Thursday, 28 December 2017

Land of Waterways and Windmills on board Royal Crown


This captivating cruise explores the history, heritage and art of The Netherlands with a variety of intriguing visits along the scenic Dutch waterways. After uncovering a hidden gem right in the heart of the capital Amsterdam, the Hortus Botanicus, we sail through some of the smaller and lesser visited canals and rivers to discover more secrets of this fascinating landscape.


Amsterdam has one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, the Hortus Botanicus. It was established in 1638 by the city municipality as Hortus Medicus, a herb garden with
medical plants for Amsterdam doctors and pharmacists.


In the second half of the 17th century, the Amsterdam Hortus Botanicus garden had a rich collection of plants completely unknown in Europe. They were brought here from all over the world by the traders of the Dutch East India Company.

Today, Hortus Botanicus is an attractive oasis, with more than 6,000 different plants with some unique species. The new hothouse creates conditions for three different tropical climates.

We take a glass-topped canal boat to the gardens for a peaceful and relaxing visit and enjoy an exclusive afternoon tea in the recently renovated Orangery.

After sailing through what Royal Crown Captain Hans de Gelder describes as a ‘very beautiful area’ of his beloved home nation, we arrive at the fortified town of Naarden. An example of a Spanish Star Fort, it is one of the best preserved fortified towns in Europe, complete with fortified Naarden was one of the most important defence works of the New Dutch Waterline and is breathtaking. At the Fortress Museum we can observe the underground casemates and learn more about the fortressed garrison town. A stroll through the town will allow you to observe many historical buildings and monuments, such as the St. Vitus Church, a large gothic basilica from the 14th and 15th centuries.


Holland and water are inextricably linked. Behind its coast lies an intricate network of ditches, waterways, canals, lakes and rivers. The nations windmills, pumping stations, polders and dykes are world-famous and almost a third of the land lies below sea level. Without the large water engineering works of the past centuries, culminating in the Delta Works, half of Holland would be submerged.

The Woudagemaal in Lemmer is the largest steampowered pumping station ever constructed and the only steam-powered pumping station in the world that is still in use. In a beautiful building, inspired by the Amsterdam School style, The Woudagemaal was built in 1920 to pump away the excess water in Friesland. Until that time, large parts of the region were submerged during the winter. The pumping station, which can pump away over 4000 cubic meters of water per minute, or 6 million cubic meters per day, changed that.

Weerribben-Wieden is a cultural landscape that was created in the 14th century through peat cutting. This peat was highly valuable as a fuel when dried, and was cut from the areas known as ‘weren’. The peat was then laid out to dry on long strips of lands, known as ‘ribben’, thus creating these unique wetlands.

The best way to explore the Weerribben-Wieden National Park is on the water. We take a boat tour through this gorgeous area, known as ‘the Venice of Holland’, where we hope to see many kinds of waterfowl and insects, and maybe even spot an otter among the vegetation in the water and on the banks.

In the 17th century, Enkhuizen was one of the wealthiest cities of Holland. It gained power and influence as a member of the Dutch East India Company. Enkhuizen’s rich history is still noticeable today as you walk through the old inner city with its numerous state mansions, canals, churches, city walls and harbours.

Following our walking tour of Enkhuisen we travel back in time to see how people lived centuries ago at the open-air Zuiderzee Museum which depicts a typical Dutch town and everyday life from the period between 1700 and 1900. People dressed in traditional Dutch clothing help bring the past in this little town to life. The museum is housed in more than a hundred and thirty authentic houses, shops and workshops, illustrating the history and culture of this unique region.

Alkmaar is known as the city of cheese in Holland, but has many other attractions including a beautiful old centre with many historic monuments and a range of interesting museums. Like many old cities in Holland, Alkmaar is a real ‘canal town’. In the past these canals were used as waterways, as a sewer system and to defend the city, but today they are mainly decorative.

