Atlantic Islands Odyssey 2019

Atlantic Islands Odyssey 2019

From GBP £4,595


This unique expedition cruise is one of our most popular and will appeal to those who prefer their islands deserted, but with abundant bird and wildlife.

During this unique voyage, we will journey along rugged coastlines and visit once inhabited islands aboard the 95 passenger MS Serenissima, venturing far north to the Hebrides, Faroes, Shetlands and Orkney Islands. We will witness vibrant colours and amazingly prolific birdlife, explore deserted villages and learn of the history and ancient culture of unique island life.

Such a journey can of course only be undertaken by a special vessel with the self-sufficient qualities of the MS Serenissima and with our Zodiacs we will be able to land on remote beaches and cruise close to shorelines and cliffs crowded with birdlife. Enabling us to land in remote places, the Zodiacs make the otherwise inaccessible readily available. Although we will set sail with a schedule, this will not be set in stone as these are perfect waters for expedition cruising and our Captain and expedition team will keep a flexible approach allowing for the opportunity to fully experience the unexpected whether it be a sighting of dolphins, a whale or any unusual event.

Trip Name
Atlantic Islands Odyssey 2019
Vessel Type: Small Ship Length: 87 metres Passenger Capacity: 107 (from Dec 2018 - 95) Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2018 We are delighted to have had the MS Serenissima on long term charter since 2013. There are so few ships of her generation still cruising and the fact that she is is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her in top form. In December 2018, the vessel will once again undergo a significant refurbishment after which she will accommodate a maximum of just 95 guests. MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels. The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The European Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation. AIR-CONDITIONING The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning. DAILY PROGRAMME A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service. DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available between 07:00 hours and 23:00 hours at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge. Please advise of any special dietary requests in advance. DISABLED FACILITIES The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door and no step into/out of the bathroom and shower area. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift. DOCTOR A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require.  ELECTRICITY The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor. GRATUITIES Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday. INTERNET The onboard library has a computer equipped for email/internet access and Wi-Fi access is available in public areas, although you will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 100mb for €15 Euros, or 500mb for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location. LANGUAGE All members of the crew speak English. MONEY The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts: Cash (Euros or British Pounds), Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted. PUBLIC AREAS • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 11.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access) • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas SNORKELLING Snorkelling equipment is kept onboard. Please note that there is no snorkelling from Zodiacs. All snorkelling stops will operate from a beach.  TELEVISION The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 15 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship. ZODIACS Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises.  PLEASE NOTE: Deck plan varies for 2019 cruises, no inside cabins.


