Cruise News

Living Better 50 | Travel Writer Review
Living Better 50

Living Better 50 | Travel Writer Review We were delighted to welcome American travel writers Norine and Joy from Living Better 50 earlier this season. A great read to find out why your next holiday should be with Argyll Cruising! Norine joined Splendour for the 6-night Villages and Gardens of South Argyll cruise. “Explore Western Scotland with Argyll Cruising As a travel enthusiast I have found that cruises are a great way to see the world. Enjoying ports of call, wonderful food, activities and relationships all without the hassle of pulling your luggage around. With Argyll Cruising it is so much more as you are welcomed on board the exclusive trawler yacht, Splendour and nestle into your ensuite cabin. I was so impressed with the hospitality shown to all the guests. Because it is a small cruise (8 guests) there are many benefits, which I truly enjoyed including smaller crowds, intimate relationships, and personalized care to name just a few. Scotland’s western coastline has so much to offer with it’s lush rolling green hills, quaint villages, castles, gardens, and wildlife. Yet, how about seeing it without the crowds. On this personalized tour guests are encouraged to share their thoughts and desires for the...

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Scotland Wildlife Holidays
Scotland Wildlife Holiday | Puffin

Try our Scotland Wildlife Holidays with a difference. Think you have to be on a dedicated Scotland wildlife holiday? Rising at the break of dawn or going on overcrowded field trips – think again… What’s our secret? Skipper Iain of-course! With unrivaled local knowledge and a real passion for our rich and diverse environment. Knowing when and where to spot these truly unforgettable moments is no mean feat – its years of experience. Guests Alister and Elizabeth thought Iain was ‘a great skipper with an in depth knowledge of the west coast and wildlife to be found. We were convinced he had sat-nav attached to minkie whales, porpoises and dolphins as he was able to guide us to them in specific parts of the sea’. Alister & Elizabeth kept record of their bird sightings whilst cruising aboard Splendour this season. Over 60 species of birds spotted on one cruise – Incredible – just one more reason why we love calling the sheltered waters of the west coast of Scotland our home and office!! View the full list below… Travel in style aboard our vessel Splendour to a hidden gem around the next headland, often accessible only to our small ship....

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Mhairi and Family Scottish Islands Cruise

With many of our friends joining us aboard Splendour from last season, there has been an array of fantastic cards, photographs, books for the library and even a beautiful poem. Our highlight this week, has got to be Mhairi’s journal of her Scottish Islands Cruise – May 2016… Scottish Islands Cruise Tuesday 17 May As we approached Holy Loch Marina, we caught our first glimpse of ‘Splendour’ looking bright and shiny after her winter refurbishment. We were met by Iain and Jamie who escorted us to ‘Splendour’ which was to be our home for the next three days. We met the other guest who quickly became a member of our family for our time together on board. 4pm: we set sail – bound for Loch Ridden. The rain was bouncing off the decks but that did not detract from our enjoyment. As we sailed through the Kyles we were tucking into gingerbread and muffins – this was just the start of a three day feast! Sailing through the Kyles we were privileged to watch porpoises at play, as they swam alongside us. Dinner was served at 7.30pm and we were not disappointed: cod with herb and parmesan crust, followed by homemade sticky...

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Small Boat Cruise Delivers Big
Responsible Wildlife Cruises|Wildlife Spotting|Scotland|Argyll|Islands|Hebrides

Sun, sea and celebrations aboard Splendour for our first small boat cruise of 2016. Our guests had a whale of a time for their private small boat cruise – Slipping lines from Holy Loch Marina, we set sail for the beautiful anchorage of Loch Riddon. Basking in glorious April sunshine all were out on deck taking in the scenery as we cruised down the picturesque Clyde. Our first encounter of many was a small group of Porpoises feeding at the mouth of the loch. Much more was to follow during the 6-night small boat cruise charter… Stephen our onboard chef was cooking up a storm, of fresh Langoustines glazed in garlic butter, herb crusted potatoes and springtime infused salad. Its no wonder why food onboard Splendour becomes a hot topic each day! After a peaceful nights sleep and more importantly breakfast, a few of the party decided to walk part of the Cowal Way from Upper Caladh, to the village of Tighnabruaich, where the fabulous art gallery and Botanica gift shop await your arrival – a great reward. The others opted for a leisurely cruise spotting porpoise, eider ducks and kittiwakes. With all our small boat cruises we create bespoke itineraries...

