Choose your Puffin Cruise

Saturday, 23 June 2018

It’s a given that when the Skipper and Wildlife Guides ask guests “do you have any special requests for your cruise?”, puffins are on the list! Puffins have great appeal because of their small size and comical walk as well as their distinctive rainbow coloured bill, white cheeks and clown-like black stripe down over each eye. One of the delights of puffins on the west coast of Scotland is that they are so unafraid of humans – and in some cases downright friendly!

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Local artwork on board

Thursday, 14 June 2018

So many guests have commented on the driftwood art that is displayed in the dining deck saloon of Emma Jane, that we thought we would highlight the artist - Denise Whyatt.  Denise runs her business, Dash, from her studio at Benderloch, a small village just outside Oban. Her passion is actually for textile-based artwork - and we have several of her prints also displayed in Emma Jane, as well as her cushions.

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The sun shone for the first day of Emma Jane’s new season as the crew, James, Phil, Pip and Lynsey welcomed our guests aboard with prosecco and delicious canapes. With a couple of returning guests remarking on the changes to our vessel we steamed south out of Oban and towards our first anchorage of 2018, the Isle of Seil.

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Meet our 2018 crews!

Thursday, 19 April 2018

The people who crew our vessels are amazing! We are delighted to have such skilled and professional crews for our 2018 season

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For wildlife cruising with a dash of indulgence, Emma Jane is the perfect combination of adventure and luxury. Hebrides Cruises is a specialist wildlife cruising company, but this does not exclude all the other exceptional delights of a voyage to Scotland’s west coast and offshore islands. Here are ten great reasons to join us aboard our luxury vessel Emma Jane:

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A new name for our luxury vessel!

Monday, 2 April 2018

In 2017 we introduced our new luxury vessel, which had a very successful season and she is already almost booked out for 2018. Over the winter, a few essentials were addressed, including operational upgrades such as new stabilisers to provide the best cruising experience possible for our guests. The ship was then painted blue to match our brand colours and her sister ship Elizabeth-G. All along, we knew that we would rename our new ship ...

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The Isles of the Hebrides and the West Coast of Scotland are stunning places to visit, and our three Skippers have the intimate knowledge and expertise of wildlife and seamanship to unveil the best parts to our guests.  Between the three of them, they have over 90 years of combined experience of navigating these waters. 

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What do our boats get up to in the winter?

Saturday, 17 February 2018

A question many of our guests ask is what we do in the 6 months we are not cruising – do we lock up the boats and go off to the Caribbean for the winter?! In fact, running a small-ship cruising company is a year round job – much of the really hard work takes place in the off season! As soon as the cruising season is over we start work on improving and maintaining our vessels for the following season for the continuing safety and comfort of our guests. But its really enjoyable planning and working to make things even better for our guests - and with winter views like this at Corpach on the Caledonian Canal, who's complaining!

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Our 2018 season will be the last one where Elizabeth G can offer such affordable prices before her conversion to ensuite and with fewer guests on board.  With most months booked out for 2018, we added extra Scottish cruises to the calendar for Elizabeth G fans to have an opportunity to cruise with her this autumn at the cheaper price.  A 6-night cruise is only £1285 per person - a real bargain with four expert crew on board, including a specialist Wildlife Guide, accompanied onshore excursions and gourmet food. There are now only 3 cabins remaining for these cruises

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Hand dived scallops are best!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Much of the scallop produce on sale in Scotland is dredged and the problem with dredging is it lacks discrimination.  Towing 1 tonne of heavy dredging gear through the seabed leaves it like a ploughed field killing much of the life on the seabed and destroying the complex benthic habitat.  Hand diving for scallops is best for the environment and for flavour – we only ever serve hand-dived scallops on board. Hand diving for scallops is a sustainable method of fishing; the diver hand picks the scallops from the seabed leaving the smaller undersized scallops to grow and spawn.  There is no waste or bycatch.  Our owner and Skipper of Hebrides Cruises, Rob Barlow is very passionate about the way we source our shellfish and makes sure that it has not come at the expense of the marine environment. 

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New sanctuaries for whales and dolphins

Sunday, 4 February 2018

We were delighted to hear that the Scottish Government is to fund consultation on four Marine Protected Areas in Scotland for whales, dolphins and sharks. The Scottish Government have announced funding to allow public consultation on four proposed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Scottish waters. The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) based in Tobermory on Mull has been working hard, in partnership with others, to call for the government to progress the MPA’s. HWDT have provided important research on cetaceans and basking sharks on the west coast of Scotland to provide the scientific evidence needed to make the case for providing these protected sites.

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Meet Lynsey Bland, Wildlife Guide

Friday, 2 February 2018

Apart from managing our vessels and providing everything our guests need on their cruise, the mission of all crew members is to ensure the cruise is educational, inspirational and fun for our guests.  No one-takes this more to heart than Lynsey and we are delighted she is returning as main Wildlife Guide aboard Proud Seahorse for 2018.  Lynsey has a passion and love for the Hebrides and her in-depth knowledge of wildlife makes the cruise very memorable for all guests.  

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Tenth anniversary with Chris Gomersall

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Our partnership with Chris Gomersall, leading our wildlife photography cruises to the Hebrides and St Kilda, began ten years ago through a mutual appreciation of the wildlife of the Hebrides and St Kilda and the adventure of being at sea. Not only has Chris give our guests an exceptional insight into wildlife and photography, but he has provided us with amazing images from our cruises. A little known fact is that Chris took the very first photograph of a white-tailed eagle born in the wild on Mull in 1985 following the reintroduction of the species.

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Our onboard Wildlife Guides are the best there are. Expert in their fields and passionate about wildlife, we feel very privileged to have them as Crew members, providing our guests with an exceptional insight into the wildlife we encounter.  Georgina Kelly  is a field ecologist with years of experience within research and consultancy and a wildlife expert in seabirds and cetaceans amongst other species.

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Our new “Big 5” cruise was in response to suggestions from our guests for a focus on finding the major Scottish wildlife icons. Autumn is one of the best times of the year to get close sightings of wildlife so we established an end-of-season Inner Hebrides “Big 5” wildlife short cruise which would “bag” five rare species in our cruising area. Our specialist Wildlife Guide Lyndsey was aboard Proud Seahorse and was set the challenge to find otters, eagles, red deer stags, harbour porpoise and common seals during our first “Big 5” five-day cruise.

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