Mull Odyssey Cruise: Staffa, Iona and the Ross of Mull (St Hilda)

Mull Odyssey Cruise: Staffa, Iona and the Ross of Mull (St Hilda)

From GBP £990


The Isle of Mull is the heart of the Inner Hebrides and this is a magical Scottish islands cruise, which makes a circumnavigation of the island to visit the famous islands of Staffa and Iona.

Iona, birthplace of western Christianity was where, in AD563, Saint Columba founded an abbey when he traveled over from Ireland. Iona has been for centuries a place of Christian pilgrimage and here the early abbey monks created the wonderful Book of Kells. Saint Columba and 48 Scottish kings, including Macbeth, as well as some Irish and French kings, are buried on Iona. One can walk in peaceful solitude along the island paths away from the Abbey.

Staffa has one of the world’s most spectacular natural marvels in Fingal’s cave – one of the islands many sea caves. The soaring beauty of the island and the cave’s towering, six-sided basalt columns are famously captured by Mendelssohn’s Hebridean Overture.

As we travel around the Isle of Mull we can see incredible wildlife – soaring sea and golden eagles, basking sharks, minke and killer whales, porpoises, dolphins, seabirds and seals. On board our small cruise ships you can do as little or as much as you want. Sit back and enjoy the trip as you travel through the island’s picturesque Sounds and sea lochs; view the spectacular mountains of Mull including mighty Ben More; marvel at the headland lighthouses and castles and get involved in working the ex-tall ship St Hilda or our wee ship Seahorse II – it is all up to you.

We are pleased to offer to our passengers a complementary visit to Iona Abbey.

This cruise can be a six or eight night itinerary depending on the dates you choose to travel.

Trip Name
Mull Odyssey Cruise: Staffa, Iona and the Ross of Mull (St Hilda)
Vessel Type: Small Ship Length: 16.4 metres Passenger Capacity: 6 Cruise the isles (Skye, Mull, Arran, St Kilda, Islay, Jura, Canna, Rum, Barra to name but a famous few) and spectacular coastlines of the Hebrides onboard a classic vessel, the ex-tall ship, St Hilda, a traditional, beamy, 54ft wooden (larch on oak) ketch, fitted with a quiet, six cylinder 112 HP Kelvin engine. St Hilda is a vessel with an incredible Scottish lineage. Built in 1973 to the highest standard (Lloyds 100A1) at St Monans, Fife, by the internationally famous Millers boatyard (a family run business with 200 years of wooden boat building) and designed by G.L Watson, the world famous Glasgow based naval architect, who created the world's first yacht design office in 1873 and designed early America's Cup challengers (such as Thistle, Shamrock II, Valkyrie I and II) as well as the famous racing yacht Britannia. St Hilda was built specifically for sail training with a crew of 20. By 2007 St Hilda was converted for cruising with only eight people - six guests and a skipper and chef - and that is why today she is so spacious inside. St Hilda is one of the smallest of the “Tall Ships” and has competed in several Tall Ship Races. Although St Hilda has sailed across the North Sea on a number of occasions, she is more of a motor sailor than an "ocean greyhound"! We will usually get her under sail during a cruise (weather permitting, of course) however, because of our busy itineraries and like many yachts, we will usually not be able to reach our various night anchorages under sail alone. Accommodation The well-lit, roomy deck saloon is where everyone dines and socialises and where everyone enjoys a convivial atmosphere that is encouraged by shipboard life aboard this sturdy, ocean-going wooden ketch. Cabins are warm and comfortable with six berths for our guests: a spacious double en-suite (with shower, toilet, washbasin and two pretty opening portholes), a twin en-suite (with toilet, washbasin and opening porthole) and a twin cabin (with washbasin). The twin cabins are both close to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. All cabin linen and towels are supplied. The outdoor decks are large and safe, perfect for spotting wildlife and relaxing. You also have some deck space to embark your own equipment such as kayaks and surfboards.  You will also be able to use our own inflatable sea kayak. Your Crew 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 to those on board while ensuring his shipmates have as much fun as possible. You also have your own on board chef who provides wonderful meals, locally-sourced and freshly prepared from the galley.


