Sailing the Hebrides exploring Jura & Colonsay
- Vessel: Zuza
- Where: Scotland
- Duration: 7 days
- Embark: Oban - 5 July 2021, 14:00
- Disembark: Oban - 11 July 2021, 10:00
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The Inner Hebrides are rich in history, wildlife and unique coastlines. Zuza’s crew will take you to the best parts, sharing their knowledge with you.
Joining Zuza in Oban, Scotland, you will set sail that afternoon, ready to anchor for your first meal aboard that evening. The main focus of this trip will be the Islands of Jura & Colonsay; each with their own unique, fascinating personality and dramatic landscapes.
The Gulf of Corryvreckan joins these two beautiful islands and is home to the worlds third-largest whirlpool, Scarba. Don’t worry though, we will steer clear by boat and instead you can witness this natural wonder on foot from the cliff on the coast of Jura! Jura, once the hideout for George Orwell to complete his famous 1984, has only 200 inhabitants, massively outnumbered by its wild deer population which has been counted at approximately 5000!
The Isle of Colonsay is one of the smallest inhabited Hebridean islands and is known for its tranquillity and unspoilt natural beauty. Kiloran Bay is the most famous of many sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. From otters to seals to wild goats and a plethora of wild plants; Colonsay is rich in wild and unspoilt nature.
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.
Over half of the islands that comprise the Inner Hebrides are uninhabited, giving way for a diverse ecosystem of flora and fauna, taking over several of the islands. Many of these islands are home to fascinating ruins and have evidence of diverse clans and communities who once inhabited these remote lands – much of this is viewed easily from the sea, however, once Zuza is anchored you will be free to explore the islands and their history on foot.
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!
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 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!
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!
As with all Zuza’s sailing holidays, your ticket price includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks and Soft Drinks. There are two twin cabins with a shared bathroom and two double cabins with ensuites. All cabins are available for single occupancy at a 50% surcharge. All cabins have bedding and towels provided.
Simply click “Enquire Now” to reserve your berth for five days whilst you sort your travel plans. No booking form or deposit is required until you are ready to book!
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
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.
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.
For long stay secure parking, you can pre brook with Stoddarts of Oban. Ring Sally on 01631 564176 or try MacQueen Bros 01631 564848 for about £40/week. The other option is to take your chance in an unmetered residential area – but Oban is a busy little town so this is not guaranteed!
Oban station is right in the town centre and is about a 10-minute walk to Oban North Pier where Zuza will be located. Trains run 6 times a day from Glasgow Queen Street station (only twice on Sundays) and run along the famous West Highland line. For times and prices visit the First Scotrail site. Glasgow main train stations can be reached from all UK mainline trains.
Although Glasgow Airport is marginally closer, Edinburgh Airport isn’t much further. Both take between 3 & 4 hours by train to Oban, and flights go direct from Stanstead. There are good links from the airport to the train and bus terminals for onward travel to Oban.