Scotland

Leader will be sailing from the bustling harbour town of Oban and Mallaig, which both acts as a gateway to Scotland’s west coast, with its many sea lochs and off-lying Hebridean islands.

From her deck you will have panoramic views of stunning mountains, lochs and beaches.

The islands range from tiny Staffa, home to Fingal’s Cave, and the Treshnish Isles with seabird colonies, to Mull and Skye with their lofty mountains.

There are whales, basking sharks, puffins, gannets, and guillemots, eagles, otters, red deer, and a wide range of other animals to spot.

The spectacular scenery begins before you even arrive at the boat. The landscape which surrounds you on the way to Oban and Mallaig is breathtaking. Even before your holiday has begun you will begin to feel relaxed, before you have even set sail. The stretch to Maillaig is regarded as one of the finest train journeys in the world, also made famous by the Harry Potter films.

Glenfinnan Viaduct

 

2017 Themed Cruises:

Our cruise departing Oban on July 1st will have a resident wildlife expert on board, who has worked with the BBC and National Geographic. The same cruise will be finishing in Mallaig allowing us to get further north where the wildlife is even more abundant.

Departing from Mallaig on July 8th we have a music-themed cruise, with some resident musicians on board to add to the atmosphere, and we encourage our musically-minded guests to take along their instruments as well. Similarly we will have a ‘folk week’ departing Oban on July 22nd. You dont not need to be a musician or play an instrument to enjoy either of these voyages.

  • Cruise Start Finish Start End Nights Vessel Cost
    West Coast Adventure Tue, May 23 Th, Jun 1 Falmouth Oban  9  Leader  
    Scottish West Coast Cruise Sat, Jun 3 Fri, Jun 9 Oban Oban  6  Leader  –
    Scottish West Coast Cruise Sat, Jun 10 Fri, Jun 16 Oban Oban  6  Leader
    Scottish West Coast Cruise Sat, Jun 17 Fri, Jun 23 Oban Oban  6  Leader
    Scotish West Coast Cruise Sat, Jun 24 Fri, Jun 30 Oban Oban  6  Leader
    Scottish Wildlife Cruise Week Sat, Jul 1 Fri, Jul 7 Oban Malaig  6  Leader
    Scottish Music Cruise Week Sat, Jul 8 Fri, Jul 14 Malaig Oban  6  Leader
    Scottish West Coast Cruise Sat, Jul 15 Mon, Jul 21 Oban Oban  6  Leader £830
    Scottish Music Cruising Week Sat, Jul 22 Fri, Jul 28 Oban Oban  6  Leader £830
    West Coast Adventure Sat, Jul 30 Tue, Aug 8 Oban Falmouth  9  Leader £895

West Coast Adventures:

These voyages are for those sailors who want a real adventure, seeing a variety of new spaces in a relatively short space of time, with lots of overnight sailing, covering many nautical miles.  If you like being on deck under moonlight and the stars, teamwork, enjoy a real challenge, then these are  the holidays for you.

Leader will be embarking on a nine-night voyage from Falmouth to Oban, in late May, with potential stops in the Scillies, the Irish east coast, and western isles of Scotland. The reverse trip will head out from Scotland on July 30th, timed to coincide with Falmouth Week — an annual event of regatta racing, sea shanties, and fireworks.

An ideal location for a group charter voyage…

In 2014 The Royal Scottish Geographical Society and The Friends of Hugh Miller jointly led a replica voyage round the Inner Hebrides which Hugh Miller — the Scottish geologist, writer and folklorist —made in 1844, as recorded in his book, The Cruise of the Betsey.

You too can charter Leader for a week of sailing around the west coast of Scotland, whether is a friends and family group, or for a team-building exercise.

Background to the Western Isles…

The view from Oban on the west coast of Argyll is dominated by the central mountains on Mull (rising to over 300oft), the largest of the southern islands of the Inner Hebrides. Mull is home to more than 250 species of birds, including golden and sea eagles, hen harriers and short-eared owls. Otters are common, and Minke whales and basking sharks are found in the the surrounding waters. The island’s only town is colourful Tobermory, in a sheltered bay in the north of the island. There are lots of lovely anchorages in the many sea lochs around the coast.Off Mull’s western tip is Iona, with its Abbey, the site from which St Columba spread Christianity to the Scots and Picts on the sixth century. It is a tranquil place, with white sandy beaches.

Further north on Mull’s coast are various small islands, including Staffa – famous for Fingal’s Cave – and Lunga with colonies of puffins and other sea birds.

Out to the west, and the last stop before America, lie Coll and Tiree. Low-lying, they offer little resistance to Atlantic breezes and like the Isles of Scilly off the Cornish coast they enjoy low rainfall and much higher than average sunshine. Both have many beaches of fine white sand. In addition to the other wildlife common to the area Coll is home to the rare corncrake.

North of Mull and round Ardnamurchan, the most westerly point on the coast of Britain, are more sea lochs and the Small Isles – Rhum, Eigg, Muck and Canna. Rhum, the largest, is a national nature reserve and has a population of only 30 people but herds of wild goats, ponies and native cattle. It is noted for its birdlife, is the main home of the white-tailed sea eagle and host to up to 70,000 manx shearwaters, which migrate annually from the South Atlantic to nest in burrows on the hillsides.

South from Oban are numerous small islands and attractive sea lochs. The little harbour at Crinan and the village of Tayvallich on Loch Sween are popular overnight stops. We often head out through the Gulf of Corryvreckan, with its whirlpool, to the west coast of Jura, out to Colonsay and on to Islay (pronounced ‘eye-la’).

Islay, the ‘Queen of the Hebrides’, has numerous malt whisky distilleries where you can sample a ‘wee dram’ and get close up to a wealth of wildlife. There are more than 100 breeding species of birds here – from eagles, harriers, peregrines and barn owls to corncrakes, choughs and many types of wader. Thousands of red, roe and fallow deer roam the island. Otters are common, and pilot, minke and killer whales share the surrounding waters with dolphins and seals.

Close to the coast of Kintyre is Gigha, another delightful small island, with white sandy beaches, 50 acres of gardens at Achamore House,   and a 13th century chapel. The island was bought from a private landlord years ago in a ‘community buyout’, largely made possible by Lottery grants, and is now owned by its inhabitants. After years of decline the population of just over 100 is now growing and the economy has revived.

Travel info

Oban and Malaig are well connected by train to Glasgow, with a three and five hour journey time, respectively. On booking you’ll be sent a pack with full information on how to find Leader in these lovely harbour towns, and details on suggested kit list etc.