Otter sleeping on seaweed
Isle of Lewis © Muriel Halle

Ring of Bright Water – Skye and the Highlands cruise

From £2475 per adult

Departure days

  • M
  • T
  • W
  • T
  • F
  • S
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April — April

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While this is a lovely relaxed cruise around some of Scotland’s most dramatic coastal scenery, there is a background theme to this one which is the wonderful book - Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell, set in the Highlands & Islands we will visit.

Dates: April 19th to 28th 2023

Ring of Bright Water is the classic book by Gavin Maxwell, also adapted into a famous 1969 film starring Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna. It charted the story of a Londoner who bought an otter from a pet shop and moved to the remote Highlands and Islands of Scotland to which it was better suited. Maxwell lived in several places around the Isle of Skye and the mainland and also led an adventurous life as a shark hunter amongst other things. This cruise will circumnavigate the beautiful Isle of Skye, giving great views from the water, and also visit several other destinations including some mainland locations associated with the book. We will also meet up with our sister company SKYEFARI for some land excursions by minibus.

Destination: Guests join the MV Hjalmar Bjørge around 1530 on Wednesday 19th April in Oban. Our departure shortly thereafter will see us on anchor for our first evening meal aboard. The itinerary is dependent on weather – balancing shelter with reaching our preferred destinations – but may include for example, some of the following places;

  • Isle of Skye, with mountains, coastline, moorland and wildlife galore.
  • Sandaig Bay, better known as the location for ‘Camusfearna’ in the book, but a wonderfully picturesque place to visit in its own right anyway.
  • Gavin Maxwell museum and Eilean Ban, nestled under the Skye bridge, this former cottage was home to Maxwell and now is split between a rental property and a museum to his time there. 
  • Loch Hourn, translated as Loch Hell in Gaelic, this is actually a stunning fjord-like sea loch with amazing views all around.
  • Glenelg, home to the last operating turntable ferry in the UK.

On the final day we head back into Oban for your departure after breakfast on Friday 28th April.

(Buy a copy of the book now – click here!)

Wildlife highlights:  

Otters of course will be high on our list of species we are hoping to spot and the shorelines we will cruise nearby are indeed great habitat for them. They are also superb places for spotting the magnificent white-tailed eagles which have made such a good recovery in this area as well as their cousin the golden eagle often spotted soaring high over the hillsides.

Contact details

Northern Light Cruising Company
14 Francis Street
IV40 8DT
Bespoke Private Small Group (1-16)
Adventure History Island Hopping Landscapes Literature Outdoor Activities Photography Wildlife

COVID-19 facilities

  • Advance booking essential
  • Capacity limit
  • Deep cleaning between visitors
  • Online booking only
  • Outside seating

Tour prices


  • £2475 Per Adult
Book now

Prices are subject to change depending on season


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.

Opening times

Our Scottish cruising season is from April to October.
Booking office open year-round for enquiries.
We are part of the Hebridean Adventures group.

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