United Kingdom·September 11 - 20 2024

Adventures in Search of the Past - Marc Calhoun

Join author Marc Calhoun on this in-depth adventure cruise exploring the history of some of the Hebridean islands.

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Overview

A ten-day adventure in the Hebrides guided by Marc Calhoun, author of the two-volume Exploring the Isles of the West series, published by the Islands Book Trust in 2012, and Beehive Dwellings of the Hebrides, published by Acair in 2021. His next book, Thirty Years of Adventures in Search of the Past: The Outer Hebrides, is due to be published by the Islands Book Trust in the spring of 2024. Marc has been exploring the Hebrides for over thirty years and has guided cruises on Hjalmar Bjorge since 2016. He will be leading walks to historic sites on some of his favourite islands. As always, the weather and sea condition will determine where we can go. The following is a sample of the possible adventures in store. (See Schedule below for the full version.) A two-night anchorage at Rum: This will give us a full day to make the 12-mile roundtrip walk from Kinloch Castle to the Bullough’s Greek-Temple Mausoleum on Rum’s remote west coast. Ensay, Shillay & Pabbay in the Sound of Harris: Ensay is home to two extreme examples of medieval chapels. It was on Shillay that Robert Atkinson, author of the classic Island Going, camped to study seals. "Such a view you have not seen, nor ever will see, save you have the luck ever to stand on the tip of Pabbay on a golden summer day." Ceann Ear of the Monach Isles: Also known as Heisker nan Cailleach, the skerry of the nuns.

Highlights

Island Exploration

Island Exploration

This itinerary is designed to get you on to the islands every day to visit historical sites with Marc.

Hebridean Vistas

Hebridean Vistas

The Hebrides are renowned as a beautiful area to visit, with stunning coastlines, white sand beaches and the machair, plus dramatic mountains and cliffs alongside moorland and lochs.

Wonderful Wildlife

Wonderful Wildlife

You will be surrounded by wonderful wildlife at all times, from white-tailed and golden eagles, to otters and seals along the shorelines. What will you see?

Hosts

Marc Calhoun

Marc Calhoun

It all began with a visit to Iona in 1989. Since then, I've returned to the islands every year. In 1995 I realized I needed to write about these journeys before the memories faded, but I never produced anything readable. But a trip to North Rona in 2002 was so inspiring that I wrote an article about it in one night. Over the following two decades I've had four books, and over 40 magazine articles, published about my journeys in the Hebrides.


Visit Marc's website -> CLICK HERE


Thirty Years of Adventures in Search of the Past

Thirty Years of Adventures in Search of the Past

Marc's Brand New Book

** Coming Soon! **

Exploring the Isles of the West

Exploring the Isles of the West

Book 1 (Firth of Clyde to the Small Isles) - Buy Now


Book 2 (Skye and Tiree to the Outer Isles) - Available from many resellers

Beehive Dwellings of The Hebrides

Beehive Dwellings of The Hebrides

Schedule

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DAY 1

The Itinerary

A ten-day adventure in the Hebrides guided by Marc Calhoun.

Marc has been exploring the Hebrides for over thirty years and has guided cruises on Hjalmar Bjorge since 2016. He will be leading walks to historic sites on some of his favourite islands. This will very much be an adventure cruise with no fixed itinerary, instead the weather and sea conditions will determine which way we will go. The following is a sample of the possible adventures in store.

A two-night anchorage at Rum: This will give us a full day to make the 12-mile roundtrip walk from Kinloch Castle to the Bullough’s Greek-Temple Mausoleum on Rum’s remote west coast. On the way back we’ll go a bit off the track to search for the beehive cell dwellings of Loch Monica. A suggested reading is the late John Love’s Rum: A Landscape without Figures.

Ensay in the Sound of Harris: Ensay is home to two extreme examples of medieval chapels. The first, the restored Teampull Easaigh (also known as Christ Church), has roots dating back 1000 years. The second is Manish Chapel, buried in the sand for the past 300 years. The best preparation for a day on Ensay is to read Ken Duxbury’s enchanting Lugworm Island Hopping, which describes his stay on the island in the 1970s.

Shillay in the Sound of Harris: It was on Shillay that Robert Atkinson, author of the classic Island Going, camped to study seals. He describes his adventures there in the 1980 book Shillay and the Seals.

Pabbay in the Sound of Harris: Visiting Pabbay, with its many abandoned settlements, and the exquisite ruin of St Mary’s Chapel and the Cross that Would Frighten Giants, is a day to be remembered. If time permits, we’ll climb to the summit to take in the stunning view, described by Ken Duxbury: "Such a view you have not seen, nor ever will see, save you have the luck ever to stand on the tip of Pabbay on a golden summer day."

