Traditional tall ship Florette is coming to the West coast of Scotland! Enjoy hands-on sailing while island hopping around the remote wilderness of the Hebrides.
Join the magnificent tall ship Florette in the Scottish harbour of Oban, located on the West Coast of Scotland. Oban is a great starting location for your Hebridean sailing adventure as you make the most of the wind and sail to discover the islands and miles of coastline that make up these remote islands.
This voyage is perfect for adventurers, couples and solo travellers looking for a hands-on tall ship sailing experience. Explore sheltered anchorages and if we are blessed with dark skies, the stargazing from the deck is breathtaking. With little pollution, sailing in the Hebrides has some of the best opportunities for star gazing in the country.
- Traditional tall ship sailing
- Hands-on experience
- Island Hopping
- Private Cabins
- Fully Crewed
- Half Board
- Sustainable Travel
YOUR SAILING AREA
The Hebrides, Scotland
Sailing in the Hebrides boasts some of the most scenic and atmospheric landscapes for sailing in the UK and you’ll quickly see why our guests return here year on year.
From panoramic mountain landscapes to ancient castle ruins on the waters edge and sea eagles soaring the coastline, sailing in the Hebrides has something to offer everyone. Anchor on remote islands, moor up in quaint harbour towns, swim from the boat and keep a look out for the wildlife that the West coast of Scotland is well known for.
There is just so much to take in and experience with a sailing holiday in the Hebrides that Florette does not run to specific itineraries. Florette will sail with the wind so your exact route won’t be know until you board.
Sailing with the wind out of Oban Florette could sail North-west to explore the coasts of Skye and The Small Isles, sailing West to discover Mull and Treshnish Isles or set the sails South to the islands of Jura, Colonsay and Islay.
Mull and the Treshnish Isles
Mull is the second largest island in the inner Hebrides renowned for its abundant wildlife. From dolphins to whales, to sea eagles and puffins, there is plenty to watch both from the water and on the land. Mull is home to the iconic harbour side village of Tobermory where colourful houses line the waterfront.
The Treshnish Isles are a small cluster of islands and skerries nestled off the West coast of Mull. An important area for marine animals and seabirds, the islands are part of a Special Area of Conservation. The island of Lunga is home to a large puffin colony, where you can sit ashore within metres of the friendly faced creatures. The island of Staffa is home of the famous geological wonder of Fingal’s cave where guests can take the tender to get off, explore the impressive basalt columns and practice their best singing voices!
The Small Isles
A small archipelago with the islands of Rum, Eigg, Canna and Muck. Despite their closeness, each island offers a fascinating different geological landscape.
Rum is a National Nature Reserve, home to the architecturally remarkable Kinloch Castle, and of course some wonderful wildlife. The island’s most famous residents are sea eagles (re-introduced in the 1980s), red deer and the hardy Rum ponies. Eigg offers Britain’s largest pitchstone ridge, eagles soaring over stunning white beaches and the worlds first fully renewably powered electricity grid. Canna, looked after by the National Trust since 1981, is one of the prettier islands. With its high basalt cliffs and dramatic volcanic landscapes, the views here are breathtaking.
With its rugged landscapes, fairy tale castles, and picturesque fishing villages, the Isle of Skye is a popular destination for the adventure traveller. Admire the majestic Cuillins mountain range and the impressive Storr outcrop. Anchoring against the breathtaking backdrop of Loch Scavaig, nestled at the foot of the Cuillins, is a truly awe-inspiring experience.
Jura, Colonsay & Islay
Jura was once the hideout for George Orwell as he wrote 1984 and it’s easy to see how he was inspired by the paradise of untouched nature and natural beauty that the island has to offer. The name Jura comes from Norway and it means “Deer Island” and this still applies today with an estimated 5,500 deer and only around 180 human inhabitants!
The island of Colonsay has a varied landscape with some beautiful sandy beaches. From otters to seals to wild goats and a plethora of wild plants; Colonsay is rich in wild and unspoilt nature and a variety of destroyed ruins and fortresses lie scattered across the island perfect for some onshore exploring.
