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Island Hopping in the Hebrides

Join MS Spitsbergen on this 10-night expedition voyage from Greenock, exploring the Inner and Outer Hebrides

Expedition Holiday
Isle of Arran
Brodick Castle
Iona Abbey
Fingals Cave
Lewes Castle

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!


Exclusive £100pp discount!

Island Hopping in the Hebrides Special Offer

This expedition voyage around Scotland begins in Greenock, then MS Spitsbergen cruises around the Inner and Outer Hebrides, and visits off-the-beaten-track destinations.

Visit Islay, known as 'whisky island' as it's world renowned for its single-malt whiskies and many distilleries. This island is also a good place to spot migrating birds and enjoy a cliff walk. Explore tiny Gigha, which is owned by the islanders. This island is produces a distinctive cheddar-type cheese. Perhaps visit Achamore House and its impressive gardens. Continue to the Isle of Iona, world-famous for its religious connections, as the restored Iona Abbey is still a place of pilgrimage. Visit the Treshnish Isles, a group of distinctive volcanic islands which are home to nesting puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots and Atlantic grey seals. There is also the chance to see Fingal's Cave, immortalised by Mendelssohn’s glorious 'Hebrides Overture'.

Cruise to St Kilda, a wild archipelago with breathtaking sea cliffs. Minke whales are often seen around the swirling waters. Capital of the Outer Hebrides, Stornoway has a bustling harbour and waterfront, overlooked by Lews Castle. Also explore the Shiant Isles, a privately-owned archipelago set in the midst of the Minch.

Continue to Loch Scavaig, surrounded by the high peaks of the Skye Cullins, and head on to the Isle of Eigg. Anchor in the Sound of Mull to explore the fascinating town of Tobermory. The last port of call before returning to Greenock is the Isle of Colonsay, home to over 200 bird species.

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Island Hopping in the Hebrides

Day 1 - Greenock (Scotland)

Embark your ship in Greenock

Day 2 - Isle of Arran

Warmed by the North Atlantic Drift, this sheltered island with its high peaks, is a haven for wildlife. Dramatic mountains, a distinctive distillery and good hiking all add to a microcosm of Scotland. Brodick town has its 16th century red-sandstone castle whilst the ruined castle of Lochranza was once a royal hunting lodge

Day 3 - Islay

Once the seat of the MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles, this is ‘whisky island’, world renowned for its peaty single-malt whiskies and many distilleries. As a stop-off for wintering geese and migrating birds, there is good bird spotting. In the charming little town of Bowmore, there are a handful of small shops, an interesting round church with no corners, plus superb cliff-top walks and a well known golf course.

Day 4 - Isle of Gigha

Tiny Gigha (pronounced Gee’a) is the ‘Good Isle’ and is owned by the islanders. Dairy cows produce a distinctive cheddar-type cheese, whilst Achamore House, set in fifty acres of woodland gardens, was once the home of Sir James Horlick who created a colourful and impressive display of rhododendrons.

Day 5 - Isle of Iona - Treshnish Isles

World famous for its religious connections, Iona was settled in 563 AD by the Irish missionary, St Colomba. The much-restored Abbey still remains a place of pilgrimage and peace. Wide views from the beach, known as ‘The Bay at the Back of the Ocean’ stretch west towards the Outer Hebrides. We will explore Treshnish Isles, a group of distinctive volcanic islands which are home to a wealth of wildlife, from nesting puffins to colonies of kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots and Atlantic grey seals. Fingal’s Cave, immortalised by Mendelssohn’s glorious ‘Hebrides Overture’, is on the cave-riddled island of Staffa. The basalt columns here are a northern extension of the Giant’s Causeway. Discovered by the Vikings, visited by Sir Joseph Banks, and viewed by Queen Victoria, Sir Walter Scott and Samuel Johnson, this is one of Scotland’s most famous islands. It is best viewed from the sea where the colour of the waters within the cave and its rising columns are at their most impressive.

