Remote Atlantic Islands (Hebridean Sky)

Remote Atlantic Islands (Hebridean Sky)

From GBP £11,995

Description

Join us on this epic expedition which will begin at the world’s southernmost city and end some 33 days later in Senegal. A voyage of many thousands of miles that will include some of the most remote and fascinating islands in the southern Atlantic. Our natural world encounters will be extraordinary whether your interest lies in birds, marine life or wildlife; as will the botany and cultural life of the islands.

Exploration, trade and colonial ambitions over many centuries have created unique island communities and lifestyles as islands became stepping stones across the South Atlantic Ocean. With just 100 or so fellow travellers you can enjoy the small ship experience and travel slowly with an expert expedition team who also relish the chance to undertake such a unique journey and share their knowledge and enthusiasm with you.

This island odyssey begins with two days in the Falkland Islands where we will discover both the natural and cultural heritage of the islands before continuing to the extraordinary island of South Georgia, one of the world’s natural wonders – ‘the Alps in mid-ocean’, offering remarkable concentrations of shoreline wildlife against a dramatic backdrop of glaciers and snow covered mountains. Here also is the last resting place of the great explorer Shackleton. Our onward passage will take us to what will perhaps be the highlight of the journey for many, the island of Tristan da Cunha, the world’s most remote island and home to a hardy population of around 250. Tristan was ignored by early explorers as a possible home due to its rugged landscape and harsh climate. It took an extraordinary breed of people, ready to live on the margins of life, to settle and eventually thrive in the world’s most isolated community. We will discover the main settlement on the island, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, and explore the island on a series of walks. We continue to St Helena which, like Tristan da Cunha has relatively little contact with the outside world. Colonised in the 17th century by the East India Company as an important staging post for their vessels, it is perhaps best known as Napoleon’s final home. We also visit Ascencion, situated less than 500 miles from the Equator. We will land on the important military air base island and explore the lowland arid and lunar like landscape. By contrast the highest point, Green Mountain is covered in lush vegetation.

We end our remote islands adventure in the Bijagos Archipelago which comprises a group of 88 small islands, several of which are uninhabited, and most of which are very rarely visited by foreigners. Here we will enjoy Zodiac cruising and landings ashore for beachcombing or swimming.

For those who love the sea and long voyages, enjoy travelling off the beaten track and escaping from the world for a few weeks this is a marvellous trip and an adventure. Our days at sea will be punctuated by calls to little visited islands and we will see amazing sea bird life, travel with whales, set foot in places where few have trodden before and enjoy good company, some fascinating onboard lectures, marvellous food and one of the most comfortable expedition vessels in the world.

