

—lGaia - UK, Aug 2017

Thank you very much for a wonderful week, nice and sunny boat trips, delicious food, and the opportunity to see wonderful wildlife and to learn a bit about British lifestyle. I had a great time!

—lBrigitte - Germany, July 2017

Had a great time. Wonderful scenery. Fabulous experience. 
—lSusan - UK, July 2017

Amazing company, views and fabulous food. Thank you both Simon and Louise. The weather has been perfect. Such a lovely time. 
—lSarah - UK, July 2017

Dear Captain you've kept us safe well. Through seas calm or with swell. Sadly, good things must end. Thus my love I now send. But, St Hilda, for now it's farewell. 
—lGillian - UK, July 2017

The most memorable part of the holiday was our encounter with a big group of white-beaked dolphins jumping playfully around St Hilda and the beautiful beaches and peaks of the islands. Barra and Canna were amazing and the red sunset in Muck was unforgettable.
—lMaria - Greece, July 2017

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 made to our plan but this did not detract from a marvelous holiday. The vessel was larger than I thought and we were very comfortable in the aft cabin. The food was super with great variety and excellent quality.
—lMike and Andrew - UK, July 2017

A tip from one of our guests: Let it go, your luxurious city life. On St Hilda exists another kind of luxury: the sound of the sea, a good cuisine, giving a hand while sailing, time to read a book, the birds, jellyfish, seals, dears and otters. 
—lMonique - Holland, July 2017

The food onboard was excellent and plentiful. We mainly had great weather and wonderful views. It is so easy to lose yourself in the beautiful scenery and the sound of the waves. We laughed a lot and got to learn new things. I really enjoyed the relaxed and calm atmosphere of the cruise!   
—lSari - Finland, July 2017

An enjoyable and relaxing holiday. Weather generally good. Saw a golden eagle. Simon and Louise were excellent hosts - good food and conversation and always patient and helpful.  
—lCoral and David - UK, June 2017

Tremendous hospitality from Simon and Lou. Lovely group of fellow guests. Particularly enjoyed long walks.  
—lMargie - Sydney, June 2017

Excellent! Looking forward to the next trip. 
—lFran - UK, June 2017

A great holiday and wonderful experience marred by lousy weather but rescued by a great crew in Simon and Louise. Thanks Guys!
—lJeff - UK, June 2017

Thanks for a great time. Despite the weather we had a good trip. You made us very comfortable and welcome.  
—lCarol and John - UK, June 2017

Being "on the water" was exhilarating!  When the weather was good, it was glorious, and when the weather was stormy, it was exciting. I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on.
—lSue Ellen - USA, June 2017

Our second trip on the St Hilda after 5 years and it was another brilliant trip. Lovely food from Lou, and Simon was extremely helpful and patient with my knot skills (or lack of them!). Saw dolphins, otter, seals, puffin and terns. 
—lAilie and Nick - UK, June 2017

Had a great time. Simon and Lou were great fun, knowledgeable, entertaining. Thanks for the memories.  
—lPamela - USA, June 2017

A great week, good food, good company, good whisky! and great crew! 
—lStephen - UK, May 2017

Simon happy to explain things marine and navigational to a landlubber. Also ever so mindful about our safety and welfare. Both Simon and Louise pretty much on the go all the time - I admire their energy. Louise is kind, thoughtful and ever charming and dealt very efficiently with all her tasks. The menu planning, cooking and presentation were excellent. Access to navigational charts was fascinating. The double cabin was v. comfy. Simon and Louise were both lots of fun and inspired confidence. 'Oh what shall we have for lunch? We're such a particular bunch! We settled on mussels. Bought quick, without hassle. And cooked with no grit and no crunch!'

—lSue - UK, May 2017

Simon and Louise were very good hosts. They were very friendly. The food was very good and they were both very knowledgeable about the sea and boats.

Ann - UK, May 2017

Simon and Louise are absolute diamonds and fantastic hosts. The food was extremely nice and enjoyable.

Nicola - UK, May 2017

A wonderful week, stunning scenery, lots of wildlife to observe. Michael and Colette are so friendly and have a vast amount of knowledge and experience in so many subjects, immense patience teaching beginners how to tie knots, hoist sails and raise the anchor and just making sure everyone is comfortable and happy. At times my sides were aching with laughter with endless funny stories from the crew and other guests.