Day 6 - St Kilda

Any visit to this distant and wild archipelago, with its breathtaking sea cliffs, is totally weather-dependent. As a UNESCO double World Heritage Site and the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the National Trust for Scotland, it is an unforgettable experience. The outlying stacs and islands, which are the remains of a volcanic crater, provide ledges for thousands of nesting seabirds. Minke whales are frequently seen around the swirling waters of the archipelago. Once home to Britain’s most remote island community, it was evacuated in 1930 at their own request after 5,000 years of continuous habitation. The tiny museum that remains is a record of how hard life was on this exposed island.

Day 7 - Stornoway - Shiant Isles

Originally a Viking settlement, Stornoway is the main town of the Western Isles and the capital of the Isle of Lewis, which is the largest and most northerly of the Outer Hebrides. A bustling harbour and waterfront with museums and art galleries are overlooked by the handsome Lews Castle which we invite you to explore with us. Further afield are mills and cottages where hard-wearing Harris Tweed is woven. There are tiny folk museums, the world-famous Callanish Standing Stones, and the mysterious Carloway Broch - the best preserved fort in Scotland dating back more than 2,000 years. Late afternoon we explore the Shiant Isles. Privately owned since 1937, this tiny archipelago set in the midst of the Minch, the area of sea between the Outer Hebrides and Skye, has numerous colonies of nesting seabirds. Puffins, razorbills, shags, eider ducks and guillemots all throng the surrounding waters, perching on volcanic ledges above basking sharks and seals.

Day 8 - Loch Scavaig - Isle of Eigg

Surrounded by the high peaks of the Skye Cullins, Loch Scavaig leads to one of the most romantic and dramatic lochs in Scotland – freshwater Loch Coruisk. Painted by Turner and a popular destination for the Victorians, this is a powerful landscape promising great hiking and kayaking. We head to the Isle of Eigg to spend the rest of our day on this craggy island. Settled since prehistoric times, it was once the seat of the Lord of the Isles, but is now owned by its inhabitants. The island has Iron Age forts, a 6th century church, and turbulent clan history with a massacre of 395 MacDonalds in a sea-shore cave. Rising sheer above the island is the crest of the ‘Sgurr of Eigg’ offering a great hike and stunning views across the waters of the Minch to the Outer Hebrides.

Day 9 - Sound of Mull

We will be anchored in the Sound of Mull which will enable us to explore the fascinating town of Tobermory as well as Loch Sunart. The Isle of Mull is a large island of sweeping moors, tiny hamlets and castles. Recognised as the island’s capital, Tobermory is a delightful deep-water fishing port where brightly painted Georgian houses ring the tiny bay. Nestled under the steep hillsides, the town has a good variety of cafés and restaurants, book shops, craft shops, a tiny museum and an ancient distillery. Stretching inland opposite Tobermory and protected by the rugged point of Ardnamurchan, lies Britain’s most westerly mainland point, Loch Sunart. The deep, quiet waters of this long loch offer sheltered kayaking, while the loch shores provide superb walking, perhaps to the recently established distillery. Guarding the entrance of the loch stands 13th century Mingary Castle, once the stronghold of the MacIains. The castle has been frequently fought over, changing hands many times between the Macdonald and Campbell clans.

Day 10 - Isle of Colonsay

Home to over 200 bird species, including the rare and elusive corncrake, this is a gentle island of woods and pretty beaches, such as Kiloran Bay, and with Scalasaig being the main settlement. Colonsay House is home to exotic gardens and the surrounding woods, moors and fields have over 400 species of flora. The island offers easy walking and kayaking in the surrounding waters.

Day 11 - Greenock

Disembark in Greenock

The Captain reserves the right to modify the cruise itinerary.

Price Includes

  • 10-night full board voyage in cabin grade of your choice
  • House beer and wine, sodas and mineral water with meals on board
  • Complimentary tea and coffee on board
  • English speaking Expedition Team on board
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • Wind and water-resistant jacket
  • No gratuities expected

Price Does Not Include

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional excursions
  • Gratuities (at guests' discretion)

Please contact us for the latest dates and prices

Call us now on 01756 706500