Sailing the Hebrides, Orkneys & Shetland Islands
- Vessel: Valiente
- Where: Scotland/Norway
- Duration: 15 days
- Embark: Mallaig, Scotland - 19 September 2022, 12:00
- Disembark: Bergen, Norway - 3 October 2022, 10:00
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Follow in the footsteps of the vikings as Valiente sails from the West coast of Scotland, to the Orkney and Shetland islands before finishing in Bergen, Norway.
Join expedition yacht Valiente on the West coast of Scotland in the harbour of Mallaig as you get ready to set the sails towards the Orkney Islands before crossing the North Sea to the coast of Norway.
Just across the North Sea, west of Vestlandet, lies an a sailor’s paradise, waiting to be explored. Since the Viking Age our Norse ancestors have had close ties to and at times ruled over these archipelagos in the west. Shetland, the Orkney Islands, and other parts of Scotland were once part of the Norwegian Empire, and we will keep an eye out for traces of the Norse on this trip through these exciting places on the way home from Scotland to Norway.
- Offshore expedition sailing
- Remote destinations
- Island hopping
- Private cabins
- Wildlife watching
- Sail area & highlights
- Life on board
- Sample menu
- Travel planning
- The boat
- What's included
- Boat schedule
YOUR SAILING AREA
This expedition offers a sea of different experiences. First we will take the boat on a mountain trip through the Caledonian Canal. At its highest point, we are 32 meters above sea level, still aboard our expedition yacht. This may not sound like much, but here the tree line is low and we really get the feeling of sailing through the mountains.
Further from Inverness, the trip goes north towards the Orkney Islands, and we explore these 70+ islands with exciting rocky shores and chalk-white sandy beaches. Fair Isle and Shetland are also located along our route for this trip. Here we will get insight into both the history and the important coastal traditions of these more inaccessible islands. The historical ties between Norway and all these archipelagos are strong, and as modern Vikings from Norway, we are used to being well received along the way.
The Orkney Islands
It will take just under a day to sail from Inverness to the southernmost Orkney Islands. Once in this island archipelago, we spend a couple of days exploring both the historically interesting places, and the beautiful nature the archipelago offers. Among the “can’t miss” sights is Scapa Flow, the large, well-protected, and hidden natural harbor that the British used as a base for their invincible navy during both the First and Second World Wars. Of course we must also visit the capital of the archipelago; Kirkwall. Here we find Scotland’s northernmost single malt whiskey distillery; Highland Park, which requires a thorough visit!
Once in the fjords of Shetland, we will try to stop by the capital, Lerwick. We are not quite home yet so we of course need to adjust our plans according to the weather forecast. Here we again see the influence of our Norse ancestors, and the Shetlanders are clearly more Norse than other Scots. If time and weather allow, we will make a stop at the archeological excavations at Jarlshof, just south of the island Mainland. This is supposedly where men first made landfall in Shetland between 5000 and 6000 years ago.
On this trip we also get challenged with ocean crossing, with the longer crossing of the North Sea back to Norway being the highlight. Out here at this time of year we really get to feel the forces of nature. The feeling of master you will get when your team successfully sails the expedition ship across the sea is priceless. Nothing compares to surfing a real wave with the ship out on the ocean!
This trip offers a well-balanced mix between inland sailing, coastal sailing, and sea sailing. This is the trip for those of you who want to experience the Caledonian Canal by sailboat, and for those of you who have dreamed of visiting the Orkney Islands, Fair Isle or Shetland. The trip for those of you who want to learn a lot about sea sailing with a really solid expedition boat.
All voyages for Valiente
Guest berths: 12 Rig: Gaff
Expedition boat Valiente is a 70 foot steel boat designed to withstand tough arctic conditions, but with comfort and high standards maintained along the way.
She sails very well with a simple rig and has a lot of space on deck for guests and crew. Valiente has ample space in the saloon and wheelhouse with 360degree views. Below decks there is a well equipped galley. The boat has five guest cabins, with the 3 doubles having an ensuite and shower.
