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Sailing & Exploring the Shiants & Skye

  • Vessel: Flying Dutchman
  • Where: Oban, Scotland
  • Duration: 9 days
  • Embark: Oban - 12 August 2023, 14:00
  • Disembark: Oban - 20 August 2023, 10:00
Single berth in Twin Cabin Ensuite£1,245.00 £311.25
Twin Cabin Ensuite (single occupancy)£1,815.00 £453.75
Single berth in Twin Plus Ensuite Cabin£1,380.00 £345.00

Discover the remote archipelago of the Shiants and the coastline of Skye with traditional tall ship the Flying Dutchman.

Join tall ship the Flying Dutchman in the Scottish harbour town of Oban on the West Coast of Scotland. This adventure sailing holiday in the inner Hebrides will focus on sailing and exploring the beautiful coastline on the Isle of Skye and the remote Shiant Islands.

  • Fully crewed tall ship
  • Traditional sailing
  • Private cabins
  • Island hopping
  • Half-board


Shiants and Skye, Scotland

An isolated archipelago to the east of the Outer Hebrides, the Shiants are one of the most important nesting areas for seabirds in Europe with around 10% of UK puffins and 7% of UK razorbills breeding here every year. Recently part of Seabird Recovery Project, the Shiants now offer a great prospect for new colonies such as Manx Shearwaters and storm petrels.

The islands are one of the most important breeding colonies for seabirds in Europe – around 10 per cent of UK puffins and 7 per cent of UK razorbills breed here every year.  The islands recently completed the Seabird Recovery Project from 2014-2018 that now offer a great prospect for seabirds to set up new colonies such as Manx shearwaters and storm petrels.

The waters between the coast of Skye and the Shiant islands are also a hot spot for whale spotting and various dolphin species. The coastline of Skye offers some majestic mountain scenery to explore both under sail and ashore with an abundance of Scottish wildlife watching to be had.


 The route will be entirely dependant on the wind direction so there is no fixed itinerary.

After sailing through the Sound of Mull out of Oban, our first stop will the island of Rum, part of the Small Isles archipelago. the sweet island is home to small arts community, an eccentric abandoned castle, diverse wildlife and many mountain trails. we’ll anchor here overnight before setting the sails towards the coast of Skye and our likely anchorage of Loch Dunvegan. Loch Dunvegan is a beautiful, large loch on the west side of Skye and an ideal base for visiting the Shiants.

Set the sails early as we get ready to make our crossing out to the Shiant islands. The Shiants consist of 3 islands; Garbh Eilean (Rugged Island), Eilean an Taighe (Island with House) and Eilean Mhuire (Island of the Virgin Mary). The name of the Shiants themselves can be traced back to Sacred or Enchanted Islands. The island itself is geologically very interesting with fascinating landscapes to explore. There are 110 meter high basalt cliffs and several rock arches across the islands.

Spend a couple of days exploring the Shiants before we head back for the coast of Skye and the harbour village of Portree. A colourful fishing village that is a great point to explore the island from. Anchor here for the evening before we set the sails once again to reach the remote village of Inverie. The hills surrounding this quaint village mean that it can only be reached by boat or a 3 day walk! Our last stop before we head back to Oban will be the harbour town of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.

Life onboard

One of traditional sailing, sea-faring tales and breath-taking destinations, sailing with the Flying Dutchman is a far cry from its ancestral name. Although a traditionally rigged vessel with an authentic wooden boat feel throughout, the Flying Dutchman has been fitted as a charter vessel to a high, modern standard – providing guests with an authentic sailing experience while ensuring comfort and mod-cons are not forgotten. With private twin en-suite cabins, large communal spaces both above and below decks and an onboard chef for hearty home-cooked meals after a day of good sailing – sailing with the Flying Dutchman is an experience you won’t forget!

Enjoy a balance of traditional sailing harnessing the power of the wind to spending time exploring ashore in hard to reach locations away from the tourist hustle and bustle. The half board nature of the Flying Dutchman means that guests are able to enjoy the cuisine and fresh produce of the local area.

Read more about what to expect from life on board the Flying Dutchman.

Flying Dutchman

Guest berths: 24 Rig: Schooner

Built in 1903, the Flying Dutchman has been recently re-fitted to a high standard for comfortable sailing holidays in Scotland. There is a huge 480m² sail area to propel you through the water and on the Flying Dutchman you will have the option to participate in helping the different sails up and getting to know all the different crafts. You will be guided by an experienced crew to help you with all the different crafts on the ship. If you want to steer the ship, do not hesitate to ask the captain.

The main saloon is a generous space with plenty of portholes providing comfortable area with lots of natural light. A combination of sofas and tables make it a great communal area to get to know your fellow guests and enjoy meals inside. There is also a well-stocked bar within the saloon area too. Below decks, there are ten ensuite cabins for guests with bunk beds, all with heating and air-conditioning depending on where you are in the world.

The rear deck is layered with wood, which emphasises the traditional atmosphere of the ship. On the main deck there are 3 different tables and couches to sit on, this area is covered to protect the guests from the rain. This offers the opportunity to stay outside and eat your dinner under the stars.

Deck plan

Flying Dutchman deck plan More about Flying Dutchman


  • Are all meals included?

    Yes - all meals are included in the price (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Hot Drinks) Please note that alcohol/soft drinks are not included. There is an honesty bar onboard.

  • Are there any added extra's?

    No, unless you go ashore. Excursions are not included.

  • Can you cater for dietary needs?

    Vegetarians only.

  • What language is spoken onboard?


  • What are the sleeping arrangements?

    10x double ensuite cabins and 1x four berth ensuite cabin

  • How many toilet/showers does she have?


  • Is there WIFI?

    No, but you should easily be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.

  • Can I charge my phone/Camera?


  • Are there life jackets provided?


  • Are Waterproofs provided?


  • Do I need sailing experience?

    No, absolutely not! Just a lust for adventure.

  • 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 and wash towels are included. Please bring a swimming towel if you wish to swim ashore.


From: Oban

To: Oban

Buckie is very close to Airport Inverness. There will a free minibus from Inverness airport to take people to the boat in Buckie.

To get from Oban, the bus is the best means of transport, whether you’re flying from Edinburgh or Glasgow (15 minutes difference). From both airports there is a transfer bus every 30 minutes to Buchanan (Glasgow) Bus Station, from where the bus to Oban departs.
For more information: Citylink.co.uk
If you wish to travel by train, first take the bus to Glasgow. Then you can take the train from Glasgow: Scotrail.com

Klm flies to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
EasyJet flies to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.
Flybe flies to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness.
Ryanair flies alone to Edinburgh.

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