Our new unique one-off expedition cruise for 2024 will venture to the former whaling grounds west and north of Scotland to help provide an answer to the question - do giants still roam in these seas?
One hundred years ago, an intensive commercial whaling industry was at its peak in the west and north of Scotland. The whaling industry drove many whale species close to extinction, but a dramatic decline in whale hunting has given hopes of recovery of species numbers.
Acoustic research shows that the continental shelf-edge to the west of St Kilda, known as the Rockall Trough, is still an important migratory corridor for large baleen whales and sperm whales; but an actual search for and documentation of whale sightings has never been conducted. Information on any whales seen from our new cruise would be a significant contribution to the knowledge of whales and their potential recovery. Our specialist on-board Guide is Dr Conor Ryan who has conducted important studies on the ecology of whales and the history of whaling in Scotland.
Our ocean-going vessel, Elizabeth G, is well suited to the challenges of a voyage to the Rockall Trough, and encounters with large whales such as fin and humpback whales and if we were very, very lucky, perhaps a blue whale, the largest animal to have lived on earth. Given the prevailing settled weather conditions and what is known about the migrations of these species, August is the best month to venture west and see what can be found. If the weather was against us, alternative plans are in place to maximise chances of large whale encounters in more sheltered areas.
On departing Oban, Elizabeth G is bound for the Northern Minch on the lookout for several species of whale as well as basking sharks and dolphins. Given favourable conditions the next destination is St.Kilda, heading due west 30 miles, towards the continental shelf, again in search of giants. After returning to St Kilda, over the next few days our vessel will explore around the Flannan Isles, Loch Roag and the Butt of Lewis before working our way back across the Minch, noting the difference in cetacean species seen out in the North West, compared to the Northern Minch. All species seen will be logged with Hebridean Whale Trust Whale Track App which will provide original, specialist research of great value to the understanding of these animals. Due to the expedition nature of the cruise, guests will spend more time at sea than on our other itineraries, but there will be opportunities for shore visits including the site of the Bunavoneader Whaling Station. Guests will of course enjoy the usual exceptional hospitality and gourmet meals from our onboard crews.
Cruise Dates 2024
|Date||Nights||Spaces||Price p/p||Vessel||Book Online|
|4 August 2024||10||0||---||Elizabeth-G||Fully Booked|
Master cabin available (Emma Jane & Lucy Mary Only).
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