Yacht Bluebird Sailing Cruises for 2017

Yacht Bluebird Sailing Cruises for 2017

Cruise around Scotland’s wonderful seascapes and discover long secluded sea lochs, dramatic mountains, endless sandy beaches, ever changing light and amazing wildlife. Enjoy short breaks, or a longer spell on board, experience the thrill of sailing, delicious cuisine with a focus on fresh shellfish and find time to relax and unwind away from the stresses of modern day life.

Our Skippered cruises run from April to October from ports and marinas in the Clyde, Mid Argyll, Oban, Mallaig and Gairloch.  Cruise dates are below but itineraries can be altered to suit guests’ requirements and could include magical places such as-

*Fingal’s cave, made famous by Mendelsons “Hebridean Overture”

*Sandaig, where Gavin Maxwell lived and was the author of “Ring of Bright Water”

*Balfours Bay, the temporary home of Robert Louis Stevenson which inspired him to write the classic novel “Kidnapped”

*Shark factory at the South end of Skye, subject of the book “Harpoon at a Venture” by Gavin Maxwell

*Eilean Donan Castle used for films, “Highlander”and “The World is not Enough”

Bluebird is an American built “J Boat” and has comfortable accommodation for up to five guests in quarters comprising two double cabins, (one en suite) and the main saloon which has two single berths. The yacht has a bright, cosy interior and is a fast cruiser, exciting to sail. Guests can choose to get involved in the day to day running of the yacht, helming, navigating, sail handling, or simply sit back and enjoy the stunning scenery. The cuisine aboard is a key feature- come sailing with us and enjoy superb healthy breakfasts, wonderful seafood lunches and delightful evening meals-using the best of Scotland’s fresh larder.

 

 

April 13th to 17th (4 nights) Easter public holiday Friday and Monday
“Spring cruising around Isle of Bute”
Departs: Clyde Marina
Returns: Clyde Marina

Sailing North West from Ardrossan into the Clyde estuary and through the enchanting Kyles of Bute then into the open waters of Loch Fyne. Fresh Scottish shellfish will feature on Bluebird menus as we can get supplies of scallops, lobster, langustines, crab, oysters , mussels, etc, from the gin clear waters of the area. Enjoy dramatic scenery and the “Sleeping Warrior” on the Arran skyline. The sheltered waters of Loch Fyne provide excellent sailing conditions.

 

April 18th to 25th (7 nights)

“Spring cruising around Isle of Arran”

FULLY BOOKED

 

 

 

 

 

April 27th to May 1st (4 nights)

“Passage from Clyde to Tayvallich”
Departs: Clyde Marina
Arrives: Tayvallich

This passage cruise will visit the fishing town of Campbeltown via the beautiful holiday Isle of Arran before sailing round the Mull of Kintyre and the beach where Paul McCartney and the local pipe band played the famous song. Then on to ” Gods Isle ” commonly known as Gigha. Stunning cliff formations and views of Ireland can be enjoyed as well as an abundance of amazing marine life.

 

 

May 5th to 10th (5 nights)

“Whisky distillery cruise”
Departs: Tayvallich
Returns: Tayvallich

The islands of Jura and lslay are famous for whisky production and sailing to them is special. At the distilleries you can learn the magic of how the golden nectar is made by attending professional tours.

It is believed that the Irish monks first introduced the art of distillation to Islay, during the early fourteenth century. Due to the fact that Islay was a fertile island for growing barley, called bere in the old days, with excellent pure water sources and plenty of peat, the island had everything in favour to distill whisky and there are about 11 distilleries here all conveniently located around the coast. Enjoy the impressive sights of McArthur’s head lighthouse and the Paps of Jura.

 

May 19th to 21st (2 nights)

“Islands Peaks Race”

FULLY BOOKED

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 24th to 28th (4 nights)

“Passage from Clyde to Oban”
Departs: Clyde Marina
Arrives: Oban

This is a passage cruise.
Enjoy the scenic coastline of Arran and Ailsa Craig, locally known as “Paddys Milestone” and famous for its high quality granite which is used to make curling stones, it is also a major gannet colony with an increasing number of puffins. Through the North Channel which separates Scotland from Ireland then explore the exotic gardens on Gigha and the ancient chapel on the Macormac isles. Some interesting tidal channels to navigate like the Cuan Sound at Luing and the Gulf of Corryvreckan (in settled weather).

 

June 6th to 12th (6 nights)

“Towards St. Kilda”
Depart: Mallaig
Return: Mallaig

(TWO PLACES LEFT)

Enjoy exhilarating sailing passing Southern Sky with great views of the Cullin mountains and impressive sea cliffs then heading across the Minch to the Sound of Harris. Sightings of Minke whales and dolphins are common here then out to St Kilda which is a world heritage sight . Explore the fascinating historical township at Village Bay, cameras at the ready! These islands with their exceptional cliffs and sea stacs form the most important seabird breeding station in north-west Europe. The evacuation of its native population in 1930 brought to a close an extraordinary story of survival.

 

June 15th to 24th (9 nights)

“Isle of Sky and outer Hebrides cruise”
Depart: Mallaig
Return: Mallaig

This holiday cruise will explore coastal Sky with its disused shark factory and interesting walking opportunities in Southern Sky at Loch Scavaig which provides access to  Coruisk, at the very heart of the Cuillin. This is the most magnificent of all Scottish freshwater lochs. Whilst you are very likely to get wet feet from the boggy terrain, this is a small price to pay for the superlative mountain scenery along the way. A tour of the Talisker distillery in Loch Harport can be arranged as well as visiting castles like Dunvegan on Sky and Kisimul on Barra. The salt white sandy beaches at Western Barra are a sight to behold with romantic long sunsets below the horizon of the open Atlantic Ocean.

