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Hebridean Secrets

Words do not do justice to the spectacular beauty, rich wildlife and fascinating history of the Inner and Outer Hebrides which we will explore during this unique island hopping expedition aboard our very own MS Island Sky. During our voyage we will head out into the Atlantic to St Kilda, a remarkable archipelago, the largest island Hirta once supported a population of nearly 200, but the last islanders left in 1930. As we drop anchor in Village Bay, this will be, for some, a pilgrimage, an awesome experience amongst the abundant seabirds on huge cliffs that rise sheer from the ocean.

We can wax lyrical about the sunsets, prolific wildlife and how you will be enchanted and seduced by the untamed wilderness, its islands, lochs and seascapes. Having arranged hundreds of small ship cruises around Scotland, we have learned that everyone takes something different from the experience. We are indeed fortunate in having such marvellous places so close to home. Now, more than ever there is a great appreciation for the peace, beauty and culture of this special corner of the UK. Whether your interest lies in horticulture or the natural world, history or bird watching or simply being there to witness the timeless beauty of Scotland’s coast and islands, this trip will lift the spirits and gladden the heart.

We will be joined by our Expedition Team, who are all experienced naturalists, ornithologists and marine biologists and along with the wonderful crew and combined with the comfort aboard the MS Island Sky, this carefully planned but flexible itinerary will be a voyage to remember.
14 May, 2019 to 23 May, 2019 Make a booking request for Hebridean Secrets , departing on 14 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.

Standard Single £ 3195 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Standard Stateroom £ 3595 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Classic Stateroom £ 3795 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Superior Stateroom £ 3995 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Deluxe Stateroom £ 4195 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Junior Suite £ 4595 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Owners Suite £ 4995 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Serenissima Suite £ 5495 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites, except for the Serenissima Suites (numbers 701 – 704) which have a window and a balcony door which opens out onto the balcony. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Mini Bar (Serenissima Suites only) • Balcony (Serenissima Suites only) • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo

