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Spring in the Scottish Isles

If ever an archipelago was made for expedition cruising it is the islands off Scotland’s west coast. You can travel the world visiting all manner of exotic and wonderful places, but remember that some of the finest scenery, fascinating history and most endearing people may be close to home. Nowhere is that truer than around Scotland’s magnificent coastline, an indented landscape of enormous natural splendour with offshore islands forming stepping stones into the Atlantic. The sheer diversity of landscapes and lifestyles will amaze you, as will the spirit and warmth of the small communities we will encounter.

There is no better way to explore this endlessly fascinating and beautiful region than by small ship and with our naturalists and local guides we will explore the isles, and with our nimble Zodiac craft be able to reach some of the most remote and untouched places. With just over 100 travelling companions, the atmosphere is more akin to a private yacht trip journey through stunning scenery accompanied by spectacular sunsets and prolific wildlife. Learn something of the island’s history, see their abundant bird and marine life, but above all revel in the timeless enchantment that these islands exude to all those who appreciate the natural world.

Price includes:
Eight nights aboard the MS Hebridean Sky on a full board basis
Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
Shore excursions
Onboard team
Gratuities
Transfers
Port taxes.

16 May, 2019 to 24 May, 2019 Make a booking request for Spring in the Scottish Isles, departing on 16 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 £ 4250 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 £ 4250 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 £ 4450 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 £ 4450 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 £ 4650 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 £ 4950 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 £ 5450 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 £ 5750 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 £ 6650 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

Spring in the Scottish Isles itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 - Fairlie, Scotland.
Embark the MS Hebridean Sky this afternoon in Fairlie. Transfers will be provided from Glasgow Central Railway station and Glasgow International Airport at a fixed time. Enjoy Welcome Dinner and Drinks and sail this evening.
Day 2 - Holy Loch & Rothesay.
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.
Day 3 - Iona & Lunga.
Awake this morning at Iona which has been occupied for thousands of years and has been a place of pilgrimage and Christian worship for several centuries. It was to this flat, Hebridean island that St Columba fled from Ireland in 563 and established a monastery. Here his followers were responsible for the conversion of much of pagan Scotland and Northern England. No less than 62 Scottish Kings are buried in the Abbey. Visit the Abbey or perhaps walk along the white sandy beaches or go in search of the corncrake amongst the irises. During lunch sail for the Treshnish Isles, an archipelago of uninhabited volcanic islets. The island of Lunga is the largest of the Treshnish Isles in Argyll and Bute. Of volcanic origin, Lunga has been described as ‘a green jewel in a peacock sea’ and is a summer nesting-place for hundreds of seabirds.
Day 4 - Loch Scavaig & Canna.
This morning we will visit lovely Loch Scavaig on the island of Skye. Just beyond is the freshwater Loch Corruisk with its breathtakingly beautiful view over the Cuillins. This is great walking country and our expedition team will run a series of hikes for all interests. For those who prefer a less energetic morning our Zodiacs will explore the coast looking out for seals. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon we will visit the island of Canna and its adjoining neighbour Sanday which are bound together like some rare text that reveals over 60 million years of Hebridean geology and history. They have an amazingly rich archaeological landscape with remains dating to all periods of settled occupation in Scotland. Canna is run as a single farm and bird sanctuary by the National Trust for Scotland and enjoys the best harbour in the Small Isles, a hornshaped haven. The fertile soil and its diversity of habitats mean that the island has an incredibly rich plant life with 248 native flowering plants recorded. We will see Canna House and wander across grassy basalt plateaus to the 600-foot cliffs on the north shore.
