3rd July - Classical Inspiration
The beauty of Scotland's Highlands and Islands has inspired numerous artists, composers and musicians, most famously the dramatic cathedral-like Fingal's Cave on Staffa. This cruise uncovers the talent of local musicians and artists who have also been stimulated by the unique atmosphere of the environs in which they live.
Tuesday, 4th July.
After the coach from Glasgow stopped for refreshments at Inveraray, guests embarked and enjoyed welcome drinks on deck. Before leaving Oban, the mandatory safety drill took place and we sailed to our overnight anchorage at Ardfern, Loch Craignish.
Wednesday, 5th July.
Our first port of call was Crinan for morning strolls along the canal and a visit to the gallery at the Crinan Hotel where contemporary artists Frances Macdonald and her son Ross Ryan regularly exhibit.
After lunch guests were tendered ashore at Tayvallich for afternoon walks ashore.
We anchored overnight in Loch na Mile off the Isle of Jura.
Thursday, 5th July.
Going ashore at Port Ellen on Islay our morning tour included Islay House Square and the woollen mill, built by Walter Campbell in the 1970's to house servants and workshops.
After lunch guests enjoyed a tasting and tour at Laphroaig distillery before returning to the ship for a recital by the Cantilena music group in the Tiree lounge.
We anchored overnight in West Loch Tarbert.
Friday, 6th July.
This morning we berthed alongside at Colonsay for an exploration of the gardens of Colonsay House.
Over lunch we sailed north to the holy isle of Iona where guests were tendered ashore to visit the Benedictine abbey, birthplace of Christianity in Scotland.
Saturday, 7th July.
This morning guests boarded local boats to land on the Isle of Staffa to wonder at the eerie sounds produced by the waves inside the cathedral-like Fingal's Cave which have inspired music, legends and modern art.
In the afternoon we arrived at mainland Britain's most westerly point to take in the breath-taking panorama from the top of the Ardnamurchan Lighthouse.
Our overnight anchorage was in Loch Sunart.
Sunday, 8th July.
This morning we visited the Resipole Studio in Salen, a contemporary gallery on the edge of Loch Sunart that provides an excitingf space for Scottish artists to develop and exhibit their work.
In the afternoon we berthed alongside in Tobermory where guests enjoyed exploring the town. Richard Jeffcoat, director of the Medelssohn on Mull Festival gave a talk in the lounge and musicians from the festival gave a performance in the Tiree Lounge after dinner.
We sailed to Craignure and remained alongside overnight.
Monday, 9th July.
Guests went ashore on Mull after breakfast to explore Duart Castle which has been home to Clan Maclean for over 800 years.
The below drawing of Duart Castle was sketched by guest Judith Stephen.
Once again guests were entertained by musicians from the Mendelssohn on Mull Festival after lunch in the Tiree Lounge.
We anchored overnight in Charlotte Bay off the Isle of Kerrera where the Farewell Gala Reception was held out on the Skye Deck.
Tuesday, 10th July.
We sailed into Oban this morning for our last disembarkation at Northern Lighthouse Board Pier for several weeks as we will be leaving our home waters this evening for a series of cruises to the south coast of England, the Channel Islands and the north coast of France and Belgium.