Islay is probably best known for its many independent whisky breweries and if guests would like, it may be possible to explore these ashore. With many secluded anchorages, Islay provides ultimate tranquillity.
Experience incredible wildlife watching in the Hebrides.
Along the rugged coastline, witness the majestic flight of white-tailed eagles, while flocks of Black Guillemots adorn the skies. You’ll also have the opportunity to spot an array of birds of prey, including Buzzards, Kestrels, Sparrow-hawks, and the elusive Merlin – so keep your binoculars at the ready!
Delight in the graceful movements of Fulmars and Hooded Crows as they navigate the air, while Gannets create a mesmerising spectacle as they plunge into the open sea. During our sailing holidays, you’ll frequently encounter the playful Common, Bottlenose, and White beak dolphins, and if luck is on your side, you might catch a glimpse of the rare Risso and White-sided dolphins.
Although basking sharks have been less prevalent in recent years, their return to Scotland brings renewed excitement to our voyages. The waters of the Hebrides are home to a variety of marine species including whales. The most common sightings include the graceful Minke whales, with occasional appearances by the majestic Humpbacks. However, the true stars of the show are the resident pod of Orca, their presence in the water an awe-inspiring sight to behold.
All voyages for Florette
Guest berths: 28 Rig: Brigantine
Florette is the last active, originally built brigantine in the Mediterranean and one of the last wooden windjammers that are still actively sailing. After nearly 50 years operating as a cargo ship and a world war, she was discovered by the Haynes family at the end of the 70s, lovingly restored to a charter vessel and returned to her original condition. She still remains in the same family, sailing and exploring the Mediterranean, Scotland and the Caribbean. From week long island hopping around the Aeolian islands to Atlantic crossings and winter sun sailing in the Caribbean, she certainly has something for everyone!
Over the past 45 years, Family Haynes has been faithfully restoring and maintaining her charm with her traditional rigging and still set all her sails by hand. As she was built to carry over 200t of marble deep sea, her construction is twice as strong as compared to a normal ship of her size. She is constructed with double oak frames and up to 13 meters long, 14 cm thick ironwood planks (azobe). Her topsides are built in the finest mahogany. She was originally launched in winter of 1921 in Italy as a pure wooden sailing ship with no engine to serve as a cargo ship.
Now, she has been equipped with the latest safety standards in accordance with EU guidelines for historic charter and sailing school ships and approved for deep-sea navigation. Below decks she has a combination of twin and triple cabins, authentic hammock bunks in the saloon or even take your chances and sleep on deck beneath the stars!More about Florette
LIFE ON BOARD
AUTHENTIC TALL SHIP SAILING
Florette and her crew always try to combine traditional classic sailing while immersing guests in the natural landscapes ashore. Florette invites you to get involved with her traditional sailing. With an original rig, it is certainly an all-hands on deck approach – which is surely part of the magic to this adventure sailing holiday.
Sailing Florette is a true family affair. Captain Ron is the 2nd generation to run and sail Florette with his family after his parents bought the boat back in the 70’s. Ron was brought up on the boat, as he is now doing with his family. Alongside Ron and his wife Nicole, Florette is fully crewed with experienced and knowledgeable sailors. Nicole is also the boats chef, cooking up fabulous cuisine, so you won’t be going hungry after a day of sailing and exploring.
Florette commands attention wherever she sails with her traditional wooden hull, decoratively carved transom and her impressive sail rig. Sailing with her is part of the magic of this adventure holiday and is a huge part of the experience. She also has sea kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and snorkelling gear for guests to use at no extra cost. There is also fishing gear available which is used to catch fresh fish for supper!
Sleeping and Relaxation
Florette is one of the larger boats in our fleet so she has ample space both above and below decks. Her Captain and family live-aboard but they have their own separate quarters. Guests can enjoy private cabins in combinations of 2-3 berth bunks. All cabins share a total of four toilets and three showers with another shower on deck for a rinse off after some sea swimming! A generous saloon, bar and eating area sit below decks with a traditional wooden finish. Above decks there is a large cushioned area for relaxation, sun-bathing or sleeping beneath the stars (bring your own sleeping bag if this is something you fancy!). An alfresco dining area sits mid-ships, perfect for lunches in the sun or dinners at sunset.
