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Birds & Blooms of Britain

During the month of May our western shores become alive with colour. This is a spectacularly beautiful time when many of the gardens are at their most appealing and the countryside will be lush and inviting. This, combined with the sheer diversity of the coastline, makes for a most appealing sea journey, whether you be an avid gardener, birdwatcher or simply enjoy sailing past and visiting some of the most enchanting places in the world.

This journey provides a unique opportunity to explore the splendours of England, Wales and Scotland and amongst the many splendid gardens we will visit are the subtropical Abbey Gardens on the charming island of Tresco, beautiful Bodnant Garden and the magnificent Benmore Botanical Garden on the Cowal Peninsula. With regards to birds, we have included visits to Lundy, where we hope to see puffins, and peaceful Skomer Island which, carpeted with beautiful bluebells, is home to many birds including puffins, guillemots and razorbills.

Each day there will be the opportunity to explore coastal paths, see the resident wildlife and enjoy the wonderful views on offer. Whilst you could always drive, travel by train and coach and reach most of our itinerary with the help of a ferry, it is much more enjoyable to join the all-suite MS Hebridean Sky and travel in comfort accompanied by our expert onboard team without any of the hassle that independent exploration of these fascinating places would entail.

09 May, 2019 to 16 May, 2019 Make a booking request for Birds & Blooms of Britain, departing on 09 May, 2019

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Amundsen Standard Sole £ 3950 GBP pp
Standard Suites located on the Amundsen deck measure approximately 21 square metres and feature large portholes. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones will enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.
view cabin photo
Amundsen Standard Suite £ 3950 GBP pp
Standard Suites located on the Amundsen deck measure approximately 21 square metres and feature large portholes. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones will enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.
view cabin photo
Byrd Superior Suite £ 4150 GBP pp
Superior Suites located on the Byrd deck measure an average of 22 square metres with a large window. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones will enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.
view cabin photo
Byrd Superior Sole £ 4150 GBP pp
Superior Suites located on the Byrd deck measure an average of 22 square metres with a large window. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones will enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.
view cabin photo
Mawson Premuim Suite £ 4450 GBP pp
The Premium Suites located on the Mawson deck measure approximately 21 square metres and feature a large window. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones will enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.
view cabin photo
Mawson Corner Suite £ 4750 GBP pp
The two magnificent Corner Suites located on the Mawson deck feature dual aspect windows and measure 22 square metres. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones will enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.
view cabin photo
Scott Deluxe Balcony Suite £ 5250 GBP pp
The Deluxe Balcony Suites located on the Scott deck measure 20.9 square metres and boast a 4 square metre private balcony with table and chairs. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones will enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.
view cabin photo
Shackleton Owner's Balcony Suite £ 5550 GBP pp
The Owner’s Balcony Suites located on the Shackleton deck measure 22 square metres and feature a large private balcony measuring 8 square metres with table, chairs and sun loungers. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones will enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.
view cabin photo
Shackleton Hebridean Suite £ 6450 GBP pp
The spacious Hebridean Suite located on the Shackleton Deck meaures 24.5 square metres and boasts an extra large balcony with table, chairs and sun loungers. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones will enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.
view cabin photo

