Absorb the incredible scenery of Scotland on this remarkable 11 day expedition. Departing from Aberdeen, highlights of this voyage will include the Western Isles, Orkney, the Shetland Islands and Glasgow as you revel in culture and marvel at incredible sights. Sample Scotch straight from world famous distilleries, discover neolithic villages and medieval castles, spot rich bird life from dramatic rock cliffs. This is truly an incredible journey.
Once a Viking hub, Fair Isle is now an idyllic island colony of artists and shepherds. The island boasts 350 bird species, including puffins and great skuas in substantial numbers. The local museum is dedicated to preserving island heritage.
Marine and bird life flourish at Papa Stour among cliffs, caves, sea stacks, and blowholes. We will have a morning Zodiac cruise exploring the coastline’s rugged beauty!
Twenty-three kilometres west of the Shetland Islands, Foula is the home of just a few dozen folks, many of whom preserve traditional methods of of agriculture and subsistence. Arctic terns, red-throated divers, and great skuas may be found here.
Kirkwall is dominated by the massive St. Magnus Cathedral, dating from 1137. We’ll visit the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll find the 4,000-year-old Ring of Brodgar. We’ll also tour the Hall of Clestrain, childhood home of Arctic explorer John Rae.
Lewis is the largest of the Hebridean Islands and a Gaelic stronghold. We’ll visit the island’s capital, Stornoway, where one can purchase the island’s famous tweed. One of Britain’s most important Stone Age sites, Callanish’s standing stones are said to be giants who were punished by St. Kieran for refusing to convert to Christianity.
The Outer Hebrides are a fantastic collection of over 100 islands seventy kilometers off Scotland’s west coast. Here we find the oldest evidence of human habitation in Scotland with Pictish, Norse, and Scottish influence. We’ll search out the rich marine and bird life of the islands as conditions permit.
This is a fabulous day for birders, photographers, and hikers. We will cruise the southwestern shore of Skye to visit Loch Coruisk, a freshwater loch accessed through Loch Scavaig. Here we find one of the finest mountainscapes in Britain, backed by the Cuillin hills.
The Isle of Staffa is famed for basaltic formations and numerous caves, the best known being Fingal’s Cave. Originally known in Gaelic as “the melodious cave,” it provided the inspiration for Mendelssohn’s overture, The Hebrides.
We then visit nearby Iona, where St. Columba established his monastery—the burial place of kings. The restored Iona Abbey complex preserves two outstanding crosses dating as far back as the eighth century.
All accommodation on board vessel
All meals whilst on board
All shore excursions and activities by zodiac
Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition team
Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
Comprehensive pre-departure material
Pre and post land arrangements
Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable)
Excess baggage fees and items of a personal nature