Thursday, 20 July 2017

Visit us at Countryfile Live, Blenheim Palace – FREE Tickets available

We’re delighted to announce that from 3rd to 6th August Hebridean Island Cruises will be exhibiting at Countryfile Live.



Packed with wholesome countryside fun, BBC Countryfile Live returns to the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace for four days of live arena shows, hands on activities, animal displays, debates, food, drink and shopping.

With a whole host of exciting new attractions for 2017, the show brings together everything visitors cherish about our countryside, from wildlife and farming, to outdoor pursuits and food, for everyone to enjoy.

Hebridean has a very limited number of FREE tickets available for each day of the event (£30 per person on the door), so should you wish to come along please use the link below and follow the instructions provided.  TICKETS MUST BE DOWNLOADED BY MIDNIGHT ON MONDAY, 24 JULY 2017.
 >> DOWNLOAD FREE TICKETS WORTH £30 PER PERSON

Select the date you would like to attend
Select RSVP from the drop-down box

Use promotional code t97egextqi

We look forward to seeing you on stand C09 (Shedding Units).
 
 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Hebridean Island Cruises Nominated for Prestigious Awards

The small luxury cruise ship operator, Hebridean Island Cruises, is proud to announce that it has been nominated for several major awards.

Ken Charleson, Managing Director for Hebridean Island Cruises, remarked

“Being nominated for these three prestigious awards is testament to the hard work and dedication our staff, both on board and ashore, have given to the company over the past twelve months.  We are committed to providing the best possible cruise experience to our guests and to be nominated in this way is a true accolade and reward for everything we do.  I hope as many of our guests and partners will take this opportunity to cast their votes to help us secure a win.”

Hebridean Island Cruises has been nominated for:-

BRITISH TRAVEL AWARDS 2017

Hebridean has been nominated for BEST LUXURY CRUISE LINE in the prestigious 2017 British Travel Awards (BTAs).  The winners will be determined by the consumer, who has until 30 September to cast their vote, with the successful companies announced at the BTA Gala Awards Dinner, being held in London on 29 November 2017.




CRUISE INTERNATIONAL AWARDS 2017

Hebridean has been nominated for BEST LUXURY CRUISE LINE and BEST BOUTIQUE CRUISE LINE in the UK’s most prestigious cruise industry awards.  The Cruise International Awards 2017 are your chance to vote for your favourite cruise lines, travel agents, destinations, holiday extras and blogs which have impressed you during the past 12 months.




FOOD & TRAVEL MAGAZINE AWARDS 2017








Hebridean has been nominated for BOUTIQUE/ADVENTURE CRUISE LINE of the year.  From the basis of thousands of entries, Food & Travel Magazine has compiled the shortlist for our 2017 Reader Awards.  Now it’s the final voting round to decide who will be the winners. Simply choose your favourites from the shortlisted candidates, and those with the greatest number of votes on the closing date will be crowned the winners at our presentation ceremony in September.

>> Click here to vote for Hebridean Island Cruises in the Food & Travel Magazine Awards 2017

Friday, 23 June 2017

Hebridean’s Agency Partners enjoy their On Board Experiences


Over the past twelve months, Hebridean Island Cruises has had the pleasure of showcasing both Hebridean Princess and its European river cruise programme on board Royal Crown to a number of selected travel agency partners.

Such invitations, to experience a Hebridean cruise first hand, allow our partners to advise guests on all aspects of cruising with us.



Amy Wright from Cruise Select in Bedford (pictured) enjoyed our whisky themed cruise last year on board Hebridean Princess.  From reading her review we’re sure you’ll agree that she enjoyed her Hebridean experience. 


>> Read Cruise Select Amy’s Review


More recently, Ann Bolland from Blue Water Holidays (pictured far right), based in our own home town of Skipton, enjoyed several nights on a Hebridean river cruise on board the 1930’s style river cruiser Royal Crown.  Again, you'll see from her Blog that she thoroughly enjoyed her Hebridean experience.

>> Read Blue Water Ann’s Review

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Hebridean Launches 2018 Cruise Directory for 30th Season


Hebridean Princess Celebrates 30 Seasons with cruises to the South Coast of England, Northern France and, for the first time, Belgium.
Hebridean Princess, the unique and luxurious small cruise ship, renowned for her voyages to the off the beaten track destinations in and around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, will celebrate her 30th cruising season in 2018.
Hebridean Island Cruises says that its 30th anniversary season will not go unmarked and therefore the company will be replicating itineraries from its inaugural year of 1989, along with cruises from its tenth season of 1998 and the twentieth season of 2008.
Ken Charleson, Managing Director commented:
"Whilst 2018 will be an exciting year for us, our Pearl Anniversary celebrations will not just be confined to cruises from seasons gone by. During the summer of 2018 our out-of-area cruises will witness Hebridean Princess venturing to the south coast of England, calling at Dublin and the Isles of Scilly en route. We are also voyaging to the Channel Islands, Northern France including Brittany and Normandy, and a maiden time a visit to Belgium. Furthermore, two cruises of the River Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge are additional highlights of our southern sojourn."
For the more energetic, there will be four new Footloose walking itineraries, and for the first time in many years, a dedicated cycling cruise to be accompanied by Olympic Cyclist, Chris Boardman. A very special, extended cruise to St Kilda will delight lovers of wildlife as Hebridean Princess explores the natural world of the Hebrides, home to some of the finest bird and marine life in Europe.
The 2018 Hebridean Princess Cruise Directory is available now and all 37 itineraries are available to view on Hebridean's website www.hebridean.co.uk