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Lifting Anchor for 2016 Season

Lifting Anchor for 2016 Season We have lifted anchor and set sail for our inaugural cruise of 2016. The Argyll Cruising team have been exceptionally busy with renovations inside and out, Splendour now offers Twin or Double Ensuite Cabins, boasting central heating throughout to ensure a cosy night’s sleep! A preview of Splendours’ new cabins can be seen here – more pictures to follow soon… Ciao for now

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Get close to nature this year with Argyll Cruising | Wildlife Cruises
Wildlife Cruise|Scotland Wildlife|Argyll Cruising|Argyll

Get close to nature this year with Argyll Cruising | Wildlife Cruises Where can you spot all of Scotland’s Big 5, not to mention a myriad of seabirds?  If you think you have to travel to the north of Scotland or its remotest islands, think again, as the land and sea around the Clyde coast and Arran are a haven for Scotland’s five iconic wild animals – the red squirrel, red deer, harbour seal, otter and golden eagle. This is the local habitat of Argyll Cruising, the Dunoon based company who specialise in wildlife cruises and who, following a recent workshop, have become local wildlife ambassadors in the Argyll and the Isles region. The Get Wild About Argyll scheme, run by Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative (AITC), is aimed at making the most of our wild and wonderful area, an opportunity Argyll Cruising was only to happy to accept.  As Shore Manager Jamie Duncan explained the programme mirrors the ethos of Argyll Cruising.  He said, “Wildlife cruises are amongst our most popular holidays, however what a lot of people don’t realise is that some of the best loved and most popular creatures are right here on our doorstep. “We...

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Winter Cruise News
Winter Cruise|Majestic Line|Hebrides Cruises|Argyll Cruising

Winter Cruise News| Ahoy, We hope you all had a wonderful time over the festive period and want to wish everyone all the very best for the year ahead. We are delighted to be welcoming back so many friends from last season and very much looking forward to the approaching 2016 season… Winter aboard ‘Splendour’ has been a busy one! We are steaming ahead of schedule with the total refit of our cabins. Not only will we boast double or twin ensuite cabins throughout – they will also be filled with natural light with the addition of these beautiful reclaimed brass portholes. Why not make 2016 one to remember by chartering ‘Splendour’ with up to 8 guests. A private cruise charter is perfect for that special occasion or just for the fun with family and friends. Two dates available for April 2016 with an extra 10% discount, now £4455.00 for our 3-night charter.  

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Argyll Cruising | Our Recent Garden Visitor
Scottish Otter|Scottish Wildlife|Argyll Cruising|Argyll|Argyll Secret Coast|Argyll Cruise

During the season of our Argyll cruises we have been keeping note of where and when, we and our guests have spotted wildlife. Many of our sightings get reported to The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust who are dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and understanding of Scotland’s whales, dolphins and porpoises. One elusive character that everyone loves to see is the otter, although with rising numbers in the West Coast of Scotland they are still tricky to spot. A tell tale sign of an otter is the V shaped wake it leaves on the surface due to its square jaw. Two of our cruise itineraries have high chances of spotting them, our 6-night Inlets and Islands of wild Argyll cruise, the anchorage of Loch Gair off Loch Fyne is a prime spot for otter spotting. Though who would believe it – there it was lurking through our garden… An otter! Living in the area all our lives we have never seen an otter away from the coastline. It does however explain where all our fish and frogs have gone! Enjoy our short iPhone (never a camera around when needed!) video of the otter hunting through the burn for hibernating frogs....

Posted by Jamie Duncan
News Release | Argyll Cruising Drops Anchor On Successful First Season

News Release | Argyll Cruising Drops Anchor On Successful First Season The west coast of Scotland has some of the best sailing waters in the world, but for Iain Duncan, together with wife Fiona and son Jamie, they regard them as their office. Together, the Duncan family is the powerhouse behind Argyll Cruising, Argyll’s newest cruising company and they’ve just completed their first successful season aboard their converted former fishing vessel, Splendour. Based in Dunoon, Argyll Cruising covers some of the most popular tourist destinations including Loch Fyne and Arran. But, skipper Iain will also introduce you to the Maids of Bute or take you to the remote Loch Striven should you prefer to book a cruise off the beaten track. And, next year, Splendour will be stretching her sea legs a bit further, as she embarks on new cruising grounds including the Hebrides, St Kilda, Skye and the Small Isles. As Iain explained: “We live in one of the most stunning areas in the world and we’d like you to experience it, with us, from the sea. At various times in the season it’s not unusual for us to be joined by schools of porpoise or even Basking Sharks swimming...

