When you decide to join us for your cruise, you will be made aware of the likely destinations, and we will do our very best to make sure that you get to see as much as possible during your time with us. However – as your skipper Chris will explain before you sail – there are practical factors that may dictate where you can go and when. The main factor is obviously the weather, and as we’ve pointed out in the ‘Timid Sailor’ section, there is no way that you or Chalice will be purposely subjected to weather conditions that, in the Skippers’ opinion, are unnecessary or dangerous.
Your basic cruise itinerary will give you an idea of where we may go. We’ll always ask right at the start of your cruise if there is anything or anywhere in particular that you would like to see, or a place where you’d like to go. And then we’re off! The beauty of cruising on Chalice is that we can be totally flexible, and you can be sure that we’ll always do our best to ensure that all of your expectations are fulfilled.
You’ll see from the cruise itinerary, that we offer 4, 6, and 9 night cruises, and basically, the longer you’re on board (apart from becoming more relaxed!) the further we will travel and the more you will see. After you board Chalice at around 1530hrs, your first night will normally be spent in the quiet waters of Loch Drumbuie, at the head of Loch Sunart. This is a journey taking just over three hours and sees us at the west end of the Sound of Mull. It’s the perfect way to start your holiday – a short relaxing sail, beautiful surroundings and a three course dinner.
The next morning should see us rounding Ardnamurchan Point, the most westerly point of mainland Britain. We may head north for the Small Isles and Canna, or west to Coll and Tiree. On St Kilda trips, we will sail on across the Minch to the Outer Isles before making the final crossing out into the Atlantic for St Kilda. This gives us the opportunity to visit some really beautiful and remote places that are truly ‘off the beaten track’. The Shiant Islands, Scarp, Taransay and the Monach Islands are some of the destinations that are easily within our reach. If you’d like to find out more about the Shiants then click here to find out more about these wild and beautiful islands.
Saint Kilda is the ultimate goal of many travellers and the focus of all of the longer cruises on Chalice. A little over 40 nautical miles west of the Outer Hebrides, you’ll get a real sense of adventure and achievment when you reach them. There is no single island of ‘St Kilda’, which refers to a small archipeligo of islands which include Boreray (shown above), Levenish, Soay and Hirta – the main island. Bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1957, it is unique in having its World Heritage Status extended to also include the surrounding marine environment. If you click here you can visit the official NTS St Kilda website for more information.
You’ll notice that we promote our holidays as ‘wilderness cruises’ and there’s a very good reason for this. It’s because of the variety and unique mixture of wildlife and scenery that you’ll experience, combined with our totally flexible attitude to our schedule and the places we may visit. This is not just a ‘wildlife cruise’; it’s not just an island-hopping trip; it’s not just a bird-watching trip – it’s all of these things and much, much more. Each day will see us reach a new destination and you’ll normally be given the opportunity to go ashore and explore. Most nights will be spent in quiet bays at anchor – it’s not unusual for our evening meal to be disturbed by a muffled shout of ‘Look, an otter!’, or to drift off to sleep with the sound of seals ‘singing’ in the distance.
The great thing is, that you don’t need to be an expert in anything to enjoy the experience. If you’re looking for a holiday where you can unwind, relax, and grasp a taste of freedom, then all you need to do is come on board with us, and get up every morning – the rest just happens all around you!