On this special eight night cruise aboard Seahorse II you will be accompanied by your wildlife guide and host Dr Julie Ackroyd FHEA. In her role as Bird Wise Ranger for the North Kent Marshes she has been responsible for surveying the overwintering wildfowl on the Thames, Swale and Medway. She has also run coastal bird identification walks. If you have always wanted to start birding, or coastal species are new to you, then bring your binoculars and Julie will be delighted to help you identify what we see.
This guided cruise around the sea lochs of the Isle of Skye and the Small Isles (Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna) has to be one of the best ways to visit the Hebridean islands. Extraordinary Scottish wildlife is everywhere from minke and occasional killer and humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks, otters to many species of rare sea birds, especially sea eagles. Throughout the cruise you will anchor in secluded and tranquil sea lochs and sail against a spectacular backdrop of dramatic, pristine island coastlines, high sea cliffs, wild mountains and forests.
You start your cruise from Oban (Dunstaffnage marina), and visit the stunning Small Isles and the west coast of Skye, which in Loch Scavaig has the most spectacular wilderness anchorage in the whole of Scotland. We travel along the west coast of Skye and at the next anchorage you can even visit Skye's famous Talisker malt whisky distillery.
Please note that your voyage is weather dependent. Weather doesn't just mean good or bad weather. There are many considerations such as tidal gates, wind direction and strength, the strength and direction of currents, overfalls, and fetch.
Some of the places we may visit are:
Oban: Your departure point will be Oban (Dunstaffnage Marina), the gateway to the Hebridean isles. After a short introduction to life on board our small ship we depart for our first destination.
Loch Aline: In the picturesque Loch Aline there are woodland walks and, at the head of the loch, is ancient Ardtornish estate and woodland gardens.
Isle of Oronsay: Just south of Oronsay Island is secluded Loch Drumbie, situated between the island and the mainland. A squeeze between high sided cliffs and we are in a perfectly sheltered anchorage.
Eigg, The Small Isles: The "Sgurr of Eigg", an ancient, eroded volcanic plug that creates a dramatic cliff on the east side of the island and a high ridge which runs west. There are beautiful white-sand bays and a quartz beach that creates the famous "singing sands".
Rum, Loch Scresort, The Small Isles: Rum Island is a National Nature Reserve and famous for its herds of red deer and sheer sea cliffs which are home to nesting sea eagles. A visit to the Kinloch castle near the anchorage is definitely worthwhile.
Canna, The Small Isles: Canna is possibly the most beautiful of all the Small islands. Its 200 metre high cliffs of Compass Hill rise dramatically out of the sea and we have a good chance of seeing both sea and golden eagles. The anchorage on Canna is one of the best of the Small Isles and a stroll ashore to see the puffins and wild flower meadows of Sanday's Machair is a pure delight.
Muck, The Small Isles: The small island of Muck (Muck is Gaelic for 'Pig') is only a couple of miles long and a mile wide. Ashore there are wonderful coastal walks and many seabirds. On Horse Island, which is accessible at low water, there is a colony of puffins.
Loch Scavaig, Isle of Skye: The most dramatic anchorage in Scotland, if not Europe. The loch is situated below the mighty Black Cuillins mountains, famous for their difficult rock climbs, and a large colony of seals on Sgeir Doigich. Make sure to make time to enjoy this breathtaking wilderness.
Loch Harport, Isle of Skye: Home to the famous Talisker malt whisky distillery.
Tobermory: One of the most picturesque towns in the Hebrides. If you wish, we can make time to visit the local distillery or visit eagles (Mull is the best place in the UK to see eagles).
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.Enquire now
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Saw some beautiful scenery and wildlife including a minke whale, dolphins, porpoises and birds - lots of birds!