Andrew - UK, 2016

Definitely hard to choose, the enthusiasm that Michael & Colette had for all things nautical made anything we did seem interesting. Despite not sailing as much as we could have, due to reports of gale force winds surrounding us, we were kept entertained (and very well fed). We were told all about the area we sailed in, along with plentiful amusing anecdotes, and I recommend looking out for the creepy 'Old Maids of Bute' and other landmarks to go along with the amazing wildlife. Harbour porpoises kept appearing at random times and we definitely had a close up of large amounts of seals (from the little dingey we were touring on), along with a number of seabirds such as manx shearwaters, guillimots and gannets - which were fun to watch dive bombing the water in really impressive numbers. The trip was definitely successful not just for the activities but due to the people I sailed along with who made everything fun and entertaining and it was often difficult to move from the table, the stories were so overflowing. Speaking of the table - Colette definitely deserves a mention for her AMAZING food, 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. It was also suprisingly satisfying to both catch and eat our own fish. A special mention should be made for her ability to bake from scratch a lemon drizzle cake (made especially for my birthday) in force 5 or 6 winds. Overall I had a wonderful time and I hope that the St Hilda Adventures continues to be a success.

Alison - UK, 2016

An incredible sailing experience, with our wonderful hosts Michael and Colette. We were fishing for mackerel , shooting lobster pots, and collecting plankton all in five days. The wildlife is so fantastic, seeing Gannets diving, seals sunbathing and porpoises breaching was amazing ! Michael taught us so much about sailing and marine wildlife, whilst Colette looked after us all so well , with wonderful food , including the mackerel we had caught earlier! Our holiday was a truly memorable experience, one the children will never forget! We wish we could do it every summer but will definitely be back on St.Hilda one day!

Jon - UK, 2016

Getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life with the beautiful scenery of lochs and surrounding mountains together with wildlife sightings (especially common seals and a variety of birds). Michael taught us some basic yachting skills (such as knot tying, putting sails up, dropping and lifting the anchor) and Colette supplied us with plenty of lovely food and drink - she never stops! No light polution and clear skies allowed for spectacular stargazing. As an added bonus we got to collect and view plankton under the microscope, a truly unique experience. Thank you very much Michael and Colette for your hospitality and making this a memorable and enjoyable holiday.

Catherine - UK, 2016

Many many thanks for a lovely trip - it was everything we wanted it to be!

Derek - UK, 2016

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 ofcourse... Spending time with that beautiful couple was a privilege.Very professional, passionate, 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 around so you feel very connected.

Karen - UK, 2016

Had a great week with Colette and Michael sailing the Clyde and Crinan Canal. Saw some beautiful wildlife in some very picturesque moorings. The visit to Stuart House on Bute was well worth the effort. Beautiful house and gardens. The Crinan Canal was so peaceful and the scenery was great. Learning how to work the locks was challenging but well worth the effort. The food was excellent. Colette is a great chef and you will not go hungry. Talk to Mike about his different careers. Fascinating stuff, and great conversation. I would highly recommend a trip on the St Hilda. Your wont regret it.

Ian - UK, 2016

A great holiday despite some truly awful unseasonal weather. Wonderful wildlife and scenery - especially Loch Striven (when the winds abated). Mike is hugely knowledgeable about sailing and wildlife - and a lot of other things besides. Colette is an excellent cook, who managed to cater for my daughters manifold food intolerances. Both hosts made us feel very welcome. We are contemplating another trip next year.

Marilyn - UK, 2016

Thanks to you and Michael I had a wonderful trip on the St Hilda. A memorable experience which I shall never forget. Joining as a passenger and becoming part of a crew was a memorable experience on the St Hilda. Being hosted by such committed, patient and experienced owners made the transition a pleasure. I knew the coast we visited from a landward perspective, and was thrilled to achieve a long held desire to explore it from the sea. Learning to handle the gear, and to participate in the marine explorations, from mammals to microbes, was fascinating. We became a real 'crew' - shipmates.

Bill - UK, 2016

There were almost too many to mention! From learning about tying knots, how to work the boat, cruising for hours under sail, the care needed to find the right anchorage, to shooting a lobster pot and catching crabs, brittle stars and a conger eel (all thrown back), to learning about the environment by collecting plankton for controlled scientific, global research, to the incredible scenery and beautiful coastline, to the vast variety of birds and their young, to sightings of porpoise, dolphin and the rare common seal. To cap it all, we had a skipper, Michael, who is passionate about all things marine and his lovely 'crew' Colette, who provided us with breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, all cooked in a small galley and done in between working the boat! They both worked incredibly hard to make it an informative and most enjoyable holiday!"

