- After a short introduction to life onboard our small ship, we lift anchor and set sail to our first destination. We begin our cruise by crossing from the mainland to Tobermory, the largest town on the Isle of Mull. The crossing provides a chance to get our sea legs and to begin our Hebridean adventure – bottlenose and common dolphins are regularly seen on this passage, as well as seabirds such as gannet, kittiwake, guillemot and razorbill, while near to shore Atlantic grey and common seals may be seen.Once we have settled in, there’s time to savour the stunning views before enjoying some local food.
- Accommodation: Seahorse II, 6-nights on full board basis
- Today we leave Tobermory after breakfast and cruise around the north coast of Mull, heading west towards the island of Coll. We should have good views of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula to our right, and Mull on our left, until we head out into open water.
- We will drop anchor on the north-east coast, which gives us access to an area of the island where corncrakes are known to breed. We will hope to hear their distinctive calls, and we will have plenty of time to explore the island in search of common and grey seals, wading and seabirds, including shearwaters, petrels and skuas.
- Today we leave Coll and set sail for the uninhabited Treshnish Isles, famous for the seabirds which breed in colonies there each summer. The island of Lunga is home to the isles’ largest colony of puffins and, as well as being able to observe and photograph these charismatic auks at very close quarters (only a few metres away), the cliff ledges will also be packed with breeding razorbills, guillemots, shags and kittiwakes.
- After a full day on Lunga, we will board Seahorse II again and depart for Mull, where we will anchor for the night. After our evening meal, we’ll hope to enjoy one of the superb sunsets for which this region is famous.
- Our itinerary will be flexible for the next three days, but we may visit – weather and tidal conditions permitting, and also taking into consideration the particular interests of the group – the island of Staffa, or spend an extended time at sea in search of cetaceans and other marine life. We will also visit the island of Mull and spend time exploring its coastline and sea lochs in search of its special wildlife.
- The island of Staffa is perhaps most famous for its basalt-columned Fingal’s Cave. However, it also boasts an impressive variety of breeding seabirds, including puffins.
- During any time at sea, we will be on the lookout for harbour porpoise, common and bottlenose dolphins, as well as minke whales. Also possible, but less frequently seen, are orca, basking shark and, occasionally, risso’s dolphin. We can expect fulmar, kittiwake and gannet, or some combination of the three, to be our near-constant companions while at sea, and we should also be on the lookout for puffin, razorbill, and guillemot flying across the water.
- During these three days we will also drop anchor on the west and south coast of Mull to enjoy its superb birdlife and flora, as well as seeking out some of its mammals, including seals, otter and red deer. In particular, these areas of Mull are known for their strong numbers of white-tailed and golden eagles.
- We will also walk along and inspect sea lochs for signs of otters – Mull is one of the best places in the British Isles to see this delightful mustelid.
- Today we must sadly leave the Isle of Mull, and set sail for the mainland, arriving at Dunstaffnage Marina in the early afternoon.
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Transfers whilst onboard Seahorse II
- Guided activities
We will be exclusively chartering the Seahorse II, a 25-metre long, 7-metre wide vessel, originally built for cruising the Norwegian fjords. Seahorse II is air conditioned and heated throughout, powerful enough to cruise the many spectacular islands and lochs of the Inner and Outer Hebrides, yet small enough to anchor in remote and hauntingly beautiful places that the larger passenger ships are unable to visit.
All meals are included.
The Isle of Mull is famous for its healthy populations of white-tailed and golden eagles. Some of the sea lochs on Mull are also reliable locations for spotting both great northern and red-throated divers. During our cruise, we will also visit the island of Lunga to enjoy its colony of Atlantic puffins.
- Golden eagle
- Red-throated diver
- Atlantic puffin
This cruise will provide ample opportunity to see some of the marine mammals found in the British Isles including Eurasian otter, grey seals and a selection of cetaceans. Whilst exploring Mull on our walks we may see red deer as well.
- Eurasian otter
- Grey seal
- Common dolphin
- Red deer
Photographic opportunities during the cruise should be good, especially for seabirds, marine mammals and the surrounding scenery.
We will head out for walks on a number of islands, which we will take slowly. Whilst out on foot, we will stop for birding and watching wildlife, as well as admiring the wonderful scenery.
Please note: landings and walking on the islands of Lunga and Staffa are only suitable for those with good mobility and balance.
Ground transportation will be by minibus or 4 wheel drive vehicle, with driver.
Your tour leader will meet you either in Oban or at Dunstaffnage Marina which is approximately five kilometres north of Oban.