This unique expedition cruise is one of our most popular and will appeal to those who prefer their islands deserted, but with abundant bird and wildlife.

During this unique voyage, we will journey along rugged coastlines and visit once inhabited islands aboard the 95 passenger MS Serenissima, venturing far north to the Hebrides, Faroes, Shetlands and Orkney Islands. We will witness vibrant colours and amazingly prolific birdlife, explore deserted villages and learn of the history and ancient culture of unique island life.

Such a journey can of course only be undertaken by a special vessel with the self-sufficient qualities of the MS Serenissima and with our Zodiacs we will be able to land on remote beaches and cruise close to shorelines and cliffs crowded with birdlife. Enabling us to land in remote places, the Zodiacs make the otherwise inaccessible readily available. Although we will set sail with a schedule, this will not be set in stone as these are perfect waters for expedition cruising and our Captain and expedition team will keep a flexible approach allowing for the opportunity to fully experience the unexpected whether it be a sighting of dolphins, a whale or any unusual event.

Highlights


• With our fleet of Zodiacs make calls into some of the remote and uninhabited islands that surround the Scottish coast. Few ships make the journey to these outer islands and we are grateful to therefore be
able to explore these wonderful places in our small groups.

• Combine the small communities of Westray, Unst and Fetlar with the uninhabited St Kilda

• Explore the towns of Torshavn and Lerwick

• Understand the history, witness the wildlife, experience the culture of the remote islands and gain a better
understanding of what it is like to live on one of the ‘Islands on the Edge’

Embark the MS Serenissima this afternoon. Transfers will be provided from Glasgow Airport and Glasgow Central Station at a fixed time. Sail this evening to the Hebrides.
Strategically placed between the mountains of Rum and the Outer Hebrides, the island of Canna and its adjoining neighbour Sanday are bound together like some rare text that reveals over 60 million years of Hebridean geology and history. They have an amazingly rich archaeological landscape with remains dating to all periods of settled occupation in Scotland. Canna is run as a single farm and bird sanctuary by the National Trust for Scotland and enjoys the best House, and wander across grassy basalt plateaus to the 600 foot cliffs on the north shore. Over lunch we will sail to lovely Loch Scavaig on the island of Skye. Just beyond is the freshwater Loch Corruisk with its breathtakingly beautiful view over the Cuillins. This is great walking country, but for those who prefer a less energetic afternoon our Zodiacs will explore the coast looking out for seals. harbour in the Small Isles, a horn- shaped haven. The fertile soil and its diversity of habitats mean that the island has an incredibly rich plant life with 248 native flowering plants recorded. We will see Canna
Arrive today on the Isle of Lewis. On leaving the island capital of Stornoway, we will head across the island to the beautiful west coast. Described as Scotland’s Stonehenge, the Callanish Standing Stones date from around 3000 BC. There are a total of 32 stones in a circular and avenue design. The stones stand like a petrified forest on the flat top of a peninsula which reaches out into East Loch Roag. We also visit the Dun Carloway Pictish Broch, probably built sometime in the last century BC, it would have served as an occasionally defensible residence for an extended family complete with accommodation for animals at ground floor level. Our final stop is the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village – a reconstructed settlement of traditional black houses which were made using dry stone masonry and have thatched roofs, distinctively weighted down with rocks. Visit the small museum, enjoy a display of a typical crofting activity such as weaving and take in the views at this dramatic site on the wild Atlantic coast. This afternoon we will board the Zodiacs for a cruise around the spectacular basalt cliffs of the Shiant Islands, a group of little islands located a few miles off the shores of Lewis. This is an excellent place to spot puffins, razorbills, guillemots, seals and hopefully white-tailed eagles.
Awake this morning in St Kilda, a remarkable uninhabited archipelago some fifty miles beyond the Outer Hebrides. Dominated by the highest cliffs and sea stacks in Britain, Hirta, St Kilda’s main island was occupied on and off for at least two thousand years, with the last 36 Gaelic speaking inhabitants evacuated at their own request in 1930. Immediately after the evacuation, the island was bought by the Marquess of Bute to protect the island’s thousands of seabirds including puffin and fulmars, and in 1957 it was bequeathed to The National Trust for Scotland. St Kilda is one of the only two dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites with dual status reflecting its natural and cultural significance. The local ranger will join us on board before our expedition staff lead a number of guided walks on the island. Later, cruise past two of the largest gannetries in the world at Stac Lee and Berneray. These impressive stacs rise 170 metres from the sea and are home to up to 60,000 breeding pairs of northern gannet.
After a morning at sea we make our first call in the Faroes on Suduroy, the southernmost island of the group. From the port of Tvoroyri we have a choice of activities. Choose to join an island drive passing the beautiful scenery as we drive between the villages seeing the stunning geology, fjords, tunnels and architecture of the island and end at the southernmost point and the Akraberg lighthouse. In Porkeri we will take the ridge-top road which winds up the mountain side for wonderful views towards the steep cliffs on the west coast, the Beinisvoro promontory to the north and the luscious grass slopes to the east. To locals this delivers the essence of the Faroe Islands with mountains and fjords, villages and valleys, birds, sheep and nature. Alternatively the active may wish to join a hike to Hvaanhagi, a beautiful, uninhibited place north of Tvoroyri on the east coast of Suouroy. The view is fantastic towards the three islands Litla Dímun, Stora Dimun and Skuvoy. There are sheep and birds, a valley with a lake and beautiful high mountains.
Overnight we will sail the short distance to Vestmanna, our base as we explore the northwest corner of Streymoy and the nearby cliffs. Here we will board local boats to explore these vertical cliffs that climb almost 1500 feet, sailing into grottos carved by the surf over the years and watching the thousands of sea birds including puffins, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes that nest here each summer. After lunch on board we will drive to the beautiful village of Saksun, an isolated settlement situated beneath steep majestic mountains. We visit Duvugaroar, an old farmhouse, which is now a museum and visit a traditional Faeroese wooden church in Kollafjord. This evening we sail the short distance to Torshavn where we moor overnight.
From our berth in Torshavn we will join a guided tour through Torshavn over the hills to Kirkjubour, the island’s oldest cultural centre, where we see the ruins of the 13th century St. Magnus Cathedral and the 11th century church, still in use. We also visit the 900-year old “Roykstovan”, the old bishopric, considered to be the oldest wooden house in Europe. For the more active we will arrange a hike in the hills surrounding the town to discover the local flora and fauna. Return to the ship for lunch and sail this afternoon as we return to the Scottish isles.
We begin our exploration of Shetland in the northern islands of Unst and Fetlar. Unst is Britain’s most northerly inhabited island and at the Heritage Centre we will learn about the islanders struggles over the centuries and the industries that have prospered whilst the Unst Boat Haven is dedicated to the history of the islands distinctive wooden boats which descend from Viking craft. We also visit Saxa Vord with views over Hermaness National Nature Reserve and Muckle Flugga stacks and home to thousands of gannets and puffins as well as rare arctic-alpine plants. Over lunch we sail to Fetlar, inhabited for over 5000 years the island lays claim to being the first Norse landing site in the Shetlands. Known as the most fertile of the Shetland Islands the wildflowers bring colour to the landscape whilst the birdlife on the island is prolific. Our expedition team will lead walks ashore including the Fetlar Interpretative Centre and Museum where we will learn about the wildlife and archaeological history of the island.
From the Shetland capital we will visit the remarkable archaeological site of Jarlshof. The site was uncovered by a violent storm in the winter of 1896/7, revealing an extraordinary settlement site embracing at least 5000 years of human history. The site contains a remarkable sequence of stone structures – late Neolithic houses, a Bronze- Age village, an Iron-Age broch and wheelhouses, several Norse longhouse, a Medieval farmstead, and the 16th century laird’s house. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon to explore this historic port. Perhaps wander through its narrow stone lanes or maybe visit the excellent Shetland Museum, containing artefacts from shipwrecks and the whaling era. Tonight we will be entertained by local musicians as we overnight in port.
This morning we sail the short distance to Mousa to see the 40 foot defensive tower built by the Picts more than 2000 years ago, and the tallest, best preserved example of an Iron Age broch (tower) in Britain. Return to the ship for lunch before we anchor off the remote island of Fair Isle in the early afternoon. Located midway between the Shetland and Orkney islands, the tiny population of sixty or so islanders always extend us a warm welcome. Enjoy a walk across the island, perhaps visiting the Bird Observatory, searching out the puffin slopes, visit the community hall for a cup of tea or maybe purchase some of the famous knitwear.
Spend the morning in the Orkney Islands as we explore the islands to the north of the mainland. On Westray we will visit Noup Head, an RSPB reserve on the sea cliffs and home to up to 100,000 nesting seabirds. We also see Notland Castle, an incomplete fortress built in the 16th century by Gilbert Balfour, Mary Queen of Scots Sherif of Orkney whilst in the main village of Pierowall we find the Westray Heritage Centre housing Neolithic carvings. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at sea as we return to the Scottish mainland.
Disembark after breakfast. Transfers will be provided to the train station and Aberdeen Airport at a fixed time.