The Alkmaar Cheese Market is a fascinating spectacle. This colourful, folkloric spectacle takes place at the picturesque Waagplein and here you can discover how cheese is traded according to a tradition that began in 1365. The 'kaasdragers' (cheese porters), 'zetters' (loaders), 'ingooiers' (cheese tossers) and 'waagmeesters' (weighers) all play defining roles at the market and belong to a guild with many traditions.

The area around IJsselmeer lake is dotted with beautiful old Dutch villages and towns. Together, they form one of the most gorgeous and authentic parts of Holland. Hoorn’s heyday was in the 17th century, when it was one of the main cities of the Dutch East India Company. Like Amsterdam and Enkhuizen, Hoorn became a very wealthy city. A walking tour of the old quarter and harbour will uncover dozens of monuments and churches which will allow you to experience the atmosphere of those historic times.

With its many historic buildings and beautiful old squares, Haarlem lies near the beach on the banks of the Spaarne river. Narrow streets are lined with monumental buildings built by the master Lieven de Key.

The Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem has many artworks of masters from the 16th and 17th century and is home to the world’s biggest Frans Hals collection. Counted among the greatest of the Dutch masters, Frans Hals became known as the best portrait painter in the country. Great masters of impressionism, like Monet, Corbet and Manet, visited the Frans Hals Museum to admire his art.

During the 17th century, more than 600 windmills were constructed in the area around the Zaanse Schans, creating the first industrial zone. The windmills were used, among others, to grind spices, produce paint, saw wood, and make oil. A number of these windmills still exist and can be visited to discover how these wind-powered machines work, inside and out.

There are various museums you can visit at the Zaanse Schans to get an accurate impression of life in Holland in the 17th and 18th centuries including authentic wooden houses, a bakery museum, a chocolate factory, a cheese and dairy factory and a warehouse where clogs are still made today.

We hope you can join the Hebridean River Cruises team, including host David Indge, on this enchanting voyage which will reveal many of Holland’s hidden treasures.

>> Read More - LAND OF WATERWAYS AND WINDMILLS

20th May to 27th May 2018
Genuinely Fully-Inclusive Fares from £2,835 per person

based on 2 people sharing a deluxe twin cabin

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Christmas and New Year Opening Times


We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a most enjoyable festive season and a prosperous new year.

CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR OPENING TIMES

Friday
22nd December
9am - 12pm
Saturday
23rd December
Closed
Sunday 
Christmas Eve
Closed
Monday
Christmas Day
Closed
Tuesday
Boxing Day
Closed
Wednesday
27th December
9am - 6pm
Thursday
28th December
9am - 6pm
Friday
29th December
9am - 12pm
Saturday
30th December
Closed
Sunday
New Year’s Eve
Closed
Monday
New Year’s Day
Closed
Tuesday
2nd January
9am - 6pm

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Photography Competition



We would like to invite you to submit your favourite photographs, taken from on board Hebridean Princess or in and around the waters in which she sails, for a 2019 calendar which will be available to purchase on board during next season, or ordered from our office in Skipton by telephone or email.  The closing date for entries is 30th January 2018.

Photographs should be digital files of at least 300 dpi and a minimum of 3mb.  Please submit your entries by email to louise.pratt@hebridean.co.uk with information on the location or subject of each image.  Entries are submitted on the basis that copyright is released and any images used in the calendar or any future publications will be acknowledged. We welcome images of the ship, Scottish wildlife, Hebridean land or seascapes or any destination visited during a Hebridean Princess cruise.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Hebridean shortlisted for more prestigious awards

The shortlist for The Wave Awards 2018 – the most prestigious awards event in the cruise industry – has been revealed.


We are delighted to announce that Hebridean Island Cruises has been shortlisted in the following categories:

  • Best for Solo Travellers
  • Best Luxury Cruise Line
  • Best Luxury River Cruise

The hotly anticipated line up features top cruise lines, agents and destinations who represent the best of the best of the industry.

