Marvels of Mull Cruise
Join zoologist and wildlife presenter Billy Heaney (BBC Countryfile, SpringWatch and BBC Radio 4 Nature Table amongst others) and wildlife filmmaker James Stevens (BBC Wild Isles, Countryfile and Spring/Autumn/WinterWatch programmes, plus many more).
Dates: Wed 6th September to Tuesday 12th September 2023
Price: £1920 per person
You will circumnavigate the wildlife-rich hotspot of the Isle of Mull, plus the very special islands of Coll and Tiree (a great basking shark area), also passing by the amazing natural spectacle of Fingal’s Cave on the Isle of Staffa on the way. That’s not all! As well as the expert insights and wildlife spotting skills of Billy and James on board, you will also get a day trip inland on Mull by minibus so you can visit many more of its wildlife hotspots on the lookout for otters, deer, eagles, and other birds of prey.
In the evenings on a couple of nights of the cruise, you will look forward to a short talk from both our trip leaders, Billy and James, where they will tell you about their experiences and encounters while filming and presenting out in the wild at home in the UK and around the world. A great chance to ask some questions and find out just how glamourous (or not) it really is spending days and weeks trying to track down and capture ‘the shot’.
Guests meet at the boat at 1530 in Oban for a welcome aboard and departure to Loch Spelve on the Isle of Mull. Circa 1.5 hour steam. (Please note that the sea and weather conditions totally dictate where we go each day and we may end up at Jura or Colonsay, but Mull itself should be guaranteed)
Loch Spelve is an excellent sheltered anchorage onthe east side of Mull, with several options to drop anchor. Can be very good for white-tailed and golden eagles. Also, a good area for otters.Day 2
Heading south, voyage along the Ross of Mull passing dramatic sea-cliffs and stacks and round the point towards Bunessan (north side of Ross of Mull), landing on the historical Iona for a walk around the island. Anchor at Bunessan, good area for otters.
This route has good potential for cetaceans, both eagle species and red deer also on the slopes.Day 3
Head for the Treshnish Isles and Staffa (Fingal’s cave)– unlikely we will land on the islands as the seabirds will have departed already, so we will continue to Coll or Tiree for anchorage. Good day for cetacean activity and migrating seabirds and entering potential basking shark areas.Day 4
Chance to go ashore from the anchorage, but the main aim today would be to circumnavigate both Tiree and Coll and anchor for a 2nd night in this area. More opportunity for seeing cetaceans, basking sharks, and migrating seabirds.Day 5
Continue to search for cetaceans and sharks. We keep an eye on local sightings of cetaceans from the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust whale track and social media, so direction may be decided by good sightings but could steam north towards the Small Isles and back past Ardnamurchan point. Anchor in Tobermory (or possibly Loch Drom Na Buidhe). Tobermory Bay can be good for bottlenose dolphins and otters play amongst the boats regularly.Day 6
Today it’s time for your special land tour across the island taking in Loch Na Keal, very good for otters, both eagle species, and raptors in general (hen harriers in particular). The Hjalmar Bjørge would cruise back round to Loch Spelve where you would meet the boat. If any guests wished to, you could stay on the boat if you preferred.
Very good chance of otter and good close encounters with both eagle species, seals, and red deer.Day 7
Last look around Loch Spelve before heading back to Oban for approximately 1030.About Billy and James
Billy is a zoologist, wildlife presenter, filmmaker, and keen paddle-boarder, who is a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Nature Table with Sue Perkins, and has over five years’ experience guiding on wildlife cruises out of Falmouth. He graduated from the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus with a BSc in Zoology and he used remote cameras to study grey seal haul-outs along the Cornish coast for his Masters by Research, also undertaken at the University of Exeter. He has also presented on BBC Countryfile, featured on BBC Points West and BBC Breakfast, as well as BBC SpringWatch and BBC Earth’s digital channels. He has also been a regular guest on BBC Radio Gloucestershire talking about seasonal wildlife stories. Billy is passionate about wildlife and inspiring others to learn more about the natural world.
James Stevens is a wildlife filmmaker and guide based in the Scottish Highlands. He has worked across Natural History TV for Netflix, Nat Geo, Channel 5 and with recent credits in BBC Wild Isles and is a regular cameraman on Springwatch. His work takes him to wild locations throughout the UK and internationally. A lifelong naturalist with an infectious enthusiasm for finding bugs through to cetaceans.
Depending on weather, we sometimes head back to Oban on night 6 and either anchor at Kerrera marina or back at the pontoons in Oban. We have done this before, and our guests have enjoyed a night looking across to the lights of Oban on their final night. It also means a very relaxed and unrushed breakfast before departing. Kerrera marina is also very pleasant, with a bar and restaurant, and can only be accessed by boat, so quite a neat place to finish. A decision will be made at the time and relayed by your skipper.
From £1920 per adult
September — September
14 Francis Street
Covid 19 Facilities
- Advance booking essential
- Capacity limit
- Deep cleaning between visitors
- Online booking possible
- Outside seating
Tour company information
Northern Light Cruising Company
The Northern Light Cruising Company is based in Oban and offers scenic and wildlife-watching adventures cruises around Scotland's Highlands and Islands, primarily the Inner and Outer Hebrides including the favourites of St Kilda, Mull and the Isle Skye. Enjoy a small-boat (11 guests max), slow-travel experience as you island-hop some of Scotland's most beautiful, historic and remote locations. Meanwhile enjoy the whales, dolphins, seals, otters, eagles and seabirds like puffins and gannets, and explore quiet locations on shore excursions each day. Private charter is available - please ask.
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