For more information visit www.hebridean.co.uk or call 01756 704 704.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Historic Castles and Glorious Gardens

Star of the BBC Scotland series Lady Lairds, Joanna Macpherson, will be joining Hebridean Island Cruises’ (www.hebridean.co.uk / 01756 704 704) luxury cruise ship, Hebridean Princess, on the Historic Castles and Glorious Gardens cruise commencing on 20 June 2017.

The rich history of the deeply rooted region of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland is unwrapped with this seven-night cruise of stunning ancient castles and breath-taking, early summer gardens carried out in true Hebridean Princess style.  This spectacular itinerary culminates with a Champagne reception at Duart Castle, Isle of Mull, hosted by Sir Lachlan MacLean, Chieftain of the Clan MacLean.

Other highlights include one of the finest rhododendron gardens in Scotland at Colonsay House, the Benedictine Abbey on Iona and the subtropical garden at Inverewe.

Attadale Gardens will also be visited, where Joanna Macpherson moved almost 5 years ago with her husband Alec.  Attadale had belonged to her grandfather so she has always spent holidays there since a baby.

Joanna will give us an insight into the running of the Attadale Estate, the making of the Lady Lairds documentary and the organisation ‘Discover Scottish Gardens’, a network of gardens which have come together to promote their rich diversity, a number of which we will visit on this cruise.

The Historic Castles and Glorious Gardens cruise starts from £3,875 per person and departs from Oban (Scotland) on 20th June 2017 for 7 nights.

Prices includes transfers between Glasgow and the ship or free valet car parking in Oban, all meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, shore excursions and gratuities and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.

For more information and to book visit www.hebridean.co.uk or call 01756 704 704.


Friday, 10 March 2017

Hebridean Princess starts new season with new cabins

In 2015 Hebridean unveiled the newly refurbished public rooms on board Hebridean Princess which were designed by John Dick and Son using bespoke furniture and richly textured, locally manufactured fabrics to create a subtle Scottish feel. Universally admired, the results were stunning, comfortable and luxurious.

During the recent winter refit of 2016/17, John Dick and Sons have once again been working hard to transform over a third of the guest cabins on board.

Managing Director, Bruce Dick, commented: "We have used a contemporary woollen plaid
from Mulberry as a base fabric which gives continuity throughout the cabins. Inspired by the plaid we specified various complementary colours and textures as accent fabrics to give each cabin its own identity. Respecting the age of the ship and working with luxurious linens and weaves we
have brought the cabins up to date with a comfortable contemporary twist."

Ken Charleson, Managing Director for Hebridean Island Cruises added: "We are delighted with the the work carried out on 11 of our cabins by John Dick and Son.  The designers have really embraced our brief to create cabins with a true Scottish feel which I am certain will be enjoyed by our guests during the 2017 cruising season and beyond".



Friday, 3 March 2017

New season sees the return of our popular Cruise Log


On Wednesday 1st March we left the refit yard at James Watt Dock and sailed the short distance down the Clyde to Greenock Ocean Cruise Terminal to embark our first complement of guests in 2017.

Over one third of the guest cabins have been refurbished this winter and the essential maintenance of the ships engines and machinery have kept our crew and contractors busy for the last few months.

With everything shipshape the guests were welcomed on board by Captain Heaton, his officers and crew, to the sound of bagpipes.  We set sail on our Clyde Island Explorer as guests settled in to their cabins and enjoyed their first taste of Hebridean hospitality at dinner.  We spent the first night at anchor in Rothesay Bay off the Isle of Bute in readiness for the visit to Mount Stuart House the following morning.

As the new season is now up and running, so too is our online Cruise Log.  This is an illustrated daily diary of each cruise as it unfolds to help bring each itinerary to life.    You can read the story so far here and also look back on any of last years voyages in our 2016 archive.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Spotlight on the Isle of Arran


Often referred to as ‘Scotland in Miniature’ due to the remarkable diversity of its landscapes, the Isle of Arran is the seventh largest, and one of the most southerly Scottish islands, lying in the Firth of Clyde.
 
