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Scotland in Depth with Wild Earth Travel

Scotland in Depth with Wild Earth Travel

From USD $7,495

Description

Explore Scotland’s heartland harbours, villages and islands. It’s history of ages past, whilst making your own history viewing brochs, standing stones and rings. Isles where the wildlife is in abundance. A land where the people are waiting to welcome you to their unique culture – a culture which may reflect threads of your own heritage.

Expedition Leader – Aaron Russ

AARON RUSS began expedition cruising from the age of six and has been sailing ever since. Russ grew up close to wildlife and the wilderness with his family’s 30 year old expedition cruise business Heritage
Expeditions. Russ has been an expedition leader on over 100 expeditions to some of the world’s most remote regions. With a degree in zoology, a passion for photography and a desire to showcase the world’s most premier natural history destinations – expediton leading comes naturally.

Trip Name
Scotland in Depth with Wild Earth Travel
Days
13
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 73 metres Passenger Capacity:86 Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2006 The ice-strengthened expedition ship Ocean Nova was built in Denmark in 1992 with high ice class to serve Greenland’s west coast. In 2004 to 2005 she was completely refurbished and has now a career as a small and comfortable expedition ship. The Ocean Nova accommodates 86 passengers in single, double and triple cabins, all with sea-view and private facilities. The double cabins have either two lower beds or upper and lower beds. The triple cabins have upper and lower beds. In your cabin you will also find a desk with chair and ample storage space for clothes and equipment. In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy a drink with a breathtaking view of the surrounding polar landscape. This is where PolarQuest’s on board specialists entertain and educate you with lectures on polar biology, history, geology and conservation. There is also a library with panoramic views and a good selection of polar books. On board there is a satellite phone, gym and medical doctor. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for from the spacious observation decks. The ship has North European officers and there is a friendly and informal atmosphere on board. Travelling with this small expedition ship offers an entirely different experience and perspective than you can get on a larger and more conventional cruise ship. Ice Class: Ice 1B, E0 (Hull Ice 1A)  

