Mallaig to Stornoway via the Shiants
This whale watching and wildlife cruise from Mallaig to Stornoway will pass between Skye and the mainland, view Eilean Donan castle and visit the seabird mecca of the Shiant Isles. We will be crossing some of the best waters in Europe for cetaceans where we hope to see whales, dolphins, porpoises and lots more!
Visit one of the UK’s most important seabird colonies.
High chance of seeing both golden and white-tailed eagles.
Spot whales and dolphins, seals and a good chance of otters.
Anchor amidst dramatic Scottish highland & island scenery.
One way trip from Mallaig to Stornoway.
See the romantic Eilan Donan castle from the water.
We will be departing from the small fishing port of Mallaig, located at the end of the incredibly scenic 'Road to the Isles' (the A830 from Fort William), and also the West Highland Railway line (made famous by the Harry Potter films featuring the 'Hogwarts Express' steam train going over the Glenfinnan viaduct - you can do the same taking The Jacobite from Fort William!) Two wonderful ways to arrive whichever you choose!
This one way itinerary centres around enjoying the wealth of beautiful and dramatic highland and island scenery in the area, visiting the famous Isle of Skye, dramatic & remote Highland sea lochs, searching for some of their wild inhabitants such as otters and eagles and for those who travel all the way with us to Stornoway on the isle of Lewis we will visit the incredible Shiant Isles with its wealth of seabird numbers including tens of thousands of the iconic puffins.
You will enjoy freshly cooked meals served in our comfortable saloon on board, and then fall asleep in your cabin to the gentle lapping of the sea and the calls of seabirds and seals.
Our experienced wildlife guides will be keeping their eyes peeled for all the different species the area can offer whilst we are underway at sea, or on shore.
We will take care of your transfers either back to Mallaig or onwards to Inverness.
A welcome aboard MV Monadhliath in Mallaig harbour and settle in before departing for our first night in the spectacularly scenic Isleornsay. We will arrive first in Loch Nevis, translated as 'Loch of Heaven', at the south of a remote area of wilderness called Knoydart with no road connecting it to the rest of the mainland. With time to go ashore or set up easels on the boat we will spend a few hours here before heading for our anchorage. This evening’s anchorage will be at Isleornsay on Skye’s Sleat peninsula one of the most picturesque villages on the south coast of Skye, an area often referred to as the 'garden of Skye', with lush green fields, forests and hillsides, and a visit to the local hotel right on the shore.
Sandaig, or 'Camusfearna', the home of Gavin Maxwell’s famous book about his otters, Ring of Bright Water. Set in the upper reaches of the Sound of Sleat and at the entrance to the narrows of Kylerhea, the Sandaig islands have a beauty and tranquillity of their own. Scattered islands, sandy beaches, and beautiful vistas make this an artist’s paradise, not forgetting the unique history of this special setting and every chance of an otter sighting. After this we will head through the narrows at Glenelg which has to be timed right due to the rush of the tide. We will have time to admire Eilean Donan castle at the entrance to Loch Duich before heading for our anchorage tonight in the Raasay or Rona islands area.
Our next destination lies across the Minch and MV Monadhliath will take us over to the beautiful Shiant Isles. Steeped in history, these islands are also home to thousands of guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, kittiwakes and puffins – the birdlife is one of the highlights of any trip to the Shiants. With expert guides onboard, there will be plenty of assistance in identifying birds, wildlife and the cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoise are all possible) we encounter at all stages of this trip. If the weather and sea state allow, we will overnight at the Shiants. If not, it is only a short hop across to Harris and the shelter of a quiet sea loch.
After breakfast we will soak in a last look at our surroundings as we take in the mountain and seascapes of the Western isles and more opportunities to spot new species of dolphin, mainly white-beaks and Risso’s and continue our way back to Stornoway, arriving around midday and onward transfers.
Sun 2nd May - Wed 5th May
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**Please note that whilst we try to make these trips accessible to everyone, the boat is not suitable for anyone with mobility issues due to the compact spaces and steep stairs descending to the cabins.
**Under 14s must be accompanied by a responsible adult on our overnight expeditions.