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Whisky and Wildlife of the Scottish Isles

Discover abundant wildlife and famous whisky on this superb expedition voyage around the Scottish Isles, which also calls at Belfast and the Isle of Man

Cruise Only
12 nights

Expedition Holiday
Peel Castle
Belfast City Hall
Laphroaig Distillery, Islay
Iona Abbey
Cathedral in Kirkwall

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!


From wildlife to whisky, this expedition cruise focuses on the aspects that the Scottish Isles are famous for, and also visits Belfast and the Isle of Man.

Explore the industrial city of Belfast, gateway to glorious countryside, and see the impressive 14th-century Peel Castle on the Isle of Man, before cruising north to the Scottish Isles. Visit the ‘whisky isle’ of Islay with its eight working distilleries creating unique, peaty drams that evokes the island’s terrain. In the Victorian port of Oban, the distillery produces a very different style of whisky, whilst on the Isle of Mull, in the pretty tiny fishing port of Tobermory, the distillery dates from the 18th century.

If you're not interested in whisky, you'll still be spoilt for choice in terms of wildlife, from the archipelago of the Treshnish Isles to lonely and remote St Kilda. In May, both destinations will have teeming colonies of nesting seabirds such as puffins, kittiwakes and gannets.

Other highlights include a private hosted visit to one of Scotland’s most ancient and scenic castles. As guests of clan chieftain Sir Lachlan MacLean, you will enjoy a private evening visit at his clan home that has a history running back 800 years.

NE570 Operated by Hurtigruten Expeditions


Whisky and Wildlife of the Scottish Isles Itinerary

Day 1 - Greenock (Scotland)

Embark your ship in Greenock.

Day 2 - Belfast (Northern Ireland)

A city of industry and elegance, Belfast is the birthplace of the Titanic, as well as being the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland. It is a gateway to a glorious countryside of pretty villages and a beautiful rugged coast with pristine beaches and breathtaking clifftop walks. Experience Giants Causeway, hike through spectacular scenery or explore what this impressive city has to offer.

Day 3 - Peel (Isle of Man)

A seaside town, the pretty port of Peel was the 14th century capital of the island and seat to the King of Mann. Winding lanes of merchants’ houses, bear witness to the 19th century fishing schooners built here which traded from Ireland to Shetland. Peel Castle, connected by causeway and reputedly built by Magnus Barelegs, King of Norway, dates from the 11th century. Museums in town display vintage bikes and cars; a connection to the more modern high-speed racing that occurs on the island.

Day 4 - Islay (Scotland)

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, plus superb cliff-top walks and a well-known golf course.

Day 5 - At Sea

Day 6 - Isle of Iona - Treshnish Isles

World famous for its religious connections, Iona was settled in 563AD by the Irish missionary, St Colomba. The much-restored Abbey 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 the 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 and also in 1772 by Sir Joseph Banks, 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 7 - Loch Scavaig - Isle of Canna

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 Canna, which is the most sheltered of the Small Isles, known as ‘the Garden of the Hebrides’. Linked by causeway to the island Sanday with its puffin colonies, Canna is green and grassy and has delightful flora and butterflies. Once privately owned by Sir John Lorne Campbell, the island is now the property of The National Trust for Scotland.

Day 8 - 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 9 - Stornoway

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.

Day 10 - Kirkwall

Kirkwall is the largest town and the capital of the Orkney archipelago. The first mention of a settlement here is in a saga from 1046, and the name Kirkwall derives from the Norse `Kirkjuvagr´ (Church Bay). Today, Kirkwall has a population of 8,500, and is one of the most attractive and well-preserved small towns in Scotland. The community is dominated by the famous St. Magnus Cathedral. A local saga tells the story of how Magnus, kidnaped from the islands, refused to fight with the Vikings or condone their violence. Magnus eventually returned home, only to be put to death for his pacifism, and the church was named in his memory.

Day 11 - Fair Isle

Lonely Fair Isle with its high red-sandstone cliffs and gentle rolling fields is a vital stop for migrating birds and has had a permanent Bird Observatory since 1948. Synonymous with unique geometric knitwear possibly of Spanish or Scandinavian origin, the island also boasts a mini ‘Lighthouse Keepers’ golf course and a friendly, self-sufficient population.

Day 12 - Lerwick

Lerwick is the main port of the Shetland Islands and by far the northernmost town of Scotland. Founded in the 17th century as a fishing port, today Lerwick is a bustling, cosmopolitan town. The old waterfront is still active with visiting yachts and working fishing boats. The area boasts some of Shetland's most attractive scenery and an extraordinary concentration of archaeological sites, including two remarkable Iron Age villages.

Day 13 - Bergen (Norway)

Disembark your ship in Bergen.

The Captain reserves the right to modify the cruise itinerary.

Price Includes

  • 12-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
  • Landings with small expedition boats
  • English speaking Expedition Team on board
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • Wind and water-resistant jacket

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