Sail & Explore the Small Isles in Scotland
- Vessel: Zuza
- Where: Scotland
- Duration: 7 days
- Embark: Oban - 15 August 2020, 14:00
- Disembark: Oban - 21 August 2020, 10:00
Explore the beauty of the Small Isles on the west coast of Scotland under the sail, with plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities!
Jump aboard Zuza this spring for a week of smooth sailing, wonderful wildlife watching and great food. Sail from the harbour of Oban, Scotland, through the Sound of Mull (listen out for the spring cuckoo) and onto the Small Isles of Rum, Canna, Eigg and Muck.
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 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!
The Small Isles
Rum is a National Nature Reserve and is the largest island, 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. There is plenty of exploring to be had on the Isle of Rum, taking in the stunning mountain and coastal scenery.
Eigg is the most populated but still only has under 100 residents and is the most welcoming of the Small Isles. Offering Britain’s largest pitchstone ridge, eagles soaring over stunning white beaches and the worlds first fully renewably powered electricity grid, we’re sure you’ll love Eigg as much as its locals.
Muck is the smallest and most southerly island. Its low-lying, mostly treeless landscape offers dramatic perspectives and panoramic views of sandy beaches and rocky shorelines. Watch out for Golden Eagles!
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. You might even be lucky enough to see Minke Whales from the high cliffs, soaring Sea Eagles and nesting Puffins.
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|
|Discover the Small Isles, Scotland||17 August 2019||7||£850||Enquire now|
|Discover & Explore the Small Isles||9 May 2020||7||£890||Enquire now|
|Exploring the Small Isles, Scotland||20 June 2020||7||FULL||Full|
|Sail & Explore the Small Isles in Scotland||15 August 2020||7||£890||Enquire now|
Guest berths: 8 Rig: Bermudan Cutter
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!
Deck planMore about Zuza
- Can you cater for dietary needs?
Yes we can - please let us know in advance of your trip
- Can I charge my phone and camera?
Yes we have charging outlets onboard - although mobile signal can be intermittent
- What should a pack?
A mix of warm and light clothes with a good pair of walking boots for exploring. See our kit list in your joining pack information.
- What language is spoken on board?
- Will I get bitten by midges?
The summer in Scotland brings midges which mostly are not a problem for guests as we anchor offshore far enough away for them not to bother us. We recommend you bring SMIDGE repellant just in case.
- Do you have hairdryers on board?
No we do not - but if you'd like to bring one please make sure it's travel hairdryer.
- Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently on a boat. Zuza has a double hull so is very steady and smooth to sail - which helps with the motion of the boat. We recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure.
- What are the sleeping arrangements?
Zuza has 2 double bed cabins and 2 twin bunk cabins.
- How many toilets/showers does she have?
Zuza has 2 sets of combined shower/toilets.
- Are all meals included?
Yes, all meals are included in the price unless you go ashore.(Breakfast, lunch, dinner, soft/hot drinks) Alcohol is not included.
- Are life jackets provided?