Birds & Blooms of Britain itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 - Plymouth, England.
Embark the MS Hebridean Sky this afternoon in Plymouth. Transfers will be provided from Plymouth Railway Station at a fixed time. Enjoy Welcome Dinner and Drinks and sail this evening.
Day 2 - Isles of Scilly.
Spend the morning on traffic-free Tresco, walking its idyllic lanes from the beach to the famous subtropical Abbey Gardens. Defying the Atlantic weather, this miracle of a garden is home to more than 20,000 species of plants from over 80 countries. Enjoy time to wander at your own pace along the paths, maybe visit the Valhalla collection of ship figureheads from ships wrecked on the islands or relax in the cafe. We spend the afternoon on St Agnes, the most southwesterly community in the UK. Surrounded by rocks and reefs this delightful tiny island offers marvellous coastal walks. The small island of Gugh lies across a narrow sandbar and here we find a single stone monolith called the ‘Old Man of Gugh’ which dates back to the Bronze Age. Alternatively, join a boat trip to the nearby island of Annet, the second largest of the uninhabited islands and a bird sanctuary. We are not allowed to land but will cruise the coastline alive with puffins, European storm petrels and shag.
Day 3 - Lundy.
We have scheduled a full day on Lundy, a remote and absolutely delightful island in the Bristol Channel. Walk along its traffic-free lanes and paths, explore the wide bays and coves by way of hanging valleys, observe the puffins nesting in abandoned rabbit warrens, have a drink at the inn and buy the islands ‘puffin stamps’ at the island’s shop.
Day 4 - Skomer & Fishguard, Wales.
This morning we will arrive at Skomer Island, one of the most important wildlife sites in Northern Europe. It is a marvellously peaceful and scenic island with fantastic birdlife including 6000 pairs of puffins, countless numbers of guillemots, fulmar, kittiwakes and the elusive Manx shearwater and storm petrel. Enjoy a Zodiac excursion and return to the vessel for lunch as we sail to Fishguard. From here we will take the scenic drive to St Davids, Britain’s smallest city, and explore the magnificent 12th century cathedral (the only one in the United Kingdom where the reigning monarch has a permanently reserved pew) and see the Bishop’s Palace.
Day 5 - Llandudno.
This morning will be spent at Bodnant Garden. Situated above the River Conwy the gardens have stunning views across Snowdonia. Begun in 1875, Bodnant Garden is the creation of four generations of Aberconways and features huge Italianate terraces and formal lawns on its upper level, with a wooded valley, stream and wild garden below. There are dramatic colours throughout the season, with herbaceous borders, roses, hydrangeas, water lilies and clematis that delight throughout the summer. This afternoon will be free to explore Llandudno at leisure. Developed as an upmarket holiday town for Victorian visitors, this seaside town still retains much of its 19th century grandeur, with graceful wedding-cake architecture lining its sweeping waterfront promenade.
Day 6 - Peel, Isle of Man.
Arrive this morning on the Isle of Man and the main fishing port of Peel. Settlements have been here since the Mesolithic Age and the island also claims to have the longest continuous parliament which was founded in 979 AD. This morning we will travel to Tynwald Hill, located in the little village of St John’s. This grass-topped, tiered hill is made from the soil and stones from each of the island’s 17 parishes and is the point from which, each 5th of July, all the laws enacted in the year preceding are promulgated to the gathered government officials and the public at large, both in Manx and English languages. We continue to Castletown and the magnificent Castle Rushen, one of the best examples of a Medieval castle in Europe which was the former seat of the Kings and Lords of Mann. We end our tour at Castletown station and board the vintage steam train for a delightful and traditional journey to Douglas. Dating from 1874, the Isle of Man Steam Railway is the island’s oldest Victorian rail system and this narrow gauge railway still runs with its original locomotives and carriages. Return to the vessel for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
Day 7 - Holy Loch, Rothesay & Fairlie, Scotland.
This morning arrive in the Cowal Peninsula where we find the magnificent Benmore Botanic Garden situated in a mountainside setting. During springtime there is a blaze of colour as the 300 species of rhododendrons put on a spectacular display. Take time to walk the paths, see the Victorian Fernery and walk along Redwood Avenue, a line of 50 Sierra redwoods planted in 1862. During lunch we sail the short distance to the Isle of Bute where we will visit one of Britain’s most astounding Victorian Gothic mansions, Mount Stuart House. After the original building was destroyed by fire the mansion was rebuilt between 1880 and 1912 using the finest craftsmen of the time. After viewing the house we will visit the wonderful grounds made up of over 300 acres of pasture, woodland and gardens combining exotic and native plants. Maybe enjoy one of the trails that pass through the woodland down to the shoreline or visit the Rock Garden and Kitchen Garden situated closer to the house. Alternatively, you may prefer to stay in Rothesay and explore the small town and its impressive 13th century castle. During dinner we will sail the short distance to Fairlie where we will moor overnight.
Day 8 - Fairlie.
Disembark this morning after breakfast. Transfers will be provided to Glasgow International Airport and Glasgow Central Station at a fixed time.
Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Birds & Blooms of Britain reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Itineraries are subject to change.
Disembark this morning after breakfast. Transfers will be provided to Glasgow International Airport and Glasgow Central Station at a fixed time.
This morning arrive in the Cowal Peninsula where we find the magnificent Benmore Botanic Garden situated in a mountainside setting. During springtime there is a blaze of colour as the 300 species of rhododendrons put on a spectacular display. Take time to walk the paths, see the Victorian Fernery and walk along Redwood Avenue, a line of 50 Sierra redwoods planted in 1862. During lunch we sail the short distance to the Isle of Bute where we will visit one of Britain’s most astounding Victorian Gothic mansions, Mount Stuart House. After the original building was destroyed by fire the mansion was rebuilt between 1880 and 1912 using the finest craftsmen of the time. After viewing the house we will visit the wonderful grounds made up of over 300 acres of pasture, woodland and gardens combining exotic and native plants. Maybe enjoy one of the trails that pass through the woodland down to the shoreline or visit the Rock Garden and Kitchen Garden situated closer to the house. Alternatively, you may prefer to stay in Rothesay and explore the small town and its impressive 13th century castle. During dinner we will sail the short distance to Fairlie where we will moor overnight.
Arrive this morning on the Isle of Man and the main fishing port of Peel. Settlements have been here since the Mesolithic Age and the island also claims to have the longest continuous parliament which was founded in 979 AD. This morning we will travel to Tynwald Hill, located in the little village of St John’s. This grass-topped, tiered hill is made from the soil and stones from each of the island’s 17 parishes and is the point from which, each 5th of July, all the laws enacted in the year preceding are promulgated to the gathered government officials and the public at large, both in Manx and English languages. We continue to Castletown and the magnificent Castle Rushen, one of the best examples of a Medieval castle in Europe which was the former seat of the Kings and Lords of Mann. We end our tour at Castletown station and board the vintage steam train for a delightful and traditional journey to Douglas. Dating from 1874, the Isle of Man Steam Railway is the island’s oldest Victorian rail system and this narrow gauge railway still runs with its original locomotives and carriages. Return to the vessel for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
This morning will be spent at Bodnant Garden. Situated above the River Conwy the gardens have stunning views across Snowdonia. Begun in 1875, Bodnant Garden is the creation of four generations of Aberconways and features huge Italianate terraces and formal lawns on its upper level, with a wooded valley, stream and wild garden below. There are dramatic colours throughout the season, with herbaceous borders, roses, hydrangeas, water lilies and clematis that delight throughout the summer. This afternoon will be free to explore Llandudno at leisure. Developed as an upmarket holiday town for Victorian visitors, this seaside town still retains much of its 19th century grandeur, with graceful wedding-cake architecture lining its sweeping waterfront promenade.
This morning we will arrive at Skomer Island, one of the most important wildlife sites in Northern Europe. It is a marvellously peaceful and scenic island with fantastic birdlife including 6000 pairs of puffins, countless numbers of guillemots, fulmar, kittiwakes and the elusive Manx shearwater and storm petrel. Enjoy a Zodiac excursion and return to the vessel for lunch as we sail to Fishguard. From here we will take the scenic drive to St Davids, Britain’s smallest city, and explore the magnificent 12th century cathedral (the only one in the United Kingdom where the reigning monarch has a permanently reserved pew) and see the Bishop’s Palace.
We have scheduled a full day on Lundy, a remote and absolutely delightful island in the Bristol Channel. Walk along its traffic-free lanes and paths, explore the wide bays and coves by way of hanging valleys, observe the puffins nesting in abandoned rabbit warrens, have a drink at the inn and buy the islands ‘puffin stamps’ at the island’s shop.
Spend the morning on traffic-free Tresco, walking its idyllic lanes from the beach to the famous subtropical Abbey Gardens. Defying the Atlantic weather, this miracle of a garden is home to more than 20,000 species of plants from over 80 countries. Enjoy time to wander at your own pace along the paths, maybe visit the Valhalla collection of ship figureheads from ships wrecked on the islands or relax in the cafe. We spend the afternoon on St Agnes, the most southwesterly community in the UK. Surrounded by rocks and reefs this delightful tiny island offers marvellous coastal walks. The small island of Gugh lies across a narrow sandbar and here we find a single stone monolith called the ‘Old Man of Gugh’ which dates back to the Bronze Age. Alternatively, join a boat trip to the nearby island of Annet, the second largest of the uninhabited islands and a bird sanctuary. We are not allowed to land but will cruise the coastline alive with puffins, European storm petrels and shag.
Embark the MS Hebridean Sky this afternoon in Plymouth. Transfers will be provided from Plymouth Railway Station at a fixed time. Enjoy Welcome Dinner and Drinks and sail this evening.
* = Indicative
Map for Birds & Blooms of Britain
Hebridean Sky, the ship servicing Birds & Blooms of Britain