 

July 1st to 7th  (6 nights)

“Small Isles Explorer”
Depart: Dunstaffnage Marina
Return: Dunstaffnage Marina

Sail round Ardnamurchan, the most Westerly point of Britain after an overnight stop at the colourful town of Tobermory on Mull which boasts its own whisky distillery and has some amazing shops. Then into the waters surrounding the “Champagne ” Isles which are Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna know better as the Small isles. You will enjoy spectacular views of the Culin Mountains on Sky and sightings of Minke whales are possible as well as different species of dolphins. Explore Eigg and walk to the famous “singing sands”. Rum has a large red deer population and also wild horses not to mention the bizarre Victorian mansion called Kinloch Castle.

July 10th to 15th (5 nights)

“Around Isle of Mull”
Depart: Tayvallich
Return: Tayvallich

Sailing North West between Jura and Scarba where there is a hotspot for seafood. Mull is well worth visiting not just for its natural beauty and charm but for its amazing seafood like fresh mussels from Spelve , oysters from Croig and lobsters from Ulva. The Coastline has many sheltered harbours where peaceful nights at anchor can be enjoyed after a delicious dinner and a wee dram perhaps! Visiting Staffa and Fingal’s cave is on everyone’s bucket list as is going ashore at Iona to see the magnificent abbey. Exploring Erraid is interesting as it provided inspiration to Robert Louis Stevenson for his classic novel “Kidnapped”.

 

July 28th to August 4th (7 nights)

“Summer School Sailing”

FULLY BOOKED

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 8th to 15th (7 nights)

“Outer Hebrides Explorer”
Depart: Tayvallich
Return: Tayvallich

FULLY BOOKED

This cruise will explore the Outer Hebrides from Barra to The Uists including Eriskay where you can see an original bottle from the wreck of SS Politician which inspired the story “Whisky Galore”. There will be time for walks ashore and a chance to take photos of the salt white beaches en and a plethora of natural fauna and bird life.Be inspired by the stunning sea views and endless skyscapes or simply soak up the amazing Outer Hebridean atmosphere on one of the myriad of main and outlying islands. Then sailing East to the fertile Isle of Canna and to the more manacured waters of the Sound of Mull.

 

August 20th to 25th (5 nights)

“Inner Hebrides Explorer”
Depart: Tayvallich
Return: Tayvallich

Sailing through the Sound of Islay to Loch Tarbert on Jura which offers an interesting cruising area itself with several anchorages and interesting walks ashore. Colonsay could be the next stop and hiring bikes from the hotel to explore the island and the see the breakers at Killoran Beach and the famous gardens at Colonsay House. Across to the Ross of Mull where there are some great beaches and interesting history especially at Erraid used as a base when building Dubh Artach lighthouse in 1865.

 

August 29th to September 2nd
(4 nights)

“Gigha and Islay Explorer”
Depart: Tayvallich
Return: Tayvallich

The short sail from Loch Sween to Gigha is often downwind and if needing to wait for a favourable tide Loch Na Keil is an ideal anchorage with its interesting early Christian chapel housing ancient stone carvings. Gigha has its own micro climate and often enjoys fine weather when on the mainland  it is poor. Bikes can be hired from the local shop to explore the island. Then West to Islay and the small island of Texa , inhabited only by wild goats and otters. The whisky distilleries of Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg are nearby on the Islay coast and provide ideal ideal overnight anchorages.
September 21st to 25th (4 nights)

“Jura Music Festival”
Depart: Tayvallich
Return: Tayvallich

FULLY BOOKED

Exploring the McCormaig isles near Loch Sween and castle Sween takes you back into history to the Lord of the Isles period in 1376 and St. Columba period of 570. The medieval chapel, dedicated to St Cormac, is close to the anchorage in the northern part of Eileen Mor as well as a cross. The chapel is relatively well preserved although it was once used as an ale-house and illicit still. The saint was buried nearby. To the south beyond the two standing crosses, one of which is a replica, there is a cave which was an anchorite’s retreat. This deep, damp grotto has two 8th century crosses incised on its rock walls. Outside are the ruins of a second chapel proving the veneration in which the island was held.

 Sailing South West to Craighouse on Jura to enjoy live shoreside entertainment at the Jura Music Festival. The event attracts top Scottish musicians including folk bands . Ceilidh dancing and open microphone sessions can be enjoyed.

 

October 5th to 9th (4 nights)

“Passage to Clyde from Tayvallich”
Depart: Tayvallich
Arrive: Clyde Marina

This five day passage cruise will include a stopover at Ardminish Bay on Gigha before heading South past Machrihanish Bay , famous for its links golf course. Round the headland on the South end of the Mull peninsula with stunning cliffs and sightings of marine life including seals, gannets or “Solan Goose” and great skuas or “Bonxies” then into Campbeltown. The “Sleeping Warrior” on the Northern skyline of Arran is impressive as is the modern marina at Portavadie in Loch Fyne. Then sailing through the enchanting waters of the Kyles of Bute with the history of the Vikings burning their ships after their defeat at Largs in 1263. The cruise will end at Ardrossan on the Ayrshire coast.

NB – All cruises start at 10 am on the first day and end at 5 pm on the last day.

The cruise itineraries may be changed due to adverse weather or the safety, comfort and interests of guests.

Prices from £145.00 to £165.00 per person per day and include all meals, snacks, douvet bedding, towels, wet weather clothing, fuel and berthing/mooring fees. Alcoholic drinks are not included, but are available onboard to buy at cost.