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St Hilda Sea Adventures

St Hilda Sea Adventures

Europe › Scotland ›Argyll › Oban
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St Hilda Sea Adventures provides small ship cruising and wildlife holidays on the beautiful West Coast of Scotland. Our cruises, among the breathtakingly beautiful islands, sea lochs and mountains of the Inner and Outer Hebrides, are truly unforgettable adventures for all ages.

We anchor in the most sheltered, idyllic, safe havens where passengers can visit world famous malt whisky distilleries and remote Scottish islands such as St Kilda, Mull, Skye, Jura, Islay, Staffa and Iona. The magical Scottish seas are full of wildlife both above and below the waves. You can fish, swim, dive, set lobster pots and sail the sea and its lochs and marvel at the dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks, otters, sea eagles, myriads of sea birds and the occasional whale. Each day is as action packed or as relaxing as you please.

A cruising holiday on board our small ships is fun and informal.  The roomy deck saloons are where everyone dines and socialises and the outdoor decks are perfect for spotting wildlife, relaxing and eating al fresco and, throughout the cruise, you will have the services of your own skipper and cook. There is plenty of room on the decks to carry canoes, windsurfers or cycles.  The small ships’ tenders can also take you ashore for some wonderful, serious coastal and cliff walks or you could just wander along the shore beachcombing and examining the pretty seaside rock pools.

Our two, small cruise ships are St Hilda and Seahorse II. St Hilda is a traditional, wooden 54ft ketch. She is an ex-tall ship and sail training vessel and on St Hilda, youngsters and adults love to help work the sails.

Seahorse II (82 feet long) was built to the highest standard for the Norwegian fjords and life in the high northern latitudes and is powerful enough to cruise the many spectacular islands, stacks and lochs of Scotland’s West Coast yet small enough to anchor in remote and hauntingly beautiful places that larger passenger ships are unable to visit. On the spacious aft deck, we have a powerful little crane for launching tenders and sea kayaks. Seahorse II is a sturdy, go-anywhere, yet comfortable adventurer and follows the same itineraries as St Hilda but, on request, can be chartered for longer and even more adventurous passages.

Visit our website to see details of our itineraries and to check our calendar for availability. 

Tours & Transfers
Group Tours

Restaurant Type
Casual

Outdoor Activity
Birding, Fishing, Kayaking, Trails, Wildlife

Tour Operators
Cruise Lines

Banking Currencies
British Pound

10 April, 2019 - 16 April, 2019

Hebridean Cruise: The Sounds of Mull, Luing, Shuna and Jura

Travel along these world famous Sounds that separate some of the most famous islands of the Inner Hebrides and listen to the myriad sounds of the sea. Whichever Sounds we discover, they have one glorious thing in common. They are all the Sounds of Silence. Sail by the spectacular islands of the Inner Hebridean isles: Mull, Luing, Shuna, Jura and Lismore. Anchor in tranquil, remote bays. See the incredible wildlife - soaring sea and golden eagles, basking sharks, orca and minke whales, porpoises, dolphins, seabirds and seals. On some of the Hebridean cruises we look at nature through the eyes of a marine biologist and even get out the plankton nets and microscopes. Do as little or as much as you want. Sit back and enjoy the trip as you travel through the Sounds and sea lochs; view the spectacular mountains and fast running tides that make extraordinary spiral patterns and glassy runs in the sea; marvel at the headland lighthouses and castles and all the wildlife and, if you want, become involved in working the ex-tall ship St Hilda or our wee ship Seahorse II. The sheltered waters are perfect for learning to sail against a spectacular backdrop of pristine coastline, mountains and forests. For extra fun, bring your kayak and windsurfer, swim from the boat or go ashore on remote islands to explore. Also don't forget your walking boots for spectacular island walks with wonderful views of the Sounds.

