Travel along these world famous Sounds that separate some of the most famous islands of the Inner Hebrides and listen to the myriad sounds of the sea. Whichever Sounds we discover, they have one glorious thing in common. They are all the Sounds of Silence.

Sail by the spectacular islands of the Inner Hebridean isles: Mull, Luing, Shuna, Jura and Lismore. Anchor in tranquil, remote bays. See the incredible wildlife - soaring sea and golden eagles, basking sharks, orca and minke whales, porpoises, dolphins, seabirds and seals. On some of the Hebridean cruises we look at nature through the eyes of a marine biologist and even get out the plankton nets and microscopes.

Do as little or as much as you want. Sit back and enjoy the trip as you travel through the Sounds and sea lochs; view the spectacular mountains and fast running tides that make extraordinary spiral patterns and glassy runs in the sea; marvel at the headland lighthouses and castles and all the wildlife and, if you want, become involved in working our small ships.

The sheltered waters are perfect for learning to sail against a spectacular backdrop of pristine coastline, mountains and forests. For extra fun, bring your kayak and windsurfer, swim from the boat or go ashore on remote islands to explore. Also don't forget your walking boots for spectacular island walks with wonderful views of the Sounds.

This cruise can be a five, six or seven night itinerary depending on the dates you choose to travel.

Highlights


• Explore the Hebridean

• Visit Isle of Shuna

• Experience Tobermory

• Be Amazed by Loch Aline

Oban: Your departure point will be Oban (Dunstaffnage Marina), the gateway to the Hebridean isles. After a short introduction to life on board our small ship we lift anchor and set sail to our first destination. Loch Spelve: Loch Spelve is on the south side of Mull. To enter we have to negotiate the narrow entrance. The anchorage in this sheltered loch, which is surrounded by an ancient oak forest, gives us unparalleled views of the mountains of Mull. There are resident otters along its shoreline. Isle of Shuna: Sail along the Isle of Lismore and into the Firth of Lorn and then, with the tide in our favour, (a must as the currents can run at five knots in these parts) we enter the Sound of Luing. We shoot past the famous Fladda lighthouse, the over falls and eddies of these fast running waters make extraordinary spiral patterns and glassy runs in the sea. The waters calm as we pass the southern tip of Luing Island and enter Shuna Sound. Our quiet anchorage off the North coast of the Isle of Shuna is a spot where otters frequently play along the shoreline. On the way to the remote island of Shuna, and at anytime during the trip, we may see soaring sea or golden eagles, basking sharks, whales, porpoises and dolphins, as well as many types of seabirds. Loch Sween: Tidal planning is very important as we will pass the notorious Gulf of Corryvreckan with its six knot tides which can be heard roaring 30 miles inland when there is a storm of wind against them. Then passing the northern headland of Jura, where George Orwell’s cottage can still be seen where he wrote 1984, to sail down the Sound of Jura. The magnificent Munro mountains, the three “Paps of Jura”, can be seen rising over Jura to dominate the southern end of the Sound of Islay. Our destination is an anchorage in the upper reaches of beautiful Loch Sween - its seal population lining its banks to watch us as we pass by. We will pass the natural anchorage of Tayvallich, once a famous Viking harbor. Crinan Canal: We can anchor just outside the Crinan Canal which has truly magnificent scenery and is rich in history, with many world-class heritage sites. It is a designated wildlife reserve with miles of forest walks and cycle ways. Guests can choose to do a three hour walk from Tayvallich to the Crinan Canal. Isle of Luing: Guests can be dropped off at the little village of Toberonochy and do the lovely walk to the Atlantic Islands Centre. Tobermory: One of the most picturesque towns in the Hebrides. If you wish, we can make time to visit the local distillery or visit eagles (Mull is the best place in the UK to see eagles). Loch Aline: In the picturesque Loch Aline there are woodland walks and, at the head of the loch, is ancient Ardtornish estate and woodland gardens.

Twin / Double Cabin

£1,590 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable with eight berths for our guests. In the aft part of the vessel, there is a twin cabin and a double cabin (with a 125 cm wide bed). These aft cabins share the bathroom with the two crew. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.

Twin / Double Cabin En-suite

£1,920 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable with eight berths for our guests. In the forward part of the vessel, there is a double en-suite, a twin en-suite and single en-suite. All en-suites and the shared bathroom have a washbasin, toilet, and shower. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.

