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Malt Whisky and Scottish Wildlife Cruise (St Hilda)

Single Malt whisky, made in an individual distillery from malted barley, distilled in copper pot stills and matured in oak casks, is one of the wonders of Scotland. Mixed with magnificent wildlife and spectacular Scottish islands it creates an unforgettable Hebridean cruise on the ex-tall ship St Hilda or on our wee ship Seahorse II.

In this whisky and Scottish wildlife cruise you can sample the delights of some of the most famous single malts from some of the most famous of "malt whisky islands" – Mull, Jura and especially Islay with its many distilleries. On the way you can see the incredible wildlife - soaring sea and golden eagles, basking sharks, minke and orca whales, porpoises, dolphins, seabirds and seals.

If you are not totally malt whiskied-out at the end of the cruise, there is always the Oban distillery or the Oban Whisky Shop.

This cruise can be an eight or ten night itinerary depending on the dates you choose to travel.

06 June, 2019 to 14 June, 2019 Make a booking request for Malt Whisky and Scottish Wildlife Cruise (St Hilda), departing on 06 June, 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.

Twin Cabin £ 1280 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Twin cabin has washbasin. Cabin is close to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo
Twin Cabin En-suite £ 1800 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Twin en-suite has toilet, washbasin and opening porthole. Cabin is close to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo
Double Cabin En-suite £ 2080 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Spacious double en-suite has shower, toilet, washbasin and two pretty opening portholes. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo
23 May, 2020 to 02 June, 2020 Make a booking request for Malt Whisky and Scottish Wildlife Cruise (St Hilda), departing on 23 May, 2020

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.

Twin Cabin £ 1600 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Twin cabin has washbasin. Cabin is close to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo
Twin Cabin En-suite £ 2250 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Twin en-suite has toilet, washbasin and opening porthole. Cabin is close to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo
Double Cabin En-suite £ 2600 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Spacious double en-suite has shower, toilet, washbasin and two pretty opening portholes. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo
02 July, 2020 to 12 July, 2020 Make a booking request for Malt Whisky and Scottish Wildlife Cruise (St Hilda), departing on 02 July, 2020

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.

Twin Cabin £ 1600 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Twin cabin has washbasin. Cabin is close to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo
Twin Cabin En-suite £ 2250 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Twin en-suite has toilet, washbasin and opening porthole. Cabin is close to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo
Double Cabin En-suite £ 2600 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Spacious double en-suite has shower, toilet, washbasin and two pretty opening portholes. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo
01 August, 2020 to 09 August, 2020 Make a booking request for Malt Whisky and Scottish Wildlife Cruise (St Hilda), departing on 01 August, 2020

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.

Twin Cabin £ 1280 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Twin cabin has washbasin. Cabin is close to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo
Twin Cabin En-suite £ 1800 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Twin en-suite has toilet, washbasin and opening porthole. Cabin is close to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo
Double Cabin En-suite £ 2080 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable. Spacious double en-suite has shower, toilet, washbasin and two pretty opening portholes. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
view cabin photo