Itinerary



Day 1 - DAY 1: MONDAY 16 MAY (D) GLASGOW
Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, features modern architecture besideItaliante steeples, neo-gothic towers and the Art Nouveau designs ofGlasgow’s own Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Take the time to explorethe Willow Tea Rooms and the Glasgow School of Art, cruise the Clydeto the Riverside Museum, enjoy the Clyde walkway, visit the modernGlasgow Science Centre or visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery – youroptions are as diverse as the city. Overnight at our centrally locatedhotel where we will meet for dinner and run through an introductionto our programme as we commence our discovery of Scotland inDepth.
Day 2 - DAY 2: TUESDAY 17 MAY (B, L, D) GLASGOW TO OBAN
Travelling north from Glasgow the famed shores of Loch Lomondcall us. This freshwater Scottish loch is the largest inland stretchof water in Great Britain. Ben Lomond, a munro, rising to 974m (3196ft) flanks the eastern shores whilst the highway pushesnorthwards on the western shores. At Inveraray Castle we connectwith Clan Campbell as we walk around the beautiful grounds andexplore the castle. Your first view of Oban, is one you will trulynever forget as you come down the hill towards the bay the viewopens before you. We join our expedition ship MV Serenissima, itswelcome aboard with time to settle in before we cruise out of theharbour.
Day 3 - DAY 3: WEDNESDAY 18 MAY (B, L, D) GIGHA AND ISLAY
The southernmost isle of the Southern Hebrides, Gigha is one ofthe smallest populated Islands in the Hebrides. Meaning Goodor God Island, the highest mountain is Creag Breahn. Nestled inwoodland and extensive gardens Achamore House was built in1884 for Lt-Col William James Scarlett, the 3rd Lord Abinger. One ofthe warmest places in Scotland, the gardens of Achamore Housewas purchased by the people of Gigha in 2002. Operated as a Trustthey represent the plant collector’s love and the garden designer’seye.The earliest documented record of distilling in Scotland occurred aslong ago as 1494, in the tax records of the day, the Exchequer Rolls.The entry lists “Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor where with tomake aqua vitae” (water of life). This afternoon, be part of historyand share a dram of whisky, the water of life, ashore at one ofIslay’s historic distilleries: Lagavulin Distillery.
Day 4 - DAY 4: THURSDAY 19 MAY (B,L,D) STAFFA AND IONA
Our visit to Staffa features the hexagonal basalt cliffs whichculminate in Fingal’s Cave- a spectacular natural feature namedby the Celts as ‘Uamh-Binh’ or “the Cave of Melody”. Abundantpuffins, razorbills and guillemots use the island for breeding andaccessing the surrounding rich marine environment.This afternoon we visit Iona. The centre of the Celtic world in563 AD, the Irish missionary St. Columba went into exile andestablished a small monastic community there, its basic layout isknown through the writings of Abbot Adomnan in the 600s. Drivenout of Iona by Viking raids, most of the monastic community movedto Kells in Ireland around 800. In more peaceful times, around1200, a Benedictine abbey and nunnery were established on thesite. It is these buildings (heavily restored) that we see today.
Day 5 - DAY 5: FRIDAY 20 MAY (B,L,D) LOCH COURISK AND RUM
Isle of Skye’s southern coast is remote, mainly uninhabited andhome to the Cuillin Mountains. Loch Courisk is nestled securely inthe landscape folds of the Cuillin Ridge, a freshwater loch and isseparated from the sea by the Scavaig River. Our short walk alongthis river gives access to the Loch, or the adventurous can take theopportunity to explore further.Later in the quiet Isle of Rum, Kinloch Castle greets us. Built of Isleof Arran sandstone the castle took three years and upwards of300 craftsmen to build. The Kinloch castle, was the first privateresidence in Scotland to have electricity, it was unique for this timeto have an electrician. The electricity was derived from a hydro damconstructed on the Coire Dubh Burn. Now under the care of theScottish Natural Heritage its restoration is a work in progress.
Day 6 - DAY 6: SATURDAY 21 MAY (B, L, D) MINGULAY AND BARRA
At the southern tip of the Outer Hebrides, Mingulay is home topuffins, guillemots, kittiwakes, shags, fulmars and razorbills andthere are possible sightings of eagles and peregrine falcons. Theislands last inhabitants abandoned the village in 1912 leaving toneighbouring Vatersay. Mingulay is now owned by the NationalTrust of Scotland.Barra is the ancestral island of Clan MacNeil whose chiefs werebased at Kisimul Castle. Everyone who visits feels the power of thecastle, especially those named MacNeil.
Day 7 - DAY 7: SUNDAY 22 MAY (B,L,D) ST KILDA
Remote and battered by the Atlantic seas, St Kilda is a nearmystical island with dual UNESCO World Heritage site status for itsnatural and cultural significance. St Kilda is deemed Europe’s mostimportant seabird colony – with abundant puffins, fulmars and thelargest colony of gannets in Britain. Inhabited till 1930, the 19th century village layout still remains,allowing us to envisage life on this island where the bird lifeprovided sustenance for the villagers. Enjoy the privilege to visit StKilda and look out across to Village Bay.
