Explore the Inner Hebrides under sail
- Vessel: Zuza
- Where: Scotland
- Duration: 7 days
- Embark: Oban - 8 July 2019, 14:00
- Disembark: Oban - 14 July 2019, 11:00
The Inner Hebrides are rich in history, wildlife and unique coastlines. Zuza’s crew will take you to the best parts, sharing their knowledge with you.
Over half of the islands that comprise the Inner Hebrides are uninhabited, giving way for a diverse ecosystem of flora and fauna, taking over several of the islands. Many of these islands are home to fascinating ruins and have evidence of diverse clans and communities who once inhabited these remote lands – much of this is viewed easily from the sea, however, once Zuza is anchored you will be free to explore the islands and their history on foot.
Joining Zuza in Oban, Scotland, you will set sail that afternoon, ready to anchor for your first meal aboard that evening. The main focus of this trip will be the Islands of Jura & Colonsay; each with their own unique, fascinating personality and dramatic landscapes. The Gulf of Corryvreckan joins these two beautiful islands and is home to the worlds third largest whirlpool, Scarba. Don’t worry though, we will steer clear by boat and instead you can witness this natural wonder on foot from the cliff on the coast of Jura! Jura, once the hideout for George Orwell to complete his famous 1984, has only 200 inhabitants, massively outnumbered by its wild deer population which has been counted at approximately 5000! The Isle of Colonsay is one of the smallest inhabited Hebridean islands and is known for its tranquillity and unspoilt natural beauty. Kiloran Bay is the most famous of many sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. From otters to seals to wild goats and a plethora of wild plants; Colonsay is rich in wild and unspoilt nature.
The itinerary is, of course, dependent on the wind and tides but our crew know all the hotspots off the beaten track and the best places to anchor. We will show you the beauty of the islands from the water but you will also have the chance to explore on foot. Relax in sheltered anchorages and watch picturesque sunsets, and if we are blessed with dark skies, the stargazing from the deck is breathtaking – you may even spot the northern lights. This cruise requires no previous sailing experience so you can sit back and enjoy the views, however, if you wish, the crew are more than happy to show you the ropes and even give you the helm!
Wildlife in Inner Hebrides is a real treat; sightings of seabirds such as Black Guillemots can be seen in their hundreds and white-tailed eagles soar along the rugged coastline. Sailing on Zuza is often rewarded with widespread sightings of birds of prey like Buzzards, Kestrels, Sparrowhawks and Peregrines and, if you’re lucky, you’ll spot the diminutive Merlin. Scotland is also home to Fulmars, Hooded Crows, and snowstorms of Gannets diving for food on the open sea. Watch as acrobatic Choughs explore their Scottish breeding grounds; while Smart Dippers & Grey Wagtails bob along streamsides. Hooded Crows tear through the skies as Ravens give everything else in the sky a flying lesson. These sights are magnificently overwhelming, with the sound of seabird colonies, Puffins, Guillemots & Razorbills, it is like nothing else on earth.
There are frequent encounters with Common, Bottlenose & Whitebeak dolphins on board these trips, and Risso & Whitesided dolphins are also occasionally sighted. Basking sharks have been scarce the last few years but are still seen and seem to be returning – and we know the hot spots! There are plenty of whales in this part of the world too. Our most common encounters are with Minke – Humpbacks are a less frequent visitor, while the real star of the show is the resident pod of Orca if you’re lucky enough to see them gliding through the water.
Skipper Helen has been sailing these waters for years and you’ll definitely feel her love, appreciation and knowledge for these waters and its wildlife. She knows all the secret spots and loves sharing these with her guests. Sometimes she will even spontaneously jump in to swim with the seals! Along with her first mate, there is also an onboard chef ready to cook you locally sourced and freshly prepared meals. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are all included in your ticket price and the crew will definitely indulge you.
Wherever you explore with Zuza, be sure that the views will be breathtaking and the wildlife in abundance, so have your eyes peeled and your binoculars at the ready for a wonderful trip. With food included, private cabins and comfy social spaces, this is an adventure not to be missed!
|Voyage||Set Sail||Days||Cost p/p|
|Explore the Inner Hebrides under sail||8 July 2019||7||£850||Enquire now|
|Explore the Inner Hebrides under sail||5 September 2019||7||£850||Enquire now|
Built in 1998, Zuza already has plenty of history. After being launched in South Africa, the British Royal Geographical Society chose Zuza to be an offshore base for an international marine research project off the east coast of Africa, where her features and reliability helped to facilitate groundbreaking marine research. This expedition yacht has a double hull and Bermudan Cutter rig, which makes her very smooth and steady on the water, and is easy for those that want to learn more about sailing or to just sit back and enjoy the ride in the comfort of the warm and dry wheelhouse.
Zuza has a super experienced crew, lead by skipper Helen Walker, and spends her season sailing around the inner and outer Hebrides in Scotland. With trips to St Kilda, Mull, Jura, Barra, The Small Isles and Skye, Zuza can sail to locations that are not accessible by the larger cruise boats in this area. Her quiet approach also stands her in good stead as to not scare off wildlife, which means she can get as close as is fair to the plethora of marine and wildlife that calls Scotland home. She has a modern cutter rig and operates her sails with an easy and safe winch system. So if exploring hard to reach Scottish Islands and wildlife watching in comfort is the sort of experience you are seeking, then Zuza is the boat for you!
First mate, Mark, grew up by the sea and has been passionate about sailing since his first trip in a Mirror dinghy at the age of eleven. Over the last 12 years he has been building up experience and qualifications in yachts, power boats and dinghies including crewing on Zuza during the last two seasons. When not aboard Zuza, Mark can be found cruising, racing or repairing yachts and dinghies and he is also a qualified dinghy sailing instructor. Alongside Helen, the skipper, and Rachel, the chef, you’re in capable hands on board this yacht.
This vessel accommodates eight guests with plenty of living room both on and below deck. Unusually for a vessel of this size, she has two lovely private double-bedded cabins, which are often popular with guests travelling as couples. There are also another two, private twin-berth cabins with bunk-bed style accommodation. The two shower rooms with toilets are close to all cabins in the middle of the ship. Zuza’s versatile accommodation makes her a great fit for all party sizes whether you are smaller group, couple or solo traveller, she has a comfortable saloon that is perfect for getting to know each other; trading sea-faring stories and enjoying some of the delicious food prepared by chef, Rachel. The saloon is adjacent to the well-equipped galley that serves as Rachel’s workstation, and there are lots of windows throughout to make the most of long summer evenings and wildlife watching with a glass of chilled wine. Read more about Helen, the skipper and life on board Zuza as she cruises Scotland.
Take a look at this unique yacht and enjoy some big boat sailing!
- Total number of berths : 12
- Guest berths : 8
- Number of bathrooms : 3
- Smoking on board? : Ashore only