Hebrides Cruises, Scotland’s leading operator of luxury wildlife small cruise experiences around the West Coast is delighted to announce the launch of a new addition to its itinerary, the ‘Magical Mini-Cruise’, set to embark in Spring 2024.
The new cruise has been created in line with the increasing demand for small, sustainable cruises, highlighted this year in Forbes magazine, which reported that travellers are now seeking less crowded and more intimate cruise settings.
Virtuoso, the leading global network of luxury travel advisors has also identified ‘Small Ships, Big Possibilities’ as a key travel trend for 2024, with cruisers favouring small-vessel cruising and private yacht charters as a more personalised, sustainable choice.
The new three-night cruise will transport guests to some of the Hebrides’ most captivating coastlines, along serene sea lochs offering idyllic anchorages and sheltered stopovers, dotted with castles and lighthouses. Dolphins, porpoises, eagles, otter and deer are regularly spotted.
Departing from Oban, there are many options for the itinerary including the nearby magnificent sea lochs of Loch Etive, Loch Linnhe and the isle of Kerrera.
Crossing the Firth of Lorne provides the opportunity of a visit to sheltered Loch Spelve on the coastline of Mull as well as cruising the Sound of Mull. A visit to Tobermory is always popular before heading for Loch Sunart in Ardnamurchan and overnighting in Loch na Droma Buidhe, famed for stunning westerly sunsets.
Each day there are options for shore visits – a walk, a beach barbecue or a swim in the sheltered lochs.
Lucy Mary’s on-board chef creates culinary delights, using local produce and occasionally scallops, specially hand dived from the yacht by the Hebrides Cruises owner, Rob Barlow.
Rob said: “Our cruises have traditionally ranged from 6 – 10 nights, however we’ve seen a real demand for shorter cruises which allow travellers to fit in the experiences we offer with other items on their Scotland ‘bucket list’. We’ve also seen a trend for much sunnier, calm weather in April over the last few years on the West Coast, so it’s an ideal time to sail.”
“Our focus is always on creating unique, unforgettable and sustainable experiences for our guests during their time on board, whether it’s a short cruise or a longer one. Spring also marks the return of nesting seabirds – Puffins, Razorbills and Guillemots and our experienced crew know exactly where to sail at specific times of the year to see the best examples of wildlife in their natural settings.
“We added Lucy Mary to our fleet in May 2023, bringing a new level of luxury and comfort for guests to experience while immersing themselves in the stunning land and seascapes of Scotland’s West Coast. As a result, the number of private charter enquiries has risen which reflects this growing trend for smaller, intimate cruising which is set to make waves in 2024.”