The Isle of Mull is the heart of the Inner Hebrides and this is a magical Scottish islands cruise, which makes a circumnavigation of the island to visit the famous islands of Staffa and Iona.

Iona, the birthplace of western Christianity was where, in AD563, Saint Columba founded an abbey when he traveled over from Ireland. Iona has been for centuries a place of Christian pilgrimage and here the early abbey monks created the wonderful Book of Kells. Saint Columba and 48 Scottish kings, including Macbeth, as well as some Irish and French kings, are buried on Iona. One can walk in peaceful solitude along the island paths away from the Abbey.

Staffa has one of the world's most spectacular natural marvels in Fingal's cave - one of the islands many sea caves. The soaring beauty of the island and the cave's towering, six-sided basalt columns are famously captured by Mendelssohn's Hebridean Overture.

As we travel around the Isle of Mull we can see incredible wildlife - soaring sea and golden eagles, basking sharks, minke and killer whales, porpoises, dolphins, seabirds and seals. Onboard our small ships you can do as little or as much as you want. Sit back and enjoy the trip as you travel through the island's picturesque Sounds and sea lochs; view the spectacular mountains of Mull including mighty Ben More; marvel at the headland lighthouses and castles and get involved in working our wee small ships – it is all up to you.

We are pleased to offer our passengers a complementary visit to Iona Abbey.

This cruise can be a six or eight night itinerary depending on the dates you choose to travel.
Some of the places we may visit are: 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. 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). Soribay Bay, Loch Tuath: Keeping well clear of Caliach Point we head down towards the Treshnish Isles, breeding grounds for seals and puffins, to Loch Tuath. Our destination is a pretty anchorage in Soribay Bay where we see, in the distance, the mountains of Mull dominated by Ben More (963 m) and close-by, across the Loch, is the picturesque Eas Fos waterfall tumbling into the sea. Lunga, Treshnish Isles: Lunga, one of the Treshnish Isles, is a site of Special Scientific Interest because of the plants which grow there and the wildlife. There are seals and it is especially famous for the breeding colonies of kittiwakes, Manx shearwaters, guillemots, razorbills, storm-petrels and the colony of puffins which, in the breeding season, allow you to approach very close. Coll and Tiree: The two islands are called the ‘sunshine isles’ because of their unique climate. Tiree is more populated and famous for its miles of clean, white sandy beaches that are renown throughout the world by surfers and wind surfers. In contrast Coll is rugged and mountainous and indented with deep, but sandy coves. The islands are some seven miles off the west coast of Mull and on passage we can see dolphins, Minke whales and basking sharks. If conditions are right we can drop anchor and appreciate the tranquility of its sweeping sandy beaches, the cry of the corncrakes and the gentle pleasure of being 'away from it all'. Fingal’s Cave, Staffa: It may be difficult to anchor off the island because of the lack of sheltered anchorages but we can sail close to the island to see all of its natural beauty. If time we can head up to Loch Na Keil with its great views of mighty Ben More, to circle round the Island of Eorsa before we head south to the north side of the Ross of Mull. Dolphins and porpoises often follow us into our secluded anchorage in Loch na Laithaich near the little village of Bunessan. With our new sea kayaks guests can explore the incredible Fingal's cave on the Isle of Staffa! Iona: As there are no sheltered over-night anchorages on Iona, we organize a daytrip from the village of Bunessan. There is a short ferry crossing across the Sound of Iona to Iona. Loch Spelve: Up anchor and travel down the Sound of Iona. This a special Sound where the clear blue waters flow over the white sand and where the Abbey tower is used as a navigational mark to denote a safe passage. Out of the Sound the dangerous Torran Rocks have to be avoided as we travel along the rocky southern shores of the Ross of Mull to enter remote Loch Spelve. A narrow entrance leads us in to the tranquil waters of Loch Spelve with its surrounding ancient oak forest. The anchorage gives us a different perspective than our previous views of the wonderful mountains of Mull. There are resident otters along the loch's shoreline.
Please note that your voyage is weather dependent. Weather doesn't just mean good or bad weather. There are many considerations such as tidal gates, wind direction and strength, the strength and direction of currents, overfalls, and fetch. Depending upon the weather and nature’s conditions, wildlife viewing varies. If you wish to visit a specific place or have a specific experience, such as sea eagle tours or whisky tasting, then please do let your skipper know and he will endeavour to meet your request.

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.

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.

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

£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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Highlights

• Visit Soribay Bay, Loch Tuath & Lunga, Treshnish Isles

• See Coll and Tiree

• Explore Fingal’s Cave, Staffa

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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