Hebridean Sky

 

Vessel Type: Expedition

Length: 90 metres

Passenger Capacity: 114

Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2005

 

Hebridean Sky has always been known for its effortless elegance, impeccable service and atmosphere of charm and camaraderie. Now we add increased adventure options and an on-site Passenger Service Representative. Hebridean Sky is the perfect blend of luxury and adventurous exploration. Is it a luxury ship? An adventure ship? It’s both!

 

ONBOARD DINING

Great expeditions require great food! We are pleased to offer daily changing breakfast, lunch and dinner menus with an emphasis on providing well balanced and nutritional cuisine. Our team of international chefs has boat loads of creativity and you are sure to experience a variety of interesting dishes throughout your voyage. The restaurant is located on Deck 2 and our service team looks forward to providing a memorable dining experience.

IMPECCABLE SMALL-SHIP AMENITIES

Returning from excursions, passengers enjoy complimentary refreshments, afternoon tea and all-day coffee in The Club, a gracious space for relaxation, surrounded by panoramic windows. Other Sea Explorer features include:

  • Library with Internet access
  • Lounge with audiovisual facilities
  • Dining room
  • Wraparound sun deck with Jacuzzi
  • Exercise room
  • Medical facilities with available doctor
  • Elevator serving all passenger decks
  • Swimming/zodiac platform

Please note deck plan may vary.

Cabin layout for Hebridean Sky
• Spend the morning on traffic-free Tresco, walking its idyllic lanes from the beach to the famous subtropical Abbey Gardens.

• Enjoy a full day on Lundy, a remote and absolutely delightful island in the Bristol Channel.

• Arrive at Skomer Island, one of the most important wildlife sites in Northern Europe.

• Arrive in the Cowal Peninsula where we find the magnificent Benmore Botanic Garden situated in a mountainside setting.
Enquire now about Birds & Blooms of Britain

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