Trip Name
Remote Atlantic Islands (Hebridean Sky)
Days
35
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 90.6 metres Passenger Capacity: 118 Built / Refurbished: 1992 / 2016 The MS Hebridean Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world. Formerly known as the Sea Explorer, the vessel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden in Spring 2016 before being re-launched as the MS Hebridean Sky. Your Suite. On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites. All feature a sitting area and fourteen suites have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views with suites on the Scott and Shackleton Decks featuring private balconies. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring vanity unit with sink and walk-in rainfall shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a minifridge, flat screen television and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Additional facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The beds in each suite can be configured as twins or double with the exception of suite 601 and 602 which feature fixed double beds. The impressive Hebridean Suite, located on the Shackleton Deck consists of a separate bathroom and sitting room with extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additional benefits of booking this marvellous suite include complimentary mini-bar stocked with your preferences and complimentary laundry. Your Space. The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Hebridean Sky include a large lounge on the Byrd Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director and talks from Guest Speakers and expedition staff take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. In addition to the Lounge, there is also The Club, located on the Mawson Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also offers a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Mawson Deck is The Library which is well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand). The Dining Room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Amundsen Deck and is a bright and charming setting to enjoy the delicious meals on board. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Scott Deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. Further to this, on the top Shackleton Deck there is an observation area which offers a fantastic platform for spotting wildlife complete with deck furniture, ideal for relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. You will also find a clinic and Doctor on board and a lift that serves all decks. Additionally there is a small hairdressers with appointments made on request. Your Dining. It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well-stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapés take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice. In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose. The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations. For Your Comfort. The MS Hebridean Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and Doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck. Life Onboard. If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels. When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship. The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 London to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Fly by scheduled flight.
Day 2 - Day 2 Buenos Aires.
Arrive this morning and transfer to our centrally located hotel for an overnight stay. This afternoon you can choose to relax at the hotel or join an orientation tour of the city which will include the Plaza de Mayo, the Cathedral, the Cabildo (Old City Hall) and the most traditional neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, San Telmo which is characterised by its old colonial houses and cobblestoned streets. The tour will end in La Boca with time to look around the colourful zinc houses. This evening there will be the opportunity to attend a Tango show with dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 3 - Day 3 Buenos Aires to Ushuaia.
After breakfast in the hotel we will transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Ushuaia. On arrival in the world’s southernmost city we will transfer to the MS Hebridean Sky and sail this evening.
Day 4 - Day 4 At Sea.
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea. Wildlife spotting opportunities as we sail across the ocean will include albatrosses, prions and petrels that frequently follow the ship. Our expedition team will be out on deck looking for whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. During our crossing to the Falkland Islands our onboard experts will begin their presentations with informative and entertaining talks on the wildlife, history and geology of the Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean.
Day 5 - Days 5 & 6 Falkland Islands.
The Falkland Islands are isolated, windswept, a haven for wildlife and our base for a couple of days of exploration. Our visit in March should coincide with the end of the breeding season for the many seabirds that make these islands their summer home including Gentoo, Magellanic and rockhopper penguins and blackbrowed albatross. We hope to see the flurry of activity associated with fledging seabirds and adults departing the islands before the autumn closes in. We will use our Zodiacs to find a suitable location to land for a closer look. We also plan to call at Port Stanley, the charming capital of the Falkland Islands, and discover some of the many historic siteson the island.
Day 6 - Days 7 & 8 At Sea.
As we cruise towards South Georgia the richness of these waters will be evident in the marine mammal life, especially the fur seals on fishing forays. We have a good chance of spotting humpback and fin whales whilst the birds circling our stern will be outstanding, especially the large albatrosses and numerous breeds of petrels.
Day 7 - Days 9 to 11 South Georgia.
