Guided Cruises

I will be guiding 'Exploring the Isles of the West' cruises aboard Hjalmar Bjorge from May 20 - 29 of 2017, and June 2 - 11 of 2018.

Note: The 2017 cruise described below is sold out. The 2018 cruise description will be available shortly.

We plan to work our way up the isles of the west from Mingulay to the Flannans. As always, conditions will dictate where we're able to go, but we should be able to visit many of the following islands:

The Barra Isles: We hope to start with Mingulay, and its evocative village abandoned in 1912; whilst in the area other possible stops are Pabbay, with its ancient burial mound and Pictish Symbol Stone; Barra Head, with its cliff-top lighthouse, and Sandray, an island of beautiful white sand beaches and a village where several families from Mingulay settled in 1908.

The Monach Isles: From the Barra Isles we'll head north to the Monachs, home to hundreds of grey seals. The Monachs are a string of low-lying islands connected at low tide.  We hope to make landfall and, if the tide is out, walk to the three main isles.

The Isles of Loch Roag: From the Monachs we'll continue north to visit some of the islands in Loch Roag. Possibilities here include Pabay Mor, with its giant lobster ponds and massive natural arch; and Little Bernera, with its isolated beaches and the beautiful burial ground of St Donnan’s chapel.

The Flannan Isles: If conditions are right, from Loch Roag we'll head out west to the Flannans, where three lightkeepers mysteriously disappeared in 1900.

Scarp and Isles in the Sound of Harris: Heading back south we may stop at Scarp for a walk around the village, burial ground, and restored church. And if time permits a longer hike will be made up and over the hills to see the ruins of several Norse Mills. 

From the Sound of Harris we start our return to Oban by transitioning the Sound of Harris where we may visit Pabbay, a beautiful and rarely visited island with the extensive ruins of Baile Lingay, a village abandoned in the 1840s, and the ancient church of St Mary. Another possibility is Boreray: Home to Cladh nam Mhanaich, the traditional burial ground of the early monks who worked in the Western Isles.

Other possible stops on our way back to Oban are the Shiants, one of the most beautiful group of islands in the Hebrides, with their massive basalt cliffs, and tens of thousands of nesting puffins. Alternately, we may stop in at one or more of the Small Isles of Canna, Rum, Eigg, and Muck.

For more information see the Northern Light website.

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