Lochranza
Although culturally and physically similar to the Hebrides, Arran is separated from them by the Kintyre peninsula. The Highland Boundary Fault between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland divides the island almost exactly in two; the north is ruggedly mountainous and sparsely populated, the south is softer, more undulating and home to the majority of the population. The highest point on the island is Goat Fell and the profile of the northern hills viewed from the Ayrshire coast is known as the ‘Sleeping Warrior’ due to its resemblance to a resting human figure.


Holy Isle
Arran has two smaller satellite islands; Holy Isle is a two mile spine almost blocking the entrance to Lamlash Bay, creating a natural sheltered harbour, which houses a retreat and meditation centre for Buddhist monks from Samye Ling in Eskdalemuir. Pladda island lies a mile off Kildonan and is the haunt of seals, seabirds and some rarer migrant commuters.
 

Holy Isle
Arran has been continuously inhabited since the early Neolithic period and the fascinating Bronze Age remnants of the Machrie Moor Stone Circles and surrounding prehistoric burial cairns can be explored on the west coast of the island. From the 6th century onwards, the Irish Scots colonised the island and it became part of the Kingdom of Dalriada. During the troubled Viking Age, Arran became the property of the Norwegian crown before becoming formally absorbed by the kingdom of Scotland in the 13th century. The 19th century clearances led to significant depopulation and the end of the Gaelic language and way of life.
 
King’s Cave is a seafront cave near Blackwaterfoot which was formed where isostatic change resulted in a raised beach. Robert the Bruce is said to have sheltered here when returning to free Scotland from the English; the cave is also said to have been occupied by Fingal, Fionn MacCaul.
 

Brodick Castle
Brodick Castle played a prominent part in the island’s medieval history and is one of Scotland’s most battlescarred castles which has been rebuilt many times. The site of the ancestral seat of the Duke of Hamilton was a fortress even in Viking times. It was captured by English forces during the Wars of Independence before being taken back by Scottish troops in 1307. It was badly damaged by action from English ships in 1406 and sustained an attack by John of Islay, the Lord of the Isles in 1455. Originally a seat of the Clan Stewart of Menteith, ownership of the castle passed through various hands before it came into the possession of the Hamilton family in 1503. The castle is said to have several ghosts, the most benign figure usually seen in the library wearing breeches, a long green jacket and a powdered wig!
 
The walled garden at Brodick Castle dates from 1710 and has been restored as a Victorian garden; the woodland garden contains one of Europe’s finest collections of Rhododendrons. In the Country Park you can explore the 11 miles of waymarked trails among waterfalls, gorges and wildlife ponds. The castle and grounds, together with nearby Goat Fell are owned by the National Trust for Scotland.
 
Lochranza lies 2 miles southwest of the northern headland, the Cock of Arran, and is the largest settlement in the north of the island. Lochranza Castle is a romantic ruin on the tidal flats dating from the 13th century and is reputedly where Robert the Bruce landed on his return from Rathlin Island. Lochranza is also home to the only working distillery on Arran where you can enjoy a tour of the visitor centre and tasting of a wee dram.
 
Arran is renowned for its wildlife and many species are a common sight. Red deer are numerous on northern hills and there are populations of otter, red squirrels and badger. Offshore there are common seals, harbour porpoises, basking sharks and various species of dolphin. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded on the island including black guillemot, eider, peregrine falcon and golden eagle. The warm Gulf Stream gives Arran a rich and unusual plant life and nothing indicates the mild climate more than palm trees thriving outdoors.
 
Hebridean Princess is due to visit the Isle of Arran on the following cruises in 2017:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prices from £1090 per person based on 2 people sharing an inside double/twin cabin.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Hebridean Looks Forward to 2017

Hebridean Island Cruises Limited, having just completed a successful management buyout, is once again an independently owned British cruise company and looking forward to a successful season ahead with the company’s flagship vessel, Hebridean Princess, returning to service in March after her annual refit.

Having successfully completed her dry dock during December, Hebridean Princess is now enjoying work being carried out on the upgrading of around one third of her cabins.

The first cruise of the 2017 season commences on 1st March when guests embark on the Clyde Island Explorer itinerary which includes some of the finest houses on the Clyde as well as Britain’s smallest cathedral and a mountainside botanic garden.

During 2017 Hebridean Princess will make a welcome return to Norway to explore the awe-inspiring fjords and islands between Stavanger and Bergen in a series of three stunning itineraries.  Hebridean has introduced a variety of new cruises in familiar cruising grounds off the west coast of Scotland, together with visits to the Gaelic neighbours of Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man and its 2017 calendar includes four fresh ‘Footloose’ walking itineraries. Further themed cruises have been specially designed for lovers of food and drink, history and heritage, golf, gardens, nature and wildlife.

Hebridean’s European River cruise programme includes new and exciting destinations all discovered from the comfort of Royal Crown and enriched by renowned guest speakers to bring each itinerary and the company will reveal the musical highlights of the Rhine, the flavours of the Danube and the architectural delights of the Main and Rhine.