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18 April, 2019 - 26 April, 2019

A Guided Wildlife Tour to the Isle of Skye and the Small Isles

On this special eight night cruise aboard Seahorse II you will be accompanied by your wildlife guide and host Dr Julie Ackroyd FHEA. In her role as Bird Wise Ranger for the North Kent Marshes she has been responsible for surveying the overwintering wildfowl on the Thames, Swale and Medway. She has also run coastal bird identification walks. If you have always wanted to start birding, or coastal species are new to you, then bring your binoculars and Julie will be delighted to help you identify what we see. This guided cruise around the sea lochs of the Isle of Skye and the Small Isles (Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna) has to be one of the best ways to visit the Hebridean islands. Extraordinary Scottish wildlife is everywhere from minke and occasional killer and humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks, otters to many species of rare sea birds, especially sea eagles. Throughout the cruise you will anchor in secluded and tranquil sea lochs and sail against a spectacular backdrop of dramatic, pristine island coastlines, high sea cliffs, wild mountains and forests. You start your cruise from Oban (Dunstaffnage marina), and visit the stunning Small Isles and the west coast of Skye, which in Loch Scavaig has the most spectacular wilderness anchorage in the whole of Scotland. We travel along the west coast of Skye and at the next anchorage you can even visit Skye's famous Talisker malt whisky distillery. Please note that your voyage is weather dependent. Weather doesn't just mean good or bad weather. There are many considerations such as tidal gates, wind direction and strength, the strength and direction of currents, overfalls, and fetch.

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19 April, 2019 - 24 April, 2019

Scottish Castles and Sea Lochs Cruise

This five night Scottish cruise takes you along the majestic Sound of Mull, famous for its wildlife and bordered by the Isle of Mull and the Morvern Peninsula, and along historic Loch Linnhe. Our voyage will give you the full flavour of Scotland from the sea: its sheltered sea lochs, tranquil anchorages, picturesque harbours, ancient castles and even a whisky distillery. The mini cruise is a wonderful introduction to the breath-taking Hebrides and Islands. We are pleased to offer to our passengers a complementary visit to Duart castle.

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26 April, 2019 - 02 May, 2019

Mull Odyssey Cruise: Staffa, Iona and the Ross of Mull

The Isle of Mull is the heart of the Inner Hebrides and this is a magical Scottish islands cruise, which makes a circumnavigation of the island to visit the famous islands of Staffa and Iona. Iona, birthplace of western Christianity was where, in AD563, Saint Columba founded an abbey when he traveled over from Ireland. Iona has been for centuries a place of Christian pilgrimage and here the early abbey monks created the wonderful Book of Kells. Saint Columba and 48 Scottish kings, including Macbeth, as well as some Irish and French kings, are buried on Iona. One can walk in peaceful solitude along the island paths away from the Abbey. Staffa has one of the world's most spectacular natural marvels in Fingal's cave - one of the islands many sea caves. The soaring beauty of the island and the cave's towering, six-sided basalt columns are famously captured by Mendelssohn's Hebridean Overture. As we travel around the Isle of Mull we can see incredible wildlife - soaring sea and golden eagles, basking sharks, minke and killer whales, porpoises, dolphins, seabirds and seals. On board our small cruise ships you can do as little or as much as you want. Sit back and enjoy the trip as you travel through the island's picturesque Sounds and sea lochs; view the spectacular mountains of Mull including mighty Ben More; marvel at the headland lighthouses and castles and get involved in working the ex-tall ship St Hilda or our wee ship Seahorse II – it is all up to you. We are pleased to offer to our passengers a complementary visit to Iona Abbey. This cruise can be a six or eight night itinerary depending on the dates you choose to travel.

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28 April, 2019 - 04 May, 2019

