Art, Wildlife & Stunning Scenery Cruise of Skye and the Small Isles
Join us on this 7 night cruise where you will be discovering, through the use of sketch books, how to record and capture the ever changing and beautiful Scottish land and seascapes around the boat, as well as ashore when appropriate. We will explore a variety of materials and techniques, from drawing with traditional media like pencils, charcoal and oil pastels. The focus will be on developing individual skills and enjoying learning about new approaches to drawing and painting, using the sketch books to later produce a more finished and detailed work indoors or at home. There are several sheltered spots on deck to work outside as well as space in the main cabin area, and everyone is welcome to take part wether you are a beginner or a more experienced artist. We will also hopefully be able to sketch and paint some Scottish wildlife.
A mini cruise around the sea lochs of the Isle of Skye and the Small Isles (Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna) has to be one of the best ways to visit the Hebridean islands. Extraordinary Scottish wildlife is everywhere from minke and occasional killer and humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks, otters to many species of rare sea birds, especially sea eagles.
Throughout the mini cruise you will anchor in secluded and tranquil sea lochs and sail against a spectacular backdrop of dramatic, pristine island coastlines, high sea cliffs, wild mountains and forests. For extra fun, bring your kitesurf or windsurfer, swim from the boat and don’t forget your hiking boots for stunning island walks.
You start your cruise from Oban (Dunstaffnage marina), and visit or sail past the stunning Small Isles and the west coast of Skye, which in Loch Scavaig has the most spectacular wilderness anchorage in the whole of Scotland. We travel along the west coast of Skye and at the next anchorage you can even visit Skye’s famous Talisker malt whisky distillery.
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. Depending upon the weather and nature’s conditions, wildlife viewing varies.
If you wish to visit a specific place or have a specific experience, such as sea eagle tours or 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 depart for our first destination.
Loch Aline: In the picturesque Loch Aline there are woodland walks and, at the head of the loch, is ancient Ardtornish estate and woodland gardens.
Tobermory: One of the most picturesque towns in the Hebrides. If you wish, we can make time to visit the local distillery or visit eagles (Mull is the best place in the UK to see eagles).
Rum, Loch Scresort, the Small Isles: Rum Island is a National Nature Reserve and famous for its herds of red deer and sheer sea cliffs which are home to nesting sea eagles. A visit to the Kinloch castle near the anchorage is definitely worthwhile.
Canna, the Small Isles: Canna is possibly the most beautiful of all the Small islands. Its 200 metre high cliffs of Compass Hill rise dramatically out of the sea and we have a good chance of seeing both sea and golden eagles. The anchorage on Canna is one of the best of the Small Isles and a stroll ashore to see the puffins and wild flower meadows of Sanday’s Machair is a pure delight.
Loch Scavaig, Isle of Skye: The most dramatic anchorage in Scotland, if not Europe. The loch is situated below the mighty Black Cuillins mountains, famous for their difficult rock climbs, and a large colony of seals on Sgeir Doigich. Make sure to make time to enjoy this breathtaking wilderness.
Loch Harport, Isle of Skye: Home to the famous Talisker malt whisky distillery.
Loch Drumbuie: Just south of Oronsay is secluded Loch Drumbuie, situated between the island and the mainland. A squeeze between high sided cliffs and we are in a perfectly sheltered anchorage.
Loch Spelve: A narrow entrance leads us in to the tranquil waters of Loch Spelve with its surrounding ancient oak forest. The anchorage gives us a different perspective than our previous views of the wonderful mountains of Mull. There are resident otters along the loch’s shoreline.
Baggage: Storage space is limited on board so we advise soft bags for ease of stowing your luggage.
Dress: Casual wear is best onboard. Layered clothing will cope with all temperatures and a waterproof jacket and lightweight, waterproof trousers are necessary for when out on deck or in the tender. It is a good idea to bring a pair of gloves to help you work the ropes and sails if you want help out.
Footwear: Please bring a clean pair of shoes for wearing on deck and inside the boat (ideally non-slip such as deck-shoes) and either a pair of clean, light, walking boots or wellingtons for trips in the tender and to go ashore. To protect the decks, ropes, sails etc, all footwear brought on board should be clean of mud and grit and high-heeled shoes should not be worn on board.
Berths: All cabin linen and towels are supplied including towelling dressing gowns on Seahorse II for the cabins with no en-suite. It is a good idea to bring a spare towel in case you wish to go for a swim. Handwash is included in each cabin but toiletries are not.
Health and medical services: Let us know of any special medical conditions e.g. allergies. If you need to keep any medication refrigerated, or have any medical devices that will need charging etc, let us know and we will check their availability and compatibility with the ship’s electrical system. The boat is never far from land, therefore there is no requirement for a doctor or nurse on board. Guests should ensure that, to their knowledge, they are fit to take a holiday during which immediate medical assistance may not be available. The skipper is a qualified First Aid Officer and there is a comprehensive First Aid kit on board. Guests should bring any medicines or pharmaceutical products they are likely to need during their time on board. If you suffer from seasickness don’t forget the Kwells just in case, and don’t forget the sun cream!
Life jackets and liferaft: Life jackets are provided for each passenger. Their use and the liferaft will be demonstrated during the safety briefing. Buoyancy aids (provided) are required to be worn when in the ship’s tender. If windsurfing or sea kayaking we suggest you bring your own wetsuit with you.
Midges: While on board you are safe from the infamous Scottish midge which is around in June, July and August. However you may need to apply repellent when you go ashore. You may have your own preference but we will have on board a stock of the one we find most useful.
Itinerary: The cruise itinerary is flexible to suit the prevailing and forecast weather conditions, to follow the most sheltered and safe option. This is discussed with the passengers each day but the final decision rests with the skipper.
Meals: Please let us know in advance of any particular food and drink dislikes. All meals are prepared by your onboard cook and served in the saloon. Each day there is a new menu, which can be flexible to suit any dietary preferences or requirements.
Coffee/tea/water: Coffee and tea are offered during the day. A small water bottle which you can refill regularly on the boat might be useful.
Alcohol: House wine (half a bottle) and continental lager is complimentary with the pre- dinner aperitif and evening meal. However, feel free to bring your favourite tipple on board. On Seahorse II and Gemini Explorer there is a limited supply of ice however, on St Hilda we are unable to supply ice. On Seahorse II and Gemini Explorer we have a fine (if limited) selection of single malts in the honesty bar.
Further Useful Information
Communications: The cellular system in the Hebrides can be irregular; however during every day at some time you should be able to use your mobile phone and there are phones on shore. The boat has access to emergency services via VHF radio. It is most of the time possible to access the internet from local hotels, pubs, or use your 3G phone as personal hotspot whenever the network allows it.
Emergency contact: We shall ask you to give us 2 emergency contacts, which will be collected during the booking process.
Smoking: No smoking is allowed anywhere on deck or down below including in all the cabins and deck saloon.
Valuables: Please keep your valuables safe below. On deck, please make sure you secure all personal belongings to avoid loss overboard.
Weather: The weather can be quite localized and can change from sun to rain and back again from hour to hour not just day to day! This type of weather system is of course
The boat plan
Single cabins are all sold
Twin Cabin En-suite (p/p)£2,240.00
Twin Cabin Semi En-suite (p/p)£2,100.00
Double Cabin En-suite (p/p)£2,240.00