Wave Awards chair and World of Cruising editor, Louise Robinson, said: “The Wave Awards celebrates excellence in the cruise industry both from a consumer and trade perspective. I’m proud to say we have been inundated with entries – up by 50 per cent on last year. The standard was so high our expert panel found it really hard to whittle each category down, but I’m extremely happy with our final shortlist. “

The winners will be announced at the awards, which will be held at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London’s Covent Garden on 1 March.



Friday, 8 December 2017

Luxury Scotland Celebrates 25 Years with Limited Edition Monopoly Game

To celebrate their 25th Anniversary, Luxury Scotland has released a new limited-edition version of Monopoly featuring all of the consortium's 31 member properties including Donald Trump's Turnberry golf course, Andy Murray's Cromlix Hotel and, of course, Hebridean Princess.



The Luxury Scotland edition of Monopoly will give players the chance to tour Scotland for the hottest hotel properties, buy them, develop them and watch their investments shoot up in value. The game will not be going on general sale to the public but around 1,000 copies will be distributed to the featured properties and is available to purchase from Hebridean Island Cruises for £30.  

For your chance to win one of 3 copies of this exclusive game, please answer the following questions:
1. Which Luxury Scotland property was the setting for John Buchan's book, The 39 Steps?
2. Which Queen stayed at Inverlochy Castle in 1873 and wrote in her diary 'I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot'?

Please send your answers, together with your name and address by email to louise.pratt@hebridean.co.uk by Wednesday 31st January 2018. Three lucky winners will be randomly selected from all the correct entries.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Bolsover Cruise Club writes about Hebridean Princess

In October of this year Rebecca Martin from Bolsover Cruise Club enjoyed a seven night cruise on board Hebridean Princess.  During her time on board she kept a diary of her experiences.

To learn what she had to say select the links below to read her four part blog:

>> PART ONE

>> PART TWO

>> PART THREE

>> PART FOUR

Alternatively click the image below to read the full article in Bolsover Cruise Club's magazine, Into the Blue.


FREE TICKETS to London cruise shows

During the early part of 2018 Hebridean Island Cruises will be attending some of the UK’s biggest cruise and travel shows.

Come along and meet our experienced team and have your questions answered face to face – we’d love to see you…

Destinations: The Holiday and Travel Show 

Olympia London, 1st - 4th February 2018


Come face to face with your next holiday or travel experience at the UK's biggest travel show. Packed with hundreds of leading and independent tour operators, over 75 tourist boards from across the globe, cultural entertainment, world flavours, travel celebrities and more, Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show is the UK's largest and longest-running travel event. Taking place at Olympia London, 1 - 4 February 2018, the Destinations Holiday and Travel Show is the essential event to indulge your passion for travelling.

With the largest choice of exhibitors anywhere in the UK and a huge variety of holiday and travel options on offer, the Destinations Show inspires you to discover new destinations and adventures from our expert exhibitors. 

Plus, discover the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival, a line-up of incredible talks, presentations and panel sessions from a host of leading travel writers and authors, whilst exotic cultures are brought to life through dance, performance and free food and drink tastings across four Experience The World stages.

Meet the Experts Theatres also provide over 50 hours of free travel advice from destination specialists. Covering an array of journeys to every continent, get inspired to discover and learn about exciting destinations across the globe.

Wherever your next journey leads, make sure it begins at the Destinations The Holiday and Travel Show, Olympia London.

>> CLICK HERE FOR FREE TICKETS  USING CODE MSC85

London Cruise Show

Olympia London, 17th - 18th February 2018

The Cruise Show returns to the Olympia, London on the 17th and 18th February and will celebrate the range of sights, sounds and wonders available to those willing to discover the world by ship!