Hebridean Secrets itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 - OBAN
Embark this afternoon in Oban. Transfers will be provided from Glasgow central station and Glasgow International Airport to arrive in the late afternoon. Sail tonight.
Day 2 - RUM & CANNA
Today, we will arrive at the Small Islands. Spend the morning on Rum which is a nature reserve. We will walk the nature trail, a beautiful area of wild flowers and typical Scottish island scenery. This lovely island is also a bird watcher’s paradise. Sail during lunch to Canna which has a tiny agricultural and cattle-rearing population. From a walk along the cliff top we may see golden eagles, white-tailed eagles and peregrine falcons. At the cliff edge the rare loose-flowered orchids grow. Sail over dinner to Skye and the majestic Loch Scavaig for our overnight anchorage.
Day 3 - ISLE OF SKYE
Awake this morning to the impressive sight of the Cuillins Mountains which form the dramatic backdrop to the freshwater loch. Using our Zodiacs we will land and follow our onboard naturalists on a number of nature walks or choose to explore independently. Sail over lunch along the rugged coastline of Skye to Loch Dunvegan where we visit Dunvegan Castle, the famous seat of the MacLeods. It is a Hebridean Fortress, set on a rocky platform with commanding views of the Loch. See the castle and lovely gardens and time permitting, the seal colony on the adjoining rocks.
Day 4 - TANERA MOR & INVEREWE GARDENS
Arrive this morning in the beautiful Summer Isles, and the only inhabited island of Tanera Mor. On a guided walk enjoy the stunning views, look out for otters and seals and the prolific bird life. Stop at the unique post office, whose own rare stamps are much sought after by collectors. During lunch sail south to Gairloch for our visit to the imposing gardens of Inverewe, surely one of the finest sited gardens in all Scotland. Here, exotic and tender plants thrive in their northerly location warmed by the Gulf Stream and protected by the surrounding mountains.
Day 5 - STORNAWAY & SHIANT ISLANDS
On leaving the island capital of Stornoway, we will head across the island to the beautiful west coast. Described as Scotland’s Stonehenge, the Callanish Standing Stones date from around 3000 BC. There are a total of 32 stones in a circular and avenue design. The stones stand like a petrified forest on the flat top of a peninsula which reaches out into East Loch Roag. We also visit the Dun Carloway Pictish Broch, probably built sometime in the last century BC, it would have served as an occasionally defensible residence for an extended family complete with accommodation for animals at ground floor level. It would also have served as a visible statement of power and status in the local area. Our final stop is the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village – a reconstructed settlement of traditional black houses where people and animals lived in close proximity. The houses are made using dry stone masonry and have thatched roofs, distinctively weighted down with rocks. Visit the small museum, enjoy a display of a typical crofting activity such as weaving and take in the views at this dramatic site on the wild Atlantic coast. Sail this afternoon past the Shiant Islands a group of little islands located a few miles off the shores of Lewis. This is an excellent place to spot seals and hopefully White Tailed Eagles.
Day 6 - ST KILDA
Arrive at first light in St Kilda, a remarkable uninhabited archipelago some fifty miles beyond the Outer Hebrides. The largest island, Hirta, once supported a population of over 200, but the last islanders left in the 1930s. The Medieval village has been restored by the National Trust for Scotland and offers a marvellous link with the past. The islands are an important breeding ground for many seabirds including Atlantic puffins and northern fulmars. Later, cruise past two of the largest gannetries in the world at Stac Lee and Berneray. These impressive stacs rise 170 metres from the sea and are home to up to 60,000 breeding pairs of northern gannet.
Day 7 - LUNGA & IONA
This morning we will take to the Zodiacs to explore the tiny Treshnish Islands, located in the waters between Mull and Tiree. Now uninhabited, this group of low lying islands is home to thousands of sea birds and a large population of common and Atlantic grey seals. Hopefully, land on the largest of the islands, Lunga to walk amongst the amazingly tame puffins and see the remnants of past habitation that dates back to Viking times. Sail over lunch to Iona, for more than 1000 years, the island of Iona has been a place of deep spiritual significance. No less than 62 kings of Scotland are buried here, including Duncan, Macbeth’s victim. St Columba came here from Ireland in 563 AD and early Christianity spread through northern Britain from this remote island community.
Day 8 - GIGHA & JURA
Visit the gardens of Achamore House on the small island of Gigha. The Horlick family, better known for the eponymous milk drink, have created a stunning garden with their collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and exotic plants. Gigha is a place apart; heather covered hills, deserted beaches and a single lane verged with wild flowers that meander for some six miles between cottages and farms. Privately owned by its 120 inhabitants, it is a gem of a place and somewhere not easily forgotten. Return to the vessel for lunch as we sail over to Jura, arriving in the late afternoon. Dominating the views of Jura are the three hills called “The Paps of Jura”, the highest being Beinn an Oir at 785 m (2576 ft) We will go ashore at Craighouse and will be welcomed in the cooperage where we will be given an introduction to the Jura Distillery and an opportunity to taste the local product. Alternatively enjoy some free time to explore Craighouse or join an island drive.
Day 9 - GREENOCK
Disembark this morning. Transfers will be provided to Glasgow Central Station and International Airport at a fixed time.

