Far-flung islands: Mingulay to the Shiants

Cruise Dates Nights Vessel Price p/p Spaces Book
Mon 4 Sep 2017 - Thu 14 Sep 2017 10 ElizabethG £1895 4 Book Now
Mon 4 Sep 2017 - Thu 14 Sep 2017 10 Speideren £2995 8 Book Now

Cruise Summary

BernerayThis extensive cruise takes in the more remote Islands of the Hebrides. Destinations include many magical and far-flung places; the Isles of Canna, Berneray and Mingulay; the Monach isles, Taransay and the Shiants, amongst others.  Find out more about the Shiant Isles and the Monach Isles.  This cruise provides excellent chances of seeing most of the wildlife the Western Isles has to offer and the scenery and locations are a photographers dream. To have the opportunity to fully explore these amazing places, we provide fully guided walks and plenty of local knowledge.

One of the ultimate highlights of this cruise is to watch the resident Grey seal population come ashore on the beach on Mingulay for the night. They can be heard ‘singing’ during the evening calling to each other to check that it is safe to come ashore; an unforgettable experience.  The Shiant Isles are a true marvel of the Hebrides, their lonely savage beauty evoking a sense of wilderness combined with the amazing spectacle of thousands of sea birds.

The Itinerary

Far flung Islands: Mingulay to the ShiantsDepart Oban and cruise across to the Sound of Mull and onwards to a delightful anchorage in peaceful and remote Loch Na Drambuie, famed for great sunsets and Otters.

Heading west, passing Ardnamurchan Peninsula, the most Westerly point of Great Britain and with the Mountains of Rum and the Cuillins of Skye in view we cruise to the Isle of Canna. With a population of only 12 full time residents, this remote but fertile Isle offers great walking on the sea cliffs with stunning scenic views to Skye and the Outer Hebrides, and a good chance of seeing golden eagles & sea eagles

With a 4 hour cruise cross the Minch to the most Southern island of the outer Hebrides, Berneray, we go ashore to walk to the Western cliffs and one to of the most important of the Stevenson lighthouses, which guides ships into and through the Minch.

Anchoring off the south side of Mingulay with its white sandy beach we go ashore to explore the deserted village and take in the fantastic bird life with a puffin colony, great skuas and many other birds. Walking over the Machair into the Glen blossoming with wild flowers we reach stunning cliffs on the west of the Island. One of the ultimate highlights of the cruise is to watch the resident Grey seal population come ashore on the beach for the night. They can be heard ‘singing’ during the evening calling to each other to check that it is safe to come ashore. We have counted over 200 hundred seals on the beach.

We reach the Monachs, a rarely visited remote set of Islands with white sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters with plenty of bird spotting opportunities.  We visit the old fishing crofts which were used during the summer months by local lobster fishermen from South Uist and Benbecula.

Steaming along the west coast of the Outer Hebrides we head north with excellent chances of seeing Minke whales, basking sharks and all three types of dolphins, Common, Rissos and White sided. Passing the Sound of Harris we take a five hour cruise to anchor off the island of Taransay, made famous by the BBC series “Castaway”. We go ashore to explore this remote, scenic, peaceful and beautiful Island.

Navigating carefully through the Sound of Harris with it many reefs and islets we anchor in the sheltered anchorage of Loch Rodel on the southern tip of the Island of Harris. We go ashore to visit the historic and beautiful 15th century Rodel Church with its medieval stone sculptures dedicated to St. Clements. This is a great place for watching the sun set in the west.

Heading North into the North Minch we reach the remote and wild Shiant Islands with the naturally formed horseshoe bay and sea cliffs with many thousands of seabirds including white-tailed eagles. We slowly cruise the Islands, soaking up the atmosphere before dropping anchor in the bay for a walk ashore to explore the Bothy and surrounding shingle beaches. The Shiants are known as a “mini St.Kilda” due to the similarity of the  sea cliffs and dramatic scenery.

Our journey takes us to the Island of Rona. Our quiet and peaceful anchorage is surrounded by small islets as we go ashore to explore. After dinner we can watch the sun set from the top deck.

Following a 5 hour cruise we reach the remote Knoydart peninsula in Loch Nevis ( Gaelic for Loch Heaven) where we anchor off Inverie with the option to go ashore for a walk and perhaps a drink in the Forge Inn the remotest pub in Britain. Inverie is only accessible by sea or a 17 mile hike in. There are walks into the surrounding hills and lots of history to soak up, related to the Jacobite rebellion.

Heading South we pass Ardnamuchan point and into the Sound of Mull.  We drop anchor  at Eilean Rubha An Ridre on the Morvern Peninsula, a delightful sheltered anchorage where we hope to see otter, sea eagles and seals.  We go ashore for a short walk to admire the views  to the west and watch the sun setting.

After an easy going, extended brunch, we head down to Oban for disembarking at midday

 

Map

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people will be on the cruises?

