Flannans and North Hebridean Explorer – 9 night cruise
|Availability||Weds 19th June to Fri 28th June||
A wildlife spectacular, visiting recognised hotspots for cetaceans including humpback whales and orca, as well as including the birding meccas of the Flannans and the Shiants, and stunning remote islands with amazing archaeology. This cruise has it all!
Destination: Guests join motor vessel Hjalmar Bjorge around 1600 on Wednesday 19 June in Oban. Our departure shortly thereafter will see us on anchor for our first evening meal aboard.
The itinerary is dependent on weather – but we aim to head north, visiting the Shiant Islands en-route. Huge numbers of puffins nest here and thousands of kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills and fulmars. We will then head futher north via Tolsta Head – where humpback whales have been sighted in recent years. We will round the Butt of Lewis – another great area for sightings of large cetaceans – then travel down the West coast of Lewis, where we will anchor in West Loch Roag. From here we can access many amazing archaeological sites including the Broch at Caroloway, the Callanish standing stones and the Iron Age round house on Great Bernera. We will aim to land on Little Bernera and Great Bernera in this stunning location.
Weather permitting, we will head west to visit the Flannan Isles, with their stunning birdlife (gannetry, puffins, storm petrels etc), interesting archaeology and lighthouse. Then we will head south , aiming to land at Mealista, a stunning island north of Scarp, which we may also visit. We may land at Taransay on our way into the Sound of Harris, where there are also numerous beautiful islands for possible landings (Pabay, Shillay, Ensay) before heading back via the small isles and Mull.
Highlights: Astounding birdlife- possible sightings of large cetaceans -archaeology – stunning deserted islands
Our route takes us through areas rich in birds of prey such as Eagles (both Sea and Golden), Ravens, Peregrines and Merlins, as well as moorland specialities like Hen Harriers, Short-eared Owls and breeding waders. The height of summer is buzzing with insect life, like the striking Golden-ringed Dragonfly, astonishingly beautiful Fritillary and Scotch Argus butterflies, or the rare Great Yellow Bumblebee found only on a few Scottish islands.
DID YOU KNOW?
Approximately 45 miles west of the Outer Hebrides, St Kilda was once home to Britain's most isolated community.