Wonderful news from the Shiant Isles

Friday, 9 November 2018

Why is the recording of the call of a single storm petrel chick on the Shiant Isles causing such delight?  The remote Shiant Isles are located out in the Minch, the Atlantic sea channel between the Outer Hebrides and mainland Scotland. The Shiants are a very special place for their history and natural environment and are one of our most favourite places to drop anchor and go ashore

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Some guest highlights of our 2018 season

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Everyone at Hebrides Cruises would like to thank our 2018 guests for being such a pleasure to meet. The fun atmosphere on board all our cruises was the result of a happy band of shipmates who appreciated everything the Hebrides and our crews have to offer. We are delighted many of you are returning in 2019 and 2020 and are so looking forward to seeing you aboard again.

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Many of our guests are from Australia as part of a major trip around Scotland, the UK or Europe.  Our Scottish cruises are the perfect way to see several islands of the Hebrides while taking a break from constant travelling. We were delighted to welcome Autralian guests, mother and daughter Hilary and Tania on board and provide them with an individual bespoke cruise experience. 

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We are delighted that the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust has announced the new corporate partnership with Hebrides Cruises. We are very pleased to support the work of HWDT by becoming a Corporate Partner.

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A rare Orca sighting by Nigel Spencer

Thursday, 27 September 2018

One of the joys of travelling by boat in the Hebrides is knowing that you are going to view some great scenery, along with a very good chance you will also get to see some great wildlife.

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A guest poem

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

It was really lovely to receive a postcard through the post with a poem written by our recent guests Joan and Bryan Howard

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Nature of Scotland Award Finalist

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The RSPB “Nature of Scotland” Awards celebrate and recognise the best of conservation in Scotland.

Celebrating excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in nature conservation, there are nine categories for the seventh annual Nature of Scotland Awards in association with Scottish Natural Heritage in 2018. Hebrides Cruises entered for the Nature Tourism category and we are delighted to have been announced as a finalist at a reception on Saturday September 12th at the Scottish Parliament.

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Emma Jane Loch Ness cruise

Our Wildlife Guide, Lynsey Bland provided a review of our luxury vessel, Emma Jane’s first Caledonian Canal cruise on September 2017, departing from Oban. There are 3 cabins still available for our Loch Linnhe, the Caledonian Canal & Loch Ness cruise aboard Emma Jane in 2019. 

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Elizabeth G: An unforgettable week.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

“What is it about the Hebrides? The islands have been pulling me back every year since my first visit in the early 90’s. It may be my Scottish ancestry, but I think it’s the unique combination of landscape, wildlife and community that proves irresistible to the traveller in search of wilderness and solitude.

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Minke whales in the Hebrides

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Minke whale; Alexa Kershaw

Knobble the minke whale has returned to the same feeding ground in the Hebrides for the 13th year in a row – it was spotted north of Coll at the weekend, by Sea Life Surveys. Natural markings and features on Knobble’s body helps to aid recognition of the whale and photographs of dorsal fins are used by the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) to identify and follow the movements of individual animals in the Hebrides. To date over 250 individual whales have been identified using this method.

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A wildlife bonanza, St Kilda cruise

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Guests ashore on St Kilda, photo Chris Gomersall

Our 10-night epic St Kilda and Outer Hebrides cruise with Chris Gomersall, which departed on July 16th, was an outstanding success in terms of wildlife seen, anchorages and stopovers.

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Puffin on Lunga Cruise

The first full day of our annual Hebridean Photography Cruise with photography mentor and Wildlife Guide Chris Gomersall has got off to a great start! Read the first day's tally of wildlife spotted.

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The importance of the  Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Whale Track project cannot be over emphaisized and to be shortlisted as a finalist in the national lottery awards is an accolade the HWDT team very much deserve. We were very proud to have been associated with the development of the Whale Track App.

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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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A Scottish cruise aboard Elizabeth G in Autumn

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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Our Wildlife Guide Georgina Kelly with Jacques Cousteau to keep her company

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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