Day 5 - Inverewe & Isle Martin.
This morning we will visit one of Scotland’s premier gardens, Inverewe. This botanical garden in the north-west Highlands, presents an amazing collection of exotic trees and shrubs that are sheltered by well positioned windbreaks of native pine. After a guided tour of the gardens, we will return to the MS Hebridean Sky and set sail for Isle Martin. Eilean Mhartainn in Scots Gaelic, Isle Martin is an uninhabited island in Loch Broom, on the west coast of Scotland. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, it became the site of a reforestation experiment by ecologists with native woodlands planted throughout and these are now flourishing and improving soil fertility and biodiversity. Then in 1999 the island became one of the first handovers of land to community ownership. We will be offered a very warm welcome by volunteers from the community trust and learn about the work they do on the island; promoting the landscape, community and traditions.
Day 6 - Shiant Islands & Stornoway.
This morning we will board the Zodiacs for a cruise around the spectacular basalt cliffs of the Shiant Islands, a group of little islands located a few miles off the shores of Lewis. This is an excellent place to spot puffins, razorbills, guillemots, seals and hopefully white-tailed eagles. This afternoon we will call into Stornoway, the capital of Lewis, and our tour will take us across the island to the beautiful west coast and to Callanish. 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. Visit the excellent visitor centre to learn more about the site and venture out amongst the stones themselves to experience their mysterious atmosphere. Continue around the west coast to the site of 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. We then head north to 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.
Day 7 - St Kilda & Stac Lee.
This morning arrive at St Kilda, a remarkable uninhabited archipelago some fifty miles beyond the Outer Hebrides. Dominated by the highest cliffs and sea stacks in Britain, Hirta, St Kilda’s main island was occupied on and off for at least two thousand years, with the last 36 Gaelic speaking inhabitants evacuated at their own request in 1930. Immediately after the evacuation, the island was bought by the Marquess of Bute to protect the island’s thousands of seabirds including puffin and fulmars and in 1957 it was bequeathed to The National Trust for Scotland. St Kilda is one of only two dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites with dual status reflecting its natural and cultural significance. The local ranger will join us on board before our expedition staff lead guided walks on the island. Later, we will cruise past one of the largest gannetries in the world at Stac Lee. The impressive stacs rise 170 metres from the sea and are home to up to 60,000 breeding pairs of northern gannet.
Day 8 - Mingulay & Barra.
Today we explore the remote islands at the tip of South Uist including Mingulay and Barra. Mingulay, which is nearly 1600 acres is the largest of the group of islands south of Barra. Its towering cliffs and stacks face the Atlantic while the east side slopes gradually down to the sandy beach of Mingulay Bay. Despite there being a continuous population on the island for at least two thousand years, evacuation began in 1907 and the island was completely abandoned in 1912. Ruins of the village remain close to the shore which we will explore on walks with the expedition team. The islands are also a nature reserve with important breeding populations of razorbills, guillemots, puffins, fulmars and shags. This afternoon we will land on Barra and visit Castlebay which curves around the barren rocky hills of a beautiful wide bay. Here we find the 15th century Kisimul Castle, seat of the Clan Macneil and a key defensive stronghold situated on a rock in the bay.
Day 9 - Oban.
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.

