Board Splendour at Oban’s North Pier Pontoon for Skipper Iain’s briefing and a welcoming glass of bubbly. Cast off for Loch Spelve for the first of many fabulous evening meals with the hills of Mull as our backdrop.
After a wonderful cooked breakfast prepared by your onboard chef set sail for the tiny island of Eilach An Naoimh one of the ‘isles of the sea’ or Garvellachs. View the well-preserved beehive cells once home to early Christian Monks. Visit the grave of St Columba’s mother. Overnight in tranquil Loch Melfort after a stroll through the marvellous Arduaine Gardens.
Surge through the turbulent Gulf of Corryvreckan and the great race to the serene island of Iona for an afternoon ashore and a visit to the Abbey. Enjoy dinner and overnight off Bunessan on Mull.
Fingal’s cave on Staffa is an unforgettable natural wonder. Visit the cave by tender and then back aboard for morning coffee and cookies. Lunga, one of the Treshnish isles, is next on the agenda with its fabulous colony of puffins. Overnight in sheltered Gometra harbour keeping an eye open for eagles and red deer.
The pastoral island of Muck awaits us today. The waters around Muck are the hunting ground of Minke Whales and Dolphins. A walk ashore from Port More to Gallanach Bay to the North of the island rewards you with wonderful views of the island of Rhum. Porpoises and otters may be seen in Gallanach Bay. Overnight in Loch Scresort, on the island of Rhum, with the possibility of an evening visit to the Otter hide.
Loch Scavaig in the Black Cuillins of Skye is one of the most awesome anchorages in Europe. The waters here are home to some 300 Common Seals. A trip ashore to view Loch Coruisk is an unforgettable experience and for the brave, a wild swim is the icing on the cake. After lunch we motor up the west coast of Skye enjoying some of the best cliff scenery in Scotland, watching out for White-Tailed Eagles, Basking Sharks, Dolphins and hopefully Killer Whales. Overnight in Loch Dunvegan.
We continue our journey north today to the other-worldly islands of the Shiants. Prepare for sea bird overload as these islands teem with life thanks to an abundant supply of sand eels. The puffin colony is huge comprising some quarter of a million individuals. If the weather is settled we will overnight in this magical place.
A fabulous sea-day is in-store today with nine glorious hours of scenery and wildlife from the Shiants to Canna, the jewel of the Hebrides. Anything can be encountered today from common, risso’s and bottlenose dolphins to minke and perhaps killer whales. A walk on Canna before dinner.
Cruise along the North Coast of Rhum spotting the red deer herd made famous by the BBC’s Autumnwatch. These waters are a favourite haunt of Basking Sharks, Common Dolphin and Minke Whales. Dropping anchor in Eigg’s south bay we go ashore to visit this vibrant island which since 1997 has been owned by the inhabitants after a series of disastrous absentee landlords. Visit the cave of the massacre. A haunting reminder of bloodier times when 395 islanders were suffocated when the MacLeods lit a fire in the cave mouth. After lunch, we head south past Ardnamurchan Point to the capital of Mull, Tobermory for overnight.
The bustling town of Tobermory beckons today with its distillery, museum, shops and bars, there is something for everybody. It is a colourful little town and one of the most photogenic in the whole of Scotland. After lunch back aboard Splendour, we cruise down the scenic Sound of Mull to our overnight in beautiful Loch Aline. This is where most evacuees from St Kilda were housed and is one of the best anchorages in the West Coast. A walk ashore is followed by a welcome dinner aboard.
A short cruise to Oban completes the wonderful trip which has taken in some of the best scenery and wildlife on the planet. All too soon its 11 o’clock and fond farewells all round. Time to start planning your next adventure aboard Splendour!