Great Hebridean Adventure - 5 Night Wildlife Cruise

With five nights at sea, the Outer Hebridean world is our oyster for this spectacular cruise, and offers the opportunity for a truly memorable maritime adventure out along the wild edge of Scotland.  ​ The iconic archipelago of St.Kilda, sitting 40 miles west of the Outer Hebridean islands, is our goal for this trip but weather plays a vital role in allowing us to get there. A dual UNESCO world heritage site, these isolated islands are steeped in history and are a mecca for seabirds, giving us the opportunity to get close encounters with some of the most spectacular species UK waters have on offer.    These ancient volcanic islands have some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs that have some of the largest colonies of endangered and rare nesting seabirds, numbers that peak at one million birds in May and June. The myriad of sounds and sights of these seabirds adds to the cultural and scenic values of this incredible archipelago. ​ But this voyage is by no means purely about what St.Kilda has to offer. Our journey around the islands will give us ample possibilities to explore other magical spots such as the Monach Islands, Flannan Islands and closer to the Isles of Lewis and Harris themselves, where there are always surprises in store. ​ The waters that we will sail through, no matter where we end up, hold some magical wonders of marine life that might include dolphins such as common, Risso, white-beaked and even the rarer white-sided, plus minke whales and maybe even some other special surprises! The abundance of wildlife will give us the potential to collect copious amounts data that will go to our partner the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) to aid scientific and conservation studies in UK waters. This expedition gives you the chance to contribute to real science and gain experience of data recording.  

Hosted Wildlife Photography Cruise

A 3 night wildlife photography cruise hosted by professional wildlife and photography guide Dave Pullan. At sea, the trip will concentrate on how best to photograph the wide range of cetaceans found in the waters around the Outer Hebrides, as well as searching for opportunities to photograph white tailed sea eagles and of course any other seabirds or mammals we encounter. To make the best use of our time together, the expedition will be kept very flexible in its itinerary to respond to the wildlife, weather and sea conditions. Another option is the possibility to perhaps go ashore at some point to look for otters and other land-based wildlife photographic opportunities. The seas around the Outer Hebrides are rich feeding waters for many species of cetaceans and our skipper and guide will work hard to find the best spots during your expedition. Heading out into the Minch we will be looking for common dolphin, harbour porpoise and minke whales amongst others, but always with the potential for some rarer surprises! The islands are also home to many seabirds too of course, so we will be looking out for them also such as razorbills, guillemots, puffins, skuas, gannets, petrels and shearwaters. Come the evenings, we will anchor up in sheltered coves and bays where we will enjoy a hot dinner together whilst discussing the days sightings and photographs. Host: Dave Pullan Based in Speyside I've explored and photographed most of the Scottish inhabited islands with a good number of uninhabited islands too (e.g. landings on North Rona and Sula Sgeir). A full-time freelance birdwatching and wildlife guide, I regularly lead single and small groups of photographers anywhere from the Cairngorms for ptarmigan and mountain hare to Japan for Stellers sea eagles and red-crowned cranes. I've had images published in many books and magazines including the cover of The Birds Of Scotland, and have also worked on common seal photo-identification projects for the Sea Mammal Research Unit.