Ceann Ear of the Monach Isles: Also known as Heisker nan Cailleach, the skerry of the nuns, Ceann Ear was home to over 100 people in the 1890s. These days its residents are mainly seals, which can often be seen surfing the sea as it flows over the sandbars connecting the islands. Reaching the Monach's will need fine weather.

The Barra Isles: We may also visit the islands south of Barra, with the primary goal of landing on Sandray. If conditions permit, we’ll set foot on its northwest corner to explore the ruins of Sheader. It is at Sheader that you’ll find the remains of settlements dating from 1500 BCE to those of some of the ‘Raiders’ from Mingulay who tried to make a go of it on Sandray from 1907 to 1911. We may then climb to the high fortress of Dun Sandray, a broch ruin that overlooks the islands of Pabbay and Mingulay. Good sources of information on Sandray are Ben Buxton’s The Vatersay Raiders and Mingulay: An Island and its People.

As always, if you prefer not to go on guided walks you can explore on your own.

What's Included

What's Included

Chef-prepared meals

Cabin accommodation

All linens and towels

Hot drinks

Daily shore excursions

Front-row seats to spectacular Hebridean views and wildlife!

Alcohol and soft drinks from the bar

Tickets

Cabin 1 - Twin/Double Cabin

Cabin 1 - Twin/Double Cabin

A twin cabin with bunk beds, a single over a double. With sink. You may be required to share with a same sex guest if travelling solo.

FROM$3,892.48/pp

Cabin 2 - Solo Share/Twin Cabin

Cabin 2 - Solo Share/Twin Cabin

Twin cabin with bunk beds one over the other. With sink. Available for same sex solo passengers to share.

FROM$3,892.48/pp

Cabin 3 - Solo Share/Twin Cabin

Cabin 3 - Solo Share/Twin Cabin

Twin cabin with bunk beds one over the other. With sink. Available for same sex solo passengers to share.

FROM$3,892.48/pp

Cabin 4 - Single/Twin Cabin

Cabin 4 - Single/Twin Cabin

Available for single use supplement. Twin cabin with bunk beds one over the other. With sink.

FROM$3,892.48/pp

Cabin 5 - Single/Twin Cabin

Cabin 5 - Single/Twin Cabin

Available for single use supplement. Twin cabin with bunk beds one over the other. With sink.

FROM$3,892.48/pp

Cabin 6 - Forepeak Twin Cabin

Cabin 6 - Forepeak Twin Cabin

Twin cabin at the Forepeak with one raised bunk on either side. With sink and skylight.

FROM$3,892.48/pp

The MV Hjalmar Bjørge

Our 4x4 of the sea!

Originally designed and operated as a Norwegian ice-class rescue vessel, the Hjalmar Bjørge (we say Halmuh George) has long been converted to a very popular and award-winning small cruise ship for over 20 years. She operates out of Oban on the west coast of Scotland, from where the Hebrides are within easy reach.

Carrying up to 12 guests, we usually cap this at 10 to allow for a couple of single supplement cabins for those wishing to have their own space on board. Our crew consists of our skipper, plus a chef and wildlife guide, both of whom also help out with other duties on board.

The MV Hjalmar Bjørge

Trip Tips

Binoculars

Binoculars

If you have a favourite pair of binoculars, please do bring them along. They will be very useful for spotting wildlife and watching it up close, as well as studying details of the landscape and ancient monuments that we pass by. If you don't have your own don't worry - we will have some loan pairs on-board for you. Also, don't forget a lens cloth or wipes for cleaning any salt spray.

Reading Material

Reading Material

Do you like to read up in advance about a destination, or to have a guide or ID book with you, then please have a look at our online bookstore. You will find a range of pre-selected titles from us, or you can search the whole store for your favourite authors or other titles that you may find useful or enjoyable on-board. Just look under "Shop" in our main menu.

FAQs

We aim to depart around 3.30pm from the North Pier Pontoons on the harbour front in Oban. We will text you a code for the gate at the top of the pontoons on the morning of your departure.

After booking, we will send you a "Welcome Aboard" email that includes all the information you will need about how to find us in Oban, and also what we suggest you think about bringing with you.

We have an arrangement with a local company called Stoddarts Motorcycles who offer secure on-site parking a short walk away from the harbour in town. The details will be included about this in your "Welcome Aboard" email you will receive after booking.

Yes. Our chefs can cater for most diets and of course will take account of any food allergies you let us know about. Due to the limited time, storage and galley space on board ship however, please understand that we cannot cater for every personal dislike so we will not be offended if you do not eat something on your plate.

Adventures in Search of the Past - Marc Calhoun

United Kingdom· September 11 - 20 2024· 9 nights

FROM$3892/pp