The world has never been more accessible for those with the spirit of adventure. Packed full of information and inspiration, Cruise Show will bring together the best specialist operators and holiday providers all under one roof. In one weekend we cover everything from all-inclusive luxury getaways to small-ship cruises destined for remote locations, as well as your chance to meet like-minded travellers on organised group tours – whether you’re travelling with partner, family or friends!

As well as meeting with an excellent range of travel companies and taking advantage of their exclusive show-only offers, visitors are also invited to enjoy the show’s interactive features. Hear first-hand experience from celebrity speakers, explorers, journalists and tour operators in a choice of 3 theatres, bursting with travel ideas and practical advice that’s bound to inspire.

>> CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Cycling over The Minch with Chris Boardman



Island hopping through the Hebrides by bike is a magical and varied experience. From the white shell sands of Tiree, Eriskay and Harris, to the majestic mountains of the Cuillins and the
awe-inspiring scenery of the Trotternish Peninsula on Skye, the islands each have a unique atmosphere.

The thrill of travelling by bicycle under your own steam heightens the physical senses and the spirit of adventure. The remoteness of these islands, sparsely populated and some traffic-free, means that cycling in the Hebrides offers tranquillity in the fresh air of unspoilt landscapes.

On Coll we use the island’s limited roads for a circular route which starts and finishes in the main village of Arinagour, whilst its relatively flat and fertile neighbour of Tiree makes an idyllic island for cycling as you gently roll along the roads which run behind the many sandy bays and take in distant views of other islands in every direction.

A linear ride on Barra allows us to observe the white shell sands and rugged inland scenery en route to Eriskay and the beach where Bonnie Prince Charlie first stepped onto British soil.  On our full day tour of The Uists we discover these islands of contrasts; the soft, undulating landscapes of South Uist are a world apart from the low-lying bird-haven of North Uist, scattered with green-blue lochans.

Our final ride in the Outer Isles takes us from Harris, through traditional crofting and weaving communities, to its flatter and more fertile neighbour of Lewis. After sailing back across The Minch, we arrive at the Isle of Skye where we enjoy an invigorating pedal through the stunning yet bizarre rock formations of The Quiraing on the Trotternish Peninsula, before re-joining the ship in the island’s capital, Portree.

A linear ride on Raasay affords fine views in each direction, including a magnificent panorama of the Cuillins on Skye. Before a relaxing sail of the Small Isles, we set out from Armadale to explore the Sleat Peninsula, often referred to as ‘the garden of Skye’ where heather-clad mountains drop dramatically to the rocky shorelines and glittering blue sea, punctuated with lush gardens and dense forests.

We are delighted that this cruise will not only be accompanied by an experienced cycling guide, but also by Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman. You do not need to be an expert to enjoy the thrill of cycling through these stunning islands. The rides are on roads and the majority are gently undulating, with the exception of one steep incline for approximately a mile. Distances will vary from approximately 11 miles up to a maximum of 42 miles for the full day route on The Uists. Bicycles are provided on board or you are more than welcome to bring your own. Each day you have the option to join the rides or to enjoy a less energetic visit, the choice is yours.



Chris Boardman took Britain's opening Gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Britain's first cycling gold in 72 years. He then went on to lead the R&D team for GB Cycling in the run up to Beijing, where they became the most successful British sporting team of all time. Between Barcelona and Beijing, Chris won three stages of the Tour de france, set numerous world records (several of which still stand) and became arguably Britain's most successful cyclist to date.

>>Cycling over the Minch
Tuesday 9th to Tuesday 16th October 2018
Prices from £3,240 per person based on 2 people sharing an inside double/twin cabin.

Friday, 27 October 2017

The Delights of Ardgowan House

Ardgowan is a beautiful late 18th century house which stands at the mouth of the River Clyde, looking across to the hills of Argyll, and south-west to the islands of Bute and Arran. Its predecessor, an ancient keep - now a romantic roofless ruin in the garden - stands testament to the strategic importance of the site, which was much fought over during Viking invasions and later during Scotland’s Wars of Independence.



