18th July - Northern Isles Explorer
Discover the far-flung islands of Orkeny and Shetland, as Hebridean Princess sails where the Norse once ruled. These contrasting archipelagos boast some of the finest Neolithic sites in Britain and both played vital roles during the Second World War.
Thursday, 18th July.
Once embarkation had been completed and the mandatory safety drill had taken place, we set sail from Invergordon and cruised through the Cromarty Firth on passage to our overnight anchorage off Dunrobin Castle.
Friday, 19th July.
After a morning spent cruising the east coast of Scotland and the Pentland Firth on passage towards mainland Orkney, guests enjoyed an afternoon visit to Kirkwall to explore the town and St Magnus Cathedral.
We remained alongside overnight in Kirkwall, Orkney.
Saturday, 20th July.
Today was spent cruising north on passage towards Shetland and we anchored overnight in Laxvoe Bay.
Sunday, 21st July.
After breakfast we landed on Burravoe to explore on foot or learn of the war time history of the island at the Old Haa Museum.
During lunch we sailed to Mainland Shetland to visit Lunna Voe, Lunna Kirk and Lunna House, designated by the Scottish Office as a building outstanding regional importance.
We berthed alongside in Lerwick, Shetland overnight.
Monday, 22nd July.
From Lerwick guests toured the ancient capital of Shetland, Scalloway this morning which included Earl Patrick’s Castle and the Scalloway Museum.
Our afternoon excursion included Sumburgh Head and the prehistoric archaeological site of Jarlshof.
We anchored overnight in the Bay of Quendale, just off the south end of Shetland.
Tuesday, 23rd July.
We spent this morning cruising south towards the Orkney Isles for our afternoon landing on Westray to discover the Pierowall Heritage Museum and Noltland Castle.
We berthed alongside in Kirkwall, Orkney overnight. The Kirkjuvagr Ceilidh band came on board after dinner to to entertain our guests.
Wednesday, 24th July.
Our morning tour from Kirkwall included the Italian Chapel and the Churchill Barriers.
The Heart of Neolithic Orkney tour in the afternoon took in the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ness of Brodgar and the Ring of Brodgar.
We anchored overnight off Stronsay.
Thursday, 25th July.
After breakfast guests went ashore on Stronsay tomorrow for walks and to discover the spectacular collapsed sea cave, the Vat of Kirbister.
We spent the afternoon cruising south on passage towards Scrabster where we berthed overnight.
Friday, 26th July.
Our final excursion was Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of the UK mainland, and the Seadrift visitor centre with walks along Dunnet beach where the refreshment hamper was served in warm and sunny conditions.
Pre-lunch drinks were served out on the Skye Deck as we cruised south on passage towards Invergordon where we remained overnight.
Saturday, 27th July.
Our Northern Isles Explorer cruise came to an end this morning in Invergordon and the Captain, Officers and crew waved a fond farewell to the disembarking guests.