We take a maximum of 12 guests on our cruises.(We normally have 4 crew on each cruise).

What is the average age of people joining the trips?

We have people of all ages joining our trips but the majority fall within the range 35-60. We have had many guests in their 80’s who have thoroughly enjoyed the trips.

How active do I have to be?

This is entirely up to you. You can take advantage of trips ashore with our fully qualified walking and wildlife guides or just stay on board and relax. Trips ashore tend to be to small communities and local attractions and will be at a pace that suits everyone.

Is the cruise suitable for people making a single booking

Absolutely, many single travellers have enjoyed holidays with us and have established friendships with other individuals within the group. Our cabins are twin cabins and on a shared basis but if the trip is not full everyone will be offered their own cabin and we never mix single males and females. There is the option to book a private cabin but as you will be taking a full paying client’s space there will be a single occupancy supplement.

I have restricted mobility, can I cruise with you?

To take one of our cruises you would have to be able to step in and out of the boat tender and climb three fixed steps to the vessel, with the aid of crew members. On-board there are stairs leading to the upper decks and cabins. There are also opportunities to go ashore every day and these would require a level of walking ability. If unsure, please get in touch, we are happy to advise.

Am I likely to get seasick?

During the summer months Scotland’s coastal waters are normally calm but it does blow up from time to time. Elizabeth G has an active fin stabilising system meaning it is very stable in bad weather. People who are normally seasick say they feel better on our cruises.

How spacious are the cabins and beds?

The vessel is a converted traditional boat, therefore space is more restricted than in a hotel, but superior for a boat of this size.

How much wildlife will I see?

The west coast of Scotland is one of the best places in the world to see whales, basking sharks, dolphins, a huge diversity of sea birds and other marine wildlife as well as iconic species such as white tailed and golden eagles, otters and red deer. The Islands of Scotland are also famous for their bird populations and often have very rare birds using them as a stopover when travelling from distant lands. We have a dedicated walking and wildlife guide aboard the boat who will lead guided wildlife walks ashore.

Are children allowed on board

Children aged under 16 are not allowed on board, except for whole boat group charter, where children are welcome.

Are pets allowed on board

Pets are not allowed on board, except for whole boat group charter.

What type of terrain will we be covering during the walking trips?

Scotland is a fantastic place to walk in and we have a large network of hill paths and tracks to take advantage of. These tracks can be very narrow and a bit wet at times. There may be occasions when we might be walking over rougher ground including heather and tusuck grass but we try to keep this to a minimum.

Who will be guiding us?

All of our guides are fully qualified and experienced leaders who have gone through a rigorous training and assessment scheme and are qualified under the UK mountain leader training scheme.

How far will we be walking each day?

This depends entirely on what you want to do. On some of the islands we might walk for a couple of hours or less, on islands such as Hirta, St.Kilda we may take a packed lunch and spend 6 hours ashore exploring. There will of course be an option to spend just a couple of hours onshore and then return to the ship to take in the views from our observation deck.

What meals are included on our cruises?

The price for the cruise is ‘fully inclusive’ and includes all meals. A typical day’s menu will include breakfast (light or robust as you choose) followed by morning coffee (or tea) and biscuits. Then, depending on what we are doing and where we are, we normally serve a 2-course lunch which includes soup and freshly baked bread. Sometime during the afternoon we’ll have tea or coffee with fresh homemade cakes or biscuits and in the evening a candlelit 3-course dinner followed by cheese and biscuits and coffee and chocolates is served. Dietary requirements can be catered for.

What will the temperature be like and what clothes should I bring?

Scotland’s weather can be very changeable and the temperatures can drop even in the summer months. You will need a good breathable waterproof jacket and trousers and a warm fleece. Plenty of layers are better than one thick one. Good pair of walking boots essential, also a walking stick can be helpful.

On day of departure, what time and where do we board the Elizabeth G?

Normally guests join the Elizabeth G at the north pier in Oban at approx 3pm. Although luggage can be dropped off earlier to suit guests travel arrangements.

If I travel by car, where can I park it during the cruise?

You can park your car at Atlantis Leisure free of charge. Alternatively, you can park at Puffin Dive Centre (approx 1 mile out of Oban) at a cost of £1-2 per day. Or there is Stoddarts, undercover secure parking (Tel: 07799692072)

Need extra info?

If you have any enquiries about our cruises or would like an informal chat about your plans, please email using our Contact Us page. If you prefer phone Emma any-time on +44 (0) 75851 51611 or +44 (0)1631 711 986

Guest Comments

Rob is wonderful at finding quiet anchorages taking us ashore and taking those of us not going ashore on alternative trips in the rib. Do it! You will have a great time - I think your website is excellent. Marion Roberts; Private Charter

Private Charter

Elizabeth G

Explore the enchanting Hebridean Islands on a fully crewed, privately chartered cruise. Gather together your favourite group of people to share an enthralling journey to the very edge of Scotland.

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