MULL & SMALL ISLANDS PHOTOGRAPHY & WILDLIFE CRUISE
MULL & SMALL ISLANDS PHOTOGRAPHY & WILDLIFE CRUISE
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Hotels & Restaurants
Malmaison Hotel – Glasgow
This boutique hotel located in a former Greek Orthodox church is right at the heart of everything Glasgow has to offer, not that you really need to leave it for a fantastic stay. The 72 rooms and suites combine character and style with all modern conveniences and there’s a great restaurant serving contemporary French cuisine.
Oban Bay Hotel
Set on Oban’s esplanade and overlooking Oban Bay, this waterfront spa hotel has classy rooms that feature tea and coffeemaking facilities, free Wi-Fi and flat-screens. Some have sea views and 4-poster beds. There’s a seafood restaurant, a bar with a pub-style menu and a sunroom with panoramic bay views and afternoon tea. A mini-spa offers treatments, along with a sauna, a steam room and an outdoor hot tub. Event space and limited parking are available.
The Manor House Hotel – Oban
Located on Oban Harbour, the 11 charming rooms feature designer toiletries, freestanding tubs, tea and coffeemaking facilities, and free WiFi. Some have sea views and binoculars. There’s a gourmet restaurant serving Scottish cuisine, and a cosy bar offering cocktails and light fare. Other amenities include beach access and use of the harbour’s mooring, plus free gym use nearby. Common areas include fireside lounges, a conservatory and a garden.
The Seahorse II was built to the highest standard for the Norwegian fjords and life in the high northern latitudes. Powerful enough to cruise the many spectacular islands and lochs of the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides, yet small enough to anchor in remote and hauntingly beautiful places that the larger passenger ships are unable to visit. With a maximum speed of 11 knots Seahorse II is a sturdy, go-anywhere, yet comfortable adventurer. The luxurious accommodation comprises of two double (or twin) with full en-suites, two twins with en-suites (toilet and washbasin), two single cabins and one double/single cabin with a 105 cm wide bed (all with a washbasin). All cabin linen and towels are supplied including luxurious towelling dressing gowns for the cabins with no en-suite.
There is a wonderful deck saloon where you dine and view the spectacular Hebridean wildlife, a high foredeck for wildlife spotting and a boat deck for lounging, she is the perfect vessel for your life afloat. On the spacious aft deck (ideal for alfresco dining when the boat is at anchor or under way) there is a powerful little crane for launching Seahorse’s two dinghies, two sea kayaks and paddle board.
You will have your own on board chef who provides wonderful meals, locally sourced and freshly prepared from the galley and a bosun/crewmember who will be there to provide assistance whenever you will need it.
Places & Attractions
A city of many faces where a blend of internationally acclaimed museums and galleries, stunning architecture, vibrant nightlife, fantastic shopping and a diverse array of restaurants and bars mixes with an industrial heritage, mainly based along the Clyde where historically shipbuilding was a major employer.
There’s a diverse and energetic arts scene which carries on the tradition that saw Glasgow being voted European City of Culture in 1990 while there are more down to earth pastimes such as a ‘pint of heavy’ the local name for beer and there’s usually an opportunity to catch a football match at Celtic & Rangers during your stay.
Canna is possibly the most beautiful of all the Small Isles. Its 200 metre high cliffs of Compass Hill rise dramatically out of the sea, and there is a good chance of seeing both sea and golden eagles. The anchorage on Canna is one of the best of the Small Isles and a stroll ashore to see the puffins and wildflower meadows of Sanday’s Machair is a pure delight.
The “Sgurr of Eigg”, an ancient, eroded volcanic plug that creates a dramatic cliff on the east side of the island and a high ridge which runs west. There are beautiful white-sand bays and a quartz beach that creates the famous “singing sands”.
The small island of Muck (Muck is Gaelic for ‘Pig’) is only a couple of miles long and a mile wide. Ashore there are wonderful coastal walks and many seabirds. On Horse Island, which is accessible at low water, there is a colony of puffins.
