Summer in the Hebrides aboard Serenissima

Summer in the Hebrides aboard Serenissima

From GBP £4,095


If ever an archipelago was made for expedition cruising it is the islands off Scotland’s west coast which form stepping stones into the Atlantic. Here you will find magnificent scenery, fascinating history and enormous natural splendour. We will be exploring the wonders of the Hebrides in the northern summer when the sun barely shrinks below the horizon and when there is a stillness and an almost wistful feeling in the air. This is the time when the enchanted visitor will be moved and seduced by the majesty of the islands, lochs and seascapes. One of Europe’s true last remaining wilderness areas affords the traveller a marvellous island hopping journey through stunning scenery accompanied by spectacular sunsets and wonderful wildlife.

With our naturalists and local guides we will explore the length and breadth of the isles, and with our nimble Zodiac craft be able to reach some of the most remote and untouched places. There is no better way to explore this endlessly fascinating and beautiful region that will cast its spell on you than by our small ship, the MS Serenissima. Whether your interest lies in wildlife, gardens, photography, ancient history or simply an appreciation of this unique corner of the kingdom, this unique voyage has something for everyone. With just 95 travelling companions, the atmosphere on board is more akin to a private yacht trip and ashore with our local experts we will divide into small groups thereby enjoying a more comprehensive and peaceful experience.

Trip Name
Summer in the Hebrides aboard Serenissima
Vessel Type: Small Ship Length: 87 metres Passenger Capacity: 95 Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2019 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. 


