Hebrides cruise, The Sounds of Mull, Luing, Shuna and Jura

“Six days of sublime cruising and sailing in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. With only six other passengers on board. And the best skipper you could hope for.”

Highlights

Tobermory, Isle of Mull | Oronsay island | Firth of Lorn | Sound of Luing | Luing Island | Shuna Sound and Island | Gulf of Corryvrecken | Jura | Sounds of Jura | Loch Spelve

Travel Team

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27 Apr 2020
£960
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24 Jul 2020
£960
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25 Aug 2020
£1500
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15 Sep 2020
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02 Oct 2020
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05 Oct 2020
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20 Apr 2021
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29 Jun 2021
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20 Aug 2021
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22 Sep 2021
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23 Sep 2021
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09 Oct 2021
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Vacation type

This vacation is designed for families, small group and solo travelers

Our small ship cruises in Scotland take place on a choice of three converted small ships: St Hilda (a traditional wooden ex-tall ship with maximum capacity for 6 guests), Seahorse II (a former ferry cruiser from Norway with maximum capacity for 12 guests) or Gemini Explorer (a converted lifeboat cruiser with maximum capacity for 7 guests). All three ships have been converted to cruise the western islands of Scotland in comfort and style and are especially suited to families, solos or groups of friends. Children from 5 years old to the most demanding teenager love the experience. Included in the price are all meals and your onboard skipper and chef who will provide an unforgettable vacation for everyone on board. This vacation is operated by a company based in the vacation destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. If possible they will tailor-make your vacation to suit your requirements including length and start date of trip.


 

Responsible tourism

Hebrides cruise, The Sounds of Mull, Luing, Shuna and Jura

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

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.

Environment

We are committed to excellence in offering vacations to people who have a feel for the sea and its wildlife, both below and above the waves, as well as ashore. Our vacations 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.

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.

13 Reviews of Hebrides cruise, The Sounds of Mull, Luing, Shuna and Jura

4.5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
9
2
1
1
0

Reviewed on 11 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Sitting on deck in an enchanted cove, staring at the view; the strangers who became friends; and whenever I can't get to sleep in the city or am feeling stressed, I will think of lying in bed on this vacation, gently rocking with the waves, and the gobsmacking brilliance of the stars.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The quarters are confined so bring your good manners and, figuratively and literally, very little baggage. I didn't want to wear waterproof overtrousers and was pleased to discover stylish waterproof overskirts, made by a small business that deserves encouragement. Mine served me well during a blustery trip in the tender. Visit Konrad's photo gallery on Jura, to the left of the landing as you approach. His work is so remarkable you might think the images are heavily manipulated, but they're not.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The company is local and there were plenty of occasions to support local business. We travelled only by boat or foot and were able to bask in Nature while making little impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A joyful adventure. Everyone I encountered from the company radiated job satisfaction. Our skillful, charming skipper, Chris, inspired confidence and led us to marvellous places. Kerry was a terrific cook and cheerful company who made light of all the work she did.

Reviewed on 09 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Spending time with my fellow travelers and the crew. Skipper was very patient with landlubbers. Chef produced the most amazing meals throughout the trip.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The journey on this boat gives you an authentic experience of being on a wooden vessel that accomodated sea cadets. If you want to spend time sailing on a small boat which is bringing you close to nature this is the trip for you.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely reduced environmental impact and supported local communities.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Amazing experience.

Reviewed on 25 Jun 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The entire 6 days brilliant. Every aspect whether scenery, wild life, sailing or food was special

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Having suitable weather gear

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Benefited local trades people on the islands visited. Certainly raises awareness of environmental issues

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


see Question 1

Reviewed on 18 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Being peaceful at sea with great views of the islands and nice walks/ exploration on 'dry land'. We had a spell of very good Scottish weather with no midges and no mist (early May).

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Relax and enjoy your quiet time, and the company of your fellow passengers.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It was a small family company so the benefits would have stayed 'local'. Environmental concepts were respected on board.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very enjoyable

Reviewed on 20 Sep 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The opportunity to see aspects of the beautiful inner islands from the lochs was quite special. Fabulous sunsets and misty mornings, seals and dolphins, hikes and a little fun fishing were all memorable. The Captain and Chef were so attentve and cordial making our stay so comfortable. Not to mention the new friends we made in our cruise mates.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Book early and ask questions. Be prepared for changes in weather and follow all the pre-trip instructions. But most of all welcome this unique adventure as a beautiful experience of the best of the Scottish Isles.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - the crew is very mindful of protecting the environment and operating to respect conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


One of the best ever.

Reviewed on 25 Jul 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Sitting on the deck watching the wildlife & scenery

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It’s fantastic - please try it if quiet, beautiful scenery is what you like

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, I certainly did. The local people were most friendly & helpful overall

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?