Isle of Skye / Ring of Bright Water 4 Night Cruise

On the 18th July 2019 Hebridean Adventures will be departing for this very special themed literary and wildlife cruise around the Isle of Skye.   This 4-night cruise will be sailing in the steps of naturalist Gavin Maxwell, author of Ring of Bright Water whilst circumnavigating the beautiful Isle of Skye.  We will stop off at a number of locations that were dear to his heart, including Camusfeàrna, (true name Sandaig,) where he lived with a number of his otters including Edal and Mijbil. Mijbil was brought back from the Marsh Arabs of the Tigris Basin in 1956 and inspired Maxwell's most famous book.  Incidentally, Maxwell's first novel, Harpoon at a venture, was inspired by his career in shark fishing on the isle of Soay. If time and weather allows we will visit Soay with the atmospheric cuillins as a backdrop, where Maxwell started his basking shark venture. The Isle of Skye is rightly world-famous as one of Scotland's most beautiful destinations and viewing it from the sea away from the summer crowds is the perfect way to enjoy it. Our guides will of course keep a constant lookout for the usual variety of marine wildlife like whales, dolphins, seals, seabirds and eagles that might be spotted along the way. Who knows, we might even be able to see a wild otter or two as well! For our more agile passengers there is the possibility to land via our small RIB in certain places if conditions allow for a shore walk or two perhaps.  We will see all of the locations from Maxwell's time in this iconic part of Scotland's highland west coast, sailing past the properties he owned at Oronsay and visiting his home in the lighthouse cottages at Eilean Ban where we will get a tour.  Also if conditions allow, we will visit Sandaig where Ring of Bright Water was based. We will have an opportunity to anchor at Oronsay and go ashore for an evening in one of Scotlands most picturesque wee harbours. Our nights will be spent in sheltered anchorages where we will enjoy a recap of the days events over a hot meal and a drink or two. After breakfast in the mornings we will continue our cruise before returning finally to our starting point on the final day. This is likely to be Uig on Skye but is to be confirmed. Please use the enquiry button to let us know you are interested so we can confirm the final details once all is confirmed. Thank you.

Sea of the Hebrides - 3 Night Wildlife Cruise

Our home port of Stornoway provides a fantastic base from which to start our guided cruise exploring the rich wildlife of the Minch and beyond!   This three night trip gives us two full and 2 half days at sea, so upon stepping aboard we will venture out of Stornoway into the sheltered waters of the Minch.  ​ Sailing south, we will take in the Shiant Islands. Weather depending we might head towards to the north of Skye and the Sea of the Hebrides, or stay on the west of the Minch, exploring the seas along Lewis, Harris and the numerous islands through the Sound of Harris.   We will slowly sail through some of the best feeding grounds for marine mammals such as common dolphin, harbour porpoise and minke whales with potential for some rarer surprises and seabirds such as razorbills, guillemots, puffins, skuas, gannets, petrels and shearwaters. ​ After a day packed with exploring the Minch and enjoying watching the abundance of wildlife these waters hold, we will anchor for the night. A sheltered spot will be our home as we enjoy a tasty dinner and each other’s company, whilst discussing the day’s observations. ​ With two full days ahead of us we will rise early to make the most of the days, setting off in search of whales, dolphins, porpoise and seabirds before anchoring and settling down for the evening once again. Our final evening will be spent enjoying a further meal together, celebrating the amazing sights we have experienced over the past few days and discussing what the next morning will have in store for us. Come morning we will make the most of the last few hours on board before making our way back to Stornoway.   As always, we will be collecting invaluable data of our sightings as we go, which we send to our partners at the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) for their ongoing research.

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The Shiants - 1 Night Wildlife Cruise

Setting sail from Stornoway, this overnight adventure gives us the chance to explore the seas nearer to Lewis but still offers all the excitement of one of our longer cruises. Taking in the stunning coastline, we will be looking out for the abundance of marine mammals these seas are home to such as harbour porpoise, dolphins and minke whales as well as both grey and harbour seals. We will also be spying for the wealth of seabird species that can be seen in this part of the Northern Hemisphere. From noisy kittiwakes to the three auk species, from the predatory skuas to the beautiful bottle green shags, from sleek divers to the soaring fulmar these are sights we must all experience in our lifetimes. Not content with just enjoying what we see, we will hopefully have the opportunity to collect a range of data that will go to our partner the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) to aid scientific and conservation studies in UK waters.

Whale & Dolphin Trip

This extended half day trip leaves Stornoway Harbour from where we take MV Monadhliath out into the stretch of water between the western highlands and the Outer Hebrides known as the Minch, and will head out to sea for approximately 4-5 hours. As the voyage progresses the crew will use their local knowledge to search the most likely spots for wildlife, whale and dolphin activity. Our resident guide will constantly be on the lookout for marine wildlife.  No two trips are the same and you are guaranteed a variety of wildlife; you are likely to encounter seals and seabirds including puffins in the summer and possibly eagles all year round. ​You are welcome to bring your own packed lunch and snacks if you wish.  

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