Focus on St Kilda Expedition – 6 night cruise (Saturday to Friday)
|Availability||26th May to 1st June||1 place (male sharing a twin cabin)|
|23rd to 29th June||Full|
|21st to 27th July||Full|
* Double or Twin cabin £1450 per person, single cabin £1740
An adventurous expedition aiming to enable guests to spend a few whole days walking on Hirta, the main island of St Kilda (with packed lunch provided). Tour of the other islands and stacs. Visit to at least one other remote island. Huge numbers of seabirds plus cetaceans.
All our St Kilda cruises uniquely offer a comprehensive cruise not just to the Stacs and Boreray but also round Hirta (weather dependent).
An early start the next day should, weather permitting, ensure arrival at the remote archipelago of St Kilda by the second day. In exceptional circumstances an overnight crossing may be made directly from our home port.
Again, weather permitting up to three days or so will be spent here, exploring the main island of Hirta (with picnic lunches provided for all day walks) and viewing the other islands and stacks in the group – Dun, Soay, Stac Lee, Boreray and Stac an Armin. The journey back will be less intense with time ashore at perhaps Mingulay and Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. We arrive back in Oban for your departure after breakfast on Friday morning
Wildlife highlights we’ve enjoyed on previous cruises:
Black Guillemots (known as Tysties) in their striking plumage – Responsible viewing of Golden & Sea Eagles as they afford privileged views on their territories, hunting for prey to feed their chicks in spring, with sightings of successfully fledged young ending the season – Fulmars with their highly effective & pungent nest defence – Snowstorms of Gannets at their colonies on St Kilda or plunge diving for food on the open sea – Hooded Crows, strikingly different from their southern cousins – Kittiwakes calling their names at breeding colonies or roaming the Minch on feeding sorties – our colony of Leach’s Petrels at St Kilda is more elusive but Stormies are regular as we cross the Minch or on the approach to St Kilda – Rum’s massive Manx Shearwater colony allows incredible views as they raft offshore around the Small Isles or shear the waves in feeding parties – Incredibly acrobatic Ravens giving everything else in the sky a flying lesson – overwhelming sight, sound & smell of seabird colonies with their breeding Puffins, Guillemots & Razorbills, & later in the season Pufflings & Jumplings entertain as they paddle around the boat or form rafts with their parents after fledging – Skuas, both Arctic and Bonxies, vigorously protect their young on islands or shadow the boat, parasitizing other seabirds of their food – scattered colonies of sensitive breeding Arctic & Common Terns – & of course, St Kilda’s unique Wren
Cetacean encounters most commonly with Minke, Humpback’s are a less frequent visitor, occasional sightings of Fin and Sperm whale – the Hebrides have a resident Pod of Orca and the area is occasionally visited by an Icelandic pod – frequent encounters with Common, Bottlenose & Whitebeak dolphins, Risso & Whitesided dolphins are also occasionally sighted – Basking sharks have been scarce the last few years but are still seen and seem to be returning, we know the hot spots!
Please Note: The above map indicates an area within which we are likely to travel. Weather and the interests and abilities of guests influence the skipper’s final decision. Sightings and findings are examples from previous similar cruises; the list is neither exhaustive nor guaranteed.
DID YOU KNOW?
Atlantic puffins have penguin-like colouring but they sport a colourful beak that has led some to dub them the "sea parrot". The beak fades to a drab grey during the winter and blooms with colour again in the spring.