10th July - Voyage to the Northern Isles
Heading north our voyage takes us to the contrasting worlds of Orkney and Shetland. Nordic in culture and heritage these archipelagos are separated from mainland Scotland by the Pentland Firth. Ruled by the Scandinavian crown until 1468 they are distinctly different and full of hidden gems.
10th July 2017.
Once embarktion had taken place we set sail on a northerly course towards our overnight anchorage off the Isle of Mull, passing M.v. "Balmoral" and CalMac ferry "Isle of Mull' inbound to Oban as we left.
11th July 2017.
After a morning sail around Ardnamurchan Point, past the Small Isles and through the Sound of Sleat, we arrived at the Isle of Raasay for afternoon walks.
We anchored overnight in Loch Ewe.
12th July 2017.
It was a glorious morning in Loch Ewe for our visit to Inverewe Garden.
After lunch our guest speaker Ann Cleeves gave the first of her lectures, about her crime writing and Shetland, as we sailed north around Cape Wrath towards our overnight anchorage in Loch Eriboll.
13th July 2017.
After a morning spent cruising the north coast of Scotland, we will arrived and berthed alongside in Scrabster in the afternoon for a visit the Castle of Mey, former home of the late HRH Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
We arrived in Stromness, Orkney and berthed overnight.
14th July 2017.
From Stromness we travelled to Skara Brae to explore the neolithic history of the island.
During lunch we cruised to Lyness on Hoy for a visit to the Scapa Flow Museum.
We remained alongisde in Lyness overnight.
15th July 2017.
This morning was spent relaxing on board as we sailed north on passage to Fair Isle where we landed in the afternoon for a visit to the Bird Observatory and South Lighthouse. Many puffins, gannets and skuas were spotted.
When all guests were back on board we continued our sail north and berthed overnight in Lerwick, Shetland.
16th July 2017.
This morning guests enjoyed a visit to Sumburgh Head to explore the restored lighthouse buildings and bird observatory.
During the afternoon we sailed south on passage to Orkney and berthed overnight in Kirkwall.
17th July 2017.
This morning guests had free time in Kirkwall to explore at leisure and visit St Magnus Cathedral.
Our afternoon tour included the Italian Chapel and Churchill Barriers. We remained alongside overnight in Kirkwall.
18th July 2017.
After an early morning cruise on passage to Wick, guests were taken ashore to explore independently or visit the Wick Heritage Museum.
During our afternoon sail to Invergordon guest speaker Ann Cleeves gave her final presentation, Bannocks and Blood, an interactive murder mystery set in Shetland with volunteers acting as suspects and the rest of the guests were left to deduce who dunnit!
We berthed alongside in Invergordon overnight.
19th July 2017.
Disembarkation took place this morning at the Port of Invergordon.