An exclusive chance to visit remote RSPB nature reserves and other wildlife hotspots around the islands of Scotland's Outer Hebrides, including visits to Skye, Lewis, Harris and the Shiant Isles. Spot whales and dolphins, puffins, eagles and more!
Join us on a 6-night adventure starting and ending in Inverness, that will take you on a fascinating Scottish wildlife cruise from Mallaig to Stornoway, visiting several RSPB reserves and other great wildlife hotspots along the way.
Spot whales, dolphins and seabirds with our guide on board, and then go ashore to meet local RSPB wardens and experts who will tell you all about their patch and the important work that goes on. You will be helping with this as we are donating 15% of the proceeds of this trip to the RSPB's local conservation efforts in the places you will be visiting.
Corncrakes, machair grassland, rare breeding waders and impressive eagle locations are just some of the highlights of this exclusive cruise in May 2021.Itinerary
Start date: Fri 7th May 2021
Departure point: Inverness - 11am.
Friday - Day 1 - Minibus from Inverness via Loch Ness to Glenelg - trip on the last turntable ferry in Britain to Skye and on to the Kylerhea Hide - meeting Dr Alison MacLennan on site who will discuss conservation efforts on Skye.
Move on afterwards to Ardvasar (Armadale) by minibus to meet our boat, the Monadhliath. Cruise to the Isle of Rum for the first night for the sights and sounds of the Manx shearwaters in the evening. Alternative anchorage at Isle of Canna if necessary.
Saturday - Day 2 - Cruise up the west coast of the Isle of Skye heading to Stein in Loch Bay. Good for eagles with many local territories - depending on time available there is also the possibility of an excursion down to Carbost for a 4x4 forest visit with eagles and also otters nearby.
Sunday - Day 3 - Cruise across the Little Minch to Lochmaddy on North Uist. Afternoon or evening - RSPB Site Manager will provide a talk on-board the boat about RSPB Balranald and work on the Uists.
Monday - Day 4 - RSPB Site manager to meet at the boat in the morning. Travel to Griminish for the Uist’s best opportunities to see otters. Follow on to RPSB Balranald for a reserve tour.
In the afternoon we will depart Lochmaddy and cruise around the picturesque Sound of Harris islands spotting seabirds and other wildlife before heading to Rodel on the Isle of Harris for the night. In the evening welcome RSPB staff on-board for a talk on conversation, island biosecurity and the Shiants project.
Tuesday - Day 5 - Cruise to the Shiant Isles, watching out for cetaceans on the way and passing the photogenic Scalpay lighthouse at Eilean Glas. We will have the afternoon and evening at the Shiants for a shore excursion and taking our tender for a close look around the seabird colonies and maybe through the sea arch, both depending on tide and weather but should be fine in May. We will anchor at the Shiants for the night to the sights and sounds of thousands of puffins, razorbills and guillemots. We have an alternative sheltered anchorage in Loch Shell (Sealg) on the Isle of Lewis if the weather necessitates it.
Wednesday - Day 6 - Cruise the short distance across the mythical 'Stream of the Blue Men’ to Tarbert and meet the minibus there for the drive over the mountains to Stornoway, looking for raptors along the way. We will stop near Loch Seaforth at midday for a private RSPB guided walk searching the skies for eagles.
In the afternoon/evening continue the drive up to Ness for an informal catch up with an RSPB warden at Loch Stiapabhat discussing what the RSPB do for Corncrake, and maybe on to Loch na Muilne for a chance of seeing any early phalarope arrivals.
Evening hotel stay in Stornoway.
Thursday - Day 7 - Either have the morning free in town to explore and enjoy Stornoway or jump in the minibus for a quick drive up to Tiumpan Head to go shore-watching for cetaceans in one of Europe’s hotspots! Chances of Risso’s, common and white-beaked dolphins, minke and fin whales or even humpbacks and orca if really lucky.
2pm ferry back to Ullapool and then back to Inverness by minibus.
End Date: Thursday 13th May - back in Inverness by the early evening.
In recognition that this business has confirmed that they have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, ensuring processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social/physical distancing.
Whale & wildlife watching + activity cruises around Scotland's Hebridean islands and the Highlands' west coast, with itineraries including Skye and St Kilda! Cruises range from two to six nights and are all-inclusive, with shore excursions. Certain cruises offer activities like sea kayaking, hiking, snorkelling and photography led by an expert. Our guides will point out the whales, dolphins, eagles, puffins and other sealife that call this area home while keeping a safe and respectful distance. Two raised observation decks give you great views! Departures from Mallaig, Stornoway and Ullapool.
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