Hebridean Secrets reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Day 9 - GREENOCK *
Disembark this morning. Transfers will be provided to Glasgow Central Station and International Airport at a fixed time.
Day 8 - GIGHA & JURA *
Visit the gardens of Achamore House on the small island of Gigha. The Horlick family, better known for the eponymous milk drink, have created a stunning garden with their collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and exotic plants. Gigha is a place apart; heather covered hills, deserted beaches and a single lane verged with wild flowers that meander for some six miles between cottages and farms. Privately owned by its 120 inhabitants, it is a gem of a place and somewhere not easily forgotten. Return to the vessel for lunch as we sail over to Jura, arriving in the late afternoon. Dominating the views of Jura are the three hills called “The Paps of Jura”, the highest being Beinn an Oir at 785 m (2576 ft) We will go ashore at Craighouse and will be welcomed in the cooperage where we will be given an introduction to the Jura Distillery and an opportunity to taste the local product. Alternatively enjoy some free time to explore Craighouse or join an island drive.
Day 7 - LUNGA & IONA *
This morning we will take to the Zodiacs to explore the tiny Treshnish Islands, located in the waters between Mull and Tiree. Now uninhabited, this group of low lying islands is home to thousands of sea birds and a large population of common and Atlantic grey seals. Hopefully, land on the largest of the islands, Lunga to walk amongst the amazingly tame puffins and see the remnants of past habitation that dates back to Viking times. Sail over lunch to Iona, for more than 1000 years, the island of Iona has been a place of deep spiritual significance. No less than 62 kings of Scotland are buried here, including Duncan, Macbeth’s victim. St Columba came here from Ireland in 563 AD and early Christianity spread through northern Britain from this remote island community.
Day 6 - ST KILDA *
Arrive at first light in St Kilda, a remarkable uninhabited archipelago some fifty miles beyond the Outer Hebrides. The largest island, Hirta, once supported a population of over 200, but the last islanders left in the 1930s. The Medieval village has been restored by the National Trust for Scotland and offers a marvellous link with the past. The islands are an important breeding ground for many seabirds including Atlantic puffins and northern fulmars. Later, cruise past two of the largest gannetries in the world at Stac Lee and Berneray. These impressive stacs rise 170 metres from the sea and are home to up to 60,000 breeding pairs of northern gannet.
Day 5 - STORNAWAY & SHIANT ISLANDS *
On leaving the island capital of Stornoway, we will head across the island to the beautiful west coast. Described as Scotland’s Stonehenge, the Callanish Standing Stones date from around 3000 BC. There are a total of 32 stones in a circular and avenue design. The stones stand like a petrified forest on the flat top of a peninsula which reaches out into East Loch Roag. We also visit the Dun Carloway Pictish Broch, probably built sometime in the last century BC, it would have served as an occasionally defensible residence for an extended family complete with accommodation for animals at ground floor level. It would also have served as a visible statement of power and status in the local area. Our final stop is the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village – a reconstructed settlement of traditional black houses where people and animals lived in close proximity. The houses are made using dry stone masonry and have thatched roofs, distinctively weighted down with rocks. Visit the small museum, enjoy a display of a typical crofting activity such as weaving and take in the views at this dramatic site on the wild Atlantic coast. Sail this afternoon past the Shiant Islands a group of little islands located a few miles off the shores of Lewis. This is an excellent place to spot seals and hopefully White Tailed Eagles.
Day 4 - TANERA MOR & INVEREWE GARDENS *
Arrive this morning in the beautiful Summer Isles, and the only inhabited island of Tanera Mor. On a guided walk enjoy the stunning views, look out for otters and seals and the prolific bird life. Stop at the unique post office, whose own rare stamps are much sought after by collectors. During lunch sail south to Gairloch for our visit to the imposing gardens of Inverewe, surely one of the finest sited gardens in all Scotland. Here, exotic and tender plants thrive in their northerly location warmed by the Gulf Stream and protected by the surrounding mountains.
Day 3 - ISLE OF SKYE *
Awake this morning to the impressive sight of the Cuillins Mountains which form the dramatic backdrop to the freshwater loch. Using our Zodiacs we will land and follow our onboard naturalists on a number of nature walks or choose to explore independently. Sail over lunch along the rugged coastline of Skye to Loch Dunvegan where we visit Dunvegan Castle, the famous seat of the MacLeods. It is a Hebridean Fortress, set on a rocky platform with commanding views of the Loch. See the castle and lovely gardens and time permitting, the seal colony on the adjoining rocks.
Day 2 - RUM & CANNA *
Today, we will arrive at the Small Islands. Spend the morning on Rum which is a nature reserve. We will walk the nature trail, a beautiful area of wild flowers and typical Scottish island scenery. This lovely island is also a bird watcher’s paradise. Sail during lunch to Canna which has a tiny agricultural and cattle-rearing population. From a walk along the cliff top we may see golden eagles, white-tailed eagles and peregrine falcons. At the cliff edge the rare loose-flowered orchids grow. Sail over dinner to Skye and the majestic Loch Scavaig for our overnight anchorage.
Day 1 - OBAN *
Embark this afternoon in Oban. Transfers will be provided from Glasgow central station and Glasgow International Airport to arrive in the late afternoon. Sail tonight.
* = Indicative
Map for Hebridean Secrets
Serenissima, the ship servicing Hebridean Secrets

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 107

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013

Prior to her life as the MS Andrea she spent many years cruising the Norwegian coast as the Harald Jarl. The decision by the Norwegian owners, Hurtigruten to invest in much larger new vessels, presented an opportunity to the American company, Elegant Cruises to purchase the vessel in 2002. After a substantial refit of over $20 million in Sweden she began her new life of worldwide cruising.

Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

Accommodating just under 100 passengers, the 59 cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and are fully air conditioned with a modern shower and toilet, telephone, flat screen televisions and other thoughtful appointments. There are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks and with the exception of the five inside cabins, all staterooms feature either windows or portholes.

The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. In addition there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. A new addition to the vessel is a Lido area on Deck 5 with a bar and Jacuzzi.

Other facilities on board include two lounges, a small library with two computers for internet access, a spacious observation deck, fitness area, massage and an elevator. In areas such the United Kingdom and Norway the vessel is equipped with Zodiac craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible.

The European captain, officers, expedition staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

 

Cabin layout for Serenissima
Enquire now about Hebridean Secrets

Travel on the Serenissima

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