Focusing on the aspects the Scottish isles are famous for – varied wildlife and superb distinctive whiskies, this cruise takes full advantage of the outer isles in May. We delve first into the ‘whisky isle’ of Islay with its eight working distilleries creating unique, peaty drams that evokes the island’s terrain. In the Victorian port of Oban, the distillery produces a very different style of whisky, whilst on the Isle of Mull, in the pretty tiny fishing port of Tobermory, the distillery dates from the 18th century. Those not interested in whisky will still be spoilt for choice in terms of wildlife, from the archipelago of the Treshnish Isles to lonely and remote St Kilda. In May, both destinations will have teeming colonies of nesting seabirds such as puffins, kittiwakes and gannets. Whether from the ship’s decks, explorer boat cruising, or on foot, we may also get to see otters, seals, sea eagles, and golden eagles. We may even hear a corncrake amongst the spring orchids in the fields of the Small Isles. Other highlights include a private hosted visit to one of Scotland’s most ancient and scenic castles. As guests of clan chieftain Sir Lachlan MacLean, we will enjoy a private evening visit at his clan home that has a history running back 800 years. We will see where Christianity arrived in Scotland from Ireland, and how Harris Tweed is created in the Outer Hebrides.