A visit to the UK's only dual UNESCO World Heritage site of St Kilda should be on everyone's bucket list. This remote and historic archipelago of islands are 40 miles out in the Atlantic and so it is a real adventure arriving at these little specks of land where wildlife reigns supreme.
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!
St Kilda is home to the UK’s largest puffin colony and the largest gannet population in the world.
If we are unable to reach St Kilda, we can still guarantee exciting seabird encounters, with puffins, razorbills and many more as we include the Shiant Isles as part of this adventure.
During this week, as in all our cruises, we will be collecting cetacean data for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust via their Whale Track app. We will teach everyone aboard how to use the app and take part in data collection. The guides aboard the Monadhliath are highly experienced and both crew and guides are very familiar with the area we cruise.
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.
**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.