This three or four night taster cruise is a perfect way to experience life aboard a small cruise ship exploring the Scottish islands on the beautiful west coast of Scotland.
Do as little or as much as you want. Sit back and enjoy the trip as you travel through the Sounds and sea lochs; view the spectacular mountains and fast running tides that make extraordinary spiral patterns and glassy runs in the sea; marvel at the headland lighthouses and castles and all the wildlife and, if you want, become involved in working our wee small ships.
The sheltered waters are perfect for learning to sail against a spectacular backdrop of pristine coastline, mountains and forests. For extra fun, bring your kayak and windsurfer, swim from the boat or go ashore on remote islands to explore. Also don't forget your walking boots for spectacular island walks with wonderful views of the Sounds.
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. Depending upon the weather and nature’s conditions, wildlife viewing varies.
If you wish to visit a specific place or have a specific experience, such as sea eagle tours or whisky tasting, then please do let your skipper know and he will endeavour to meet your request.
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 lift anchor and set sail to our first destination.
Loch Linnhe: The long Loch Linnhe goes all the way to Fort William. We travel past Lismore Island for the sheltered anchorage off Shuna Island. We can go ashore and visit the local nature reserve on the mainland and admire the famous Castle Stalker. There are lovely walks across the causeway bridge to Port Appin.
Isle of Shuna: Sail along the Isle of Lismore and into 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. We shoot 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 the Isle of Shuna is a spot where otters frequently play along the shoreline. On the way to the remote island of Shuna, and at anytime during the trip, we may see soaring sea or golden eagles, basking sharks, whales, porpoises and dolphins, as well as many types of seabirds.
Crinan Canal: We can anchor just outside the Crinan Canal which has 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.
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.
Tobermory: Travel up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory where we will spend a few hours before heading to Loch Spelve. This is one of the most colourful villages in the Western Isles and famous for its whisky distillery which is situated on the waterfront. We anchor in the Bay where a Spanish galleon was supposedly sunk with all its treasure.
Loch Spelve: Loch Spelve is on the south side of Mull. To enter we have to negotiate the narrow entrance. The anchorage in this sheltered loch, which is surrounded by an ancient oak forest, gives us unparalleled views of the mountains of Mull. There are resident otters along its shoreline.Enquire now
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I would highly recommend a trip on the St Hilda. You wont regret it.