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Summer in the Scottish Isles with Island Sky

Summer in the Scottish Isles with Island Sky

From GBP £4,195

Description

If ever an archipelago was made for expedition cruising it is the islands off Scotland’s west coast that form stepping stones into the Atlantic. Here you will find magnificent scenery, fascinating history and enormous natural splendour. One of Europe’s true last remaining wilderness areas, it affords the traveller a marvellous island hopping journey through stunning scenery accompanied by breathtaking sunsets. During this nine night voyage aboard the 118 passenger MS Island Sky we will explore the spectacular beauty, rich wildlife and fascinating history of the Inner and Outer Hebrides and with our fleet of Zodiacs we will be able to visit some of the most remote islands including the Isle of Lewis, uninhabited St Kilda, and the small island community of Iona.

With our naturalists and local guides we will explore the length and breadth of the isles and witness vibrant colours, wonderful wildlife and learn of the history and ancient culture of unique island life. This is the perfect opportunity to see some of Scotland’s most beautiful places and we will be able to explore in small groups ashore ensuring a warm welcome and a cornucopia of stunning sights and sounds. There is no better way to explore this endlessly fascinating and beautiful region than by our small ship and whether your interest lies in wildlife, gardens, ancient history, or simply an appreciation of this unique corner of the kingdom, this unique voyage has something for everyone.

Trip Name
Summer in the Scottish Isles with Island Sky
Days
10
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship Length: 90 metres Passenger Capacity: 116  Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2010 / 2017 Sister ship to Hebridean Sky. Island Sky and Hebridean Sky are truly sisters. Built in the same Italian Shipyard, both boast spacious, well-appointed suites, stylish common areas, and redundant core technology that allows them to operate smoothly, even under the most challenging of conditions. Both ships are all-suite, all-inclusive small expedition vessels with touches of elegance throughout. The Island Sky is scheduled for additional upgrades in 2017, including the addition of tinted sliding glass doors to all cabins on the Promenade Deck. Services: World-Class Cuisine Complimentary Wine or Beer with Dinner Live Entertainment Complimentary Coffee/Tea station Voyage Photographer On-board MD and Facilities Dedicated Passenger Service Manager Pre-voyage hotel night Complimentary Expedition Jacket Facilities: Elevator serving all passenger decks Upgraded WIFI Internet Library with computers Panoramic Top Deck Observation Platform Bar/Lounge with Live Entertainment Lounge with Audiovisual Facilities DVD Movie Library Tinted sliding glass doors in all cabins on the Promenade Deck World-Class Cuisine: Great expeditions require great food! Our team of world-class chefs offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that change daily. They have boat-loads of creativity, so you are sure to experience a variety of remarkable cuisine throughout your voyage. Accommodations: All Suites Feature: Exterior views Your choice of queen-sized or two twin-sized beds Sitting area with sofa and side chair Flat Screen TV with DVD/CD player Telephone Independent temperature controls Mini-Bar Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries Hair dryer 220 square feet or more Sofa can be converted to bed for third person PLEASE NOTE - DECK PLANS CAN VARY.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 Troon, Scotland.
Embark the MS Island Sky this afternoon. Transfers will be provided from Glasgow International Airport and Glasgow Central Railway Station at a fixed time. Enjoy the welcome drinks and dinner this evening as we sail.
Day 2 - Day 2 Colonsay, Inner Hebrides.
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. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and an afternoon cruising as we sail to the Outer Hebrides.
Day 3 - Day 3 St Kilda, Outer Hebrides.
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.
Day 4 - Day 4 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. The afternoon is free to explore the town at your own pace before we sail this evening.
Day 5 - Day 5 Isle Martin & Inverewe.
Eilean Mhartainn in Scots Gaelic, Isle Martin is an uninhabited island in Loch Broom, on the west coast of Scotland. During the 1980s and 1990s it became the site of a reforestation experiment by ecologists with native woodlands planted throughout, and these are now flourishing and improving soil fertility and biodiversity. Then in 1999 the island became one of the first handovers of land to community ownership. We will be offered a very warm welcome by volunteers from the community trust and will learn about the work they do on the island promoting the landscape, community and traditions. Sail over lunch to 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 Island Sky and sail this evening.
Day 6 - Day 6 Canna & Loch Scavaig, Isle of Skye.
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 hornshaped 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. Arrive in the early afternoon at the lovely Loch Scavaig. Just beyond is the freshwater Loch Corruisk with its breathtakingly beautiful view over the Cuillins. This is great walking country, but for those who prefer a less energetic afternoon our Zodiacs will explore the coast looking out for seals.
Day 7 - Day 7 Armadale & Inverie.
From our anchorage at Armadale we will visit the Clan Donald Centre, a 20,000 acre Highland estate which includes the ruins of Armadale Castle and the Museum of the Isles which showcases 1500 years of history and culture of the area. We will also explore the restored historical gardens and the beautiful walking trails through the 40 acres of woodland which surround the castle and may see some of the resident wildlife including red deer. This afternoon we arrive at the Knoydart Peninsula and the village of Inverie which is the largest settlement in mainland Britain without a road connection. Our expedition team will lead walks in the surrounding forest with great views down to Loch Nevis. Alternatively, choose to explore the town and visit the Old Forge which is listed as mainland Britain’s most remote pub.
Day 8 - Day 8 Staffa & Iona, Inner Hebrides.
Awake this morning at Staffa, the south side 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. 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 9 - Day 9 Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland.
Located just a few miles from the North Antrim coast, Rathlin Island has been settled for more than 6000 years. Today, there are only 80 or so souls, whereas before the famine there were 1200 inhabitants. History is everywhere and on a guided walk we will discover historic buildings and ruins as well as the unique “upside down” Rathlin West Light, a great feat of engineering and one of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland. Return to the ship for lunch and a relaxing afternoon at sea.
Day 10 - Day 10 Liverpool, England.
Disembark this morning after breakfast. Transfers will be provided to Liverpool Lime Street Station and Manchester Airport at a fixed time.
Day 11 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
02-08-202311-08-2023GBP £4,195Magellan Deck Standard Suite
02-08-202311-08-2023GBP £4,495Columbus Deck Superior Suite
02-08-202311-08-2023GBP £4,695Marco Polo Deck Premium Suite
02-08-202311-08-2023GBP £4,995Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite
02-08-202311-08-2023GBP £5,195Magellan Deck Standard Single
02-08-202311-08-2023GBP £5,495Columbus Deck Superior Single
02-08-202311-08-2023GBP £5,595Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony Suite
02-08-202311-08-2023GBP £5,995Explorer Deck Owner's Balcony Suite
02-08-202311-08-2023GBP £6,495Explorer Deck Island Suite

Inclusions

    • Colonsay, Inner Hebrides
    • St Kilda, Outer Hebrides
    • Isle of Lewis
    • Isle Martin & Inverewe
    • Canna & Loch Scavaig, Isle of Skye
    • Armadale & Inverie
    • Staffa & Iona, Inner Hebrides
    • Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

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