The house in the early 14th century, once taken by Robert the Bruce, became one of a string of west coast royal fortresses until in 1403 it was given by King Robert III to his natural son, John, whose descendants have lived there ever since.

In the late Georgian period the family (now called Shaw Stewart) decided to build a new neo-classical house here which a follower of Robert Adam, named Hugh Cairncross, designed for them. It consists of a pedimented main block, which originally centred on an elegant curved double flight of steps, with wings linking to Venetian-windowed pavilions. The sea-facing garden fa├žade is configured differently, with a central bow rising into the roofline. The main reception rooms are on the first floor and retain their original contents - Gillow furniture supplied when the house was completed in 1801, family portraits of its successive owners, including a run of pictures by Henry Raeburn, paintings and sculptures collected on various Grand Tours and some curious Napoleonic relics including the Emperor’s hat. In the library with its tall well-stocked Gillow bookcases there survives an extensive archive of material relating to the completion and furnishing of the house and a large assembly of family letters and journals. These reflect the boisterous happy life lived within these walls by generations of Shaw Stewarts which has given Ardgowan the distinctive family atmosphere much commented on by visitors today.


The 350 acre policies were laid out in the same year that the house was built. The River Kip was re-routed to flow in a new paved course through the park, groves of trees were planted and winding picturesque walks were devised through the woods to the shoreline to take advantage of the spectacular scenery. The mild Gulf Stream climate encouraged the growth of tender trees and plants in both parkland and the garden which was designed in the 19th century. The house is positioned at one end of an extensive estate which stretches from the hills behind Inverkip to the high ground to the back of Greenock and Port Glasgow. The farming operation is carried out on a number of tenanted farms; there are also forestry and livery businesses run on the estate. Lucinda Chetwode (formerly Lady Shaw Stewart) runs residential educational courses from Ardgowan too, studying the art collections of Scotland and using her own archive and collection to analyse the social history of the 18th century country house. She also runs her antiques business - Ardgowan Antiques - from here.

She, her second husband Christopher, and her son Ludovic are always delighted to have Hebridean Princess groups visit the house.

Hebridean Princess is due to visit Ardgowan House on the following cruises in 2018:

>> Argyll's Secret Coast commencing 1st March 2018

>> Treasures of Argyll and Bute commencing 13th March 2018

>> Architectural Gems of Argyll and the Isles commencing 30th October 2018

>> Argyll's Secret Coast commencing 6th November 2018

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Hebridean's Rising Star

The Cruise Trade News’ Rising Star awards shine a spotlight on the brightest and best talent in the cruise holiday sector and celebrate the achievements of outstanding younger members working within the industry.



The awards are open to employees who are 35 years and under on 15th September 2017.  Some join the Cruise industry a little later than others and then make a real and significant impact, so for 2017 a new category that covers over 35s who have under 5 years’ experience in the sector as of 15th September 2017 has been added.

Earlier this week Cruise Trade News announced the shortlist for this year’s Rising Star Awards.

Hebridean was delighted to receive the news that, in the Cruise Line Sales Rising Star, its newest member of the Skipton shore based team, Abigail Stevens has been shortlisted for the award.

You may recall reading about Abbie earlier this year in both The Hebridean Times and our online news hub.

>> Click here to learn more about Abbie

On hearing the news Abbie commented:

"I am absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted in the 2017 Rising Star Awards - it is so exciting and I am so much looking forward to travelling to London in November to discover who the overall winners will be.  I shall keep my fingers crossed!"

Sales and Marketing Manager for Hebridean, Jonathan Moffatt remarked:

"Abbie is a talented, enthusiastic and enchanting individual that always gives 101% in everything she does.  Since becoming part of the Hebridean team 18 months ago, she built strong relationships with guests and colleagues alike and has created systems for varying administrative procedures that have benefitted all our small team in Yorkshire.

