Tuesday 12th to Tuesday 19th September 2023
Explore some of the less well trodden paths on the Atlantic Isles of Tiree, Colonsay, Islay and Jura. With island tours and visits on the scenic, unspoilt mainland this cruise will appeal to the hardy walkers and more leisurely strollers.
Our thanks to guest Nicola Gibbs for much of the text and many of the images used in this cruise log.
Tuesday 12th September
A glorious start to our Footloose cruise…. Autumnal views from the coach for guests who travelled up from Glasgow together, with a piped welcome on board, and beautiful September sunshine as we set sail from Oban to our overnight anchorage in Loch a’ Choire.
Wednesday 13th September
Guests enjoyed walks and strolls in the morning on the Kingairloch estate on Loch a’Choire, followed by a walk in the woodland on the edge of Glencoe in the afternoon for the walkers, while strollers enjoyed a visit to the Glencoe visitor centre. Our day was rounded off with the Captain’s Gala Dinner.
We anchored overnight off Java Point in the Sound of Mull.
Thursday 14th September
Our day in Tobermory included 3 seasons in one day…. Everything but snow! Wonderful full day on the Treshnish peninsula for the walkers – stunning views, and dry right up until the moment we got back off the coach in Tobermory.
The chance then to join the strollers on their way out to the Lighthouse, or to enjoy time in the town itself… shopping or coffee ashore before drinks on deck in the late sunshine.
We anchored overnight in Tobermory bay.
Friday 15th September
Friday morning was spent at sea cruising the Treshnish Isles, with close up views of Fingal’s Cave, before a magnificent seafood buffet lunch.
In the afternoon we came alongside in Tiree for walks and strolls along the beach, or a visit to the Skerryvore Lighthouse Museum.
The most stunning evening sunset as we sailed over dinner to our overnight berth in Oban, a chance to enjoy the night lights from the town over the bay.
Saturday 16th September
Friday evening’s sunset delivered as promised… Saturday was glorious! Morning walks in Oban for most – amazing views from Pulpit Hill for those who braved the climb, or a hike up to McCaig’s Tower for others.
We sailed over lunch (preceded by Pimms on deck) to the beautiful island of Colonsay where walkers stepped out towards Colonsay House. Autumn colours of the Gardens gave a pretty contrast to the stunning blue of the inland lochs before our return to the Princess and champagne in the last of the afternoon sunshine.
We anchored overnight off Port Ellen, Isle of Islay.
Sunday 17th September
A little damper and greyer today for our tender rides ashore at Port Ellen on Islay, but a stunning walk around Ardnave Point and on to the RSPB Centre for the walkers. Choughs, herons, geese, oystercatchers, swallows and other meadow birds all sighted, and a breezy packed lunch enjoyed in the shelter of the dunes before the rain set in.
The strollers visited Finlaggan this morning, followed by lunch ashore and then a visit to the Kilchoman Distillery during the afternoon.
A wonderful evening of dancing in the Tiree Lounge followed – thanks to John Bowness for his skill with the accordion! We anchored overnight off Tayvallich.
Monday 18th September
Rain cleared for breathtaking views from a ridge walk at Tayvallich for some of the walkers this morning … reward for a very steep climb up through the woods! Other walkers chose the longer but more level route to the Old Mill before returning to the Princess for lunch and an afternoon sail back to towards Mull and Oban.
We anchored overnight off Kerrera for our farewell Gala dinner … complete with a superb recital of the Ode to a Haggis from one of our Guides, Andrew. Entertainment from the Captain and Guides after dinner was followed by one last chance for dancing in the Tiree lounge before Auld Lang Syne and bed.
Tuesday 19th September
The Captain, Officers and Crew waved farewell to our disembarking guests after breakfast and we wish them a safe journey home.