13 May 2023
I recently had the pleasure of embarking on an unforgettable cruise to the Hebrides Cruises ( Skye, Small Islands,and the Shiants, in Scotland ( May 13-21, 2023), and I must say it was an experience that exceeded all expectations. The 8-day journey was filled with breathtaking scenery, fascinating insights, and a genuine sense of camaraderie among the 8 participants and 4 staff members on board. One of the highlights of this cruise was undoubtedly the exceptional staff. From the knowledgeable and enthusiastic naturalist to the experienced skipper, each member of the team showcased a remarkable dedication to our well-being and enjoyment throughout the trip. The naturalist's expertise and passion for the islands were evident in every interaction, making each wildlife sighting and nature excursion a truly enriching experience. The skipper's lifelong knowledge of the islands and the sea, along with his emphasis on safety, instilled a sense of confidence and allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the beauty of the Hebrides. Not to be forgotten is the cook, whose culinary skills transformed each meal into a delightful gastronomic experience. Not only were the dishes healthy and delicious, but they were also beautifully presented, showcasing the cook's artistic talents. Finally, and not any less significant, was the boat swain's excellent customer service, always attentive to our needs and ensuring our comfort throughout the journey. His prompt response to any request with a touch of his humor, further added to the overall exceptional service on board. What set this cruise apart was the intimate atmosphere created by the small group size and the daily rituals shared among the participants. The shared adventures and delicious meals fostered a sense of closeness and allowed for meaningful connections to be formed. We gathered each day to recount our sightings of birds and sea life, engaging in storytelling and discussion. This combination of shared experiences and diverse perspectives, with travelers from different parts of the globe, enriched our understanding of the Hebrides from multiple angles. The staff's ability to provide a comprehensive experience was remarkable. They seamlessly blended naturalist, cultural, and historical knowledge, allowing us to appreciate the uniqueness and preciousness of Hebrides island life. With their guidance, we gained a deep appreciation for the inseparable connection between the land, sea, and the people who call this place home. Leaving the Hebrides was bittersweet. The transition back to the modern and busy world was not easy, as this cruise had offered a rare opportunity to detach from the everyday hustle and reconnect with a simpler, more connected way of life. However, the memories and lessons learned during those 8 days will forever remain with me, reminding me to cherish the beauty of nature and the importance of preserving such remarkable places. I wholeheartedly recommend this cruise to anyone seeking a transformative and unforgettable travel experience.
13 May 2023
Christine is from the Isle of Lewis and John is a Munroist. We have spent a lifetime exploring almost every corner of our wonderful wee nation. But our tour aboard Elizabeth G still exceeded our expectations. We got to visit the amazing Shiant Isles and spend a night there. The crew simply couldn’t do enough for us. Our skipper Alasdair, a West Coast man born and bred, knew the area intimately and, as well as getting us to the Shiant Isles, found us some idyllic spots including Tarbet in Loch Nevis. Craig the Bosun - a total legend. Zöe - what knowledge, and what patience. Phoebe - had to be kidding when she said she’d never cooked in a galley before. Thanks all, especially for laying on some glorious weather - what a fabulous week we had.
John & Christine Blair
13 May 2023
Dear Emma, this was my second excursion with Hebrides Cruises. I echo people’s descriptions of all you do so well.
I would add how much I enjoyed the after dinner conversations: what we saw lists, maps of where we had been, and where we would be tomorrow.
The captain, Alasdair, told us stories of growing up in the Hebrides and made the history come alive for me. I learned so much from everyone’s stories!
One other plus, the crew made sure we were anchored in a calm spot each night. Slept well! Best, Bobbie Hobbs
13 May 2023
This was such a special cruise for us. Everything was beyond our expectations! The wonderful Elizabeth G was so pristine and comfortable. Her crew were exceptional, with everything considered for their guests comfort. Our fellow guests added to the enjoyment of our holiday. Such beautiful scenery and wildlife encounters. Zoe informed us of anything of interest as regards wildlife which thoroughly enhanced our days. Craig kept everything in order including our cabin which was an unexpected bonus! Phoebe’s food was delicious and inventive. Our skipper Alastair, with his local knowledge and stories made for a truly memorable trip. Our favourite part of our cruise was our after dinner stories and breakdown of the day’s adventures. We felt like a family at the end of our cruise! Cannot wait to book another trip! Thank you Hebrides Cruises!
