We are committed to excellence in offering holidays to people who have a feel for the sea and its wildlife, both below and above the waves, as well as ashore. Our holidays operate on a strict “leave only a wake” policy. Our aim is to respect the sea and the local marine and shore-based environment. To leave everything as we find it is our motto, respecting the delicate eco-system balance of sky, sea and shore. Our “leave only a wake” policy is explained by the skipper at the start of every trip and practiced by guests and crew throughout the trip. Sailing is, of course, a very sustainable mode of travel. To achieve this “Leave Only a Wake” policy we have a series of aims:
Our aim is to create sustainable tourism by respecting the local sea and shore-based environment. We adhere to high standards of economic, environmental and social policy and practice in our interactions with clients, staff, core suppliers and partners as well as the wider social and ecological environment. We buy free range eggs, free range chicken and organic meat. Where possible we buy line caught, sustainable fish from the local fish-monger.
We look after our clients to the best of our ability and supporting them on the vessel in personnel safety and creating a respect for the marine environment. Our on board skills training aims to develop confidence and competence and we have extensive briefing of our safety and environmental procedures to our crew.
We have responsible standards of crew recruitment and development. At all times there are always two team members available. Our fully qualified skippers have sailed many thousands of sea miles. All activities in the water are monitored to protect both humans and the marine life.
Our onboard policy is that all rubbish is brought ashore and we have a strict recycling policy of all non-organic waste.
Our skippers and onboards wildlife guides discuss the local shore and marine environment, wildlife and ecosystems. We explain how to behave in a responsible manner to the animals (for example puffin and seal colonies) and birds (especially breeding colonies) that we encounter. We also help clients gain an awareness of local marine environment by encouraging them to study the nautical charts of the region as well making them aware of the ever changing Scottish weather patterns. The skipper keeps the clients regularly informed of local meteorological reports.
We ask guests to bring their own water bottles which we refill.
We do not use straws, plastic cutlery/plates, drink stirrers, mini butter/jam packets.
We recycle all of our waste where possible.
We buy items with minimal packaging.
Our trips start and finish at or close to railway stations, bus stations and ferry terminals; this makes it easy for our guests to travel to Oban by rail, bus and ferry and we provide you with information which will encourage you to use public transport. Vessel boarding and disembarkation times, where possible, tie in with the train and bus timetables.
Engine revolutions are kept to a minimum to reduce fuel consumption. We do not travel at night as we anchor in secluded in anchorages and in two of our vessels the fuel consuming generators are switched off to give quiet ships. On St Hilda, where possible, we set the sails. All fuel usage is recorded so that fuel consumption can be tightly monitored.
Our company depends largely on the internet and word of mouth for marketing to reduce paper waste.
Bed linen and towels are not changed daily.
We do not use imported flowers.
We try to use seasonal and locally produced food.
Vegans are catered for.
We use low energy LEDs where possible.
Our promise to support the community
We only employ the services of the local marina, shops, services, restaurants and guides. These suppliers all employ local staff.
We encourage our guests to visit locally important heritage sites, visit local gardens, craft shops and participate in cultural events. We also work with local wildlife rangers and tour guides. Tourism is increasingly a vital part of the income for the local residents of this somewhat remote, isolated but beautiful region of the Inner and Outer Hebrides. Thus we use all local products and local services with the intention of helping to support local businesses, create employment and contribute to the overall sustainable development of not only our starting point of our voyage but also in the islands and communities of the Inner and Outer Hebrides.
We aim to create a good relationship with tourism and the local communities and at all times are aware and try to bring awareness to the fragile marine ecosystems through which we sail.
St Hilda Sea Adventures is very aware of the special nature of the environment in which it operates and makes every effort to run the boat in a way that protects the pristine places it visits.