Day 1 - Day 1 Oban, Scotland.
Embarkthe MS Serenissima this afternoon.Transfers will be provided fromGlasgow Airport and GlasgowCentral Station at a fixed time. Sailthis evening to the Hebrides.
Day 2 - Day 2 Canna & Loch Scavaig, Inner Hebrides.
Strategicallyplaced between the mountains ofRum and the Outer Hebrides, theisland of Canna and its adjoiningneighbour Sanday are boundtogether like some rare text thatreveals over 60 million years ofHebridean geology and history.They have an amazingly richarchaeological landscape withremains dating to all periods ofsettled occupation in Scotland.Canna is run as a single farm andbird sanctuary by the National Trust for Scotland and enjoys the best House, and wander across grassybasalt plateaus to the 600 foot cliffson the north shore. Over lunch wewill sail to lovely Loch Scavaig onthe island of Skye. Just beyondis the freshwater Loch Corruiskwith its breathtakingly beautifulview over the Cuillins. This is greatwalking country, but for those whoprefer a less energetic afternoonour Zodiacs will explore the coastlooking out for seals.harbour in the Small Isles, a horn-shaped haven. The fertile soil andits diversity of habitats mean thatthe island has an incredibly richplant life with 248 native floweringplants recorded. We will see Canna
Day 3 - Day 3 Stornoway and Shiant Islands, Outer Hebrides.
Arrivetoday on the Isle of Lewis. Onleaving the island capital ofStornoway, we will head acrossthe island to the beautiful westcoast. Described as Scotland’sStonehenge, the CallanishStanding Stones date from around3000 BC. There are a total of 32stones in a circular and avenuedesign. The stones stand like apetrified forest on the flat top ofa peninsula which reaches outinto East Loch Roag. We alsovisit the Dun Carloway PictishBroch, probably built sometimein the last century BC, it wouldhave served as an occasionallydefensible residence for anextended family complete withaccommodation for animals atground floor level. Our final stop isthe Gearrannan Blackhouse Village– a reconstructed settlement oftraditional black houses which weremade using dry stone masonry andhave thatched roofs, distinctivelyweighted down with rocks. Visitthe small museum, enjoy a displayof a typical crofting activity suchas weaving and take in the viewsat this dramatic site on the wildAtlantic coast. This afternoon wewill board the Zodiacs for a cruisearound the spectacular basalt cliffsof the Shiant Islands, a group oflittle islands located a few milesoff the shores of Lewis. This is anexcellent place to spot puffins,razorbills, guillemots, seals andhopefully white-tailed eagles.
Day 4 - Day 4 St Kilda.
Awake thismorning in St Kilda, a remarkableuninhabited archipelago some fiftymiles beyond the Outer Hebrides.Dominated by the highest cliffs andsea stacks in Britain, Hirta, St Kilda’smain island was occupied on andoff for at least two thousand years,with the last 36 Gaelic speakinginhabitants evacuated at theirown request in 1930. Immediatelyafter the evacuation, the islandwas bought by the Marquessof Bute to protect the island’sthousands of seabirds includingpuffin and fulmars, and in 1957 itwas bequeathed to The NationalTrust for Scotland. St Kilda is oneof the only two dozen UNESCOWorld Heritage Sites with dualstatus reflecting its natural andcultural significance. The local ranger will join us on board beforeour expedition staff lead a numberof guided walks on the island.Later, cruise past two of the largestgannetries in the world at Stac Leeand Berneray. These impressivestacs rise 170 metres from thesea and are home to up to 60,000breeding pairs of northern gannet.
Day 5 - Day 5 Suduroy, Faroe Islands.
Aftera morning at sea we make our firstcall in the Faroes on Suduroy, thesouthernmost island of the group.From the port of Tvoroyri we havea choice of activities. Choose tojoin an island drive passing thebeautiful scenery as we drivebetween the villages seeing thestunning geology, fjords, tunnelsand architecture of the island andend at the southernmost pointand the Akraberg lighthouse. InPorkeri we will take the ridge-toproad which winds up the mountainside for wonderful views towardsthe steep cliffs on the west coast,the Beinisvoro promontory to thenorth and the luscious grass slopesto the east. To locals this deliversthe essence of the Faroe Islandswith mountains and fjords, villagesand valleys, birds, sheep andnature. Alternatively the active maywish to join a hike to Hvaanhagi,a beautiful, uninhibited placenorth of Tvoroyri on the east coastof Suouroy. The view is fantastictowards the three islands Litla Dímun, Stora Dimun and Skuvoy.There are sheep and birds, a valleywith a lake and beautiful highmountains.
Day 6 - Day 6 Vestmanna.
