Friday, 16 August 2019

Cruising the Clyde


You don’t have to travel far north to the Highlands to explore grand historical castles, baronial mansions and escape to Hebridean-style islands of peace and tranquillity. Around south west Scotland, experience a wealth of architectural and aristocratic treasures and exhilarating outdoor adventures in the Firth of Clyde.

This region abounds with great castles and country houses, many in spectacular settings and surrounded by landscaped gardens and parkland, and some of Scotland’s most famous ancestral homes are here.

As we sail the estuary of the Clyde and around its lochs and isles, we are reminded of how rich this part of Scotland grew as a result of shipping and ship-building. The Clyde reached out to the continent and across the Atlantic, and France and America in turn reached out to Scotland via the Clyde. Already by the 18th century, the inhabitants of the castles and grand houses of the Clyde
were wearing French fashions and drinking French wines; the shipping and sea lochs gave access to a much wider horizon than enjoyed in most of England.

From the earliest times the sea provided the most convenient routes around the area, carrying people and trade to the islands and mainland settlements. Materials to construct the castles, churches, country houses and towns had to be transported by sea. 

This region of Scotland is a complex system of long sea lochs which, far from inhibiting travel, are frequently the alternative to long, arduous overland routes. In late October and November our series of three cruises will take us up Loch Fyne on one side of the Cowal peninsula.

Loch Fyne is renowned for its seafood, particularly oysters, and was once famed for its herrings. The fish appears in the coat of arms of the Royal Burgh of Inveraray whose motto is ‘May there always be herring in your net.’


At Inveraray, we will find one of Scotland’s first planned towns with distinct white buildings, built at the same time as the castle and gardens. The original Inveraray Castle was demolished to provide a site for the new town, allowing the Duke of Argyll to build his new home where the old town stood. A remarkable and unique piece of architecture in the Gothic style, the unmistakable Inveraray Castle was the first of its size and type to be built in Scotland.

In the heyday, from late 19th century to 1960s, families from Glasgow and Clydeside enjoyed day trips and summer holidays on the Isle of Bute, travelling by paddle steamer, ‘doon the watter’ to Rothesay. Today the cultural spirit of the old resort still lingers and, on the curving promenade lined with palm trees, the decorative Victorian Public Convenience is elegantly restored.

Bute’s great attraction is Mount Stuart house, an opulent Gothic Victorian stately home within 300 acres of parkland. Its extravagant design features stained glass, an ornate heraldic ceiling, horoscope room and the aesthetically-crafted white marble chapel, reflecting the 3rd Marquess of Bute’s passion for art, astrology, mysticism and religion. 

Now owned by the 7th Marquess, Johnny Dumfries, (former racing driver), the house has an exquisite collection of portraits, paintings and antiques. Stroll around the “Pleasure Grounds” with Pinetum, bluebell woods, wildflower meadows, exotic plants from Latin America, cascading pools and ponds.

Known as ‘Scotland in Miniature’, the island of Arran has a diverse geography, fascinating geology, Neolithic Standing Stones, fertile valleys, snow-dusted mountains peaks, glacial glens, golf courses and white sand beaches. Influenced by the North Atlantic Drift, the climate is mild and temperate year round.


Overlooking Brodick Bay, in the foothills of Goatfell, is Brodick Castle, initially a 15th century stronghold for James II, inherited by the Earls of Arran, later named the Dukes of Hamilton. The original towerhouse was gradually expanded into a Victorian baronial mansion and shooting estate. Since 1957 the castle and landscaped gardens have been beautifully maintained by the National Trust for Scotland.

The island is renowned for farmhouse cheese, Arran Aromatics soaps, and whisky. The Arran Distillery at Lochranza benefits from the climate and pure water to create a smooth, sweet, spicy single Malt, with a nose of vanilla, cinnamon and dried apples. Informative, entertaining distillery tours end with a wee dram.


The neighbouring holiday island of Great Cumbrae is tiny – about three miles by two – with the charming seaside town of Millport. here, the Cathedral of the Isles is the smallest in Britain, designed by the English architect William Butterfield in 1851. With its 1867 organ, harpsichord and Bosendorfer grand piano, music is a vital part of church life during worship, concerts and festivals. Tour the island by bicycle, leisurely and safely on quiet roads.

A cruise of the lower Clyde unites natural beauty and human history, giving the area some of the richest heritage in Scotland today.

OUTLOOK ON THE CLYDE
5th to 12th November 2019
Prices from £3,030 per person based on 2 people sharing an outside double/twin cabin.



ARGYLL ESCAPE
12th to 16th November 2019
Prices from £1,625 per person based on 2 people sharing an outside double/twin cabin.


Friday, 2 August 2019

Cruise Spotlight - Inlets and Islands of Argyll



Our Inlets and Islands of Argyll cruise which departs from Greenock on Tuesday 17th April 2020, offers a wonderful opportunity to experience the beauty of the Clyde islands and lochs of Argyll, combined with our first foray north of the season and arrival in our home port of Oban after a long winter’s absence.

It is a wonderful feeling sailing into Oban for the first time each year and you can feel the excitement and joy as Hebridean Princess arrives home for the start of the season.