Day 8 - DAY 8: MONDAY 23 MAY (B,L,D) ISLE OF LEWIS: STORNOWAY
Stornoway is the main town on the Isle of Lewis with just over6,000 people, about a third of the islands total population - hometo a mix of traditional industries like fishing, Harris Tweed andfarming. Arriving at Stornoway we land in this Gaelic heartland toexplore the Stone Age ‘Callanish’, the primordial configuration ofstanding stones. Crossing the gentle troughs and rounded topsof the landscape we explore the cultural Gearrannan BlackhouseVillage and meet the people of this area.As we stroll the alleyways of Stornoway, check out the local tweedor wander the pathways of Lews Castle gardens we are sure todiscover the secret of timelessness in the Hebrides.
Day 9 - DAY 9: TUESDAY 24 MAY (B, L, D) ORKNEY ISLANDS
From Bronze Age man, Iron Age people, Vikings and World Wars– time has left its mark on the Orkney Islands, the green isles. Inthe winter of 1850, a great storm battered Orkney, the grass wasstripped from a large mound, then known as ‘Skerrabra’. Theoutline of a number of stone buildings was revealed- something that intrigued the local laird, William Watt of Skaill, he embarkedon an excavation of the site. Today, Skara Brae, as it has becomeknown- survives as eight dwellings, linked together by a series oflow, covered passages.
Day 10 - DAY 10: WEDNESDAY 25 MAY (B, L, D) LERWICK & SHETLAND ISLANDS
Lerwick is the Shetland Islands capital. Its cobblestone streets oncefilled with the rush created by fishing and ship building, today thisport town charms as you wander the same streets of the town andwaterfront.To the south of Lerwick is Jarlshoff where we delve into morethan 4,000 years of human settlement in the same location.Neolithic people first settled this site in Shetland around 2700 BC,and it remained in use until the AD 1600s. Discoveries made hereinclude oval-shaped Bronze Age houses, an Iron Age broch andwheelhouses, Norse longhouses, a medieval farmstead, and alaird’s house dating back to the 1500s.This afternoon we land at Mousa Broch, standing 13 m high, it isScotland’s most impressive and best surviving Iron Age tower orbroch. Today we know brochs were built in Shetland around 400-200 BC, the quality of stone, the workmanship and overall size ofMousa are believed to contribute to why it has survived so well.
Day 11 - DAY 11: THURSDAY 26 MAY (B, L, D) FAIR ISLE
Famous for birds, knitwear and historic shipwrecks, Fair Isle isa tiny jewel of an island lying half-way between Orkney andShetland. Owned by the National Trust for Scotland, it’s one ofBritain’s most successful small communities, pioneering projectsin wildlife tourism, windpower and sustainable management ofthe environment. The island is an internationally important seabirdbreeding site. From April to August the cliffs are busy with thesound (and smell!) of thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots, gannets, shags and puffins, while skuas and ternsfiercely defend their nests on the moorland.The 70 or so islanders mostly live in traditional crofts on the morefertile and low-lying southern third of the island. The northern partis largely rough grazing and rocky moorland, rising to the 217 mWard hill.
Day 12 - DAY 12: FRIDAY 27 MAY (B, L, D) ABERDEEN & EDINBURGH
On arrival to Aberdeen we will continue our exploration over land,departing south to the historic Dunottar Castle, before exploringthe iconic township of St Andrews including the ruins. Later we dinetogether in Edinburgh as we complete our exploration of Scotlandin Depth. Overnight accommodation and breakfast the followingmorning included.
Day 13 - DAY 13: SATURDAY 28 MAY (B) EDINBURGH
After breakfast and final farewells, continue on with your travelarrangements, whether that is more time in Edinburgh, south toEngland, further afield or directly homeward bound.
Day 14 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
16-05-202228-05-2022USD $7,495Category 1 Bunk Bedded Cabin For Twin Use
16-05-202228-05-2022USD $9,495Category 2 Standard Twin
16-05-202228-05-2022USD $9,495Category 1 Bunk Bedded Cabin For Sole Use
16-05-202228-05-2022USD $10,495Category 3 Superior Twin
16-05-202228-05-2022USD $10,495Category 2 Standard Twin Sole Use

Inclusions

    • Share a dram of whisky
    • the water of life
    • at one of Islay’s historic distilleries
    • Spot puffins, gannets, razorbills and guillemots
    • Discover Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rum
    • Visit St Kilda
    • a near mystical island with dual UNESCO World Heritage site status for its natural and cultural significance
    • Discover the delightful Orkney Islands Standing Stones
    • In Stornway explore the stone age “Callanish”
    • Explore historic Iona Abbey, on the island of Iona
    • Walk the wild shores of Loch Courisk
    • Visit Mousa Broch
    • the best preserved broch in the world
    • Visit Fair Isle famous for its knitters and puffins

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