Malt Whisky and Scottish Wildlife Cruise (St Hilda) itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Days 1 - 11 Oban & Malt Whisky Islands
Some of the places we may visit are: Oban: Your departure point will be Oban (Dunstaffnage Marina), the gateway to the Hebridean isles. After a short introduction to life on board our small ship we lift anchor and set sail to our first destination. Loch Spelve: The anchorage in this sheltered loch, which is surrounded by an ancient oak forest, gives us unparalleled views of the mountains of Mull. There are resident otters along its shoreline. Shuna Island: Our destination is the remote island of Shuna. On the way, and at anytime during the trip, we may see soaring white-tailed or golden eagles, basking sharks, whales, porpoises and dolphins, as well as many types of seabirds. With the tide in our favour, (a must as the currents can run at five knots in these parts) we enter the Firth of Lorn and then the Sound of Luing. Shooting past the famous Fladda lighthouse - the over falls and eddies of these fast-running waters make extraordinary spiral patterns and glassy runs in the sea. The waters calm as we pass the southern tip of Luing Island and enter Shuna Sound. Our quiet anchorage off the north coast of Shuna Island is a spot where otters frequently play along the shoreline. Craighouse, Jura: We travel down the Shuna Sound with tidal planning again important as we will pass the notorious Gulf of Corryvreckan with its six knot tides which can be heard roaring 30 miles inland when there is a storm of wind against tide. We pass the northern headland of Jura, where George Orwell’s cottage can still be seen where he wrote 1984, to sail down the Sound of Jura. The magnificent Munro mountains, the three “Paps of Jura”, can be seen rising over the craggy cliffs of Jura's shoreline to dominate the southern end of the Sound of Islay. Our destination anchorage is off Craighouse the home of the Jura Distillery and home to two distinct malts: sweet Origin and smoky Superstition. Islay: Islay is the Malt Whisky capital of the world. Our anchorage is in Kilnaughton Bay, off Port Ellen, which is Islay's main town (the Port Ellen distillery closed in 1983 but the maltings are still in operation). We are spoilt for choice for distillery visits: Lagavulin distillery is just north of Port Ellen and, close by, are the other world famous distilleries of Ardbeg and Laphroaig. They all use Islay's peaty water and peated malt to give their famous powerful, salty, peaty, iodiney flavours. In contrast, the northern distilleries of Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich draw their water directly from springs to give lighter, nuttier flavours. Caol lla, close to Bunnahabhain, produces a delicate flavoured malt, while Bowmore, the oldest distillery on the island (1779), in the middle of the town of Bowmore and on the banks of a loch, has its own very distinctive peaty, salty taste. Loch Sween: We travel to an anchorage in the upper reaches of beautiful Loch Sween - its seal population lining its banks to watch our progress. We will pass the natural anchorage of Tayvallich, once a famous Viking harbour. Crinan Canal: We can anchor just outside the Crinan Canal which has truly magnificent scenery and is rich in history, with many world-class heritage sites. It is a designated wildlife reserve with miles of forest walks and cycle ways. Guests can choose to do a three hour walk from Tayvallich to the Crinan Canal. Isle of Luing: Passengers can be dropped off at the little village of Toberonochy and do the lovely walk to the Atlantic Islands Centre. Loch Aline: A delightful loch off the Sound of Mull. In Loch Aline there are woodland walks and, at the head of the loch, is ancient Ardtornish estate and woodland gardens. Tobermory: Head up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory, one of the most picturesque towns in the Western Isles and home to one of the oldest (1798) commercial distilleries in Scotland. Here they produce two malts: the un-peated Tobermory and the smoky Ledaig. You can visit the distillery and sample these very different flavours.
Please Note:
Please note that your voyage is weather dependent. Weather doesn't just mean good or bad weather. There are many considerations such as tidal gates, wind direction and strength, the strength and direction of currents, overfalls, and fetch. If you wish to visit a specific place or have a specific experience, such as fly fishing, sea eagle tours, whisky tasting, then please do let your skipper know and he will endeavour to meet your request.

Malt Whisky and Scottish Wildlife Cruise (St Hilda) reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Please note that your voyage is weather dependent. Weather doesn't just mean good or bad weather. There are many considerations such as tidal gates, wind direction and strength, the strength and direction of currents, overfalls, and fetch. If you wish to visit a specific place or have a specific experience, such as fly fishing, sea eagle tours, whisky tasting, then please do let your skipper know and he will endeavour to meet your request.
Some of the places we may visit are: Oban: Your departure point will be Oban (Dunstaffnage Marina), the gateway to the Hebridean isles. After a short introduction to life on board our small ship we lift anchor and set sail to our first destination. Loch Spelve: The anchorage in this sheltered loch, which is surrounded by an ancient oak forest, gives us unparalleled views of the mountains of Mull. There are resident otters along its shoreline. Shuna Island: Our destination is the remote island of Shuna. On the way, and at anytime during the trip, we may see soaring white-tailed or golden eagles, basking sharks, whales, porpoises and dolphins, as well as many types of seabirds. With the tide in our favour, (a must as the currents can run at five knots in these parts) we enter the Firth of Lorn and then the Sound of Luing. Shooting past the famous Fladda lighthouse - the over falls and eddies of these fast-running waters make extraordinary spiral patterns and glassy runs in the sea. The waters calm as we pass the southern tip of Luing Island and enter Shuna Sound. Our quiet anchorage off the north coast of Shuna Island is a spot where otters frequently play along the shoreline. Craighouse, Jura: We travel down the Shuna Sound with tidal planning again important as we will pass the notorious Gulf of Corryvreckan with its six knot tides which can be heard roaring 30 miles inland when there is a storm of wind against tide. We pass the northern headland of Jura, where George Orwell’s cottage can still be seen where he wrote 1984, to sail down the Sound of Jura. The magnificent Munro mountains, the three “Paps of Jura”, can be seen rising over the craggy cliffs of Jura's shoreline to dominate the southern end of the Sound of Islay. Our destination anchorage is off Craighouse the home of the Jura Distillery and home to two distinct malts: sweet Origin and smoky Superstition. Islay: Islay is the Malt Whisky capital of the world. Our anchorage is in Kilnaughton Bay, off Port Ellen, which is Islay's main town (the Port Ellen distillery closed in 1983 but the maltings are still in operation). We are spoilt for choice for distillery visits: Lagavulin distillery is just north of Port Ellen and, close by, are the other world famous distilleries of Ardbeg and Laphroaig. They all use Islay's peaty water and peated malt to give their famous powerful, salty, peaty, iodiney flavours. In contrast, the northern distilleries of Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich draw their water directly from springs to give lighter, nuttier flavours. Caol lla, close to Bunnahabhain, produces a delicate flavoured malt, while Bowmore, the oldest distillery on the island (1779), in the middle of the town of Bowmore and on the banks of a loch, has its own very distinctive peaty, salty taste. Loch Sween: We travel to an anchorage in the upper reaches of beautiful Loch Sween - its seal population lining its banks to watch our progress. We will pass the natural anchorage of Tayvallich, once a famous Viking harbour. Crinan Canal: We can anchor just outside the Crinan Canal which has truly magnificent scenery and is rich in history, with many world-class heritage sites. It is a designated wildlife reserve with miles of forest walks and cycle ways. Guests can choose to do a three hour walk from Tayvallich to the Crinan Canal. Isle of Luing: Passengers can be dropped off at the little village of Toberonochy and do the lovely walk to the Atlantic Islands Centre. Loch Aline: A delightful loch off the Sound of Mull. In Loch Aline there are woodland walks and, at the head of the loch, is ancient Ardtornish estate and woodland gardens. Tobermory: Head up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory, one of the most picturesque towns in the Western Isles and home to one of the oldest (1798) commercial distilleries in Scotland. Here they produce two malts: the un-peated Tobermory and the smoky Ledaig. You can visit the distillery and sample these very different flavours.
* = Indicative
Map for Malt Whisky and Scottish Wildlife Cruise (St Hilda)
St Hilda, the ship servicing Malt Whisky and Scottish Wildlife Cruise (St Hilda)

