This is a real adventure! Join our 6-night cruise from Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides, to the UK's most remote archipelago of islands - St Kilda, 40 miles out into the wild edge of the Atlantic. A dual UNESCO World Heritage site and nature reserve and home to the UK's largest puffin and gannet colonies.
- 2 nights anchored at St Kilda.
- 1 full day ashore to explore the main island of Hirta.
- See the UK's largest puffin colony and the world's largest gannet colony.
- Sail through waters rich in whales and dolphins.
- Also visit the Shiant Isles in the Minch.
- A real bucket list trip!
There are a few select adventures around the UK that should appear in anyone's 'Top Ten' list of things to do and a visit St Kilda should be one of them!
Please join us on our fantastic 6-night adventure from Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis as we cruise down along the coastline of Lewis and Harris and out into the Atlantic to this isolated group of islands steeped in history and home to a million seabirds.
We will spend two nights anchored at the famous site of Village Bay where the inhabitants of the main island of Hirta used to live until the last 36 were finally evacuated to the mainland in 1930, ending 4,000 years of civilisation on the islands. They found they just could not survive the harsh conditions any longer and so were relocated by the Government, a part of their history which has been well-documented in several books. You will have the chance to go ashore and properly explore the abandoned village and crofting buildings, now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.
However the archipelago is not just famous for its heritage and history. St Kilda is home to its own species of wren, a super-sized field mouse twice the size of that found on the mainland, the largest colony of puffins in the UK, plus the world's largest gannet colony. In total, there are a million seabirds living around the islands, including on the highest sea cliffs in the UK, more than enough to keep any dedicated wildlife watcher busy!
On the way back to Stornoway, we will also have the chance to visit the lovely Shiant Isles located just off the coast of the Isle of Lewis too. A mini-version of St Kilda in many ways, and also home to many seabirds, including the second largest colony of puffins!
This truly will be a voyage to remember for a long time - we hope you will join us!
Meet in Stornoway at 1300 and transfer to Tarbert on Harris via our minibus, where we board the MV Monadhliath. Enjoy a welcome drink and a talk on the trip ahead then time to settle in before we head for our first night’s anchorage further south along the coast of Harris, travelling through cetacean and seabird rich waters. There will be a chance for a brief walk ashore before supper and prepare for an early start for St Kilda.
If weather and sea conditions allow, and at the skipper’s discretion, we will be making our way to the St Kilda archipelago which will take most of the day but is well worth the effort. There will be growing anticipation to see first Boreray and Stac Armine before the main island of Hirta appears over the horizon. We will spend the first of two nights in Village Bay.
We intend to have a full day ashore if weather allows to explore the island and the village and learn about the cultural history of this dual UNESCO World Heritage Site. Plus, you have nearly a million seabirds to take in! Spend our second night at anchor in Village Bay.
We head back to the Isle of Harris and aim for Taransay and the sheltered waters of the Sound of Harris, home to a varied array of bird and animal life; seals, red deer and otters along with both diver species and waders. We will hear the haunting calls of these birds as we anchor overnight.
Today takes us eastwards through the Sound of Harris and back into the Sea of the Hebrides and a chance of more cetacean encounters with species such as minke whales and short-beaked common dolphins. We will anchor on the east side of Harris.
Today we head for the Shiants and a chance to get closer than ever to its seabird inhabitants, plus more great chances of seeing feeding minke whales and possibly new species of dolphin, the Risso’s and white-beaked dolphins, along with the ubiquitous harbour porpoise. There is also a high chance of spotting both of Scotland’s eagle species, the glorious golden and the huge white-tailed (or sea) eagle. If the weather and conditions are good we hope to anchor at the Shiants overnight. If not its just a short hop over to the sheltered sea lochs of Lewis instead.
Our final morning sees us say good bye to the Shiants with one last look around the islands by boat maybe. We will then start heading back up along the coastline of Lewis towards Stornoway through some great cetacean holding waters so we will be keeping our eyes open as always for minke whales, common dolphins, Risso's dolphins, sea eagle and more....
**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.