The Rising Star Awards was an ideal way to recognise her dedication outside of the office and therefore a nomination was inevitable!  Everyone at Hebridean is rooting for her."

The full shortlist can be seen below and the winners will be announced at the Rising Star Awards lunch on November 17th at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, London, where of our shortlisted Stars are invited as our VIP guests.

>> The Rising Star Awards Shortlist 2017

Friday, 6 October 2017

Hebridean Road Show

Over the next few weeks, Hebridean will be exhibiting in conjunction with a select number of its travel agency partners. 

If you're in the area, we'd love to see you.

Cruise Select Cruise Show - Sunday 15th October - Sharnbrook Hotel, Bedford


October is National Cruise Month, and Cruise Select is holding its annual Cruise Show on 15 October 2017 at the  Sharnbrook Hotel. During the day, you will be able to meet with Hebridean Island Cruises and travel professionals from various cruise and river lines.

Cruise Select says the top reasons to come along are:

1) Your chance to discover various styles of cruising including river, small ships, expedition and luxury

2) Take advantage of National Cruise Month special offers

3) Exclusive offers only available to Cruise Select

Doors open at 10:30 am until 3:00pm.

>> Click here to register for your FREE places


Northumbria Travel Cruise Show - Wednesday 18th October - Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham

Northumbria Travel is hosting a Cruise Show supported and attended by 12 Cruise Lines, including Hebridean Island Cruises, all showcasing their ships and itineraries on the day. There will be an opportunity to attend a short presentation by each cruise line in addition to talking to the representatives from each company throughout the day.

Exclusive Offers will be available on the day.

This event is on Wednesday 18th October at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham and starts at 10am and will run until 4.30pm

Parking is free of charge.

Call Northumbria Travel on 01670 829922 to secure your complimentary tickets or email info@northumbriatravel.com

Please note spaces are strictly limited and subject to availability.


Ponders Travel Cruise Show - Sunday 22nd October - Hallmark Hotel Bar Hill, Cambridge

October is National Cruise Month, so Ponders have invited the big names in cruising and river cruising, including Hebridean Island Cruises, to join them under one roof to showcase the very best of their National Cruise Month Offers.

You will have a chance to discuss your holiday ideas with an array of travel professionals.

With a luxury prize draw on the day and exclusive holiday offers you really need to put this event in your diary.

When: Sunday October 22nd 2017
Where: Hallmark Hotel Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8EU
Time: 11am to 3pm

>> Click here to register for your FREE places



Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Richard Wilson’s Highland Fling - Broadcast date announced - More4 19 October 9pm




During June of this year Hebridean Princess welcomed a small film crew on board for the filming of a special documentary. 

STV Productions were commissioned to make a documentary for More4 following actor, director and broadcaster Richard Wilson as he fulfilled a lifelong ambition to explore the Highlands and Islands of his native Scotland.

The sixty minute programme followed Richard as he returned to Scotland to embark on a once in a lifetime tour of the north of the country. At 80, the voyage proved a fascinating journey of discovery and personal reflection. The one-off documentary captured Scotland’s hidden gems as Richard travelled in style from Edinburgh to Mull – first by train on the iconic Royal Scotsman, before taking to the water on Hebridean Princess with visits to Oban, Iona, Rum and Skye.


The STV programme titled ‘Richard Wilson’s Highland Fling’ will be aired on More4 on 19th October at 9pm.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Meet our newest sales team member

Abigail Stevens - Sales Consultant



Abigail is the newest member of the reservations team. Born and bred in Yorkshire, she studied Travel and Tourism at Craven College in Skipton. Abigail originally joined Hebridean as maternity cover in February 2016 and was offered a permanent position later the same year.

Since joining the team Abigail has become one of our travel experts, booking flights, trains, hotels and chauffeur cars on behalf of guests, as well as taking cruise reservations and completing many of the administrative tasks within the sales department.

