Cruise Scotland: Hebridean Odyssey Cruise – Our fabulous Hebridean Odyssey Cruise has it all. The best sights and experiences of Scotland’s islands neatly packaged into the cruise of a lifetime. Words cannot describe the wonders you will enjoy – from the 900-foot high sea cliffs of Skye to the sand dunes of Mingulay, the close encounters of marine and land wildlife, visiting world-famous whisky distilleries and through it all the blue of sky and sea.
Arran – Scotland in miniature with its craggy mountains in the north and softer lowlands in the south. Brodick Castle and Gardens offer something for everyone. Those in search of nostalgia will opt for the Isle of Arran heritage museum – a gem!
Gigha – Hire a bicycle at the jetty and tour ‘gods island’. Achamore gardens are a must, with over 50 acres of rare and unusual plants.
Jura – Loch Tarbert’s raised beaches are a unique and unforgettable sight. Prime minister David Cameron holidays here on Tarbert estate, which is owned by Lord Astor.
Iona – Peace perfect peace on this wonderful green island. On stepping ashore one instantly appreciates what Columba felt when he first landed here. Visit the Abbey or strike out west to look for cowrie shells on the white shell sand beach.
Staffa – The alternating layers of tuff and basalt combined with the fury of Atlantic storms have resulted in the eighth wonder of the world, Fingal’s cave. A visit into the cave on our tender is an unforgettable experience and watch out for basking sharks.
Barra – Visit Kissimul Castle on its rock in Castle Bay. Climb Heaval (383m) for magnificent 360° views of the islands beyond. Barra is the island of Today in Compton MacKenzie’s ‘whisky galore’.
Mingulay – With its own village bay, Mingulay is very reminiscent of the more remote St Kilda island group. Walking through the fields and houses is an evocative reminder of the people who lived and toiled here. Mingulay, Pabbay and Berneray have a huge population of seabirds with snowstorms of puffins.
The Shiants – A birders paradise, some 250,000 seabirds nest here in spring/summer. Land on the beach joining Eilean at Tighe and Garbh Eilean to explore this stunning island group.
Skye – The island is celebrated in poetry and song and a cruise around its coast will show you why. Towering cliffs peppered with sea caves to explore and the awe-inspiring black Cuillin range to marvel at. What more could you wish for?
Canna – The jewel in the Hebridean crown. Canna rivals Iona with its feeling of serenity. Walk on a carpet of wildflowers on the tidal neighbour Sanday. Cruise under the cliffs of Compass Hill for a chance of Golden and white-tailed eagles. Keep an eye open for Minke Whales, dolphins and basking sharks.
Day 1 – Board Splendour at 1400 hrs at Holy Loch Marina, Sandbank and after some bubbly and the skipper’s safety briefing slip the mooring lines and cruise down the Firth of Clyde to the mountainous island of Arran. We drop anchor in Brodick bay for dinner and overnight anchorage.
Day 2 – Visit Brodick castle after breakfast or the wonderful Arran heritage museum. Back aboard for lunch then up anchor for a cruise to Campbelltown on Kintyre or if the weather is favourable to the island of Sanda for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Catch the morning tide for a wonderful trip around the Mull of Kintyre, with views of Antrim and Rathlin Island, for a visit to Craighouse on Jura or the Achamore Gardens on Gigha ‘Gods Island’.
Day 4 – Cruise, tide assisted, through the sound of Isla to stunning Loch Tarbert with its raised beaches for a shore walk. Lunch aboard whilst Splendour crosses over to the island of Colonsay for overnight anchorage if the weather is kind.
Day 5 – Set sail for Iona with wonderful open seascapes all around and views of the cliffs of Mull and the Garvellachs. After lunch go ashore to visit the abbey on Iona or walk to the shell sand beach on the west coast. Overnight at Bunnessan on Mull enjoying the company of bottlenose dolphins along the way.
Day 6 – Visit to Staffa with its many caves, most notably Fingal’s Cave with its basalt and tuff layers of lava. Enjoy a tender trip right into the cave for an unforgettable experience. Now its north past the otherworldly Treshnish Isles to the peaceful island of Muck. On this trip we hope to see Sea Eagles and perhaps large pods of common dolphin and some Minke Whales. Walk to the north bay on Muck to look for otters and porpoises.
Day 7 – We now set our sights west to the Outer Hebrides with Castlebay on Barra being our targeted landfall. Visit Kisimul castle on its island and explore the village perhaps enjoying a drink in the pub before returning to Splendour for dinner chat and overnight.
Day 8 – Cruise south to hauntingly beautiful Mingulay with its deserted village bay and towering sand dunes. Enjoy a trip ashore to the village and during lunch set sail for the Uists and overnight stay in Loch Boisdale.
Day 9 – Cruise the beautiful east coast of the Uists and Benbecula with their attendant archipelago of jewel-like islands. Tarbert is well worth a stopover with an easy walk to the west loch and a look at the tweed shop and the amazing general store.
Day 10 – The Shiant Islands lie 2 hours east of Tarbert and seethe with birdlife in the summer months. Go ashore from the anchorage at Molmor to explore Eilean An Tigh (Island of the House) and if no one’s at home sneak a peek into the Nicolsons cottage with its rough stone chess set and throne-like chair but be sure to close the door! Next, we’re off to Dunvegan on Skye for overnight anchorage.
Day 11 – Visit Dunvegan Castle and after lunch cruise down Skye’s awe-inspiring west coast with amazing cliffs, caves and sea stacks. If it’s calm enough we can go by tender into one of the caves, which is pitch dark inside and full of nesting shags. Overnight off the Talisker Distillery in Loch Harport with the towering mass of the black Cuillin ridge as a backdrop.
Day 12 – A visit to the distillery is possible this morning or better still to Loch Coruisk in the heart of the Cuillins and onto the jewel in the Hebridean crown the island of Canna. Here we will overnight with the grey seals and hope a visiting trawler overnight at the pier so that we can trade for prawns fresh from the sea.
Day 13 – Walk on Canna with its three churches to the neighbouring island of Sanday, which is carpeted with wildflowers at this time of year. Truly sublime. We now travel south past the other small isles watching out all the way for whales, sharks and dolphins to the enchanting, colourful village of Tobermory for a shopping trip before dinner and a well-earned rest.
Day 14 – Down the sound of Mull during breakfast for a final cruise to Oban, gateway to the Islands, for fond farewells and by coach back to Sandbank.
This is the Hebridean trip of a lifetime and will linger in the memory forever.
Pricing and Availability
From £3510 p/p (Complete with ensuite cabin) / From £25,272 Private Charter
Argyll Cruising offers 9 unique Scottish Cruises, visiting the inlets and islands of Argyll, Arran and the Outer Hebrides.
Cruise around Scotland in style with Argyll Cruising.