6 May 2023
Our trip on Emma Jane, with James and Chris at the helm, was the highlight of our 50th Wedding Anniversary celebrations. We were greeted by name on arrival, which straight away made us feel welcome. The scenery was fantastic. Will was always on the lookout, we saw dolphins off Muck, minke whales off the northern coast of Skye, white tailed eagles in the sky, and got up close to puffins and razorbills on the Shiants. Not forgetting the spectacular geology, flora and fauna of the islands. The food prepared by Jaya and served by Beatrice was outstanding; we could not have asked for better. They even made a celebration cake for us. Trips ashore each day and guided walks were tailored to individuals capability. Chris, James and Will were only too willing to share their local knowledge and expertise. Having driven the West Coast roads of Scotland last year and previously visited the Isles of Mull and Skye, our trip gave us the opportunity to view the West Coast from a different angle. Thanks to all the crew, we felt safe and well cared for at all times Thanks also to our fellow guests for their good company.
Chris & Kate Brown
6 May 2023
We had a fantastic trip on the Emma Jane we had good weather and calm seas. The crew, James, Chris, Will, Jaya and Bea were all great and could not have been more helpful. The food was amazing. We swam in the sea several times and the hot tub was a very welcome way to warm up. All the shore visits were great with a range of walks available. We really enjoyed meeting our fellow passengers and overall this has been one of the best holidays we have ever had. We saw lots of wildlife, greatly helped by wildlife expert Will. We are just trying to decide when to go back. Thanks again to everyone at Hebrides Cruises.
Margaret and Ross Shepherd
6 May 2023
Our first but not last cruise , much delayed due to COVID but we got there in the end! A total “ wow” from start to finish , from the moment we boarded we knew that this was going to be special. As the cruise progressed out from Oban in the sun , with some fizz and cake the scene was set. Having such a knowledgeable crew was great , we felt in very safe hands so for small boat novices this was a great plus. Then , the wildlife, scenery , anticipation , meals and great company just made it perfect. Even the odd wet day didn’t detract, we managed to land on all the Islands, saw the most spectacular birdlife at The Shiants, a Minke “ lunge” feeding on the way, White Tailed Eagles , Dolphins , Seals and even the very rare Jennifer Saunders creature! Nothing was too much for the crew, they looked after us beautifully, with great patience ..we ask lots of questions..a great group of people. Thanks so much for making this such a memorable experience , we have already booked for next year...or as Skipper James said..” Do it whilst you are still vertical”! Will and Sarah Walker-Smith
Will and Sarah Walker-Smith
6 May 2023
Just returned from another fantastic cruise on Emma Jane. The scenery was awesome and as for the wildlife, what can I say - we saw dolphins, minkes, white tailed eagles, puffins and far too many others to mention! The islands never disappoint, there's always something new to see and the crew know exactly where to take us for the best views and wildlife spotting. As always, the crew were brilliant and always helpful - particularly to those of us with creaky knees! James, thank you so much for the wooden Step of Stability - I can't emphasise enough what a huge difference it made to me when getting in and out of the tender. The step should be featured on the front page of your website as reassurance to anyone who has any doubts about their ability to get off the boat! Finally, when will there be a Hebrides Cruises recipe book?! Thanks for everything, we can't wait to be back in board!
6 May 2023
Scenery fantastic. Trips ashore and guided walks tailored to individuals capability. Chris, James and Will shared their local knowledge. Excellent.
7 May 2022
I just wanted to say again what a great cruise we had, despite the weather. The crew were absolutely fantastic , as was the food, and nothing was ever too much trouble. Richie was such a competent skipper and Will a great guide and Pea’s food was amazing. Callum did so well learning the ropes.