28th June - The Hebridean Outposts of St Kilda
St Kilda is one of the most atmospheric locations you can visit without leaving the British Isles. When you add spectacular gardens, Neolithic standing stones and historic castles this is surely the experience of a lifetime.
When our Captain, Officers and crew had waved a fond farewell to our departing guests, servicing and storing took place in Oban to ready the ship for the next cruise.
Our final morning was spent in the pretty conservation village of Shieldaig for a leg stretch, followed by a relaxing afternoon on board as we cruised the Inner Sound, under the Skye Bridge, the narrows of Kyle Rhea and the Small Isles on passage to our overnight anchorage off Java Point.
This morning guests travelled from Ullapool to appreciate the box canyon of Corrieshalloch Gorge and Measach Falls.
During lunch we cruised to the Summer Isles and landed on the largest, Tanera Mor, for walks on the island.
Our overnight anchorage was in Upper Loch Torridon.
From Stornoway our guests enjoyed a full day tour of the Isle of Lewis whicg included visits to the Callanish Standing Stones and Gearannan Blackhouse Villahe in the morning. Lunch was served at the Doune Braes Hotel and the highlights of the afternoon were St Moluag's Church and the Butt of Lewis.
When all guests were safely back on board we departed from Stornoway and sailed to Ullapool.
From our overnight anchorage in East Loch Tarbert guests were taken on a tour of the Isle of Harris including a visit to the Harris Teed Weaving Company.
In the afternoon we cruised to the Shiant Isles and landed on the islands in beautiful sunshine. Guests were served tropical rum punch on the beach before setting sail once more and berthing in Stornoway overnight.
In Stornoway local musicians came on board and provided after dinner entertainment with many guests joining in the dancing!
This morning we cruised the Atlantic en route to the St Kilda archipelago. We cruised into Village Bay at lunchtime and landed on the island of Hirta in the afternoon for strolls in the Village Bay area.
On the return passage as we approached the Sound of Harris our Chief Purser Zoe captured this image of a rainbow over the bow of the sip.
Our first foray ashore was on Skye where we dropped anchor in Loch Scavaig and guests enjoyed seal watching and were tendered ashore for walks to Loch Coruisk.
The afternoon was spent cruising The Minch on passage to our overnight anchorage off Lochmaddy, North Uist where a spectacular sunset was on display.
We set sail from Oban on passage to our overnight anchorage in Bloody Bay.