Mull Odyssey Cruise: Art Tutor Onboard

This special six night Mull Odyssey cruise goes to all the usual wonderful places (Staffa, Iona, Treshnish Islands, Coll, Ross of Mull, Tobermory, etc) and, in addition, we have onboard, for your enjoyment, a very experienced art tutor Anthea Gage, RSW. Anthea has more than 30 years’ experience teaching artists of all ages and of all abilities. You don't have to take advantage of Anthea's tutoring but, if you wish, we will supply all the art materials free of charge. Please note that you have to let us know if you would like to take part in Anthea's sessions when you book your cruise, so that we can organise the art materials in advance. The Isle of Mull is the heart of the Inner Hebrides and this is a magical Scottish islands cruise, which makes a circumnavigation of the island to visit the famous islands of Staffa and Iona. Iona, birthplace of western Christianity was where, in AD563, Saint Columba founded an abbey when he traveled over from Ireland. Iona has been for centuries a place of Christian pilgrimage and here the early abbey monks created the wonderful Book of Kells. Saint Columba and 48 Scottish kings, including Macbeth, as well as some Irish and French kings, are buried on Iona. One can walk in peaceful solitude along the island paths away from the Abbey. Staffa has one of the world's most spectacular natural marvels in Fingal's cave - one of the islands many sea caves. The soaring beauty of the island and the cave's towering, six-sided basalt columns are famously captured by Mendelssohn's Hebridean Overture. As we travel around the Isle of Mull we can see incredible wildlife - soaring sea and golden eagles, basking sharks, minke and killer whales, porpoises, dolphins, seabirds and seals. On board our small cruise ships you can do as little or as much as you want. Sit back and enjoy the trip as you travel through the island's picturesque Sounds and sea lochs; view the spectacular mountains of Mull including mighty Ben More; marvel at the headland lighthouses and castles and get involved in working the ex-tall ship St Hilda or our wee ship Seahorse II – it is all up to you. Please note that your voyage is weather dependent. Weather doesn't just mean good or bad weather. There are many considerations such as tidal gates, wind direction and strength, the strength and direction of currents, overfalls, and fetch. If you wish to visit a specific place or have a specific experience, such as fly fishing, sea eagle tours, whisky tasting, then please do let your skipper know and he will endeavour to meet your request.

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06 May, 2019 - 12 May, 2019

Mini Cruise Around Scotland: Isle of Skye and the Small Isles

A mini cruise around the sea lochs of the Isle of Skye and the Small Isles (Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna) has to be one of the best ways to visit the Hebridean islands. Extraordinary Scottish wildlife is everywhere from minke and occasional killer and humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks, otters to many species of rare sea birds, especially sea eagles. Throughout the mini cruise you will anchor in secluded and tranquil sea lochs and sail against a spectacular backdrop of dramatic, pristine island coastlines, high sea cliffs, wild mountains and forests. For extra fun, bring your kitesurf or windsurfer, swim from the boat and don't forget your hiking boots for stunning island walks. You start your cruise from Oban (Dunstaffnage marina), and visit or sail past the stunning Small Isles and the west coast of Skye, which in Loch Scavaig has the most spectacular wilderness anchorage in the whole of Scotland. We travel along the west coast of Skye and at the next anchorage you can even visit Skye's famous Talisker malt whisky distillery. This cruise can be a six, seven or eight night itinerary depending on the dates you choose to travel.

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22 May, 2019 - 30 May, 2019

Malt Whisky and Scottish Wildlife Cruise

Single Malt whisky, made in an individual distillery from malted barley, distilled in copper pot stills and matured in oak casks, is one of the wonders of Scotland. Mixed with magnificent wildlife and spectacular Scottish islands it creates an unforgettable Hebridean cruise on the ex-tall ship St Hilda or on our wee ship Seahorse II. In this whisky and Scottish wildlife cruise you can sample the delights of some of the most famous single malts from some of the most famous of "malt whisky islands" – Mull, Jura and especially Islay with its many distilleries. On the way you can see the incredible wildlife - soaring sea and golden eagles, basking sharks, minke and orca whales, porpoises, dolphins, seabirds and seals. Reservations at the Islay distilleries and transport costs (to and from the boat) are covered by us, with no extra costs to our guests. If you are not totally malt whiskied-out at the end of the cruise, there is always the Oban distillery or the Oban Whisky Shop. This cruise can be an eight or ten night itinerary depending on the dates you choose to travel.

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16 June, 2019 - 23 June, 2019

Isle of Mull and Small Isles Explorer

Enjoy an extraordinary voyage of seven nights exploring the Sound of Mull and the Small Isles. The Isle of Mull, inhabited since 6000 BC, is the quintessential island of the Inner Hebrides and rich in Scottish history. The outlying Small isles, Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna, are justly famous for their sheltered anchorages, spectacular birdlife and ever-changing, island scenery. History, wildlife, spectacular islands and breathtaking mountains, this is a truly unforgettable Scottish cruise. Don't forget your hiking boots for stunning island walks!

