Scotland Slowly Cruise

11 Days from
$6,395 USD
Europe
Ship Tour
Highlights

Highlights

  • Appreciate Scotland's picturesque shorelines and fascinating maritime heritage
  • Wander among monuments at the heart of the Neolithic Ornkey UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Marvel at the largest collection of prehistoric megalithic structures in western Europe
  • Experience island life on Foula in the Shetlands
  • View the largest seabird colony in the United Kingdom at the cliffs of St. Kilda
  • Purchase world-famous Harris Tweed, hand woven from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides
Map

Map

Map for Scotland Slowly Cruise

Tour Overview

In the isles of Scotland, the past is present. Music, dancing, and stories. Rugged ruins. Ancient villages. Soaring seabirds. Visit mystical, coastal Scotland by ship!

Scotland, like good whisky, is best savoured slowly. Nature and culture thrive on the isles. Hear music and stories. Revel in wildlife. Absorb the scenery. Immerse yourself in history.

Explore in comfort aboard the Ocean Endeavour. Visit historic Glasgow, the Western Isles, Pentland Firth, Orkney, the Shetland islands, and Aberdeen. Learn from Scottish experts as we go.

Scotland is spectacular in springtime. June is breeding season for birds. Search for whales on a Zodiac outing. Meet the locals and get a glimpse of island life. Raise a dram at world-famous distilleries. Wander among Neolithic ruins. Explore sea caves and bird cliffs. Savour Scotland—slowly.

Itinerary

DAY 1: GLASGOW/GREENOCK, SCOTLAND (Note: June 4-14, 2023 tour runs in reverse, begins in Aberdeen and ends in Glasgow)

After meeting in Glasgow we’ll depart via coach, and travel onward to Greenock. Greenock has a rich maritime history and was a major shipbuilding and import centre. Here, we'll board the Ocean Endeavour, our home for the next ten nights.

The Queen of the Hebrides, Islay is the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides, known for its fine whisky and as a haven for seabirds.

We will visit Loch Finlaggan historic site, home of the Lords of the Isles and Clan Donald, and visit Gruinart Nature Reserve, a habitat for barnacle goose, hen harriers, and corncrakes.

The Isle of Staffa is famed for basaltic formations and numerous caves, the best known being Fingal’s Cave. Originally known in Gaelic as “the melodious cave,” it provided the inspiration for Mendelssohn’s overture, The Hebrides.

We then visit nearby Iona, where St. Columba established his monastery—the burial place of kings. The restored Iona Abbey complex preserves two outstanding eighth century crosses and a splendid collection of sculpture.

This is a fabulous day for birders, photographers, and hikers. We will cruise the southwestern shore of Skye to visit Loch Coruisk, a freshwater loch accessed through Loch Scavaig. Here we find one of the finest mountainscapes in Britain, backed by the Cuillin Mountains.

The Outer Hebrides are a fantastic collection of over 100 islands seventy kilometers off Scotland’s west coast. Here we find the oldest evidence of human habitation in Scotland with Pictish, Norse, and Scottish influence. We’ll search out the rich marine and bird life of the islands as conditions permit.

The archipelago known as St. Kilda was inhabited until 1930. Today, St. Kilda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, protecting fascinating ruins as well as natural heritage features.

Seabirds thrive on the island of Hirta, which is also home to feral sheep left by the departing islanders. Enormous cliffs offer dramatic ocean views for our hikers!

Lewis is the largest of the Hebridean Islands and a Gaelic stronghold. We’ll visit the island’s capital, Stornoway, where one can purchase the Island’s famous tweed, as well as one of Britain’s most important Stone Age sites. Callanish’s standing stones are said to be giants who were punished by St. Kieran for refusing to convert to Christianity.

Kirkwall is dominated by the massive St. Magnus Cathedral, dating from 1137. We’ll visit the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where we’ll find the 4,000-year old Ring of Brodgar and The Hall of Clestrain, the childhood home of Arctic explorer John Rae.

Marine and bird life flourish at Papa Stour among cliffs, caves, sea stacks, and blowholes. We will have a morning Zodiac cruise exploring the coastline’s rugged beauty!

Twenty-three kilometres west of the Shetland Islands, Foula is the most remote inhabited island in the UK. Here, a few dozen folk make their homes, many preserving traditional methods of agriculture and subsistence. Arctic terns, red-throated divers, and great skuas may be found here.

