The sea around the west coast of Scotland offers some of the most stunning cruising grounds in the world and this adventure will sail where the wind blows.
Departing from Oban opens up a world of spectacular cruising and adventures, never lacking in great sailing whatever the weather. There is just so much to take in, and to make best use of the wind and enjoy the full experience, there is no specific itinerary.
Tacking westward through the Sound Of Mull we could head out beyond Ardnamurchan Point and alter course to the north, aouth or westwards to Barra and beyond. The Small Isles Eigg, Muck, Rhum and Canna lie beyond whilst on the far horizon the Southern Outer Hebrides beckon.
If the wind favours the southerly heading then Bessie Ellen will follow the majestic coastline of Mull down past Treshnish and on to Staffa, where a visit to Fingal’s cave is a must, but landing is very much dependent on swell. Continuing on south to Colonsay, the ship will stop for the night alongside the pier so guests can walk through one the town and sample some great ales from smallest island brewery in the world.
Should the winds favour the northern route then Bessie will sail out to the more remote Hebridean Isles. Rhum, which is by far the largest island, possesses a cluster of formidable volcanic peaks including Askival (Ash Mountain), the highest peak, which dominates the landscape, and whose ancient name nods back to the Vikings who settled here.
Voyages blessed with settled weather will take guests to one of the most awesome anchorages in the world – Loch Scavaig. Nestling at the foot of the Skye Cuillins, Loch Scavaig is a sea loch set in dramatic surrounds. Guests will be able to head onto dry land and follow the trail along some of the most wild and extraordinary scenery in Europe, emanating ‘middle earth’ and leaving visitors spell bound.
Every where we travel, we find that each island provides some good short walks of about an hour before setting sail and heading towards a new anchorage.
Wildlife is guaranteed at this time of year and not a week passes without seeing at least three of the Big five – Red Deer, Otter, Seal, Golden Eagle and of course the Red Squirrel. It is possible to stand amongst puffin burrows whilst watching the to-ing and fro-ing of the parent birds as they feed their young with mouths full of eels. Whales and dolphins are often seen out to the North of Colonsay and Canna, mostly Minke but Orca have also been known to visit these waters., so keep those eyes peeled!
As with all Bessie Ellen’s sailing holidays, your ticket price includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks and Drinks. Curtained bunk berths are int he spacious shared open saloon below decks with bedding provided – you just need to bring your own towel.
Simply click “Enquire Now” to reserve your berth for five days whilst you sort your travel plans. No booking form or deposit is required until you are ready to book!
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Guest berths: 12 Rig: Gaff Rigged Ketch
Bessie Ellen offers quality sailing holidays on board a classic tall ship with over 100 years of history, and is now one of the last West Country trading ketches.
This ship worked through both world wars during the last era of wind-powered trade, when ships like Bessie were seen all over England. She is featured on the National Historic Ships Register, which identifies her as a historic vessel that needs to be conserved.
Now, her working life is very different, and she spends her days cruising around British and Spanish waters, offering sailing holidays. With an experienced and hospitable crew, Bessie Ellen provides her guests with a comfortable and authentic tall ship experience. Skipper Nikki occasionally nods back to Bessie’s past by loading her up with cargo for ocean passages, transporting beer from Harbour Brewery and making the most out of the emission-free transport that Bessie offers.
Sail with Bessie Ellen and Nikki, around Cornwall, the Hebrides, St. Kilda and the Canary Islands, and not only enjoy sailing aboard a tall ship, but experience unique coastlines, abundant wildlife, and excellent food. While enjoying all of this you will also be able to feel smug about having such an environmentally friendly holiday, as Nikki tries to be as green as possible in every aspect of her journeys – everything down to providing guests with toiletries that are microbead free, and so don’t harm the marine life.
Choose from weekend breaks, weeklong trips, or 10-day explorations for a truly unforgettable holiday.
- Are meals included?
Yes - and we pride ourselves on the quality of food served!
- Can you cater for dietary needs?
Yes, please let us know at the time of enquiry
- Do I need to bring bedding or towels?
All your bedding (duvet and pillow) is provided but please bring your own towels (washing and/or swimming)
- What language is spoken on board?
English is the main language spoken, however on occasion we have crew onboard who are multilingual.
- What are the sleeping arrangements?
There are 12 comfortable berths in the former cargo hold. This is an open plan area that is also used for meals and relaxing
- How many toilets/showers does she have?
Bessie Ellen has two toilets/showers for guests.
- Is there WIFI?
No, but you will be able to reach 3/4G when you are close to land.
- Is there age limit?
No, but we advise over 16's for scheduled voyages as there is an open saloon sleeping arrangement. There is no limit for private charter.
- Can I charge my phone or camera?
Yes. We run generators every day in the morning and evening, which run the 240 volt system of normal 3 pin sockets.
- Are there life jackets provided?
- Are waterproofs available?
No. Please bring your own. There are a few spare for emergencies only.
- Do I need to be a seasoned sailor?
Not at all. We give everyone who joins us on board the choice to do as much or as little as they like, whether the know how to or not.
- Do I have to do watches?
During a passage crossings you may be asked to be part of our watch rota, this is not compulsory but is definitely part of boat life that guests enjoy when at sea for long periods.
- Will there be time to get off the boat?
Yes on most of our trips we try and explore the areas we are sailing around each day, except for passage crossings where of course we are at sea for most of the voyage.
- Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are worried to take some medication 24 hours before travelling.