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Short Break | Margarets Log

Short Break | Kyles and the Isles 3-night cruise Departing Tuesday September 29th 2015 The exceptional autumn weather in Scotland had tempted me to take a short break on the west coast and I found myself aboard “Splendour”, on a gloriously sunny late September afternoon. We were setting off from Holy Loch, only an hour from Glasgow, but in another world of serene scenic beauty with the surrounding mountains reflected in the mirror calm waters of the loch. After a welcoming glass of bubbly and some delicious canapes, we set off down the Clyde estuary, with lots of wildlife easily seen in the unruffled waters; seals, porpoises, cormorants, rafts of guillemots and hundreds of gannets diving around the boat. One of the attractive aspects of the boat layout is the spacious outdoor decks; the upper aft deck is perfect for wildlife watching and relaxing in the sunshine, with the option to wander into the roomy wheelhouse to chat to Skipper Iain and even take a shot at the wheel. The lower forward deck has kayaks stowed with room for cycles and windsurfers for guests who want to take advantage of the opportunity for activities on the water and onshore. Our...

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Skippers Log | Private Cruise Charter
Cruise Scotland|Argyll Cruising|Scottish Cruising|Scottish Walks

We ‘re currently cruising Loch Fyne on our sold out 6-night, Inlets and Islands of Wild Argyll cruise with a detour to Inveraray to take in their Highland Games of 2015. During our last cruise we had the absolute pleasure to welcome the Norris family aboard ‘Splendour’ for their private cruise charter of the whole vessel. Once aboard and feeling at home in Splendour’s cosy dining saloon the corks were popped to start the celebrations. We slipped the mooring lines and headed for Rothesay where a lone piper played the ships company into the bay in style. The following day all ashore to the village of Tighnabruaich, the party split to make the most out of the day. A highlight of this rural community is the fabulous Caladh walk, part of the Cowal Way, with rushing waterfalls, ancient woodlands and spectacular views of the Burnt Isles. With some of the group heading off the beaten track along Argyll’s Secret Coast the others enjoyed a stroll through the village itself with stop offs at the amazing Tig Gallery. With special moments throughout the cruise, guests and crew alike were spoilt with unrivalled sunsets after dinner and drinks prepared by Mike our...

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Family Cruise | Guest Review
Argyll Cruising|Family Cruise Holiday

Following our latest ‘Skippers Log | Family Cruise’ the Lake family have sent us adorable photos of Ewan and Sarah’s first born, Edward. Eddie is our youngest guest to have been onboard ‘Splendour’ to enjoy the magnificent Argyll coastline. We have to say it was a great pleasure to welcome him aboard and supply him with his very own lifejacket. Proud grandparents, Andrew and Sue, who organised the family cruise late last year sent in a splendid email thanking us for their special memories for all the family, including great grandfather Bob. Below we have quoted Andrews email – we couldn’t have said it any better ourselves… ‘On behalf of my family, I wanted you to know how much we have all enjoyed our holiday on Splendour last week. We wanted to spend time together to get to know our new grandson, Eddie. From the start you were positively encouraging about us bringing Eddie despite him being so young, not quite yet 4 months old. Our gathered family spanned four generations so one would expect that we all had quite different needs. Splendour has provided a stress free home from home where we have all been able to share some quite...

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Skippers Log | Family Cruise Holiday

During our last trip we had the pleasure of showcasing Argyll and Arran to the Lakes’ for their family cruise holiday aboard ‘Splendour’. Slipping the lines at Holy Loch Marina we headed for Loch Striven for our first night aboard. Hugging the shoreline, many porpoise were spotted, with Gannets diving off the port side. Dropping anchor in 19m of water at the head of Loch Striven the Gardner engine was shut down and the generator given a well deserved rest. With complete silence and the picturesque setting it was time for drinks and canapès. After the first nights sleep aboard Splendour and a hearty breakfast the anchor was lifted, south we head to the island of Great Cumbrae for a recital in the cathedral of the isles. A special Sunday service was rewarded the following day with glass calm seas and beautiful sunshine throughout. With perfect conditions we sailed to Ailsa Craig, where there were Gannets galore – many more breeding pairs than previous years. Puffins have become well established visitors to the rock and similarly have increased in numbers, a great sight for all. Taking full advantage of the incredible day the anchor was dropped in 10m of water...

Posted by Jamie Duncan
Wildlife Groups Back Reintroduction of Beaver

Wildlife groups have joined a coalition of more than 20 Scottish environmental NGOs writing to Dr Aileen McLeod, minister for environment, climate change and land reform, calling for the Eurasian beaver to be fully reintroduced. The groups want the species to be recognised by the Scottish Government as a resident, native species in Scotland. In addition, the collective called for the building on the current wild populations in Mid Argyll and Tayside, and permission for further licensed releases across other appropriate areas of Scotland to viably restore this once widespread, native species. The conservation coalition is made up of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group, Borders Forest Trust, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Froglife, Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance, Highland Foundation for Wildlife, John Muir Trust, National Trust for Scotland, Plantlife Scotland, Ramblers Scotland, Reforesting Scotland, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Scottish Badgers, Scottish Raptor Study Group, Scottish Wild Beaver Group, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Trees for Life, Woodland Trust and WWF Scotland.

Posted by Jamie Duncan