Once a Viking hub, Fair Isle is now an idyllic island colony of artists and shepherds. The island boasts 350 bird species, including puffins and great skuas in substantial numbers. The local museum is dedicated to preserving island heritage.

The Ocean Endeavour arrives in Aberdeen in the morning.

Departures

What's Included

Tour Includes

  • Passage aboard the Ocean Endeavour
  • Applicable taxes and credit card fees
  • Complimentary expedition jacket
  • Contribution to Adventure Canada’s Discovery Fund
  • Special access permits, entry, and park fees
  • Expert expedition team
  • Guided activities
  • Sightseeing and community visits
  • All Zodiac excursions
  • Port fees
  • Pre-departure materials
  • Educational program
  • Nikon Camera Trial Program
  • Interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment
  • All shipboard meals

Tour Does Not Include

  • Commercial and charter flights
  • Fuel surcharge of $53 USD per person per day
  • Program enhancements/optional excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Pre- and post-trip hotel accommodation

What to Expect

Our small ship Scotland Slowly cruise program allows you to experience the best of the natural world, while enjoying the comforts of our friendly floating hotel. The ship generally makes crossing between islands at night, so every morning you awake to new vistas and discoveries. Every day we offer a combination of interesting shore excursions and fun shipboard activities. You can choose which elements of the program you want to participate in.

Our excursions onshore will involve a relatively low level of exertion, but you will need a reasonable level of mobility to get up and down the gangway and climb into and out of Zodiacs (with assistance). Some of our shore landings will be 'wet', requiring waterproof boots. Once you have left the zodiac, you'll find our shore excursions accommodate both those who wish to enjoy a gentle stroll and those who prefer more active hikes. Our onboard specialists will join us on these shore excursions to provide interpretation and narration to these wonderful landscapes and experiences.

Each evening we will gather in the lounge to recount the day’s events and share memorable stories. Our onboard musician will provide some lively entertainment during happy hour and the expedition leader will outline the following day’s schedule. Our resource staff of naturalists, historians, and other guest speakers will give informative talks at various times throughout the voyage.

Meals in the ship's dining room are a great opportunity to meet new friends and recount the day's adventures. Special diets can be accommodated with advance notice. Safety is also a top priority with Eagle-Eye Tours – our team has extensive experience in the field, and all of our Voyages are run in conjunction with operators with the highest safety standards.

When the ship is underway, it is a wonderful time to join a naturalist on deck, take photos of the stunning scenery, or get caught up on some reading in the library.

We know that everyone travels for different reasons. Over the years, however, we have found one common element among the guest who choose to travel with us - a thirst of knowledge and authentic experience. Knowing this drives us to ensure the highest quality learning experience on our trips, by taking time to carefully design each trip we offer.

Ship & Deck Plan

Ocean Endeavour

Ocean Endeavour

Sailing with a maximum of 198-passengers, Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for expedition cruising. Outfitted with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment, multiple lounges and a top deck observation room, she is purpose-built for passenger experiences in remote environments. The Ocean Endeavour boasts a 1B ice class, enabling her to freely explore throughout the Arctic summer.

Launched in 1982, she has had numerous upgrades, most recently in 2010 and 2014. At 137 meters (450ft) in length, Ocean Endeavour has plenty of interior and exterior space. Enjoy multiple decks offering comfortable lounge chairs, outdoor dining, a swimming pool, sauna and even a hot tub! The spacious interiors allow for multiple workshops and presentations to occur simultaneously. Community is at the heart of Adventure Canada’s expedition experience. We gather together to learn, enjoy a drink, sing a song or share a yarn – connecting with one and other. The three lounges aboard Ocean Endeavour are fantastic public spaces for seminars, events and dialogue.

The Ocean Endeavour’s private spaces are stylish and comfortable. All cabins have private washroom facilities, a phone for internal calls, radio, TV and air-conditioning.

Ocean Endeavour’s crew is experienced, and friendly. Her shallow draft and maneuverability allow her to access isolated fiords, bays and secluded communities. The stylish vessel is at home among the glorious settings we seek. Enjoy the class and comfort of a boutique hotel, while venturing to some of the world’s last great frontiers aboard the Ocean Endeavour!

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