The Magical Outer Hebrides and Shiant Isles

The Magical Outer Hebrides and Shiant Isles

This magical Hebridean cruise wanders through the Scottish isles of the Inner and Outer Hebrides visiting the famous Small Isles (Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna) and remote Shiant Isles. They are all part of a kaleidoscope of islands scenery: the soft white sandy beaches with turquoise waters of the Outer Hebrides, steep sea cliffs with nesting seabirds and soaring eagles, to the ragged Scottish Highland mountains.  The Outer Hebrides are composed of some 200 islands with evocative names such as Mingulay, Barra, South Uist, Benbecula and Taranay and is one of the world’s remotest and beautiful cruising areas. The Shiants are home to thousands of seabirds with a puffin population of over a quarter of a million! Our stops on the North West of Scotland is dominated by high mountains and remote sea lochs yet we still have time to anchor off the picturesque Highland village of Plockton. 

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:

Tobermory: One of the most picturesque towns in the Western Isles. If you wish, we can make time to visit the local distillery or visit eagles.

Canna: We can set sail for the scenic anchorage at Canna and its neighbouring Sanday. There are seabirds galore on the island's high sea cliffs - puffins, shags, razorbills, black guillemots, Manx shearwaters - and breeding there, in the high crags, are sea eagles. There are two lovely beaches, three churches, a tiny ruined castle and a population of less than 20! A short climb up Compass Hill gives wonderful views of Isle of Skye and our destination, the islands of the Outer Hebrides.

Castle Bay, Barra: We can anchor at the village of Castlebay on the island of Barra of the Outer Hebrides. Castlebay was where much of the film Whisky Galore was made about the WW II stranding of the S.S. Politician in Eriskay Sound with her cargo of 260,00 whisky bottles! Castlebay was once an important herring curing station and near our anchorage, surrounded by water, is Kisimul Castle, the ancient seat of the MacNeils of Barra.

Vatersay Bay: After sailing past the remote islands of Sandray, Mingulay and Berneray with a possible visit ashore to once inhabited Mingulay we anchor off the most beautiful of the sandy beaches on the east side of the Outer Hebrides.

Lochmaddy: Situated on North Uist, Lochmaddy is the island’s main village. The village was probably settled by the Norse and at one time was a base for seventeenth century pirates!

East Loch Tarbet/Scalpay: This is an island-studded, wide sea loch in the Isle of Harris that makes an interesting overnight anchorage. There is a possible anchorage off the scenic isle of Scalpay which is joined to Harris by a bridge.

Shiant Isles: The so called ‘enchanted’ or ‘holy isles’ in Gaelic, they live up to their name. Situated between Lewis and Harris and northern Skye they are a haven for birdlife. They were once owned by Compton Mackenzie who wrote the famous novel Whisky Galore.

Plockton: A most picturesque Scottish Highland village with a natural harbour and wonderful views of Loch Carron. This picture postcard village was famously part of the Hamish Macbeth TV series. 

Loch Nevis: Another spectacular sea loch that runs inland from the Sound of Sleat. Surrounded by mountains and is one of the remotest sea lochs in Scotland.

Loch Aline: A delightful loch off the Sound of Mull. In Loch Aline there are woodland walks and, at the head of the loch, is ancient Ardtornish estate and woodland gardens. 

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Reasons to book

  • Extraordinary wildlife cruises
  • Skipper & chef included
  • Hoist the sails
  • Great value for money
  • Cruises through Scottish Canals
  • Maximum of 8 guests per cruise
  • Breakfast, snacks, lunch & dinner
  • Organised whisky tours for free
  • A perfect adventure for all ages
Holiday Tips

I would highly recommend a trip on the St Hilda. You wont regret it.

Ian, 2016