Nicole prepares meals using local fresh ingredients, seasonal produce and local fish to make excellent, healthy dishes. Breakfast onboard everyday and six meals are included in the ticket price. These six meals can be a combination of lunches or dinners with the rest of guest meals eaten ashore at guests expense. The ticket price reflects this and gives guests the opportunity to sample and enjoy the local cuisine. If for some reason, Florette cannot get guests ashore, meals will be offered from the boat at a reasonable price.
Please check the What’s included tab for a breakdown of the ticket price and the board cash.
What’s the weather like in Scotland?!
We get asked this question quite a lot and it is not a simple answer! The geography of the islands and coastline mean that weather can be very localised, changeable and in true Scotland fashion – a little moody at times. 2023 saw a lot of sun and not much wind at the start of the season, and 2022 saw a lot of rain and great sailing winds – there is no rhyme or reason but that’s what makes exploring Scotland exciting for the adventure traveller!
The beauty of localised weather and being on a boat surrounded by islands is that the skipper can plan and chase the better weather windows, finding sheltered anchorages – this is why we don’t commit to a sailing itinerary.
Once you’ve booked, we send a recommended kit list on what to pack to suit all options although we always recommend checking the weather forecast in the week leading up to your holiday.
To give you an idea of the average temperatures…
June, July & August > HIGHS of 18°C and LOWS of 9°C
- HALF BOARD – All breakfast (includes tea and coffee), six meals (combination of lunch or dinner)
- Use of all facilities on board including snorkelling gear, paddle boards, kayaks, board games
- All bedding (pillow, duvet, bedding)
- All tender trips during the voyage, to and fro the boat
- Full crew, plus tuition
What’s not included
- 6-7 meals ashore (at guests expense)
- Tea/Coffee/Alcohol (cash honesty bar)
- Wash or swim towels
- Use of sleeping bags for sleeping on deck (only if you want!)
- Domestic flights
- Crew and tour leader tips
All guests are responsible for recording their own usage/extras in their honesty tab which is payable at the end of the trip.
Travel insurance notes
As this is an active adventure holiday, we advise that everyone has the appropriate personal accident travel insurance whilst onboard in addition to standard travel insurance which would cover you in the time between making your booking and departing for your adventure. These policies can sometimes be combined so please check with your travel insurance provider.
This voyage will not be more than 12miles offshore.
Are all meals included?
Please check the What's included Tab within each voyage.
Are there any added extra's?
Soft drinks & alcohol may be purchased onboard.
Are drinks included?
Tea/Coffee is included at breakfast. All other drinks/alcohol can be purchased onboard with an honesty bar.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Yes, please ask at the time of booking.
Are there any water toys?
Yes, Florette carries Kayaks and SUP's for guests use - a buoyancy jacket must be worn.
What language is spoken onboard?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
5x family cabins (double+single), 2x double cabins, 4x twin bunk cabins, 4x hammock bunks
How many toilet/showers does she have?
4 toilets with 3 showers & 1 deck shower
Is there WIFI?
No, but you should easily be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore on most voyages.
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
Yes, please bring european adaptors
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
Do I need sailing experience?
On her week-long voyages, no - just a love for adventure! On her Ocean crossings, some previous time on the water is recommended.
Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure.
Is bedding included?
All bedding is but towels are not. If you would like to sleep under the stars on deck, you will need to bring your own sleeping bag.
From: North Pier, Oban
To: North Pier, Oban
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.
There is ample parking in Oban if you arrive by car. Secure parking can be found at MacQueen Bros, or you could try the Tesco carpark and pay for 24 hour parking on arrival using the Your Parking Space app.
Oban station is a 5-10 minute walk from North Pier. Trains run 6 times a day to Glasgow Queen Street Station where there are good travel links to the rest of the UK.
Glasgow and Edinburgh Airport both require taking a train from Oban which takes approximately 2-3hours. Flights go direct to Stansted Airport.
STAY IN OBAN
There are plenty of places to stay in Oban. Try Witchwood House, The Scot or Perle Hotels Oban.