Abigail has a close family connection with Hebridean as our Reservations Manager Lisa White is her auntie! Abigail has previous experience in a customer service environment having worked in a number of local restaurants whilst studying at school and college.

What have been the most enjoyable aspects of the job so far?

I enjoy talking to guests on the telephone and also the opportunity of meeting as many guests as possible at events such as the Ilkley Literature Festival and cruise shows.

I also greatly enjoyed the opportunity to visit Hebridean Princess last year, it makes the job much easier when you have experienced the product. I took great pleasure from the atmosphere and ambience of the ship, the delicious cuisine and meeting all the crew, in particular Chief Purser Dave Indge and his bad jokes!

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like to keep fit at the local gym after work and also enjoy travelling abroad, dining out
and music festivals. I have recently passed my driving test and love driving my new car around the scenic Yorkshire roads.

What do you think are the most rewarding aspects of the job?
The most satisfying part of the job for me is building a rapport with the guests and helping to ensure that they have a truly memorable holiday and return to cruise with us time after time.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Acclaimed British Actor On Board Hebridean Princess

During June of this year Hebridean Princess welcomed a small film crew on board for the filming of a special documentary to be shown on More4. We were approached by STV Productions seeking a unique filming opportunity that would showcase some of Scotland’s beautiful highland attractions, whilst at the same time focussing on a well-known television personality fulfilling a long-held ambition to explore his native Scotland.




Just like the audiences of fly on the wall documentaries, we were intrigued by the proposal put forward by STV Productions and after a series of meetings and ship visits in Oban the cruise chosen for the shoot was 20th June – Historic Castles and Glorious Gardens.



We were asked to keep the identity of the personality close to our chests until filming had ended, but can now reveal that this was Greenock born Richard Wilson, best known for his role as Victor Meldrew in the BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave and Gaius, the court physician of Camelot, in the BBC drama Merlin. During the cruise, Richard visited gardens, historic castles and the holy Isle of Iona, with the cruise culminating in a Champagne farewell reception at Duart Castle on the island of Mull.

Finally, our grateful thanks go to all our guests who gave their kind permission to be filmed as part of the documentary, as well as all the crew on board Hebridean Princess.

The STV programme titled ‘Richard Wilson’s Highland Fling’ will be aired on More4 on 19th October at 9pm.

--PRESS RELEASE--

STV Productions were commissioned to make a documentary for More4 following actor, director and broadcaster Richard Wilson as he fulfilled a lifelong ambition to explore the Highlands and Islands of his native Scotland.

The sixty minute programme, 'Highland Odyssey with Richard Wilson', followed Richard as he returned to Scotland to embark on a once in a lifetime tour of the north of the country. At 80, the voyage proved a fascinating journey of discovery and personal reflection. The one-off documentary captured Scotland’s hidden gems as Richard travelled in style from Edinburgh to Mull – first by train on the iconic Royal Scotsman, before taking to the water on Hebridean Princess with visits to Oban, Iona, Rum and Skye.



Mick McAvoy, head of documentaries at STV Productions, said: “Richard is one of Britain’s most recognised actors with a successful career spanning several decades. This documentary for More4 gave him the opportunity to explore a part of the world where he has always wanted to spend time, while giving the viewer an insight into the unique history and stunning scenery, all through the eyes of the iconic actor.”



Lizi Wootton, Commissioning editor for Features at Channel 4 adds: “It’s wonderful to have Richard back on our screens, with a project that’s especially personal to him. This promises to be a loving exploration of one of the most captivating expanses of the British Isles.”


Thursday, 21 September 2017

Boutique Cruise Line of the Year - WINNERS

On Monday evening (18th September 2017), Food & Travel Magazine held its annual Reader Awards ceremony in the elegant surroundings of the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, London.

It was a great night for Hebridean Island Cruises as we scooped the accolade of Boutique Cruise Line of the Year.


We were up against strong competition, but every vote from the Food & Travel Magazine readers counted and we would like to thank every one of them for casting their vote, helping us to secure this prestigious award.

