Sailing and exploring the Small Isles
- Vessel: Zuza
- Where: Oban, Scotland
- Duration: 7 days
- Embark: North Pier, Oban - 14 August 2021, 14:00
- Disembark: North Pier, Oban - 20 August 2021, 10:00
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Explore the beauty of Mull and the Small Isles on the west coast of Scotland under the sail, with plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities!
Join comfortable expedition yacht Zuza in the harbour town of Oban on the West coast of Scotland for a sailing holiday adventure exploring Mull and the Small Isles.
The Isle of Mull is known for some of the best wildlife watching opportunities in the Hebrides and has the perfect balance of remote anchorages and sleepy fishing villages. The Small Isles is an archipelago of geological wonder sitting North of Mull and consisting of Rum, Eigg, Canna and Muck. This sailing adventure in the Hebrides is great for those wanting to explore hard to reach but magnificent locations, while learning the ropes of a modern yacht in a safe environment. Zuza’s professional crew are on hand to give guests the perfect balance of good sailing with plenty of time to explore ashore.
- Skippered sailing
- Private cabins
- All-inclusive meals
- Wildlife watching
- Great for couples and solo travellers
- Exploration ashore
- Sail area & highlights
- Life on board
- Travel planning
- The boat
- What's included
- Boat schedule
Your Sailing Area
Mull & The Small Isles
The second largest island in the inner Hebrides, the Isle of Mull is renowned for its abundant wildlife. From dolphins to whales, to sea eagles and puffins on Lunga 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.
As long as the wind is favourable, set the sails from Oban through the sheltered Sound of Mull as you get to grips with life under sail. Perhaps anchor overnight in Tobermory before you set course towards the Small Isles.
Relax in sheltered anchorages and watch picturesque sunsets, and if we are blessed with dark skies, the stargazing from the deck is breathtaking. A typical day sees a few hours sailing before finding a tranquil anchorage where you can explore ashore. The itinerary is, of course, dependent on the wind and tides but our crew know all the hotspots off the beaten track and best places to anchor.
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.
Wonderful Wildlife Encounters
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.
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. The sound is magnificently overwhelming, with the call of seabird colonies, Puffins, Guillemots & Razorbills, echoing off the cliffs.
There are frequent encounters with Common, Bottlenose & Whitebeak dolphins on board these trips, and Risso & White-sided dolphins are also occasionally sighted. 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!
All voyages for Zuza
Guest berths: 8 Rig: Bermudan Cutter
Built in 1998, Zuza has had an interesting life on the water. 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 perfect 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 an experienced crew 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 which make her perfect for sailing holidays in Scotland. 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!
This vessel accommodates eight guests with versatile living room both on and below deck. Unusually for a vessel of this size, she has two lovely private double ensuite cabins, which are often popular with guests travelling as couples. There are also another two private twin-berth cabins with bunk-bed style accommodation that share a bathroom. Alternatively, an executive double cabin with ensuite and dressing room can be made by combining the twin cabins.
Zuza’s versatile accommodation makes her a great fit for all party sizes whether you are smaller group, couple, solo traveller or are looking for a private charter. 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 the chef. The saloon is adjacent to the well-equipped galley that serves as the chef’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.
Deck planMore about Zuza
Life on board
Exploring Scotland and the Hebrides with expedition vessel Zuza is perfect for couples and solo travellers looking to discover this hard to reach destination from the water. With so many islands to explore, travelling by boat certainly takes guests to places far away from the tourist hotspots.
Sailing with Zuza 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! She has a sloop rig with modern winches so is a great boat to learn the ropes on.
Sleeping, eating and relaxation
Along with the skipper and 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 after a day of sailing in the fresh sea air!
Zuza was originally built as an expedition vessel so her space below decks is well considered. She has two twin cabins (that can be turned into a XL double ensuite by request) and two double ensuite cabins. A generous saloon sits next to a compact galley while the navigation station and helm sit at deck level in a covered wheelhouse with 360degree windows – perfect for wildlife watching in comfort!
Wherever you sail 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 all inclusive food, private cabins and comfy social spaces, this is a sailing holiday adventure in the Hebrides not to be missed!
As with all Zuza’s sailing holidays, your ticket price includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and soft drinks. All cabins are available for single occupancy at a 50% surcharge. All cabins have bedding and towels provided.
- 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
- Offshore sailing jackets for use in emergencies. These are not permitted to be taken off the boat
What’s not included
- 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
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.
Is there an age limit?
8+ years but 8-18yrs please check with the office as it can vary from voyage to voyage.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Vegetarians only. Sorry - no fussy eaters! It's a small galley.
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.
Do I need to tip the crew?
Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!
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.
Are bedding and towels provided?
Yes - but please bring an extra swimming towel if you wish to go in the water.
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 ensuite bed cabins and 2 twin bunk cabins. The two twin bunk cabins can be turned into an extra large double ensuite cabin too.
How many toilets/showers does she have?
An ensuite with each double cabin and a shared bathroom for the twin cabins.
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?
Are there waterproofs available?
Yes, Zuza does have some aboard, but please bring your own if you can.
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.