Holiday Tips for Cruising in Scotland

To make your mini Scottish cruise as enjoyable as possible we highly recommend that you take note of these holiday tips.

For Your Comfort, Convenience And Safety

Baggage: Storage space is limited on board so we advise soft bags for ease of stowing your luggage, especially on St Hilda and Gemini Explorer.

Dress: Casual wear is best on board. Layered clothing will cope with all temperatures and a waterproof jacket and lightweight, waterproof trousers are necessary for when out on deck or in the tender. It is a good idea to bring a pair of gloves to help you work the ropes and sails if you want to participate in sailing/working St Hilda. 

Footwear: Please bring a clean pair of shoes for wearing on deck and inside the boat (ideally non-slip such as deck-shoes) and either a pair of clean, light, walking boots or wellingtons for trips in the tender and to go ashore. To protect the decks, ropes, sails etc, all footwear brought on board should be clean of mud and grit and high-heeled shoes should not be worn on board. 

Berths: All cabin linen and towels are supplied including toweling dressing gowns on Seahorse II and Gemini Explorer for the cabins with no en-suite. It is a good idea to bring a spare towel in case you wish to go for a swim. Hand-wash is provided in each cabin but toiletries are not.

Health and medical services: Let us know of any special medical conditions e.g. allergies. If you need to keep any medication refrigerated, or have any medical devices that will need charging etc, let us know and we will check their availability and compatibility with the ship’s electrical system. The boat is never far from land, therefore there is no requirement for a doctor or nurse on board. Guests should ensure that, to their knowledge, they are fit to take a holiday during which immediate medical assistance may not be available. The skipper is a qualified First Aid Officer and there is a comprehensive First Aid kit on board. Guests should bring any medicines or pharmaceutical products they are likely to need during their time on board. If you suffer from seasickness don’t forget the Kwells just in case, and don't forget the sun cream!

Life jackets and liferafts: Life jackets are provided for each passenger and are required to be worn when in the ship’s tender. Buoyancy aids are also provided and must be worn if kayaking or paddleboarding. There are liferafts onboard each of our small ships.

Midges: While on board you are safe from the infamous Scottish midge which is around in June, July and August. However you may need to apply repellent when you go ashore. 

Itinerary: The cruise itinerary is flexible to suit the prevailing and forecast weather conditions, to follow the most sheltered and safe option. This is discussed with the passengers each day but the final decision rests with the skipper.

Children: We would like to know the age of the children so that we can ensure we prepare the boat for them – for example that we have the right size life jackets, some extra drinks, special drinking cups etc. Also please let us know if waterproof mattress protectors are required.

Meals: Please let us know in advance of any particular food and drink dislikes. All meals are prepared by your onboard cook and served in the saloon. Each day there is a new menu, which can be flexible to suit any dietary preferences or requirements.

Coffee/tea/water: Coffee and tea are offered during the day. A small water bottle which you can refill regularly on the boat might be useful.

Alcohol: House wine (half a bottle) and continental lager is complimentary with the pre-dinner aperitif and evening meal. However, feel free to bring your favourite tipple on board. On Seahorse II, Gemini Explorer and Speideren there is a limited supply of ice however, on St Hilda we are unable to supply ice. On Seahorse II, Gemini Explorer and Speideren we have a fine (if limited) selection of single malts in the honesty bar.

Binoculars: We recommend that you bring your own binoculars to enjoy the wildlife.

Further Useful Information

Communications: The cellular system in the Hebrides can be irregular; however during every day at some time you should be able to use your mobile phone and there are phones on shore. The boat has access to emergency services via VHF radio. It is most of the time possible to access the internet from local hotels, pubs, or use your mobile phone as personal hotspot whenever the network allows it.

Electricity supply:

Seahorse II / Gemini Explorer / Speideren - Seahorse II’s, Gemini Explorer's and Speideren's electricity supply is 240V AC. All cabins have a power outlet for a UK plug. If you are coming from another country please organise an adapter to fit a standard 3-pin UK socket. Most modern electronic devices (laptops, tablets, mobile phones, camera battery chargers,  etc) will work on either 110V or 220V supply. But it is a good idea to check your device before plugging in!

St Hilda - St Hilda’s electricity supply is 24V DC when away from the shore.  However, you can recharge your electronic devices (phone, tablets, cameras, laptops, etc,) using the boat’s transformer. In port, standard 240 V AC UK 3-pin sockets are provided in the main cabins once we have connected to the shore supply. 

Emergency contact: We shall ask you to give us two emergency contacts, which will be collected during the booking process. During your stay onboard, you may be reached on our phone: 07984316178/07745550988 and urgent messages can be sent via our office email: marked for your attention.

Gratuities: Tipping is discretionary.

Smoking and vaping: Smoking and vaping are not allowed anywhere inside the vessel. Smoking and vaping is allowed, after discussing with the Skipper, on a designated area on the aft deck using the receptacle provided. Guests should be sensitive to the non-smokers. 

Valuables: Please keep your valuables safe below. On deck, please make sure you secure all personal belongings to avoid loss overboard.

Weather: The weather can be quite localized and can change from sun to rain and back again from hour to hour not just day to day! This type of weather system is of course what makes the landscape so stunning and dramatic. Our guests assure us it is worthwhile putting up with occasional rain to enjoy spells of glorious weather and spectacular scenery. Our itineraries and activities are flexible to get the best of the weather on each day.

Please contact us regarding any queries, we are happy to answer any questions to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.