Saturday 15th to Monday 24th June 2024

Take a stunning summer cruise around the beautiful outposts of Orkney and Shetland. Enjoy days filled with wonderful guided walks and an abundance of alternative visits for those who prefer a more relaxed pace, all combined with the elegant ambience of Hebridean Princess.

Saturday 15th June

Once embarkation had been completed and the mandatory safety drill had taken place, we set sail for our overnight anchorage in Inverness Firth.

Sunday 16th June

A morning spent at sea relaxing as Princess sailed from Inverness to Wick. Walkers then enjoyed a coach transfer to John O’Groats for a coastal walk out to Duncansbury Head… a window in the cloud affording spectacular views of the sea stacks… well worth the walk! A return coach and tender transfer at Wick in time for dramatic skies and our Welcome Gala dinner.

The strollers visited the Wick Museum and explored the town.

We remained at anchor in Wick overnight.

Monday 17th June

We arrived safely in Stromness on Mainland Orkney this morning, with walkers taking the coach on arrival to Yesnaby for a full day walk, via the stone circles of Rings of Brodgar and Stenness.  We were treated to stunning views of sea stacks and pillars, rolling green slopes, wildflowers, majestic cliffs, and bird life… followed by farm land and more dramatic skies as we finished our walk back down the picturesque streets of Stromness.

The strollers embarked on a morning tour including the Italian Chapel and the Churchill Barriers, with free time in the afternoon to explore Kirkwall and visit St Magnus Cathedral.

Our day was completed with wonderful Ceildh music and dancing on board from local family group Kirkjuvagr – such a talented group, and such a fun evening!

We remained alongside Stromness overnight.

Tuesday 18th June

After our pilot disembarked, a relaxing day at sea as we sailed from Orkney to Shetland, with views of Fair Isle and the 180 metre high cliffs of Noss en route…. Sea birds circling around us, and a lunchtime seafood buffet to enjoy!

We anchored overnight off Fetlar.

Wednesday 19th June

An additional visit on the itinerary today – to remote and beautiful Fetlar Island in Shetland. Walkers and strollers alike enjoyed exploring the island, on foot or courtesy of local car drivers who offered shuttles around the island. Pigs & ponies were fed, the Kirk visited, the local café frequented, the beach was enjoyed – with even a brief (cold!) paddle for some!

We remained at anchor off Fetlar overnight.

Thursday 20th June

A full day ashore for the Walkers on Unst ….  Having headed north by coach we walked through the Hermaness Nature Reserve to the furthest point of Inhabited Shetland… colonies of sea birds, views and Muckle Flugga Lighthouse finally in sight! A number of sightings of Great skuas, or ‘Bonxies’ as locally known, and our first puffins on land of the week (‘Tammie Norries’). Back to the Princess… Midsummer evening light lasting until nearly midnight at our furthest northern point of the voyage.

The strollers enjoyed a tour up Saxavord Hill for Hermaness and Burrafirth.

In the afternoon, the strollers visited the Boat Haven and the Heritage Centre.

We anchored peacefully overnight.

Friday 21st June

Arriving at Lerwick, Footloose Walkers took a coach south to Sumburgh Head, with a brief glance at some of the ruins at Jarlshof as we arrived. An overcast start cleared to give spectacular cliff and lighthouse views – abundant bird life: Oyster Catchers, Fulmers, Gannets, Plovers, Razorbills, … and much to everyone’s delight, puffins galore! We completed our circular walk past the airstrip and back to our awaiting coach, returning for Friday Hebridean Fish and Chips on board. The afternoon offered free time, a chance for a longer visit to Jarlshof, or a local walk from Lerwick out to Clickimin Broch via the coastal path. Making the most of Midsummer day, Shetland even offered our first glimmer of a promising sunset.

Strollers visited the Shetland Museum and Archives in the morning and Jarlshof in the afternoon.

We anchored in Hoswick overnight tonight.

Saturday 22nd June

Our much anticipated day on Fair Isle did not disappoint… dawning early with stunning blue skies for most of the day. Strollers enjoyed a trip to the southern end of the island, while walkers headed to the Northern Lighthouse – more breathtaking views, more Bonxies , and more delightful Tammie Norries! We climbed further still to enjoy our packed lunch, the mist on the peak clearing as we set off again on our loop back … even strolling across the airstrip en route. The team running the tenders ran us very slowly back to the ship so we could fully appreciate the puffins surrounding us on the water. The day was completed with a drink on deck and a few amusing ‘stories’ from Chief Purser Andy in the lounge after dinner.

We sailed south from Fair Isle and anchored in Wick overnight.

Sunday 23rd June

Our final call before heading back to Inverness was Wick, where Strollers headed to see the Castle of Mey, while Walkers headed for Dunnet ahead … the most northerly point of mainland Scotland. More stunning views, more birdlife, and yes, more puffins! We returned to the Princess for a mouth watering ham buffet and a relaxing afternoon at sea. The wonderful turn in the weather allowed us to have Gala Cocktails on deck, followed by our Farewell gala dinner (complete with a full Address to the Haggis from the Chief Purser) as we sailed for Inverness to await high tide and our Pilot for a short final night sail.

Monday 24th June

Guests disembarked after breakfast in Inverness and we wish them all a very safe onward journey. Haste ye back!