Day 1 - Days 1 - 7 The Isle of Mull
Some of the places we may visit are:Oban: Your departure point will be Oban (Dunstaffnage Marina), the gateway to the Hebridean isles. After a short introduction to life on board our small ship we lift anchor and set sail to our first destination. Tobermory: One of the most picturesque towns in the Hebrides. If you wish, we can make time to visit the local distillery or visit eagles (Mull is the best place in the UK to see eagles).Soribay Bay, Loch Tuath: Keeping well clear of Caliach Point we head down towards the Treshnish Isles, breeding grounds for seals and puffins, to Loch Tuath. Our destination is a pretty anchorage in Soribay Bay where we see, in the distance, the mountains of Mull dominated by Ben More (963 m) and close-by, across the Loch, is the picturesque Eas Fos waterfall tumbling into the sea.Lunga, Treshnish Isles: Lunga, one of the Treshnish Isles, is a site of Special Scientific Interest because of the plants which grow there and the wildlife. There are seals and it is especially famous for the breeding colonies of kittiwakes, Manx shearwaters, guillemots, razorbills, storm-petrels and the colony of puffins which, in the breeding season, allow you to approach very close.Coll and Tiree: The two islands are called the ‘sunshine isles’ because of their unique climate. Tiree is more populated and famous for its miles of clean, white sandy beaches that are renown throughout the world by surfers and wind surfers. In contrast Coll is rugged and mountainous and indented with deep, but sandy coves. The islands are some seven miles off the west coast of Mull and on passage we can see dolphins, Minke whales and basking sharks. If conditions are right we can drop anchor and appreciate the tranquility of its sweeping sandy beaches, the cry of the corncrakes and the gentle pleasure of being 'away from it all'.Fingal’s Cave, Staffa: It may be difficult to anchor off the island because of the lack of sheltered anchorages but we can sail close to the island to see all of its natural beauty. If time we can head up to Loch Na Keil with its great views of mighty Ben More, to circle round the Island of Eorsa before we head south to the north side of the Ross of Mull. Dolphins and porpoises often follow us into our secluded anchorage in Loch na Laithaich near the little village of Bunessan.With our new sea kayaks guests can explore the incredible Fingal's cave on the Isle of Staffa!Iona: As there are no sheltered over-night anchorages on Iona, we organize a daytrip from the village of Bunessan. There is a short ferry crossing across the Sound of Iona to Iona.Loch Spelve: Up anchor and travel down the Sound of Iona. This a special Sound where the clear blue waters flow over the white sand and where the Abbey tower is used as a navigational mark to denote a safe passage. Out of the Sound the dangerous Torran Rocks have to be avoided as we travel along the rocky southern shores of the Ross of Mull to enter remote Loch Spelve. A narrow entrance leads us in to the tranquil waters of Loch Spelve with its surrounding ancient oak forest. The anchorage gives us a different perspective than our previous views of the wonderful mountains of Mull. There are resident otters along the loch's shoreline.
Day 2 - Please Note:
Please note that your voyage is weather dependent. Weather doesn't 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.If you wish to visit a specific place or have a specific experience, such as fly fishing, sea eagle tours, whisky tasting, then please do let your skipper know and he will endeavour to meet your request.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
25-04-202101-05-2021GBP £990Twin Cabin
25-04-202101-05-2021GBP £1,380Twin Cabin En-suite
25-04-202101-05-2021GBP £1,590Double Cabin En-suite
13-05-202119-05-2021GBP £990Twin Cabin
13-05-202119-05-2021GBP £1,380Twin Cabin En-suite
13-05-202119-05-2021GBP £1,590Double Cabin En-suite
18-06-202124-06-2021GBP £1,320Twin Cabin
18-06-202124-06-2021GBP £1,840Twin Cabin En-suite
18-06-202124-06-2021GBP £2,120Double Cabin En-suite
16-07-202122-07-2021GBP £1,380Twin Cabin En-suite
16-07-202122-07-2021GBP £1,590Double Cabin En-suite
16-07-202122-07-2021GBP £990Twin Cabin
25-04-202201-05-2022GBP £1,020Twin Cabin
25-04-202201-05-2022GBP £1,410Twin Cabin En-suite
25-04-202201-05-2022GBP £1,620Double Cabin En-suite
13-05-202219-05-2022GBP £1,020Twin Cabin
13-05-202219-05-2022GBP £1,410Twin Cabin En-suite
13-05-202219-05-2022GBP £1,620Double Cabin En-suite
19-06-202225-06-2022GBP £1,360Twin Cabin
19-06-202225-06-2022GBP £1,880Twin Cabin En-suite
19-06-202225-06-2022GBP £2,160Double Cabin En-suite
16-07-202222-07-2022GBP £1,360Twin Cabin
16-07-202222-07-2022GBP £1,880Twin Cabin En-suite
16-07-202222-07-2022GBP £2,160Double Cabin En-suite


    • Discover Oban, Tobermory & Soribay Bay
    • Explore Lunga, Fingal’s Cave, Coll and Tiree