Martin - UK, 2016

I would just like to say thanks for a great week. I had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed sailing with you on the St Hilda. I hope I can join you again for another trip sometime. Best wishes

Harry - UK, 2015

What a fantastic fortnight aboard the St Hilda during our trip to the Outer Hebrides. The wildlife was wonderful, porpoises playing in just in front of the bow of the boat as we left Vatersay bay and watching Guillemots diving. A good opportunity to practise our navigation as we headed down to Sandray, Pabbay and Mingulay via the Fisherman's gap. We enjoyed our time ashore, catching the post bus (a first for us) down to Eriskay where they filmed Whisky Galore! Lots of delicious meals served in ever changing spectacular settings. Thank-you Colette and Michael for a wonderful holiday.

Alex, Sylvie and Ruby - UK, August 2015

Just to say thank you for a wonderful week and congratulations for putting up with 6 very silly 70 year olds! We had a great time together and you looked after all of us so well. Best wishes.

Kate and Neil - UK, June 2015

I just wanted to say thank you again for being such good hosts on the St Hilda. I had a very good week with good company and very good food. I am still practising my knots - ironically it is the clove hitches that I keep getting wrong - think I have the bowline sussed now. I hope you do get some good sailing done in what remains of the Summer. Let me know if you are planning any more single trips.Thank you once again for allowing me to travel for a week on the St Hilda - a real experience.

Claire - UK, July 2015

Firstly, thank you for a lovely holiday. We all really enjoyed it​.​ A holiday is more than fine weather, we don't all get together very often and when we do we make the most of it, we had a great time full of laughs and fun. You did a fab job with the catering, wonderful food.

Chris - UK, June 2015

Can't thank you enough for a great weeks holiday where the itinerary, food and company were all first class. I will definitely be back to try another great week.

Trevor, June 2014

Back in my own real world after the Crinan Canal - how lucky we were with the weather that week. I can't begin to explain what St Hilda has done for me and my confidence. I really relish every minute aboard (and not aboard)-it is a different world. As well as working as a member of a very enthusiastic team and doing things I never thought I could (and now I can), the whole experience was exhilarating and very different from the Wildlife Cruise I went on last year. Michael and Colette are an amazing team, dedicated to ensuring we all get the most out of the experience. Every blip or bubble was investigated out there on the water. Might even volunteer as a rope thrower next time!!! Ha ha.

Ann, June 2013


e had such a wonderful 6 days with you on the St Hilda. We learnt so much about sailing and being part of a crew, marine conservation and wildlife. Many firsts--shooting the lobster pot and hauling it up to find 2 beautiful lobsters in there, learning how to drop and raise anchor, etc..and just enjoying the beauty and tranquility of the lovely sea lochs. Colette--you fed us all so well. Thank you both so much! You've whetted our appetite to discover more of Scotland!

Joyce, Singapore, July 2013

I just wanted to write a quick thank you for your warm hospitality onboard St Hilda's it truly was a holiday that reached and exceeded my expectations.  I'v returned home with wonderful memories of the peace of Loch Riddon and watching my son steer the dingy and holding up a lobster for the cameras.  I'v recommended this trip to so many people.

Diane and her son Harrison aged 7, Abu Dhabi, August 2013

We were very tired but relaxed after a great week spent in great company and with great food. Thanks again for a lovely holiday.

Ken and Andrea, June 2013

Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and expertise that gave us a holiday we will certainly never forget. With all best wishes.

Sophie, Phil, Will & Lottie, August 2012

Well what can I say?, You certainly did not disappoint!!!!!!!! I have been to some wonderful places but your holiday together with our trip to the Isle Of Mull has outshone anything I have ever experienced. Whilst on Mull we had 3 stags feeding in the front garden one morning at 5am, and a sea eagle flew in above us as we arrived. Needless to say I will keep checking Rightmove to see if any properties become availble overlooking LochDon were we stayed. We felt you encompassed us into your space on your much loved boat, your passion for your boat, sailing, wildlife and the enviroment is a credit to you both. Thank you again.

Janet and Graham, August 2012

Many thanks for a wonderful break in a beautiful part of the world and for spoiling us in what is effectively, your own home! Having such kind, generous and patient hosts was fantastic. It really was a pleasure spending time with you both. Andrea loved the wildlife and watching the world go by on deck. I learned an awful lot about sailing. We will get around to posting pics and reviews, but I wanted to let you know how much the trip meant. Thank you!

Ken, August 2012

Thank you so much for such a fantastic holiday last week - food, company, knots, eels, sailing, plankton.......... everything was great! We all really really enjoyed it.

Ailie, Nick and Katrina, July 2012

St Hilda sea adventures was memorable for so many reasons! Colette and Michael are wonderful hosts and they certainly know their "stuff". We fished, threw lobster pots, put up the sails, collected plankton and looked at all these amazing colourful creatures under the microscope. We relaxed and sunbathed on deck... The weather was perfect. The meals that Colette produced were magnifique! The mussels collected in Loch Striven were soon moules marinier ... Absolutely delicious It was fantastic, I met some wonderful people and haven't laughed so much for ages. A real tonic! I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on.