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25 June, 2019 - 28 June, 2019

Scottish Hebridean Islands: Taster Cruise

This three or four night taster cruise is a perfect way to experience life aboard a small cruise ship exploring the Scottish islands on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. Do as little or as much as you want. Sit back and enjoy the trip as you travel through the Sounds and sea lochs; view the spectacular mountains and fast running tides that make extraordinary spiral patterns and glassy runs in the sea; marvel at the headland lighthouses and castles and all the wildlife and, if you want, become involved in working the ex-tall ship St Hilda or our wee ship Seahorse II. The sheltered waters are perfect for learning to sail against a spectacular backdrop of pristine coastline, mountains and forests. For extra fun, bring your kayak and windsurfer, swim from the boat or go ashore on remote islands to explore. Also don't forget your walking boots for spectacular island walks with wonderful views of the Sounds.

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02 July, 2019 - 13 July, 2019

St Kilda: A Wildlife Cruise In The Outer Hebrides

This wonderful, 12 day, Outer Hebridean cruise will, if the weather is kind, give us time to explore fabulous St Kilda; the remote Monach Isles; many dramatic islands of the Outer Hebrides; and the spectacular Small Isles. Our starting point is Oban, the gateway to the isles. Our sea adventure vessels will anchor in scenic, lonely islands, in tranquil bays and, throughout the trip, we see incredible wildlife - soaring sea and golden eagles, many species of sea birds, basking sharks, orca and minke whales, porpoises, dolphins and seals. Aboard St Hilda or Seahorse II you can do as little or as much as you want. Sit back and enjoy the trip as you travel through the Sounds; pass the islands and sea lochs; view the spectacular mountains and fast running tides that make extraordinary spiral patterns and glassy runs in the sea; marvel at the lofty headland lighthouses and castles; and, if you want, become involved in working the wee cruise ships. Our ultimate destination is Village Bay, Hirta, on the archipelago of St Kilda - a UNESCO world heritage site. Hirta is the largest of the four islands in the St Kilda group and was inhabited for some 2000 years before the villagers were evacuated in 1930, never to return. The sea cliffs (the highest in the UK) of the St Kilda islands rise dramatically out of the Atlantic and are the protected breeding grounds of many different sea bird species (gannets, fulmars, Leach's petrel, which are hunted at night by giant skuas, and puffins). These thousands of seabirds were once an important source of food for the islanders. The breathtaking islands of Soay and Boreay have rare, ancient species of feral sheep and the St Kildan wren and field mouse are both unique sub species. Travelling back from St Kilda, we could stop at a remote anchorage on the Monach or Heisker islands, which lie some five miles west off North Uist and are famous for their wild flowers in the Machair, sandy white beaches and for a huge grey seal colony. Throughout the trip we will explore the many wonderful, breathtaking islands of the Outer Hebrides and the Small Islands.

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15 July, 2019 - 25 July, 2019