Ken Charleson, Managing Director for Hebridean Island Cruises commented:

"We are delighted to win this fantastic award at such a respected event - this really does illustrate our commitment to providing the best cruise holidays in a truly unique and elegant way and is testament to our officers, crew and staff both on board and ashore."

Pictured: Jonathan Moffatt (Sales & Marketing Manager), Lisa White (Reservations Manager) and Louise Pratt (Sales & Marketing Consultant).


Friday, 8 September 2017

Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2018


 
Image result for berlitz guide to cruising 2018


We are delighted to announce that Hebridean Island Cruises has been awarded a Star Performer Top Ten rating in the highly-revered Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Guide 2018. Based on ratings by the eminent expert author, Douglas Ward, Hebridean Princess ranked 6 in the Boutique Ships category.

Managing Director Ken Charleson commented; "The Berlitz Guide has been the cruise industry bible for thirty three years so we are very pleased to receive this accolade.  It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all our staff and crew, both on board and ashore."

The 2018 Berlitz Guide to Cruising boasts a number of new features, updates and expansions, including:


·       Enhanced user-friendly design


·       Expanded Star Performers section


·       More independent reviews and scores


·       More colour photographs


·       New information about destination excursions

·       New information about thirty new cruise ships coming in 2018 and 2019

·       Expanded Frequently Asked Questions


Copies of the guide can be obtained from all good major book shops.


Friday, 18 August 2017

Hebridean launches 2018 European River Cruise Collection

We are delighted to launch our 2018 European River Cruise Collection on board Royal Crown, our seventh season of relaxing itineraries which transport you to the very heart of the continent. Our 2018 river cruise collection has been meticulously planned to allow you to discover the highlights of the meandering Dutch and Belgian waterways, the majestic Main and Rhine and the serenely scenic Moselle. All itineraries are enriched by entertaining and renowned guest speakers, in addition to our very own Cruise Director, Tour Manager, Chief Purser and Musician to ensure you are cared for in true Hebridean style.

To add that extra special ingredient, each of our 2018 cruises feature a ‘Hebridean Gem’ – a truly unique and exclusive experience to further enhance your enjoyment of the holiday, such as private visits, receptions and recitals in inspiring locations. Not only will you experience the highest standards of service and comfort, each Hebridean river cruise is fully inclusive. Carefully thought out flight and rail options make joining and departing the ship as stress free as possible. Not only are the travel arrangements included in the cruise fare, you will be accompanied by Hebridean’s own representatives, meaning that you can relax safe in the knowledge that you are taken care of from the very start to the very end of your cruise.

 
 

All of our 2018 cruise have been designed to offer the opportunity to combine cruises with the minimum of repetition, presenting guests with a selection of stunning Grand Voyages that discover the very best of what Europe’s majestic waterways have to offer. With just four exciting new itineraries in 2018 demand is expected to be high and we are delighted to announce that we have extended our launch offers until 30th September 2017 so all new bookings will qualify for an early booking saving of 10% on the published cruise fares.

RIVER CRUISE LAUNCH OFFER OF 10% OFF PUBLISHED FARES
EXTENDED UNTIL 30th September 2017

>> LAND OF WATERWAYS AND WINDMILLS - 20th-27th May 2018 - Amsterdam to Amsterdam

>> HISTORIC CITIES OF THE LOW LANDS - 27th May-3rd June 2018 - Amsterdam to Amsterdam

>> FROM BAVARIA TO THE MOSELLE - 13th July-24th July 2018 - Regensburg to Trier

>> THE MOSELLE TO THE BLACK FOREST - 24th July-3rd August 2018 - Trier to Basel

>> GRAND VOYAGE 1 - 20th May-3rd June 2018 - Amsterdam to Amsterdam

>> GRAND VOYAGE 2 - 13th July-3rd August 2018 - Regensburg to Basel