Doreen, 2012

Wonderfully different and definitely for those who wish to be part of what is going on. I experienced so much, learned so much and did things I never thought I would - or even could; I received so much encouragement. I will go again; even now thinking of next year.

Ann, May 2012

It was all wonderful - watching over 100 gannets divebombing again and again like WW2 fighter pilots. Spectacular. Gathering wild mussels as big as the palm of your hand, then seeing them reappear as moules marinieres . Landing mackerel by the dozen and enjoying them as fresh as it's possible to be. Waitrose will never be able to compete!

Sue, June 2012

Thank you for a brilliant holiday. You were very welcoming hosts and especially welcoming of the boys. They loved the instructions in navigation, knot-tying and being allowed the hands-on experience of steering the St Hilda. The food was wonderful -as you must have known because there were only empty plates!

The Wolffe Family, UK, May 2010

Memorable for me was the wonderful wildlife we really saw (so often we have been disappointed, even in the Amazon rain forest). We saw dolphins and seals and lots of beautiful sea birds, we fished and laid lobster pots. We caught a lobster, along with crab and star fish, and netted plankton which we examined under microscope. My sons enjoyed the sailing, one son found he loved making sea knots. We swam in the sea. We all enjoyed beautifully cooked and plentiful food and the good company of our host and hostess.

Penelope, July 2010

A big thank you to all of you for giving us such an enjoyable holiday. Relaxing, informative and the food was excellent. Also I loved helming the St Hilda!

The Simpson Family, UK

We all had a great time on board the St Hilda. Ella says it was her best holiday ever! Many thanks for making it so enjoyable. I hope we can return sometime. The photos are a nice reminder of good times and the fabulous weather!

The Campbell Family, UK

Thanks Colette and Michael for a great holiday. The highlights for me were the sailing and your wonderful food which I expect you can tell we all enjoyed....Ollie hasn't stopped talking about fishing, so much so that we had to buy him a rod in Berwick to shut him up and so that he can go fishing off West Bay pier when he visits grandparents- I'm hoping for a nice sea bass! I have extracted the plankton photos from my ipod so I can keep - I am going to have to look up what they are all called again - I should have taken notes.

The Williams Family, UK

We had a wonderful time. Michael and Colette were perfect hosts and tutors, especially for our son Alex (15) who loved the whole thing, from steering the dinghy to learning the perfect bowline. Colette's food was just as I like food to be - delicious and straightforward - and Michael is excellent company. So for a family like ours - wanting to mess about in boats and see the Clyde and maybe learn a little seamanship - I can't think of a better way to do it.

The Jack Family, UK

I loved the mountains, I loved the St Hilda, and I especially loved the sound of waves on the hull and being gently rocked as I lay in my bunk at night. What unforgettable stars. I will be back.

Juan Luo, UK

This could be one of the best family holidays ever. We all loved everything about being on the boat; the food, the messing about on (and in!) the water, the wildlife and the trips ashore. Thanks for looking after us so brilliantly, next time I will bring the windsurfer!

Sue and Robert, UK

I found the St Hilda experience extremely enjoyable; it was both mentally and physically stimulating, exactly what I needed! The yacht is fun to sail, even for the inexperienced with Michael happy to instruct in all aspects of seamanship.

Roger, UK

We wanted a holiday that was a bit different and one that would suit the whole family from our oldest son at 22 to youngest daughter at 8 years. A small advert to sail St Hilda was spotted by chance in the RSPB magazine. What a lucky break. A week sailing a tall ship, navigating, steering, working the sails, catching supper, spotting wildlife and all this amongst the beautiful islands and lochs of the Scottish West Coast - magnificent.

Jon and Theresa, UK

I had the privilege to do a trip aboard the St Hilda, a boat full of old world charm, what a pleasure it was to take the helm over the misty Scottish lochs, eat a meal in the middle of a sea loch and to taste an old Scottish malt while dangling a hook for a passing fish. Sailing aboard the St Hilda brings an internal peace from this enchanted region. To live simply and to relate to a warm and sympathetic crew - it is a marvelous adventure, an escape from an agitated world.

Laurent and Michou, Switzerland

Latest News

The Guardian newspaper has chosen St Hilda Sea Adventures as one of the ten best small-scale cruises worldwide!

The Guardian chooses St Hilda Sea Adventures as one of the top ten small-scale cruises worldwide The Guardian

"One of the Ten Best Small-Scale Cruises Worldwide"

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