Spring in the Scottish Isles 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.
Today we explore the remote islands at the tip of South Uist including Mingulay and Barra. Mingulay, which is nearly 1600 acres is the largest of the group of islands south of Barra. Its towering cliffs and stacks face the Atlantic while the east side slopes gradually down to the sandy beach of Mingulay Bay. Despite there being a continuous population on the island for at least two thousand years, evacuation began in 1907 and the island was completely abandoned in 1912. Ruins of the village remain close to the shore which we will explore on walks with the expedition team. The islands are also a nature reserve with important breeding populations of razorbills, guillemots, puffins, fulmars and shags. This afternoon we will land on Barra and visit Castlebay which curves around the barren rocky hills of a beautiful wide bay. Here we find the 15th century Kisimul Castle, seat of the Clan Macneil and a key defensive stronghold situated on a rock in the bay.
This morning arrive at St Kilda, a remarkable uninhabited archipelago some fifty miles beyond the Outer Hebrides. Dominated by the highest cliffs and sea stacks in Britain, Hirta, St Kilda’s main island was occupied on and off for at least two thousand years, with the last 36 Gaelic speaking inhabitants evacuated at their own request in 1930. Immediately after the evacuation, the island was bought by the Marquess of Bute to protect the island’s thousands of seabirds including puffin and fulmars and in 1957 it was bequeathed to The National Trust for Scotland. St Kilda is one of only two dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites with dual status reflecting its natural and cultural significance. The local ranger will join us on board before our expedition staff lead guided walks on the island. Later, we will cruise past one of the largest gannetries in the world at Stac Lee. The impressive stacs rise 170 metres from the sea and are home to up to 60,000 breeding pairs of northern gannet.
This morning we will board the Zodiacs for a cruise around the spectacular basalt cliffs of the Shiant Islands, a group of little islands located a few miles off the shores of Lewis. This is an excellent place to spot puffins, razorbills, guillemots, seals and hopefully white-tailed eagles. This afternoon we will call into Stornoway, the capital of Lewis, and our tour will take us across the island to the beautiful west coast and to Callanish. 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. Visit the excellent visitor centre to learn more about the site and venture out amongst the stones themselves to experience their mysterious atmosphere. Continue around the west coast to the site of 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. We then head north to 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.
This morning we will visit one of Scotland’s premier gardens, Inverewe. This botanical garden in the north-west Highlands, presents an amazing collection of exotic trees and shrubs that are sheltered by well positioned windbreaks of native pine. After a guided tour of the gardens, we will return to the MS Hebridean Sky and set sail for Isle Martin. Eilean Mhartainn in Scots Gaelic, Isle Martin is an uninhabited island in Loch Broom, on the west coast of Scotland. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, it became the site of a reforestation experiment by ecologists with native woodlands planted throughout and these are now flourishing and improving soil fertility and biodiversity. Then in 1999 the island became one of the first handovers of land to community ownership. We will be offered a very warm welcome by volunteers from the community trust and learn about the work they do on the island; promoting the landscape, community and traditions.
This morning we will visit lovely Loch Scavaig on the island of Skye. Just beyond is the freshwater Loch Corruisk with its breathtakingly beautiful view over the Cuillins. This is great walking country and our expedition team will run a series of hikes for all interests. For those who prefer a less energetic morning our Zodiacs will explore the coast looking out for seals. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon we will visit the island of Canna and its adjoining neighbour Sanday which are bound together like some rare text that reveals over 60 million years of Hebridean geology and history. They have an amazingly rich archaeological landscape with remains dating to all periods of settled occupation in Scotland. Canna is run as a single farm and bird sanctuary by the National Trust for Scotland and enjoys the best harbour in the Small Isles, a hornshaped haven. The fertile soil and its diversity of habitats mean that the island has an incredibly rich plant life with 248 native flowering plants recorded. We will see Canna House and wander across grassy basalt plateaus to the 600-foot cliffs on the north shore.
Awake this morning at Iona which has been occupied for thousands of years and has been a place of pilgrimage and Christian worship for several centuries. It was to this flat, Hebridean island that St Columba fled from Ireland in 563 and established a monastery. Here his followers were responsible for the conversion of much of pagan Scotland and Northern England. No less than 62 Scottish Kings are buried in the Abbey. Visit the Abbey or perhaps walk along the white sandy beaches or go in search of the corncrake amongst the irises. During lunch sail for the Treshnish Isles, an archipelago of uninhabited volcanic islets. The island of Lunga is the largest of the Treshnish Isles in Argyll and Bute. Of volcanic origin, Lunga has been described as ‘a green jewel in a peacock sea’ and is a summer nesting-place for hundreds of seabirds.
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.
Embark the MS Hebridean Sky this afternoon in Fairlie. Transfers will be provided from Glasgow Central Railway station and Glasgow International Airport at a fixed time. Enjoy Welcome Dinner and Drinks and sail this evening.
* = Indicative
Map for Spring in the Scottish Isles
Hebridean Sky, the ship servicing Spring in the Scottish Isles

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
• Arrive in the Cowal Peninsula where we find the magnificent Benmore Botanic Garden situated in a mountainside setting.

• Discover Iona which has been occupied for thousands of years and has been a place of pilgrimage and Christian worship for several centuries.

• Visit lovely Loch Scavaig on the island of Skye.

• Visit one of Scotland’s premier gardens, Inverewe.

• Board the Zodiacs for a cruise around the spectacular basalt cliffs of the Shiant Islands, a group of little islands located a few miles off the shores of Lewis.

• Arrive at St Kilda, a remarkable uninhabited archipelago some fifty miles beyond the Outer Hebrides.
Enquire now about Spring in the Scottish Isles

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