Our Mull, Iona and Coll cruise is an exceptional island hopping itinerary with so much variety and beauty in the landscape and environment. A 6-night cruise is not long enough to explore the whole area but, just to give you a flavour of the choice on offer, here is a list of some of the Skippers most favourite anchorages. The weather and wind direction will play a large part in choosing which part of Mull any cruise will explore, but as you can see, wherever you land, it’s going to be stunning! Needless to say, the best way to experience the magic of Mull is from the sea.
The North of Mull and the Isle of Coll
Tobermory: Departing from Oban, colourful Tobermory at the top of the Sound of Mull is often the first stop for dinner onboard. Ashore, there are many speciality food and craft shops to visit and a scenic walk in the woodland around Tobermory Bay, a very attractive natural harbour.
Croig Bay: On the north west coast of Mull is Croig Bay, a lovely remote anchorage. The resident otters are often seen playing in the kelp and fishing around the shore. A beautiful white sandy beach which is ideal for swimming is a delightful 20 minute walk away.
Cairns of Coll: The northerly point of the isles of Coll is a hot spot for basking sharks as well as many other cetaceans, otters and rare birdlife, especially Manx shearwaters, with the opportunity to walk the stunning beaches.
Arinagour, Coll: On the south east of Coll is a lovely fishing village, with pleasant walks ashore to the church and the famous local pub. The rare corncrake is commonly seen and heard here.
Calgary Bay: The beautiful white sandy beach is fringed with machair. Dramatic sea cliffs make Calgary Bay a favoured anchorage, with interesting walks to deserted villages.
The West Coast of Mull and Iona
The Treshnish Islands: This scenically evocative group of uninhabited islands is a haven for wildlife and provides habitat for several rare species with extensive bird colonies. The puffins on Lunga have no fear of people thus providing great opportunities for photography.
The Island of Staffa: Staffa’s most famous feature is Fingal’s Cave, a large sea cave that inspired Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture. Many birds nest on the island, and the surrounding waters attract numerous seabirds, grey seals, dolphins, basking sharks and Minke whales.
Gometra: This sheltered anchorage is a popular spot for watching the sun setting from the top decks with a dram in hand. Many species of eagles and falcons are regularly seen here on shore walks.
Loch na Keal With small islands at its mouth, the wooded slopes to the north and the stark Ben More to the south, Loch na Keal is a stunning landscape and sunsets here can be spectacular. This dramatic large sea loch provides excellent walking and wildlife spotting on its shoreline. This is also a superb place for white-tailed eagles and otters and the chance to see whales and dolphins.
The Island of Iona: From our anchorage in the Sound of Iona there is the opportunity to go ashore to Iona Abbey which is very popular place of pilgrimage. A further potential anchorage is St Columba’s Bay, a magical coloured pebble beach fringed by machair and a delight to arrive by sea, just like St Columba himself! Iona is also home to the elusive corncrake.
The Ross of Mull
David Balfours Bay: This horseshoe bay of white shell sand surrounded by cliffs of red granite provided inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson for his novel, Kidnapped.
Fidden Bay: This stretch of beach is peppered with small islets, turquoise seas, and white sandy coves. The lovely views to the west make it a great spot for sunsets
Ardanalish Bay: Famous for its fabulous stretch of sandy beach with views to Colonsay and Jura, Ardalanish is also celebrated for its floral machair and unique geology. Around the bay are several Bronze Age burial cists, the remains of an Iron Age fort and the ruins of old crofts,
The South Coast of Mull
Carsaig Arches: These dramatic natural arch cliff formations are not only a stunning spectacle but also home to golden eagle, kestrel and raven, as well as feral goat.
Loch Buie: Go ashore at Loch Buie to visit historic Moy Castle the home of Clan MacLaine. Take a guided 2–hour one-way walk across to Loch Spelve to meet the vessel at anchor.
Loch Spelve: A wonderful sheltered anchorage, fringed with ancient oak forest, and a haven for otters with a good chance of spotting a white-tailed or golden eagle overhead. The crew go ashore to buy the freshest, tastiest mussels from Inverlussa Shellfish to serve up for dinner.