|Thu 15-06-2023, 10:00Mallaig, Scotland||Thu 22-06-2023, 12:00Mallaig, Scotland||Leader||7 Nights||LD150623|
St Kilda is an archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, and while the last islanders left almost 100 years ago, it is currently home to nearly 1 million seabirds – including the UK’s largest colony of Atlantic puffins. One of very few places in the world to be recognised internationally for both its natural and cultural qualities as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Anyone keen to see how people lived in the old days, they weren’t all good. Watch the Gannets as they circle their huge colonies and dive into the cold green sea.
If you are looking for remoteness then you can’t get any further away from the mainland if you tried.
|Vessel type / Rig||Gaff Ketch|
Joining the ship in the thriving port of Mallaig, if you’re able to, we recommend arriving early and making the most of the chance to explore this beautiful fishing town! Maybe jumping aboard the Jacobite team train which operates in the summer months between Mallaig and Fort William.
An you embark on your voyage, keep your eyes peeled – a pod of Orca are often spotted off Mallaig and the entrance to Loch Nevis – no doubt using the Scottish fishing fleet to help round up their supper!
Your destination, St Kilda, is an extraordinary island and inhabited until 29th August 1930 when the 36 islanders were evacuated to the mainland.
Any sailing voyage aiming to reach St Kilda will have to reach the Outer Hebrides first, so you have an island chain of staggering wild beauty to explore en route. These sailing voyages are adventurous expeditions leading to uninhabited islands, sparsely inhabited islands, tiny fishing villages, deep lochs and rugged cliffs that will be appealing to nature lovers and sailors alike.
St Kilda is a wonderful archipelago of islands and one of Scotland’s remotest treasures. Clues to the St Kilda way of life still remain, carefully maintained by the National Trust for Scotland. There is a huge gannet colony and even more puffins. In midsummer it barely gets dark in June and given clear skies and a soft breeze a night time sail to St Kilda is utterly magical.
St Kilda is remote, you can feel the sense of isolation the past inhabitants lived with all their lives. Originally settled by humans between four and five thousand years ago, St Kilda’s distance from the rest of the Outer Hebrides allowed for the development of a unique style of self-sufficient island life, that remained much preserved until the archipelago’s eventual abandonment in 1930.
Tens of thousands of birds were caught every year, especially Auks, Northern Fulmars and Northern Gannets. For food they would make dangerous climbing expeditions to catch the birds and their eggs on the incredibly steep cliffs; especially on the island sea stacks of Boreray, Stack and Stack Armin.
One hundred and eighty people lived on the islands towards the end of the 17th century but they only had 16ft boats as transport. There was not enough timber to build their own larger craft so these tiny boats regularly crossed to the Outer Hebrides and on to the mainland – a passage of the eighty miles in an open boat. You won’t have to worry about that though, aboard the beautifully restored Brixham Trawler, Leader!
Leader is an 1892 Brixham Trawler, one of the oldest National Historic Ships still operating in the UK. The crew on Leader are passionate about teaching and sharing their love for maritime heritage with anyone who joins them on board. You can expect to learn a lot, while enjoying fantastic sailing in great company.
Having had a long career sailing on the South Coast of England, and with a huge following of fans who’ve previously sailed aboard, it’s lovely to see Leader settling in to her new home to continue this brilliant work.
Mostly flat seas between the islands with some more exposed stretches. Expect a real mixture of conditions, as things can change quickly, but the crew are incredibly knowledgeable and familiar with all the sheltered anchorages and hiding places around the islands. The itinerary is kept loose to make the most of the conditions at the time, and the focus is on enjoyment, rather than ticking off any particular destinations.
Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.
We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.
Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01326 53 1234 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.
Mallaig: A Captivating Coastal Retreat
Nestled on the picturesque shores of the West Highlands in Scotland, Mallaig is a charming coastal village that offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, Mallaig is an idyllic destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
As you arrive in Mallaig, you’ll be greeted by stunning vistas of rugged mountains, pristine beaches, and sparkling azure waters. The village itself is a quaint and welcoming place, known for its colourful fishing boats and charming harbour. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, soak in the tranquil atmosphere, and savour the freshest seafood delights at one of the local eateries.
Explore the surrounding area and discover the natural wonders that Mallaig has to offer. Hike through the majestic Glenfinnan Viaduct, famous for its appearance in the Harry Potter films, or embark on a boat trip to the remote and breathtakingly beautiful Knoydart Peninsula. Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled to spot seals, dolphins, and a variety of seabirds on their excursions.
Getting to Mallaig is a breeze, with various transportation options available. From Scotland, you can travel by train on the scenic West Highland Line, which connects Mallaig to Glasgow and Fort William. The train journey itself is a treat, offering spectacular views of mountains, lochs, and glens along the way. You can also have some fun on the Hogwarts Express from Fort William to Mallaig, properly known as the Jacobite Steam train.
If you’re coming from southern England, you can reach Mallaig by car via the A82 and A830 roads. The drive takes you through some of Scotland’s most stunning landscapes, including the majestic Loch Lomond and the awe-inspiring Glen Coe.
For those preferring to fly, the nearest airports to Mallaig are Inverness Airport and Glasgow Airport. From there, you can hire a car or take a train to complete your journey to Mallaig.
By selecting sustainable travel options and actively participating in carbon offset initiatives, you can make a positive impact while journeying to your voyage, where an unforgettable adventure awaits you. So pack your bags, get ready to travel and join your adventure in Mallaig.
N.B. BOATS HAVE LIMITED STORAGE SPACE SO PLEASE LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONE SOFT BAG OR RUCKSACK. Please don't use a rigid suitcase or a bag with a rigid frame. Soft bags are much easier to fold up and stow.
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