Wild and evocative, an expedition cruise close to home, visiting isolated islands, deep fjords, rugged hillsides and dramatic castle ruins, towering mountains and mystical lochs
Day 1 - Glasgow
Day 2 - Greenock
Day 3 – Isle of Islay
Day 4 – Island of Iona / Oban
Day 5 – Islands of Staffa & Rùm
Day 6 – St. Kilda Archipelago
Day 7 - Stornoway
Day 8 – Orkney Islands
Day 9 - Aberdeen
This unique voyage visits both inhabited and uninhabited islands, places of great natural beauty, rich in wildlife and mystical history, many dating back to the Iron Age. As an expedition cruise, the primary focus is the contact with natural surroundings and our small ship allows access to small harbours and bays where we can get up close to nature. Zodiacs are used on scenic and adventurous excursions along the coastline and amongst the islands, providing unrivalled access to abundant bird and wildlife.
Sail along the beautiful Scottish Coast, discover that the finest scenery and fascinating history is much closer to home than expected. Visit the picturesque Isles of Islay, Iona, Staffa, Rùm, St. Kilda, Lewis and Harris and Orkney Islands. Explore the charming and classic port towns of Oban and Lerwick. Enjoy tastings in whisky’s homeland, visiting some of the most distinctive and famous distilleries.
The Coast of Scotland is one of Europe’s last remaining wilderness areas, offshore islands provide magnificent coastlines and a diverse landscape of enormous natural splendour. Island hopping is the perfect way to explore and revel in this natural world, forming stepping stones to the very edge of the Atlantic. Rugged and primitive, they are a haven for wildlife with a multitude of marine species, including seals, dolphins, basking sharks and whales and an assemblage of birdlife species, you may spy nesting seabirds, puffins and white-tailed eagles.
Wildlife & Natural Wonders
Small Ship Expedition
On Board Lectures
Excursions by Zodiac
Group Size: 6 – 28
Day 1 Arrive in Glasgow. Overnight at the 3-star Jurys Inn Glasgow.
Day 2 Morning at leisure, afternoon transfer to Greenock for embarkation on MV Ocean Atlantic. (B, D)
Day 3 Stop at the beautifully located Bunnahabhain distillery on the Island of Islay for a tour of the distillery, to learn about the process of whisky making from start to finish, followed by a tasting. The Island of Islay is a wildlife paradise for seals, dolphins and basking sharks. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Early arrival at the small pilgrimage island of Iona, considered to be the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. Walking tour around the small town. Cruise along the Isle of Mull towards Oban. Arrive in Oban, wander the seafront to the ruined Dunollie Castle and beyond where otters, red deer, stags, seals and highland cattle are regular visitors. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Morning arrival at the small uninhabited isle of Staffa. The islands hexagonal basaltic pillars were formed many million years ago. Visit Fingal’s cave (depending on weather condition). The isle is a good place to spot puffins and herring gulls. Whilst navigating around the waters of Staffa, there might be a sighting of dolphins, porpoises and mike whales. Continue the cruise to the Isle of Rúm for a walk on this mountain filled island. Tour of the famous Kinloch Castle, built by George Bullough, who inherited the whole island from his father. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Arrive to the dramatic and isolated island of Hirta in St. Kilda archipelago, famous for its high sea cliffs. It is one of the most remote parts of the United Kingdom. The uninhabited island has remnants of human heritage in the shape of medieval villages and architecture. The island was used for seabird hunting and grazing. The volcanic archipelago is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and has a bird rich coast. Look out for northern gannets Leach’s petrels, puffins and northern fulmar. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Cruise to the Outer Hebrides to the Isle of Lewis and Harris, a rugged and bleakly beautiful land of heather and moor, loch and stream, home to the main harbour town of Stornoway. Optional excursion along the wild scenery of the Outer Hebrides and ancient history in the form of the Neolithic Callanish Standing Stones (£245 part of excursion package, pre-bookable). Circumnavigate the Shiant Islands with a large population of sea birds, a paradise for observation. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Enjoy the stunning scenery of Orkney and visit Kirkwall. Optional excursion to Skara Brae and Skaill House. Skara Brae, Northern Europe's Pompeii, was hidden for almost 5000 years before a massive storm revealed the ancient settlement. The 10 small homes are almost ready for moving into, fully furnished and with sanitation - all made in stone. Back in Kirkwall, visit one of the areas distilleries followed by a tasting (£245 part of excursion package, pre-bookable). (B, L, D)
Day 9 Disembark in Aberdeen. Transfer to Aberdeen railway station. (B)
Whilst the vessel carries more, the group size specified refers to transfers and excursions.
Excursions are by Zodiac or on foot, they may be over uneven ground and a reasonable level of mobility is required.
The programme may be altered due to navigational factors with locks, water levels or congestion at certain sites.
The 459 ft. MV Ocean Atlantic is the perfect vessel for expedition cruising, with an international ice class rating of 1B. The shallow draft allows for extended voyages into isolated fjords and bays, creating exciting adventures for the intrepid traveller. Renovated in 2016 and with a crew of 140, accommodation is for 214 passengers (198 in Antarctica). With five decks and two lifts, facilities include elegant public areas, a restaurant, panoramic lounge, library, observation deck, lecture theatre, sauna, pool and gym. Cabins have twin or double beds, hairdryer, safe and TV.
Cat. E Inside (215 sq. ft.) – Deck 5
Cat. G Outside Single with porthole (97 sq. ft.) – Deck 4
Cat. D Outside (113 sq. ft.) with porthole – Deck 4
Cat. C Outside (129 sq. ft.) with window – Deck 5
Cat. B Outside (215 sq. ft.) with window (limited view) and seated area – Decks 7 & 8
Cat. A Outside (204-258 sq. ft.) with window and seated area – Deck 5
Premium Suite (376 sq. ft.) 2-room suite – Deck 5
A modern 3-star hotel overlooking the River Clyde and next to Glasgow Central Station. Restaurant, bar and WiFi (free). 321 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
per person in a twin room and Category D Cabin
per person in a twin room and Category D Cabin
Supplements per person
Single Supplement is £1275
Category C Cabin £285
Category B Cabin £1645
Category A Cabin £2195
Premium Cabin £2395
Optional excursion package £245
Extra nights – Glasgow
(per night) £85
Single supplement £70
All port fees, transfers from/to the vessel, 1 night hotel, 7-night cruise, breakfast daily, full board on cruise with complimentary tea and coffee, whisky tasting, excursions, expedition leader, naturalists and lecturers.
Travel insurance, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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