17th August - British Isles Explorer
Preparing to leave the south coast we set a northerly course and take in wonderful small ports and visit Wales and the Isle of Man, before returning to the familiar waters of Scotland's west coast.
Friday, 17th August
Welcome on board Hebridean Princess on the Isle of Portland. We are looking forward to our British Isles exploration over the next 10 days.
Saturday, 18th August
After travelling to the ship for embarkation yesterday afternoon, guests were able to relax on board this morning as we sailed to Dartmouth for our afternoon visit to The National Trust's Coleton Fishacre house and gardens. The arts and crafts exterior hosts a stunning Art Deco interior, complete with original features and the gardens consist of banks and borders filled with bright swathes of colour and exotic planting, against a backdrop of tree tops and sea views.
This evening we anchored off Dartmouth in readiness for the morning's visit.
Sunday, 19th August
Today, we enjoyed the place that Agatha Christie called the lovliest place in the world and treasured as a holiday home for her family - Greenway House.
This evening we anchored overnight in St Austell Bay, off Charlestown.
Monday, 20th August
Using the tenders, we ventured ashore in Fowey and boarded a coach for our visit to the Eden Project before taking lunch at The Alverton Hotel.
During the visit to the Eden Project, Captain Kirkwood and Purser Doreen Thomson entertained journalist and broadcaster, Simon Calder on board, showing him the delights of Hebridean Princess.
After lunch, Trelissick Gardens played host to our afternoon visit before we re-joined Hebridean Princess in Falmouth.
Tuesday, 21st August
Anchoring off Mousehole, in Penzance Bay yesterday evening, a morning sail took us to St Marys, Isles of Scilly. Taking the local boat ashore, after lunch, we enjoyed a guided walk around the town.
Dinner was enjoyed, at anchor, in St Ives bay.
Wednesday, 22nd August
Lundy is the largest island in the Bristol Channel and lies 12 miles off the coast of Devon, about a third of the distance across the channel from Devon to South Wales. The Island has been inhabited for at least 3,000 years - archaeological investigations have discovered considerable traces of Bronze and Iron Age settlements. The Dark Ages, following the fall of the Roman Empire, left Lundy shrouded in myth and legend.
Now, Lundy is undisturbed by cars (with the exception of ranger vehicles) and encompasses a small village with an inn, Victorian church and the 13th century Marisco Castle. Boarding the tenders, we went ashore to explore.
This evening we anchored in St Brides Bay.
Thursday, 23rd August
Continuing north, our next port of call was Fishguard. From here we ventured into St Davids to view the Cathedral and Bishops Palace.
On our departure, we were made very welcome by Alex Harding, the cruise co coordinator, and the Fishguard Bay welcome group.
The afternoon was spent cruising the Welsh coast.
Friday, 24th August
From our evening anchorage off Holy Island, Hebridean Princess set sail this morning for Beaumaris where guests will visit Plas Newydd Country House.
En-route, former 'HP' Captain, Trevor Bailey, captured this lovely shot of the ship from his homeland as she made her way through the Menai Straits.
Plas Newydd is a country house set in gardens, parkland and surrounding woodland on the north bank of the Menai Strait, in Llanddaniel Fab, near Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey. The current building has its origins in 1470, evolving over the centuries to become one of Anglesey's principal residences.
We anchored overnight to the south of Douglas, Isle of Man overnight.
Saturday, 25th August.
This morning was spent enjoying a tour of the isle of Man Motor Museum, a collection of over 400 unique exhibits from around the world, including classic cars and motor vehicles, and rarely seen private motorcycles.
The return journey to the ship was by tram and horse and cart.
In the afternoon we cruised the North Channel en route to our overnight anchorage off Port Ellen, Isle of Islay.
Sunday, 26th August.
During our morning sail to Oban, our guest speakers gave an illustrated talk and guest Richar Blair, the son of George Orwell, also ventertained the guests with his family history. Anchoring in Oban Bay after lunch, the options for the afternoon were local walks or a tour of the Oban Distillery.
The Farewell Gala Dinner was held at anchor.
Monday, 27th August.
We sailed into our home port of Oban after an absence of 6 weeks and disembarkation took place at Lighthouse Pier. We hope our guests have enjoyed their British Isles explorer cruise and we look forward to welcoming them back on board soon.