Single Cabin En-suite

£1,920 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable with eight berths for our guests. In the forward part of the vessel, there is a double en-suite, a twin en-suite and single en-suite. All en-suites and the shared bathroom have a washbasin, toilet, and shower. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.

Twin / Double Cabin

£1,590 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable with eight berths for our guests. In the aft part of the vessel, there is a twin cabin and a double cabin (with a 125 cm wide bed). These aft cabins share the bathroom with the two crew. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.

Single Cabin En-suite

£1,920 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable with eight berths for our guests. In the forward part of the vessel, there is a double en-suite, a twin en-suite and single en-suite. All en-suites and the shared bathroom have a washbasin, toilet, and shower. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.

Twin / Double Cabin En-suite

£1,920 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable with eight berths for our guests. In the forward part of the vessel, there is a double en-suite, a twin en-suite and single en-suite. All en-suites and the shared bathroom have a washbasin, toilet, and shower. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.

Twin / Double Cabin

£1,320 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable with eight berths for our guests. In the aft part of the vessel, there is a twin cabin and a double cabin (with a 125 cm wide bed). These aft cabins share the bathroom with the two crew. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.

Single Cabin En-suite

£1,950 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable with eight berths for our guests. In the forward part of the vessel, there is a double en-suite, a twin en-suite and single en-suite. All en-suites and the shared bathroom have a washbasin, toilet, and shower. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.

Twin / Double Cabin En-suite

£1,950 GBP pp
Cabins are warm and comfortable with eight berths for our guests. In the forward part of the vessel, there is a double en-suite, a twin en-suite and single en-suite. All en-suites and the shared bathroom have a washbasin, toilet, and shower. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.

Gemini Explorer

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 72 feet / 21.9 meters

Passenger Capacity: 8

Built / refurbished: 1974 / 2020

The new mini cruise ship is a historic, converted cruising lifeboat that once roamed the Western Approaches and was involved in the storm of the ill-fated 1979 Fastnet Race. Gemini Explorer was built in 1974 in Bideford Shipyard as the City of Bristol (70-003), one of three, Clyde class, cruising lifeboats with an extended offshore range of 1700 miles. She is powered by two powerful Gardner diesel engines and she will achieve speeds of up to twelve knots. The Gemini Explorer entered service at the Clovelly Lifeboat Station on the North Devonshire coast and, after saving 44 lives, was finally retired in 1989.

Since then, after extensive re-fits and modifications (including a new galley, high bulwarks, viewing top deck, en-suite accommodation and a well lit saloon), she has been converted to a mini cruise ship and today sails as the Gemini Explorer. However, there are parts of the insides of the vessel that have been kept in their original state to give an exciting insight in to role she once played as a cruising lifeboat. 

As a mini cruise ship she has voyaged as far away as Greenland and, for the last 10 years, sailed as a charter vessel on the east coast of Scotland. In 2020 after a further refit and upgrade she will be sailing the beautiful islands and sea lochs of Scotland’s west coast as part of St Hilda Sea Adventures little fleet.

The deck saloon is where everyone dines and socialises and where everyone enjoys a convivial atmosphere that is encouraged by shipboard life aboard this ex-cruising lifeboat. 

Cabins are warm and comfortable with eight berths for our guests. In the forward part of the vessel there is a double en-suite, a twin en-suite and single en-suite. In the aft part of the vessel there is a cabin which has a one double bed and two single berths. We are happy to offer this cabin to two guests only, without supplement. This aft cabin shares the bathroom with the two crew.

All en-suites and the bathroom have a washbasin, toilet and shower. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.

There is an upper viewing deck complete with teak benches and perfect for spotting wildlife and relaxing. You also have some deck space to embark your own equipment such as kayaks and paddleboards. You will also be able to use the onboard two person sea kayak.
Cabin layout for Gemini Explorer

Inclusions


Voyage on board in selected cabin category
All meals while on board
Fruit on board
Continental lager and house wine with pre-dinner aperitif and evening meal
Organised whisky tours
Cruises with wildlife guide
BYO is welcome

Exclusions


International and domestic flights
Passport and visa costs where applicable
Travel Insurance
Beverages purchased on board
Transfers

Gemini Explorer
British Isles Small Ship CruiseSmall Ship Cruise
7 Days from
£1,320 GBP pp

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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