The gateway to the Hebridean Isles, Oban is often referred to as the Seafood capital of Scotland this delightful resort town has everything for the visitor. Nestled on the west coast and surrounded by miles of dramatic shores and beautiful countryside, there are plenty of small galleries and independent stores to browse through, as well as the centrally located local distillery, chocolate shop, and museum. Wander along the seafront to the ruined Dunollie Castle and the sandy beaches beyond – the sunsets here are phenomenal.
Three miles north of Oban is the stunning Dunstaffnage Marina overlooked by the Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel. This ruined waterside castle of the MacDougall clan chief, with its 1746 Flora MacDonald’s connection is said to be haunted, reputedly a ghostly figure is seen on the ramparts at times of peril. The gateway to the Western Isles with 250 fully serviced berths and outstanding sailing opportunities is where the Seahorse II is berthed and the boarding point for this small ship cruise
Isle of Mull
The second-largest island of the Inner Hebrides lies off the west coast of Scotland and is well known for its wildlife including whales, dolphins and sea eagles. Also, its culture, scenery and outdoor activities makes it a charming and beautiful centre for a Highland holiday away from the cares and pressures of modern life.
In the picturesque Loch Aline, there are woodland walks and, at the head of the loch, is ancient Ardtornish estate and woodland gardens.
A squeeze between high sided cliffs, you are in a perfectly sheltered anchorage. A lovely location for going sea kayaking or for a swim.
A loch on the south side of Mull. To enter you have to negotiate the narrow entrance. The anchorage in this sheltered loch, which is surrounded by an ancient oak forest, gives unparalleled views of the mountains of Mull. You can also pick up some locally grown mussels and possibly see the resident otters along its shoreline
Rum Island is a National Nature Reserve and famous for its herds of red deer and sheer sea cliffs which are home to nesting sea eagles. Loch Scresort offers the only safe landing place on the island. At the head of the loch lies the small village of Kinloch and nearby Kinloch Castle.
One of the most picturesque towns in the Hebridean Isles with its famous whisky distillery and colourful waterfront. You can wander along the streets, visit the delightful local museum, watch a pipe band, admire the wooden fishing boats and take in the long history of this lovely village.
General Tour Information
Your onboard photography tutor, a regular visitor and photographer of the nature reserves in Norfolk, Wales and the Lincolnshire coast will help those who want to know how to get the best from their camera. He will show the way to capture the stunning scenery and amazing wildlife in this glorious part of the British Isles. Sharing his knowledge from slow shutter-speed scenery compositions to ultra-fast shots of birds in flight, which will help to create some fabulous holiday memories.
You will have a crew of three taking you on your Scottish cruise. Your professional skipper is passionate about boats, sailing, and the natural environment of the islands and sea lochs of the Hebrides and Argyll. He is more than happy to share his knowledge of the area with those on board while ensuring his shipmates have as much fun as possible. He is ably supported by the resident chef and bosun who are there to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.
Your voyage is weather dependent, and this does not just mean good or bad weather. There are many considerations such as tidal gates, wind direction and strength, the strength and direction of currents, overfalls, and fetch. Depending upon the weather and nature’s conditions, wildlife viewing varies.
If you wish to visit a specific place or have a specific experience, such as sea eagle tours or whisky tasting, then please do let your skipper know and he will endeavour to meet your request. Excursions and visits ashore are at your own cost.
All tour clients should aim to arrive at the Glasgow hotel between 2:00-4:30 pm if at all possible, for the scheduled Meet & Greet. If you require any travel arrangements to and from Glasgow, please let us know, as I am sure we can help.
What to take with you
To get the best from this experience you should take a good quality camera and a pair of binoculars. As there are some trips onto the islands you should also pack a good pair of walking boots or shoes. Even in summer it can turn chilly, so some warm clothing is necessary as is a waterproof coat.
If you would like to any other information, or if you have a mobility problem or disability, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can call on 020 7118 2110 or send us a message via our Contact page and we will be happy to assist you!