|Thu 27-04-2023, 14:00Inverness, Scotland||Tue 02-05-2023, 10:00Oban, Scotland||Provident||5 Nights||PV270423|
A fantastic taster voyage, with a great mix of sedate cruising, stunning landscapes and proper sailing in sheltered waters. Sail the ‘Great Glen’, with 5 nights on board, ending up in Oban. The Inner Hebrides will be an easy journey away should you wish to extend your holiday.
For a short getaway this trip ticks a lot of ‘must see’ boxes, from Loch Ness and Ben Nevis, to ‘Neptune’s Staircase’, as well as the phenomenal Highland landscapes.
Anyone keen to try traditional sailing who would prefer sheltered water.
Those up for a fun and varied trip.
Sailors keen to complete this iconic passage.
Standard embarkation time for Provident is 2pm, so you may wish to arrive the evening before and stay in Inverness for a night, exploring the city’s old town and perhaps paying a visit to The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, which has fantastic collections spanning local and Highland history and culture.
Once on board you’ll enjoy a familiarisation from the crew before setting off through the Clachnaharry sea lock to start your inland waterway adventure.
Passage through the canal is a fantastic sailing holiday, especially for those who aren’t quite ready for a deep sea adventure. There are some sedate stretches along the narrow channels, but there are also plentiful opportunities for ‘proper sailing’, across stunning steep-sided Lochs with a stiff breeze.
This vital link between the North Sea and the West Coast doesn’t actually include all that much man made canal. Thomas Telford, the engineer behind the canal, recognised that the ‘Great Glen’ fault-line did most of the work already, and what was needed was to link up the Lochs Ness, Oich and Lochy with a few additional channels (the man made sections totalling only around a third of the total length).
One of the biggest challenges to shipping through the canal is the difference in altitude across its length, with some sections reaching 32 meters above sea level.
To combat this there are 29 locks along the Caledonian, including the famous ‘Neptune’s Staircase’, the longest chain of locks in Britain. 8 locks raise ships a total of 20m in under half a mile. This is a real sight to behold, and apart from the upgrade to hydraulic rather than manual capstans (speeding up the process considerably), the technology in use is pretty much the same as it was when it was first built in the 1820s.
With Ben Nevis behind you, the final stretch of this passage includes a sheltered sail down Loch Linnhe, past some of the small isles and into the bay behind Kerrera to reach Oban. These are some of the most spectacular landscapes yet, with the Isle of Mull stretching out in front opposite the dramatic mainland coast.
The unofficial capital of the West Highlands, Oban’s transport links make onward planning nice and straightforward.. There are good rail links and some of the most glorious landscapes to pass through en route home again. Standard disembarkation time for Provident is 10am, so following a hearty breakfast you can have time to explore ashore before making your onward journey.
Mostly flat water, with the possibility of some slightly stiffer conditions once you set out down Loch Linnhe towards Oban on the last day of your trip. The wind can be quite strong along the canal, especially in the more open natural sections and, as its Scotland, you should expect a bit of rain!
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.
The exact location for joining your vessel isn’t likely to be known until closer to the time, make sure you have a copy of the ship’s phone number to find them on the day.
For joining your vessel in Oban, the North Pier in the map shown below will be the best place to meet the crew. Your vessel will either be tied up alongside the wall, or out at anchor. Make sure you take a note of the ship’s number found in your confirmation in case of any problems on the day.
N.B. BOATS HAVE LIMITED STORAGE SPACE SO PLEASE LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONE SOFT BAG OR RUCKSACK (NOT SUITCASES)
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