Celebrating our 10th anniversary in 2018 with Chris Gomersall as tour leader
Our partnership with Chris Gomersall, leading our wildlife photography cruises, 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 given our guests an exceptional insight into wildlife and photography, but he has provided us with amazing images from our cruises.
In 2002 Chris was working as a self-employed photographer when he joined a boat trip to St Kilda, skippered by our friend Chris Jackson. Introductions were made, an idea was discussed and in 2008 Chris led our first wildlife photography cruises in the western isles. The success of these cruises stems from Chris’s exceptional in-depth knowledge of nature and wildlife as well as photography, but also his ability to inspire our guests, whose ability and interest in photography and wildlife range from expert to amateur.
The first photograph of a wild white-tailed eagle on Mull in 70 years
A little known fact is that Chris took the very first photograph of a white-tailed eagle born in the wild following the reintroduction of the species from 1975. Chris began his photographic career as staff photographer for the RSPB and one of his early projects, in 1985, was to photograph the first white-tailed eagles nesting on the Isle of Mull.
Chris set about attempting to get photographs under gruelling conditions in deep winter, without the handy hides or the sophisticated photography equipment available today. After baiting the ground with dead rabbits for ten days, Chris finally photographed the young eagle in December 1985, from a portable hide dug down into the ground and covered with camouflage netting. The eagle image on this page is the actual first photo of the juvenile white-tailed eagle which fledged on Mull in 1985 - the first to be reared in the wild in Britain for 70 years.
An exceptional guide on board our cruises
Chris is one of Europe’s foremost photographers, named European Wildlife Photographer of the year in 2007, and we are very fortunate to have him as tour leader on some of our cruises. Chris is a regular contributor to BBC Wildlife, Outdoor Photography and the RSPB’s Birds magazine. His clients include Natural England, The Environment Agency and the WWF (UK). He has won six awards in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and the “Birds in the Environment” category of the Bird Photographer of the Year competition in 2016. He is the author of several books, a workshop tutor and tour leader for Nikon (UK) Ltd, Natures Images and others. To get a glimpse of the range and quality of the work Chris produces have a look at his website http://www.chrisgomersall.co.uk/
Our cruises for 2018 with Chris on board are already sold out. Of his 2019 cruises there are still 3 ensuite double cabins aboard Elizabeth G on 6 July 2019 on our Hebridean Photography 8–night cruise at £2520.00 per person. Plans are afoot to have Chris as tour leader of more of our cruises in the future.
Chris led the way for Hebrides Cruises in making the decision to provide specialist Wildlife Guides on all our cruises. The high calibre of our Wildlife Guides and the fact that they accompany guests onshore is a unique aspect of our cruises.