|Sun 25-06-2023, 14:00Oban, Scotland||Sat 01-07-2023, 10:00Mallaig, Scotland||Provident||6 Nights||PV250623|
Sailing up the sound of Mull, visiting islands along the way (if conditions allow then a stopover in Canna can often lead to a lobster supper…). The Inner Hebrides, from Mull to Southern Skye and then into Loch Nevis offer endless opportunities for exploration. You could do this voyage a dozen times and still find new and interesting sailing grounds, anchorages and highlights ashore.
Explorers who enjoy hard-to-reach and little-known places
Birdwatchers and wildlife 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!
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. Step ashore on the shores of Colonsay or visit the Whisky distilleries of Jura or Islay. You might visit the abbey at Iona or take the dinghy ashore at Fingals Cave on Staffa.
To reach your destination of Mallaig on Loch Nevis you must also navigate Skye, the largest and furthest North of the Inner Hebrides. Skye is a popular destination for hikers, historians and wildlife lovers alike. Famous for its stunning scenery and 12 munros (peaks above 3000 ft), the island offers fantastic walking, and the chance to spot otters, seals, whales, dolphins, red deer, sea eagles and more.
Sailing to and around Skye allows you to experience the wild beauty of the island, straying off the tourist trail and finding seclusion in hard to reach places.
Skye’s history is there for all to see, stretching back to ancient times. From the dinosaur footprints on the shore at Staffin, to Pictish round towers built over 2000 years ago, and the 12th century clan stronghold of Dunvegan Castle (the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland).
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 to the chiefs of Clans MacLeod and MacDonald. 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.
Before arriving into Mallaig there may be chance to stop off on the Knoydart peninsula, one of Scotland’s great wildernesses, perhaps with a celebratory pint at the Old Forge in Inverie, the most remote pub in Britain.
Mallaig itself , at the terminus of the West Highland railway, is known as the ‘Road to the Isles’ for its fantastic positioning. The views here are stunning, across Loch Nevis to Knoydart. Standard disembarkation time for Provident is 10am, so following a hearty breakfast you can have time to explore ashore before making your onward journey.
We’d recommend making the most of the chance to explore this beautiful fishing town, maybe jumping aboard the Jacobite steam train which operates in the summer months between Mallaig and Fort William.
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.
Mallaig is easy to get to by train. (Many fans of Harry Potter may be on the train!) It is a very scenic train line and the viaduct featured in the Harry Potter series, Glenfinnan Viaduct, is in fact the first mass concrete bridge constructed in the UK by Robert McAlpine & Sons and opened in 1901.
N.B. BOATS HAVE LIMITED STORAGE SPACE SO PLEASE LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONE SOFT BAG OR RUCKSACK (NOT SUITCASES)
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