We have three days of expedition cruising in and around South Georgia, a paradise island with snow-clad mountain peaks rising 9000 feet and with 165 glaciers tumbling down towards the sea. It is the large colonies of king penguins that make South Georgia’s animal kingdom one of our planet’s greatest wonders. The king penguins raise their young in the sub-Antarctic summer and our visit will be in the autumn when fluffy brown chicks crowd the shores like a huge kindergarten. We hope to catch the wandering albatross and migrating whales as the wildlife starts to prepare for the upcoming winter. Witness incredible scenes of this unique animal paradise on walks, hikes and Zodiac rides whilst our onboard team of biologists and geologists increase your knowledge of this unique natural experience. Meanwhile in Grytviken we will visit the old whaling station and of course pay our respect at the grave of ‘the boss’ – Ernest Shackleton.
Day 8 - Days 12 to 16 At Sea.
Our lecture programme will continue as will opportunities to watch for wildlife from the deck as we sail towards the most remote inhabited archipelago of islands in the world at Tristan Da Cunha.
Day 9 - Days 17 & 18 Tristan da Cunha.
First sighted in the early 16th century and settled in the early 1800s, Tristan da Cunha was frequented by naval ships, whalers and sealers throughout the 19th century. Today it is home to some 250 hardy souls who make their living from the sea. With our two days here there will be plenty of time to spend visiting the main settlement of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas where local guides will tell us about the island’s history and culture. Maybe take a hike to the volcano where we learn about the 1961 eruption and the impact on the local population, ending at the Thatched House Museum which preserves a home from that time. Other walks will include the cliffs and the potato patches where we can hear about the islander’s subsistence farming. We also hope to visit Nightingale Island, one of the most unique wildlife strongholds in the world and home to thousands of seabirds.
Day 10 - Days 19 to 22 At Sea.
Leaving Tristan da Cunha we continue our journey north towards St Helena. Our onboard naturalists will search for wildlife whilst we hope for clear skies to enjoy stargazing in the evenings.
Day 11 - Days 23 to 25 St Helena.
Discovered by the Portuguese in 1502 the island of St Helena has been both a Dutch and British possession. In the late 17th century the island became a strategically important port of call in the British Empire and was controlled by the East India Company for over 200 years. However, the island is perhaps best known as Napoleon’s last place of exile. He died here in 1821 after a six year exile and we will visit Longwood House, Napoleon’s residence. Explore the tiny capital of Jamestown and see the courthouse, government buildings and library. Those feeling active may want to climb the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder with views over Jamestown. During a range of walks for all levels, there will be time to explore the surrounding countryside, experience some amazing views and witness the prolific birdlife, including the endemic St Helena wirebird. Keen coffee lovers may want to try the rare ‘Green Tipped Bourbon Arabica’ grown on the island since 1732 whilst a visit to the most remote distillery in the world will provide the opportunity to taste the local gin, rum and ‘Tungi’ made from local prickly pears. Being here on Easter Sunday we also hope to offer the chance to join the church service.
Day 12 - Days 26 & 27 At Sea.
Enjoy a relaxing couple of days aboard the MS Hebridean Sky as we continue our journey to the next group of remote islands of the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 13 - Days 28 & 29 Ascension Island.
Named after the day it was discovered and first inhabited in 1815 by a British Garrison, today Ascension Island plays an important role in supplying British forces and scientists based in the South Atlantic. It is also a huge marine reserve to protect the unique ecosystem which is home to huge marlin, green turtles and the endemic frigate bird. We hope to take the opportunity to climb Green Mountain, explore the small capital of Georgetown and if time and conditions allows circumnavigate Boatswain Bird Island.
Day 14 - Days 30 to 32 At Sea.
During our time at sea we will cross the equator as we continue our voyage north and towards the West African coast.
Day 15 - Days 33 & 34 Bijagos Archipelago, Guinea Bissau.
We end our remote islands adventure in the Bijagos Archipelago which comprises a group of 88 small islands, several of which are uninhabited, and most of which are very rarely visited by foreigners. From our Zodiacs we will cruise among the mangroves and land ashore for beachcombing or swimming. Our programme by Zodiac and ashore will be determined by tidal and weather conditions but one thing is for sure, you will not be disappointed by these extraordinary islands.
Day 16 - Day 35 Dakar, Senegal to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London. Arrive this afternoon.
Day 17 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
11-03-202114-04-2021GBP £11,995Amundsen Deck Standard Suite
11-03-202114-04-2021GBP £14,995Shackleton Deck Owner's Balcony Suite
11-03-202114-04-2021GBP £16,995Shackleton Deck Hebridean Suite
11-03-202114-04-2021GBP £12,295Byrd Deck Superior Suite
11-03-202114-04-2021GBP £12,595Mawson Deck Premium Suite
11-03-202114-04-2021GBP £12,995Mawson Deck Corner Suite
11-03-202114-04-2021GBP £14,495Scott Deck Deluxe Balcony Suite
28-02-202203-04-2022GBP £12,695Amundsen Deck Standard Suite
28-02-202203-04-2022GBP £12,995Byrd Deck Superior Suite
28-02-202203-04-2022GBP £13,295Mawson Deck Premium Suite
28-02-202203-04-2022GBP £13,695Mawson Deck Corner Suite
28-02-202203-04-2022GBP £14,995Scott Deck Deluxe Balcony Suite
28-02-202203-04-2022GBP £15,495Shackleton Deck Owner's Balcony Suite
28-02-202203-04-2022GBP £17,495Shackleton Deck Hebridean Suite

Inclusions

    • Discover Falkland Islands
    • Explore South Georgia
    • Visit Tristan da Cunha
    • Enjoy St Helena

Map