Reviewed on 03 Jul 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Kayaking. Having dinner on the deck. Walking along beautiful trails.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


This is a great cross-generational vacation because elderly people can participate as much as they are able and there are activities too for younger people.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I really don't know.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A few comments/suggestions: 1) Given that the median age of our group was 80, if this is not an anomaly, I would suggest you seriously consider restructuring the cabins so that the beds are lower with the storage above. It was difficult for our elderly folks to get up and down from the bunks, especially as they needed to go to the toilet in the night. 2) the instructions in some cases were more appropriate for a sailing ship - such as gloves for sails and rain trousers etc.

Read the operator's response here:

All our shopping is done locally before departure and supplementary shopping done during the cruise is done at the various ports of call.
All of our waste is taken back to our base port where all waste is separated between recyclable and general waste.
We have a very strict “look and leave alone” approach for our vacations, with regards to the wildlife and marine ecosystem. Throughout the trip our “leave only a wake “ policy is reinforced by the skipper and crew who also often discuss with our passengers how marine life is endangered by over fishing and pollution.

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing all the wild life

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


St Hilda is an old boat and is very slow, going to Islands further out like Sky etc is too long a journey for a 5 day trip.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


No

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Disappointing and expensive for what it was.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Donna, Thank you very much for your feedback. St Hilda is an ex-tall ship. She was built in 1973 specifically for sail training with a crew of 20. We are extremely aware of the pristine waters in which we travel and operate a "leave only a wake" and a "look and leave alone" policy to respect the unique environment and wildlife. Our guests find that their trip offers a fantastic opportunity to observe birds and sea animals in pristine environments, no rubbish is left behind and a contribution is often made to the local economy with purchases from the crew and passengers at each stop en route. We also purchase all the food for the cruise locally before departure.

We are proud to keep competitive prices while our vessels undergo constant improvement and routine maintenance to maintain our high standards. All the reviews our company received this season were 5 star reviews.





Reviewed on 23 Jul 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


All kinds of weather while on sea. It made me feel very vivid :)

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Let it go, your luxurious city life. On the boat exists another kind of luxury: the sounds of the sea, a good cuisine, giving a hand while sailing, time to read a book, the birds, jellyfish, seals, dears and otters.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I think so.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good. On a scale of 1 -10: 8,5.

Reviewed on 21 Jul 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Had a fantastic experience onboard St. Hilda. Simon and Louise were perfect hosts and made our trip magical. The food was super and plentiful, the weather caused some changes to be ade to our plan but this did not detract from a marvellous vacation.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared to look at changes to the planed trip as weather conditions really affect tge comfort onboard. We had a great time as we all agreed to changes to ensure that we did not face very stormy seas.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the context of everything onboard revolved around being conscious of environmental impacts and conservation, recycling etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A great experience.

Reviewed on 18 May 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The good views. The food was good.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


I feel other travelers should be warned that there are steep steps down to the cabins. The trip also involved moving from the boat on to a small tender. I found
this quiet difficult.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All the food was locally sourced and so benefited the local economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The hosts were good and the other passengers friendly. The views were wonderful. The food was good. However I was disappointed because we seemed to spend a lot of time at anchor and not much time moving. We did not come close to following our itinerary, although I realise that the weather played a part. I also feel some warning should have been given about the steep stairs to the cabins.

Reviewed on 29 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The sailing trip was amazing and the best of all was meeting Colette and Michael, there where wonderful. Colette is a great chef, breakfast, lunch and dinner was very, very good! Even tea time is good. I am a Cook so i can tell food was exceptional. We fished and Colette prepared delicious macarel, and the most amazing rice.
It was an unforgetable experience and hopefully we will do it again. We worked at the boat and Colette and Michael were good teachers, we learned about sails, knots, nature, whisky, scotland of course... Spending time with that beautiful couple was a privilege.

Very profesional, pasion ate, and fun. We were very lucky to meet onboard another traveler from Australia, Ian, he brought magic to the trip with his good
humor and vibe. I will never forget the views, the seals, the birds, nature is all arround so you feel very conected with.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Do This trip! Take just the basic, and enjoy every single minute

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic !

Reviewed on 25 Jul 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The stunning scenery and peaceful moorings. The wildlife especially the seals and beautiful shoals of jellyfish floating like alien creatures in a calm sea. The first ever fish caught by one of our party - a splendid mackerel! The delicious food and good company of Michael and Colette. The successful descent into the dinghy of a nervous member of our party - if she can do it with Michael's patient help anyone can. Raising and lowering the anchor - tying knots and rope throwing and all things nautical!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Leave the smart clothes at home along with your mobile (signal so patchy it is frustrating , so unless essential best to forget it)! and settle into a different rhythm. Don't forget sunscreen and insect repellent for on shore - the midges can be fearsome! Read 'Para Handy' by Neil Munro for an insight into the atmosphere of the west highland ports and eccentric characters of the past.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Michael and Colette are committed to protecting the environment and this was obvious - recycling, local shopping etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A fantastic experience - not to be missed.

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