12th April 2016 - Castles and Gardens of the North
Cruise to several different lochs and sounds, iconic castles, wonderful gardens, dramatic landscapes and abundant wildlife; a cruise with something for everyone.
From our overnight anchorage off Java Point we cruised into our home port of Oban where disembarkation took place.
The final day of our cruise was spent on the Isle of Mull. Guests explored the colourful capital of Tobermory on foot with a chance to indulge in some last minute souvenir shopping.
The cruise concluded with a tour of Duart Castle and a champagne reception hosted by Sir Lachlan MacLean, Chieftain of Clan MacLean.
From Kyle guests travelled by coach to Armadale for a visit to Armadale Castle and the Clan Donald Centre to learn the history of this once powerful clan.
In the afternoon we sailed to Loch Scresort on the isle of Rum for a visit to Kinloch Castle, the eccentric Edwardian folly built by Lancastrian industrialist George Bullough as his country retreat.
The ship anchored in Tobermory Bay overnight.
From Gairloch we spent the morning exploring the world renowned Inverewe Garden, situated on the same latitude as Hudson Bay in Canada.
During lunch we cruised south to Loch Torridon and went ashore at the remote mainland village of Shieldaig.
We continued on a southerly course to Kyle of Lochalsh where local entertainers were welcomed on board after diiner.
Today was spent exploring the Isle of Skye. A morning visit to Dunvegan Castle and Gardens was enjoyed.
In the afternoon we took a tour of the Trotternish Peninsula which included the Black Houses at the Museum of Island Life, Flora MacDonald's grave at Kilmuir and Portree.
When all guests were safely back on board we cruised north to our overnight anchorage in Gairloch.
From our berth alongside in Oban guests spent the morning visiting Dunstaffnage Castle. Built before 1275 on a huge rock overlooking the Firth of Lorn, Dunstaffnage was the mighty stronghold of the MacDougalls. The castle, with its huge curtain wall, was captured by Robert the Bruce in 1309 and remained in royal possession for some years. Dunstaffnage became the temporary prison of Flora MacDonald in 1746.
Before returning to the ship we visited the Ocean Explorer Centre to discover how the marine world works.
During the afternoon guests enjoyed afternoon tea on board as we sailed towards our overnight anchorage in Loch Brittle on the southwest coast of Skye.
Arriving at our overnight anchorage in Loch Brittle there were wistful views of the Uists as the sun set.
Embarkation took place in Oban and guests were welcomed aboard by Captain Trevor Bailey and Chief Purser Dave Indge.