A Guided Wildlife Tour to St Kilda and the Shiants

On this cruise aboard Seahorse II you will be accompanied by a wildlife guide, Dr Peter Garson, who is passionate about wildlife. As a career conservation biologist at Newcastle University he has worked on many different species in a variety of environments. From studying endangered wildlife in the mountain ranges of the Himalayas to our threatened, native red squirrels in the Scottish Borders. For his Doctorate at Oxford University he studied the local wren population, which is very different to those found on St Kilda. These wrens are relatively common on St Kilda and, with Peter's help, should be relatively easy to find! This Guided Outer Hebridean (10 night) cruise will, if the weather is kind, give us time to explore fabulous St Kilda; the Shiant Isles; and many dramatic islands of the Outer Hebrides. Our starting point is Oban, the gateway to the western Scottish Islands. Seahorse II will anchor in scenic, lonely islands, in tranquil bays and, throughout the trip, we see incredible wildlife - soaring sea and golden eagles, many species of sea birds, basking sharks, orca and minke whales, porpoises, dolphins and seals. Aboard Seahorse II you can do as little or as much as you want. Sit back and enjoy the trip as you travel through the Sounds; pass the islands and sea lochs; view the spectacular mountains and fast running tides that make extraordinary spiral patterns and glassy runs in the sea; marvel at the lofty headland lighthouses and castles; and, if you want, become involved in working the wee cruise ships. Our ultimate destination is Village Bay, Hirta, on the archipelago of St Kilda - a UNESCO world heritage site. Hirta is the largest of the four islands in the St Kilda group and was inhabited for some 2000 years before the villagers were evacuated in 1930, never to return. The sea cliffs (the highest in the UK) of the St Kilda islands rise dramatically out of the Atlantic and are the protected breeding grounds of many different sea bird species (gannets, fulmars, Leach's petrel, which are hunted at night by giant skuas, and puffins). These thousands of seabirds were once an important source of food for the islanders. The breathtaking islands of Soay and Boreay have rare, ancient species of feral sheep and the St Kildan wren and field mouse are both unique sub species. Please note that although St Kilda is our ultimate destination it cannot be sure - the Atlantic may not always be kind, even in summer. But, as we can see, we will explore other wonderful Hebridean islands and the wildlife is always guaranteed! Your skipper will be your guide.

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17 August, 2019 - 27 August, 2019

Skye, Shiant and the Summer Isles

This adventurous Scottish cruise (10 nights) includes some of Scotland’s most famous and remote destinations: the delightful Small Isles of Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna; the spectacular Isle of Skye with its deep-sea lochs such as Dunvegan and it’s famous castles; the uninhabited Shiant Isles with their thousands of puffins; and the remote Summer Isles, named after their green summer pastures, with their remote anchorages and rich wildlife.

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17 August, 2019 - 27 August, 2019

The Magical Outer Hebrides and Shiant Isles

This magical Hebridean cruise (10 nights) wanders through the Scottish isles of the Inner and Outer Hebrides visiting the famous Small Isles (Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna) and remote Shiant Isles. They are all part of a kaleidoscope of islands scenery: the soft white sandy beaches with turquoise waters of the Outer Hebrides, steep sea cliffs with nesting seabirds and soaring eagles, to the ragged Scottish Highland mountains. The Outer Hebrides are composed of some 200 islands with evocative names such as Mingulay, Barra, South Uist, Benbecula and Taranay and is one of the world’s remotest and beautiful cruising areas. The Shiants are home to thousands of seabirds with a puffin population of over a quarter of a million! Our stops on the North West of Scotland is dominated by high mountains and remote sea lochs yet we still have time to anchor off the picturesque Highland village of Plockton.

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08 September, 2019 - 14 September, 2019

Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal Cruise

One of the best ways to have a true Scottish Experience is to cruise Scotland’s Great Glen in a wee ship, sailing through Loch Ness and along the incredible Caledonian Canal. The Great Glen cuts the Scottish Highlands in half and the Caledonian Canal is an extraordinary feast of Victorian engineering that was devised by Thomas Telford to connect the east and west Scottish coasts and to allow ships to avoid the northern stormy water of the Pentland Firth and Cape Wrath. Our six night Scottish cruises travel both ways through the Canal which connects Fort William on the west coast of Scotland, situated at the top of Loch Linnhe, to Inverness, on the east coast and the capital of the Highlands, situated on the Moray Firth. Guests can decide in which direction they wish to travel – either eastwards from Fort William or westwards from Inverness. Depending of your choice of travel through the canal we start the cruise in either Inverness (westwards) or Dunstaffnage Marina, near Oban, (eastwards). The Caledonian canal is some 60 miles long and its 29 locks, 10 bridges and 4 aqueducts link the lochs of Dochfour, Ness, Oich, and Lochy. These spectacular sea and fresh water lochs are all located in the Great Glen. Throughout the cruises there are great walks, stunning wildlife, amazing sea and fresh water lochs and picturesque Highland villages and towns and, perhaps, even a chance of seeing the elusive Loch Ness monster! Drop-off (or pick-up) at the East end of the Caledonian Canal is Seaport Marina. The Caledonian canal transit fee is covered by us, with no extra costs to our guests.

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