Day 1 - Day 1 Oban, Scotland.
Embark this afternoon. Transfers will be provided from Glasgow International Airport and Glasgow Central Railway Station at a fixed time. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening and anchor overnight off Colonsay.
Day 2 - Day 2 Colonsay & Iona.
Lying between Mull and Islay, we will spend the morning exploring the island of Colonsay with her craggy, heather-clad hills and sparse woodland yet impressive array of plants and birdlife. Near Colonsay House, built in 1722 by Malcolm MacNeil and bought by Lord Strathcona in 1904, we will visit the attractively dilapidated woodland gardens which protect the tiny, enigmatic 8th century St Oran’s Cross. We continue to Iona which has been occupied for thousands of years and has been a place of pilgrimage and Christian worship for several centuries. It was to this flat, Hebridean island that St Columba fled from Ireland in 563 and established a monastery. Here his followers were responsible for the conversion of much of pagan Scotland and Northern England. No less than 62 Scottish Kings are buried in the Abbey. Visit the Abbey or perhaps walk along the white sandy beaches or go in search of the corncrake amongst the irises.
Day 3 - Day 3 Staffa & Rum.
At first light we arrive at Staffa where the perpendicular rock face features an imposing series of black basalt columns, known as the Colonnade, which has been cut by the sea into cathedralesque caverns, most notably Fingal’s Cave. Weather permitting, we will use our Zodiacs to explore closer. Sail over lunch to the Small Islands for an afternoon on Rum which is a nature reserve. We will walk the nature trail, a beautiful area of wildflowers and typical Scottish island scenery. This lovely island is also a bird watcher’s paradise.
Day 4 - Day 4 Loch Scavaig & Canna.
Awake this morning in lovely Loch Scavaig on the island of Skye. Just beyond is the freshwater Loch Corruisk with its breathtakingly beautiful view over the Cuillins. This is great walking country and our expedition team will run a series of hikes for all interests. For those who prefer a less energetic morning our Zodiacs will explore the coast looking out for seals. Over lunch we sail the short distance to Canna. Strategically placed between the mountains of Rum and the Outer Hebrides, the island of Canna and its adjoining neighbour Sanday are bound together like some rare text that reveals over 60 million years of Hebridean geology and history. They have an amazingly rich archaeological landscape with remains dating to all periods of settled occupation in Scotland. Canna is run as a single farm and bird sanctuary by the National Trust for Scotland and enjoys the best harbour in the Small Isles, a horn-shaped haven. The fertile soil and its diversity of habitats mean that the island has an incredibly rich plant life with 248 native flowering plants recorded. We will see Canna House and wander across grassy basalt plateaus to the 600 foot cliffs on the north shore.
Day 5 - Day 5 Dunvegan & Lochmaddy.
From our anchorage we will use the Zodiacs to access the MacLeod stronghold of Dunvegan Castle. Remarkably, the castle has been almost continuously occupied by the MacLeods for nearly eight centuries. Tour the castle, a fascinating place that contains work from at least ten building periods. Then explore the gardens, following paths through woodland glades past pools and burns fed by a waterfall. The formal gardens were laid out in the 18th century and make a wonderful contrast to the moorland hills and sea. Also keep a look out for the seal colony on the adjoining rocks as we return to the ship. We then sail into Lochmaddy where we can listen for the call of the rare corncrake over the machair and enjoy a walk amongst the dramatic scenery of sandy beaches, dunes and marshy loch. Alternatively visit the Barpa Langais burial chamber, dating from neolithic times, and the standing stones and stone circles at Fir Bhreige and Pobull Fhinn.
Day 6 - Day 6 Inverewe & Shiant Islands.
This morning we visit one of Scotland’s premier gardens, Inverewe. This botanical garden in the northwest Highlands presents an amazing collection of exotic trees and shrubs that are sheltered by well-positioned windbreaks of native pine. After a guided tour of the gardens, we will return to the MS Serenissima and sail the short distance to the Shiant Islands. Anyone who has read Adam Nicholson’s captivating book ‘Sea Room’ will want to visit these lonely little islands located a few miles off the shores of Lewis. This is an excellent place to spot puffins, razorbills, guillemots, seals and hopefully white-tailed eagles.
Day 7 - Day 7 Isle of Lewis.
On leaving the island capital of Stornoway, we will head across the island of Lewis to the beautiful west coast. Described as Scotland’s Stonehenge, the Callanish Standing Stones date from around 3000 BC. There are a total of 32 stones in a circular and avenue design. The stones stand like a petrified forest on the flat top of a peninsula which reaches out into East Loch Roag. We also visit the Dun Carloway Pictish Broch, probably built sometime in the last century BC, it would have served as an occasionally defensible residence for an extended family complete with accommodation for animals at ground floor level. Our final stop is the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, a reconstructed settlement of traditional black houses which were made using dry stone masonry and have thatched roofs, distinctively weighted down with rocks. Visit the small museum, enjoy a display of a typical crofting activity such as weaving and take in the views of this dramatic site on the wild Atlantic coast. Return to the ship for lunch and spend an afternoon at leisure to explore Stornoway at your own pace.
Day 8 - Day 8 St Kilda & Stac Lee.
Arrive over breakfast at St Kilda, a remarkable uninhabited archipelago some fifty miles beyond the Outer Hebrides. Dominated by the highest cliffs and sea stacks in Britain, Hirta, St Kilda’s main island was occupied on and off for at least two thousand years, with the last 36 Gaelic speaking inhabitants evacuated at their own request in 1930. Immediately after the evacuation, the island was bought by the Marquess of Bute to protect the island’s thousands of seabirds including puffin and fulmars, and in 1957 it was bequeathed to The National Trust for Scotland. St Kilda is one of only a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites with dual status reflecting its natural and cultural significance. The local ranger will join us on board before our expedition staff lead a number of guided walks on the island. This afternoon we will cruise past two of the largest gannetries in the world at Stac Lee and Stac an Armin. These impressive stacs rise 170 metres from the sea and are home to up to 60,000 breeding pairs of northern gannet.
Day 9 - Day 9 Tiree & Tobermory.
Today we will visit the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides, Tiree. Boasting one of the sunniest locations in the UK, Tiree is a wildflower and birdlife haven with shell-sand blown machair grasslands and white beaches known for their natural beauty and colour. Over lunch we sail to the Isle of Mull and the pretty port of Tobermory. Spend the afternoon at leisure in the town walking amongst the colourful buildings, visit the town’s distillery or maybe take the coastal walk to the Rubha nan Gall lighthouse.
Day 10 - Day 10 Oban.
Disembark this morning. Transfers will be provided to Glasgow Central Station and Glasgow Airport at a fixed time.
Day 11 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
20-07-202229-07-2022GBP £4,095Standard Stateroom
20-07-202229-07-2022GBP £4,395Classic Stateroom
20-07-202229-07-2022GBP £4,795Superior Stateroom
20-07-202229-07-2022GBP £4,995Standard Single
20-07-202229-07-2022GBP £5,295Deluxe Stateroom
20-07-202229-07-2022GBP £5,795Junior Suite
20-07-202229-07-2022GBP £6,195Owner’s Suite
20-07-202229-07-2022GBP £6,495Serenissima Suite


    • Colonsay & Iona.
    • Staffa & Rum.
    • Loch Scavaig & Canna.
    • Dunvegan & Lochmaddy.
    • Inverewe & Shiant Islands.
    • St Kilda & Stac Lee.
    • Tiree & Tobermory.