Wildlife watching in Skye & the Small Isles
- Vessel: Fleur de Lys
- Where: Mallaig, Scotland
- Duration: 6 days
- Embark: Mallaig - 23 April 2022, 14:00
- Disembark: Mallaig - 28 April 2022, 10:00
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Exploring the Isle of Skye and the surrounding islands on a small ship cruise with Fleur de Lys.
Join Fleur de Lys in the Scottish port of Mallaig for five nights wildlife watching and exploring on the West coast of Scotland. This small ship cruise in the Hebrides is the perfect way to venture out to sea and explore the Isle of Skye and the Small Isles.
Skye and the Small Isles provide the perfect opportunity for coastal exploration away from tourist crowds with wonderful wildlife watching both onshore and from the water. The famous Cuillin mountain range provides a breathtaking backdrop to Skye as you approach from the water. The Small Isles are in-fact not entirely true to their name and are made up of four main islands; Rum, Eigg, Canna and Muck. Each island very much has its own unique personality all with a multitude of remote anchorages and opportunities to explore the shorelines or venture into the hills for more breathtaking viewpoints.
- Fully crewed, all-inclusive
- Remote anchorages
- Wildlife watching
- Focus to exploration ashore
- Whole boat charter available
YOUR SAILING AREA
Cruising the West coast of Scotland
Once you’ve boarded and met your fellow guests and crew, Fleur de Lys will depart Mallaig and will head out into the magnificent Hebrides. Although she is less limited by the weather than some of our sailing vessels, guest experience is still at the forefront of Fleur de Lys’ offering. with that in mind, it is likely your first stop will be the Isle of Rum. As long as the weather permits, it’s likely that we will anchor in the picturesque sheltered waters of Loch Scresort and you can enjoy first delicious meal aboard. 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.
The next few days will see a combination of hearty breakfasts, followed by some short water crossings, onshore exploration and wildlife watching. Discover the island of Canna where you anchor up and explore ashore with the resident puffin colony. These birds are fascinating to watch and it’s amazing how close you can get without alarming them.
As you motor underway to your next destination, keep your binoculars close and your eyes peeled. Skipper Iain is well versed with a beady eye to spot marine life on the horizon and you’ll often hear him shouting to guests excitedly from the bridge to come and share his wildlife spots!
Skye & her surrounding coasts
Wildlife watching and cruising around the coasts of Skye boasts a plethora of anchorages and remote mooring buoys. Explore the dramatic Loch Scavaig and walk through Loch Coruisk on Skye and eat dinner against the stunning backdrop of the Cuillin Mountains. It has a large resident colony of Harbour seals and you may well spot red deer, Golden and White Tailed eagles and Otters are frequent visitors to the riverbanks and shores here.
There are frequent encounters with Common, Bottlenose & Whitebeak dolphins onboard these trips, and Risso & White-sided 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!
LIFE ON BOARD
Cruising the Hebrides with Fleur de Lys is certainly a relaxing and comfortable experience. The Skipper and the onboard chef pride themselves on their local knowledge of the area and the food served aboard. Using as much local and fresh produce as they can, think hearty breakfasts, perhaps packed lunches for walks ashore and delicious fresh-cooked dinner’s aboard.
Fleur de Lys has been re-fitted to a very high standard with full-size beds giving guests a spacious double ensuite cabin (which can be turned into a 4-berth family cabin) and two twin cabins sharing a bathroom. The generous saloon provides the perfect communal relaxation space with a bench sofa, armchairs and even sky TV! On deck she has an elevated deck for those inspiring panoramas of the Hebrides.
Read more about what to expect from a typical day on the water with Fleur de Lys and what to expect from life onboard.
MEET YOUR SKIPPER
Fleur de Lys is skippered by Scottish chap Iain who has lived in the Hebrides all his life. Having spent many years skippering dive boats in the area, he knows these cruising grounds well – where’s best for wildlife watching, sheltered anchorages should the weather take a turn and the best views! Living in Mull with his fiance, being on the water is close to his heart and his passion for its history and wildlife is clear for guests to see.
He’ll be first to pop the kettle on or hail guests to the bridge to keep a look out for marine life. along with his chef Stefan, you’ll certainly be well fed and looked after!
All Fleur de Lys’ voyage are all inclusive. All food and drinks (both soft and alcoholic) are included in your ticket price. All bedding, a flannel, hand-towel, bath towel and robe per guest are also included in the ticket price.
All voyages for Fleur de Lys
Fleur de Lys
Guest berths: 8 Rig: Motorboat
Fleur de Lys is a modern, comfortable and well considered motor-cruiser perfect for exploring the west coast of Scotland by water. She provides the perfect base for Hebridean wildlife watching and onshore exploration. With a list of remote anchorages and moorings in their knowledge, the crew know all the best spots to take guests. From local Sea Eagle nests, seal colonies and Puffin watching on Canna, Iain the skipper has lived in the Hebrides all his life so has a vast knowledge of exploring Skye and the Small Isles.
Her size and shape makes her a really comfortable boat to motor through the water while giving generous spaces for guests to relax aboard. Her spacious saloon and separate galley sit at deck level while downstairs offers one double ensuite cabin (this can also be made into a 4-berth family cabin), two twin cabins and separate crew accommodation. No expense has been spared on Fleur de Lys with all her beds being full-size, pocket sprung mattress’!
Cruising the Hebrides with Fleur de Lys is certainly one of comfort and style. With a recent re-fit and a dedicated onboard chef, you’ll be well looked after. Read more here about what to expect to while onboard.
Hebridean cruise holidays on Fleur de Lys are the best way to exploring the West coast of Scotland. Perfect for couples or families looking for private charters.
What COVID policies are in place for sailing with Fleur de Lys?
Fleur de Lys is still running a Test & Sail Policy for the 2022 sailing season whether guests are vaccinated or not. Please refer to our COVID page for more information.
Are all meals included?
Yes - all meals and drinks are included in the price (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Hot Drinks, Alcohol)
Are there any added extra's?
No, unless you go ashore. Excursions are not included.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Yes, please ask at the time of booking.
What language is spoken onboard?
Do I need to tip the crew?
Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!
What are the sleeping arrangements?
2x twin cabins, 1x master double ensuite cabin
How many toilet/showers does she have?
2 for guests.
Are bedding and towels provided?
Yes but please bring an extra towel if you wish to swim in the sea.
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.
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.
Mallaig offers limited long stay parking in a car park to the left on the Train Station as you drive into Mallaig. Alternatively try another long stay spot at 24 East Bay, Mallaig.
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.
STAY IN MALLAIG:
There are plenty of places to stay in Mallaig. Try Chlachain Inn, Seaview Guesthouse or West Highland Hotel.