Valiente is very well equipped for trips and expeditions including; RIB light boat, two folding kayaks, big tanks for both water and diesel, water-maker, generators, safety and rescue equipment and communication equipment.
She spends her summers sailing in Norway, Svalbard and offering expedition sailing adventures to Greenland, Iceland, Jan Mayen and the Faroe islands.
Deck planMore about Valiente
LIFE ON BOARD VALIENTE
Your ticket price will include the skipper and first mate (co-skipper) Along the way, sailing or on motor, Valiente will include all participants in the sailing. Generally, she sails at all times of the day, and everyone onboard will be running watches of 4 hours on and 8 hours off. When on anchor, there will be rotation shifts with one anchor guard awake, so that the rest can sleep.
Life on board a sailboat is social and pleasant, but for some it can be perceived as quite intimate and crowded, which one should be prepared for. On our trips everyone participates in the operation of the sailboat and everyone is considered crew. We would like to get to know you well and hope that you will get to know everyone else on the boat as soon as possible. It requires some patience, generosity, and an open mind to thrive, but the new acquaintances and completely raw nature experiences will take your focus as soon as you become comfortable with life at sea.
Accommodation on the boat is part of the fun. The accommodation is generally in shared cabins, some of which have a double bed and some of which have bunk beds. Figuring out who sleeps where can be a bit of a puzzle, but we do believe we’ve gotten quite good at it. Let us know if you have any special needs or reservations.
We have plenty of heating and good food on the boat, but not always abundance of fresh water. This means it will not be possible to shower every day, but more or less every other day we are either in a harbour with fresh water or we sail through a place where we can borrow showers or enjoy a sauna. A morning swim in the sea is free and is available all year round!
- All inclusive (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. soft/hot drinks)
- All bedding (pillow, sheets & duvet) and wash towel
- Full crew plus tuition
- Marina and fuel fees
- All tender trips to and fro the boat
- Fishing equipment
- Use of the on board small sailing dinghy for extra practice!
What’s not included
- Waterproofs > Guests can rent oilskins from us for 500NOK per trip, per person
- Swim towel
- Any flights
- Transit hotels
- Travel to and from the boat on the day of joining/leaving
- Travel insurance
- Sailing Insurance (Please read our Sailing Insurance page for more information)
- Crew tips
- Personal expenses
- Any meals ashore
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.
Please read more information on our Insurance guidelines page.
This voyage will be more than 12miles offshore.
Are all meals included?
Yes, all meals and soft drinks are included. Guests work on a rotation basis to cook together onboard.
Do I need to tip the crew?
Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Yes - please specify at time of enquiry
What language is spoken onboard?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
3x double cabins, 1x twin bunk cabin, 1 x quad bunk cabin
How many toilet/showers does she have?
Is there WIFI?
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
12v charging under sail, 220 EURO 2pin when connected to shore power/generator
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
Guests can rent oilskins from us for 500NOK per trip, per person.
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?
Yes, all bedding and a towel is provided
From: Mallaig, Scotland
To: Bergen, Norway
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.
You can travel by rail overnight on the Caledonian Sleeper from London Euston to Fort William. Once in Fort William you can take The Jacobite Steam Train or the electric train direct to Mallaig. Mallaig station is then only a 5-10 minute walk to the harbour pontoons.
Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport are best placed for access to Mallaig. From either of them take a train onto For William and then onto Mallaig which takes approximately 2-3hours. There are good links direct from the airport to the train and bus terminals for onward travel to Fort William.
Flights go direct to Aberdeen (ABZ) and London Heathrow (LHR) with Wideroe, and London Gatwick (LGW) with Norwegian Air from Bergen Airport (BGO).
Bergen Airport (BGO) is 25 minutes from Bergen on the FB50 bus operated by Fly Bussen which runs hourly. Alternatively a taxi is about 20 minutes.