St Hilda

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 16.4 metres

Passenger Capacity: 6

Cruise the isles (Skye, Mull, Arran, St Kilda, Islay, Jura, Canna, Rum, Barra to name but a famous few) and spectacular coastlines of the Hebrides onboard a classic vessel, the ex-tall ship, St Hilda, a traditional, beamy, 54ft wooden (larch on oak) ketch, fitted with a quiet, six cylinder 112 HP Kelvin engine. St Hilda is a vessel with an incredible Scottish lineage. Built in 1973 to the highest standard (Lloyds 100A1) at St Monans, Fife, by the internationally famous Millers boatyard (a family run business with 200 years of wooden boat building) and designed by G.L Watson, the world famous Glasgow based naval architect, who created the world's first yacht design office in 1873 and designed early America's Cup challengers (such as Thistle, Shamrock II, Valkyrie I and II) as well as the famous racing yacht Britannia.

St Hilda was built specifically for sail training with a crew of 20. By 2007 St Hilda was converted for cruising with only eight people - six guests and a skipper and chef - and that is why today she is so spacious inside. St Hilda is one of the smallest of the “Tall Ships” and has competed in several Tall Ship Races. Although St Hilda has sailed across the North Sea on a number of occasions, she is more of a motor sailor than an "ocean greyhound"! We will usually get her under sail during a cruise (weather permitting, of course) however, because of our busy itineraries and like many yachts, we will usually not be able to reach our various night anchorages under sail alone.

Accommodation The well-lit, roomy deck saloon is where everyone dines and socialises and where everyone enjoys a convivial atmosphere that is encouraged by shipboard life aboard this sturdy, ocean-going wooden ketch. Cabins are warm and comfortable with six berths for our guests: a spacious double en-suite (with shower, toilet, washbasin and two pretty opening portholes), a twin en-suite (with toilet, washbasin and opening porthole) and a twin cabin (with washbasin). The twin cabins are both close to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.

The outdoor decks are large and safe, perfect for spotting wildlife and relaxing. You also have some deck space to embark your own equipment such as kayaks and surfboards.  You will also be able to use our own inflatable sea kayak.

Your Crew Your professional skipper is passionate about boats, sailing, and the natural environment of the islands and sea lochs of the Hebrides and Argyll. He is more than happy to share his knowledge of the area to those on board while ensuring his shipmates have as much fun as possible. You also have your own on board chef who provides wonderful meals, locally-sourced and freshly prepared from the galley.

• Discover Oban, Loch Spelve & Shuna Island

• Explore Craighouse, Islay, Loch Sween & Crinan Canal

• Visit Isle of Luing, Loch Aline & Tobermory
Enquire now about Malt Whisky and Scottish Wildlife Cruise (St Hilda)

Travel on the St Hilda

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