Standard Stateroom

£ 4595 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Superior Stateroom

£ 5295 GBP pp
Superior Stateroom
The superior staterooms range in size from 11 to 19.6 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Deluxe Stateroom

£ 5495 GBP pp
Deluxe Stateroom
The deluxe staterooms range in size from 15 to 25.4 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Junior Suite

£ 5895 GBP pp
Junior Suite
The junior suites range in size from 20.9 to 21.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Single

£ 5995 GBP pp
Standard Single
The standard single cabins range in size from 7.1 to 12.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Owners Suite

£ 6295 GBP pp
Owners Suite
The owner’s suites are 22.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 107 (from Dec 2018 - 95)

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2018

We are delighted to have had the MS Serenissima on long term charter since 2013. There are so few ships of her generation still cruising and the fact that she is is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her in top form. In December 2018, the vessel will once again undergo a significant refurbishment after which she will accommodate a maximum of just 95 guests.

MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The European Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

AIR-CONDITIONING

The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning.

DAILY PROGRAMME

A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service.

DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available between 07:00 hours and 23:00 hours at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge. Please advise of any special dietary requests in advance.

DISABLED FACILITIES

The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door and no step into/out of the bathroom and shower area. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift.

DOCTOR

A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require. 

ELECTRICITY

The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor.

GRATUITIES

Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday.

INTERNET

The onboard library has a computer equipped for email/internet access and Wi-Fi access is available in public areas, although you will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 100mb for €15 Euros, or 500mb for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location.

LANGUAGE

All members of the crew speak English.

MONEY

The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts: Cash (Euros or British Pounds), Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted.

PUBLIC AREAS

• Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 11.00 until 24.00.

• Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access)

• Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and fitness room with two running machines

• Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area)

• Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas

SNORKELLING

Snorkelling equipment is kept onboard. Please note that there is no snorkelling from Zodiacs. All snorkelling stops will operate from a beach. 

TELEVISION

The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 15 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship.

ZODIACS

Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises. 

Deck plan is slightly different for 2019 - please call for details.

Cabin layout for Serenissima
Serenissima
British Isles ExpeditionExpedition
12 Days from
£ 4595 GBP pp

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0800 945 3327

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1800 107 715

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