28th May - The Wildlife of St Kilda
As the remotest part of the British Isles, the double UNESCO World Heritage Site of St Kilda forms the most important seabird breeding site in northwest Europe. With cliffs, sea stacs and grassy slopes, the islands are ideally suited to nesting birds like gannet, puffin, kittiwake, fulmar, razorbill and guillemot.
Tuesday, 28th May.
Once embarkation was complete and the safety drill had taken place, we set sail from Oban and anchored overnight in Ardalanish Bay at the south end of Mull.
Wednesday, 29th May.
This morning guests had the option to take a local boat tour to the Isle of Staffa, during which plenty of puffins and dolphins were spotted, or visit the Isle of Iona to explore the Benedictine Abbey.
We spent the afternoon cruising the Sea of the Hebrides on passage towards our overnight anchorage off Taransay, during which a variety of wildlife was spotted including minke whales, dolphins, basking sharks and varied sea birds.
Thursday, 30th May.
We set sail very early in the morning on passage towards St Kilda. When we had anchored in Village Bay, the warden came on board to brief guests before they were landed on Hirta to explore the village.
When all guests were safely back on board we headed north to view the Stacs, passing between Stac Lee and Boreray, close to Stac an Armin and along the coast of Boreray. We cruised the Atlantic and through the Sound of Harris towards our overnight anchorage off Lochboisdale, South Uist.
Friday, 31st May.
This morning guests disembarked in Lochboisdale for a full day tour of the Uists, including a picnic lunch ashore. Guests visited Pobull Finn and Barpa Langass in the morning and the Balranald Bird Reserve in the afternoon.
The ship sailed to Lochmaddy, North Uist, where the guests re-joined the vessel and we cruised on passage to our overnight anchorage off Lochinver.
Saturday, 1st June.
This morning guests landed on Handa Island by local boat, for walks on the island and wildlife spotting.
We spent the afternoon cruising towards our overnight anchorage in East Loch Tarbert off the Isle of Harris. Darren Rees gave a talk on wildlife during the afternoon in the Tiree Lounge.
Sunday, 2nd June.
This morning guests went ashore at Tarbert to spot wildlife or enjoy an island tour including Rodel Church and beach walks.
During lunch we sailed to the Shiant Isles and where guests enjoyed wildlife spotting and fishing from the Hardy tenders.
We anchored overnight in Loch Hourn.
Monday, 3rd June.
As guests enjoyed a relaxing morning sail past the Small Isles on passage towards the Isle of Mull, David Sexton gave a talk on the Mull Eagle Watch in the Tiree Lounge, ahead of our afternoon visit to the hide. Alternatively guests had the opportunity to explore Tobermory independently.
The ship sailed from Tobermory to Craignure where guests re-joined the vessel.
We anchored off Java Point, Mull, overnight where the Farewell Gala Dinner was held.
Tuesday, 4th June.
Guests disembarked in Oban this morning and we wish all our guests a safe onward journey.