Exploring Jura, Mull and Islay
- Vessel: Zuza
- Where: Scotland
- Duration: 7 days
- Embark: Oban - 27 July 2019, 14:00
- Disembark: Oban - 2 August 2019, 11:00
Join Zuza and her crew for an incredible week of exciting sailing and whisky tasting around the Hebrides, Scotland.
There surely is no better way to spend your summer days than sailing on the fabulous yacht Zuza while exploring the wonders of the Hebrides in Scotland. Join Zuza for this incredible sailing cruise, experiencing the full glory of the breathtakingly beautiful Hebrides and even stop off at some of Scotlands most prestigious distilleries.
The land formation of the Hebrides features the oldest rock in the world and is made up of hundreds of islands, inhabited and uninhabited. The east side of the islands are composed of islets and sea lochs run whilst the exposed westerly side is pounded by the Atlantic and proffers vast stretches of untouched, white sand beaches, stretching for miles. There really is no better way to see this part of the world than by boat.
Wildlife in the 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. The island of Rum has a massive Manx Shearwater colony that allows incredible views as they raft offshore around the Small Isles or shear the waves in feeding parties. Acrobatic 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. So keep your eyes peeled and have your binoculars at the ready!
This week of exciting sailing will also give the opportunity to visit some of the traditional distilleries dotted around the Hebridean whisky trail. After a day of sailing and exploring you’ll be mooring up in some of the most beautiful wilderness anchorages; feasting on delicious food while draining a dram (or two!) of Scotland’s finest malts.
Our itinerary is, of course, subject to change due to wind and weather, but you’ll have sailing guaranteed no matter what! All arrangements for your distillery visits will be done by your skipper Helen, some additional admission fees may apply. Here are a few places you could visit:
Established in 1798, this is the only distillery on the island of Mull and one of the oldest commercial distilleries in Scotland. It produces two different, but equally alluring, single malts: the fruity, unpeated Tobermory and the more robust and smoky Ledaig.
A remarkable location on the island of Jura, producing a complex single malt with subtle smoky notes and a sweet Sherry cask finish. Established in 1810 the distillery was reimagined in 1963 by the island community and still welcomes thousands of visitors each year.
This small island of Laphroaig, off the West Coast of Scotland, is renowned for being the world’s richest single malt Scotch. Laphroaig’s award-winning spirit is matured in a range of different woods and casks, and the product of a 200 year old tradition of unique whisky making.
Bowmore is Islay’s oldest distillery, and home to the world’s oldest whisky maturation warehouse, the No. 1 Vaults. It’s in this legendary warehouse that Bowmore whisky has been meticulously matured by master distillers for nearly 240 years.
Skipper Helen has been sailing these waters for years and you’ll definitely feel her love, appreciation and knowledge for these waters, whisky and 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!
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