|Wed 21-05-2025, 14:00Oban, Scotland
|Thu 29-05-2025, 10:00Oban, Scotland
By the end of May the Inner Hebrides are alive with seabirds regrouping after a winter at sea. While including all the usual delights of Provident’s Hebridean cruising, this trip also focuses on bird watching. Canna for the puffins and guillemots, Rum for the manx shearwaters, Treshnish for fulmars, storm petrels and razorbills. Great skua flypasts and the chance of a sea eagle….oh, and some fantastic sailing to boot.
Seabird and scenery lovers
Anyone keen for some traditional sailing in relatively sheltered waters
The unofficial capital of the West Highlands, Oban’s transport links make travel planning nice and straightforward, and there are some glorious landscapes to travel through en route to join the ship. We’d recommend arriving early to explore the town, perhaps visiting McCaig’s Folly with its stunning views across the bay, or nip into the distillery for a bottle to share with your fellow sailors.
Once on board you’ll enjoy a familiarisation from the crew before setting sail. It is only a few miles of open water before you are sailing in the Sound of Mull which has high mountains on either side and mostly flat water.
There are some stunning anchorages on the Atlantic side if conditions allow. Look out for otters and sea eagles, the perfect way to wrap up your first day on board!
By the end of May the seabirds have arrived and the islands are alive with birds getting back together after their winter at sea. This trip will visit the seabird colonies and so there will be plenty of time ashore.
We will aim for Canna and the puffins and guillemots; the manx shearwater colony on Rum. The main Treshnish island is a bird reserve with fulmar, manx shearwater, storm petrel, puffin, guillemot and razorbills all breeding on the island. Great Skua are relatively commonly seen and gannets fly past the boat – although their breeding grounds are further north.
Sea eagle nests are a closely guarded secret but we have a few friends in the know!
The whole of the Inner Hebrides will be your playground for this voyage, and the possibilities are endless.
Beautiful unspoilt beaches, abundant wildlife and wild landscapes greet you. Great anchorages and beautiful sailing grounds through the Sound of Mull and up the coastline towards Ardnamurchan point. You might visit the abbey at Iona or take the dinghy ashore at Fingals Cave on Staffa.
There are lovely walks ashore to be had, such as the hill on Eigg with its beautiful views, and the Treshnish Islands are a paradise for birdwatchers (as is the huge puffin colony on Canna). Coll and Rum are also possible islands to explore ashore.
The history of these islands is there for all to see too, stretching back to ancient times. From the dinosaur footprints on the shoreline, to Pictish round towers built over 2000 years ago.
Sailing voyages will always include opportunities to explore ashore and discover this history for yourself. As a means of visiting these islands, traditional sailing has the added advantage of complete immersion in the landscape, often out of site of human influence. This landscape was the same that was gazed upon by everyone from the Picts and forcibly cleared peasants right up to the clan chiefs. Waking up to the rugged coastline each morning, you feel a newfound respect and kinship with the people who’ve been surviving up here for thousands of years.
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.
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.
Oban: Gateway to the Highlands and Isles
Situated on the west coast of Scotland, Oban is a vibrant seaside town known as the “Gateway to the Highlands and Isles.” With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and renowned seafood, Oban offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage that attracts visitors from all over the world.
As you arrive in Oban, you’ll be greeted by the town’s iconic landmark, McCaig’s Tower, perched on a hilltop and offering panoramic views of the surrounding islands and mountains. Explore the charming streets lined with colourful buildings, browse the local shops for unique crafts and souvenirs, and indulge in the freshest seafood at one of the many excellent restaurants.
Oban is the perfect base for exploring the breathtaking Scottish Highlands. Take a scenic drive along the stunning coastal roads, visit the historic castles such as Dunollie Castle and Dunstaffnage Castle, or embark on a hiking adventure in Glen Coe, one of Scotland’s most dramatic and awe-inspiring glens.
Getting to Oban is convenient, with various transportation options available. From Scotland, you can travel by train on the West Highland Line, which offers a picturesque journey from Glasgow to Oban. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning views of lochs, mountains, and charming villages along the way.
If you’re coming from southern England, you can reach Oban by car via the A82 and A85 roads. The drive takes you through breathtaking landscapes, including the enchanting Loch Lomond and the majestic Rannoch Moor.
For those preferring to fly, the nearest airports to Oban are Glasgow Airport and Edinburgh Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a train to complete your journey to Oban.
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.
N.B. BOATS HAVE LIMITED STORAGE SPACE SO PLEASE LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONE SOFT BAG OR RUCKSACK (NOT SUITCASES)
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