Overnightwe will sail the short distance toVestmanna, our base as we explorethe northwest corner of Streymoyand the nearby cliffs. Here we willboard local boats to explore thesevertical cliffs that climb almost1500 feet, sailing into grottoscarved by the surf over the yearsand watching the thousands of seabirds including puffins, guillemots,fulmars and kittiwakes that nesthere each summer. After lunch onboard we will drive to the beautifulvillage of Saksun, an isolatedsettlement situated beneathsteep majestic mountains. We visitDuvugaroar, an old farmhouse,which is now a museum and visita traditional Faeroese woodenchurch in Kollafjord. This eveningwe sail the short distance toTorshavn where we moor overnight.
Day 7 - Day 7 Torshavn.
From our berthin Torshavn we will join a guidedtour through Torshavn over thehills to Kirkjubour, the island’soldest cultural centre, where wesee the ruins of the 13th centurySt. Magnus Cathedral and the 11thcentury church, still in use. We alsovisit the 900-year old “Roykstovan”,the old bishopric, considered to be the oldest wooden housein Europe. For the more activewe will arrange a hike in the hillssurrounding the town to discoverthe local flora and fauna. Returnto the ship for lunch and sail thisafternoon as we return to theScottish isles.
Day 8 - Day 8 Unst and Fetlar, Shetland Islands.
We begin our explorationof Shetland in the northern islandsof Unst and Fetlar. Unst is Britain’smost northerly inhabited island andat the Heritage Centre we will learnabout the islanders struggles overthe centuries and the industriesthat have prospered whilst theUnst Boat Haven is dedicated tothe history of the islands distinctivewooden boats which descend fromViking craft. We also visit SaxaVord with views over HermanessNational Nature Reserve andMuckle Flugga stacks and hometo thousands of gannets andpuffins as well as rare arctic-alpineplants. Over lunch we sail to Fetlar,inhabited for over 5000 years theisland lays claim to being the firstNorse landing site in the Shetlands.Known as the most fertile of theShetland Islands the wildflowersbring colour to the landscapewhilst the birdlife on the island isprolific. Our expedition team willlead walks ashore including theFetlar Interpretative Centre andMuseum where we will learn aboutthe wildlife and archaeologicalhistory of the island.
Day 9 - Day 9 Lerwick.
From the Shetlandcapital we will visit the remarkablearchaeological site of Jarlshof.The site was uncovered by aviolent storm in the winter of1896/7, revealing an extraordinarysettlement site embracing atleast 5000 years of human history.The site contains a remarkablesequence of stone structures – lateNeolithic houses, a Bronze- Agevillage, an Iron-Age broch andwheelhouses, several Norselonghouse, a Medieval farmstead,and the 16th century laird’s house.Return to the ship for lunch andenjoy a free afternoon to explorethis historic port. Perhaps wanderthrough its narrow stone lanes ormaybe visit the excellent ShetlandMuseum, containing artefacts fromshipwrecks and the whaling era.Tonight we will be entertained bylocal musicians as we overnightin port.
Day 10 - Day 10 Mousa & Fair Isle.
Thismorning we sail the short distanceto Mousa to see the 40 footdefensive tower built by the Pictsmore than 2000 years ago, and thetallest, best preserved example ofan Iron Age broch (tower) in Britain.Return to the ship for lunch beforewe anchor off the remote islandof Fair Isle in the early afternoon. Located midway between theShetland and Orkney islands,the tiny population of sixty or soislanders always extend us a warmwelcome. Enjoy a walk across theisland, perhaps visiting the BirdObservatory, searching out thepuffin slopes, visit the communityhall for a cup of tea or maybepurchase some of the famousknitwear.
Day 11 - Day 11 Westray, Orkney Islands.
Spend the morning in the OrkneyIslands as we explore the islandsto the north of the mainland. OnWestray we will visit Noup Head,an RSPB reserve on the sea cliffsand home to up to 100,000 nestingseabirds. We also see NotlandCastle, an incomplete fortressbuilt in the 16th century by GilbertBalfour, Mary Queen of Scots Sherifof Orkney whilst in the main villageof Pierowall we find the WestrayHeritage Centre housing Neolithiccarvings. Return to the ship forlunch and spend the afternoon atsea as we return to the Scottishmainland.
Day 12 - Day 12 Aberdeen.
Disembarkafter breakfast. Transfers will beprovided to the train station andAberdeen Airport at a fixed time.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
23-05-201903-06-2019GBP £0Standard Stateroom
23-05-201903-06-2019GBP £0Superior Stateroom
23-05-201903-06-2019GBP £0Deluxe Stateroom
23-05-201903-06-2019GBP £0Junior Suite
23-05-201903-06-2019GBP £0Standard Single
23-05-201903-06-2019GBP £0Owners Suite


    • With our fleet of Zodiacs make calls into some of the remote and uninhabited islands that surround the Scottish coast. Few ships make the journey to these outer islands and we are grateful to therefore be able to explore these wonderful places in our small groups.
    • Combine the small communities of Westray, Unst and Fetlar with the uninhabited St Kilda
    • Explore the towns of Torshavn and Lerwick
    • Understand the history, witness the wildlife, experience the culture of the remote islands and gain a better understanding of what it is like to live on one of the ‘Islands on the Edge’