United Kingdom·June

Shiant Isles Puffin Cruises

A perfect introduction to Hebridean cruising - 3 nights visiting the Shiant Isles and their seabirds with whales and dolphins along the way.

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Overview

Timed for the middle of June, this is the height of the seabird breeding season in the Outer Hebrides with thousands of puffins, guillemots and razorbills crowding the scree and grassy slopes as well as the rocky ledges of the beautiful Shiant Isles. Only a short cruise south from Stornoway, you will get plenty of time to view the seabird cities, go ashore in our dinghy to explore the islands, and to watch out for whales, dolphins, porpoise, seals and eagles along the way. You could even try a bit of wild swimming or snorkelling if you like. In the evenings you can relax after dinner and soak up the sights and sounds of the nature all around you in our sheltered anchorages.

Highlights

Visit the Shiant Isles

Visit the Shiant Isles

These 3 small islands lay off the coast of Lewis and Harris with commanding views over the Minch back to Skye and the Western Highlands of Scotland.

Puffins galore!

Puffins galore!

We will be visiting at the height of the seabird breeding season and the Shiants host important numbers of puffins and razorbills as well as guillemots and others.

Cetacean hotspot

Cetacean hotspot

The North Minch is a great place for spotting whales and dolphins and is home to the North East Lewis MPA, designated to help protect the local population of Risso's dolphins.

Schedule

Previous

Next

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DAY 1

Stornoway to the Shiants

After settling into your cabin and a welcome briefing from the skipper and wildlife guide, we will start our cruise south along the East coast of Lewis, heading through the NE Lewis MPA, on our way to the Shiant Isles. These are good waters for spotting whales, dolphins and porpoise as well as white-tailed and golden eagles over the cliffs and distant hills.

Depending on the weather and tide, we will choose an anchorage and hope to head ashore for an afternoon walk on the islands for some exploring before dinner. Then we can relax to the sights and sounds of the thousands of birds coming and going from their nests overhead and on the water around us - a very special experience.

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DAY 2

A day at the Shiants

After breakfast we will head back ashore via our dinghy to the islands for more exploring. Perhaps looking for some of the ruins of those who have stayed on the islands in the past, or for the orchids that hide on the hillsides, or just find a great vantage point high on the hills and take in the view (and maybe watch out for cetaceans in the water below).

If the tide is right you might be able to take a ride in the dinghy through the natural sea arch, or along the edge of the scree slope for a closer look at some of the seabirds that nest there. We may also go exploring further around the islands depending on the time and tide before settling down for second night at anchor.

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DAY 3

Whale watching in the Minch

Today after breakfast we will take a cruise around the other side of the islands to check out the seabird cities on the cliffs before heading out into the Minch in search of cetaceans. Minke whales, common and Risso's dolphins and harbour porpoise are all regulars, with white-beaked dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, humpbacks, fin whales and even orca all possible - you just never know what might show up!

We will anchor for the night at the back of the dramatic Loch Sealg on Lewis, a quiet and remote area with just the sounds of the seals, divers and eagles to be heard. There is a nice walk ashore here to a secluded waterfall and maybe the chance to see some other bird species like greenshank that nest here or maybe even spot a golden or white-tailed eagle soaring over the mountains.

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DAY 4

Back home to Stornoway

After breakfast it will be time to head back up the coast, again through very good waters and coastline for spotting cetaceans and eagles, before arriving back into Stornoway where we will say our goodbyes.

What's Included

What's Included

Cabin accommodation

All meals and drinks on board

Guide services

Travel to and from your point of departure/arrival

Tickets

Gannet's Galore - Twin Cabin @ Forepeak

Gannet's Galore - Twin Cabin @ Forepeak

Two raised bunks, both with a step up at the front of the boat (forepeak) with a skylight and sink.

Kittiwake King - Twin/Triple Cabin

Kittiwake King - Twin/Triple Cabin

A triple cabin with two floor-level bunks and one raised bunk with a step up and over a floor bunk. With sink.

Fulmar's Flight - Twin Cabin

Fulmar's Flight - Twin Cabin

A double cabin with bunk beds, one over the other. With a sink. Available for single supplement.

Dolphin Dreams - Single Cabin

Dolphin Dreams - Single Cabin

A single cabin with a floor level bunk plus a sink.

Puffin Pad - Single Cabin

Puffin Pad - Single Cabin

Our smallest single cabin in terms of the room size but still a full-size bunk. No sink.

Add Ons

HWDT Donation

PRICE$12.63/pp

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HWDT Donation

We work closely with HWDT who do great work in safeguarding and understanding our local populations of whales and dolphins. We hope you might like to support them with a small voluntary donation....
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PRICE$18.94/pp

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HWDT Donation

Alternatively, you can join HWDT for just £2 a month via https://hwdt.org/membership.

PRICE$25.26/pp

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HWDT Donation

Thank you for any help you are able to give to support their work.

PRICE$31.58/pp

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Dates

June 20 - 23 2022

FROM$1117/pp

May 26 - 29 2023

FROM$1010/pp

June 19 - 22 2023

FROM$1010/pp

Shiant Isles Puffin Cruises

United Kingdom· June· 3 nights

FROM$1010/pp