Just as Hebridean Princess begins a journey that will take her out of her winter quarters and on to her summer base, at around the same time the huge turnover in bird populations known as migration will be getting under way too.  It likewise involves changes of scene and routines.

It is possible that we may encounter one or two front-runners from the hundreds of thousands of small birds that will already  be moving out of Africa into Scotland, but where migrants are concerned we will mainly be looking at birds preparing to go the other way – from winter in Argyll back to breeding grounds far to the north.

As we depart from Greenock on the south bank of the Clyde and sail west into Holy Loch, we leave the once industrial part of the river behind.  Holy Loch gives you the opportunity to enjoy some of the best scenery in Scotland and is one of the Clyde's finest natural harbours. Its deep anchorage is the ideal starting point for a visit to Benmore Botanic Garden in its magnificent mountainside setting. Its 120 acres boast a world-famous collection of flowering trees and shrubs including over 300 species of rhododendron and an impressive avenue of Giant Redwoods, arguably one of the finest entrances to any botanic garden in the world. Established in 1863, these majestic giants now stand over 50 metres high.  The garden is particularly glorious in early spring with the vibrant blooms of rhododendrons and azaleas.

Bute is an island of distinctly contrasting landscapes from the bare, rounded and craggy uplands of the north to the lower, undulating fertile south.  We visit the enchanting Mount Stuart House; home to the Marquis of Bute, this is a must-see Gothic mansion.

Loch Fyne stretches 40 miles from the Argyll mountains to the sea north of Arran, making it the longest sea loch in the country.  At the tip of the loch, set in 25 acres of woodland, is a superb garden surrounding Ardkinglas manor house. The garden is known for its collection of Champion conifers, including a Grand Fir that reaches 203 feet in height. Another highlight is the Ardkinglas Silver Fir, named as one of Britain's top 50 trees. Trails lead through lush woodland, following the Kinglas river, winding through a pinetum, and past small lochs.

On the Cowal Peninsula, Portavadie sits at the mouth of Loch Fyne and is at the heart of Argyll’s Secret Coast.  Wild, remote and beautiful this undiscovered area is waiting to be explored.

The peaceful little town of Campbeltown, situated on the beautiful peninsula of Kintyre, is one of the largest towns in Argyll.  From here we head to An Ceardach, a 5 acre sloping garden where paths wander through a vast collection of rhododendrons, camellias, hydrangeas and many unusual trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials. There are ponds, streams, rock and a vegetable garden. Wild flower meadows have thousands of daffodils, fritillaries, bluebells and orchids in season. 


Sanda is a small privately-owned island and an important bird migration and breeding point.  Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, it is home to the first bird observatory on the west coast of Scotland.

The Mull of Kintyre is the ancient cradle of Scotland, for it is here in the fifth century AD that Fergus Mór Mac Eirc and the Scoti from Ireland came to establish the kingdom of Dál Riata (Dalriada) which gave Scotland its name.  After rounding the mull we head for Loch Sween, a fjordic sea loch near Lochgilphead, where we discover the picturesque fishing village of Tayvallich.

As we return to familiar waters we land on our first Hebridean island of the year, Jura.  Crowned by the landmark Paps, Jura is a place of wild beauty, offering a haven to a wide range of wildlife, including some 6,500 red deer.  Craighouse is the only village on the island which has a population of a mere 200 residents.

As we anchor in Loch Crinan, in the distance we can see the hill fort of Dunadd, home of the ancient Celtic Kings of Dalriada.  We have the opportunity to walk along the towpath of the Crinan Canal which, when it opened, was an important supply route to the Western Isles but is now a favourite short cut for yachts on their way out to the west.


Our final port of call is the tiny isle of Kerrera which guards Oban bay.  Historically a stepping stone for cattle drovers between Mull and the mainland, this fertile and hilly isle is crowned by the Renaissance MacDougall stronghold of Gylen Castle.
Spring is a magical time to experience the seasonal changes and signs of new life on the west coast of Scotland.  We hope you can join us.

Prices from £2,340 per person based on 2 people sharing an inside twin/double cabin.
>>CLICK HERE for more details.


Friday, 26 July 2019

Hebridean Island Cruises Nominated for 2019 Food and Travel Magazine Awards


The eight annual Food and Travel Reader Awards short list has been revealed and Hebridean Island Cruises is delighted to be included once again!


Food and Travel magazine says:
“Eight years ago we set out to create a series of awards that were unique. We wanted to impartially identify the very best in the game, judged by experts who could draw on real-life experiences to inform their vote. They had to be people with unrivalled knowledge and passion for travel and food. They had to be people like you. Unlike other industry awards, ours are entirely nominated and voted on by Food and Travel readers.”
Those with the greatest number of votes on the closing date of 6th September 2019 will be crowned the winners at the prestigious Food & Travel presentation ceremony to be held later that month. 
We hope we can count on your vote to help us with this prestigious award for the 3rd year in succession - please visit www.foodandtravel.com/awards  to vote - thank you.


Thursday, 13 June 2019

The Undisputed Ship of Queens by Robin McKelvie, Travel Writer

Renowned travel writer, Robin McKelvie, recently travelled on board Hebridean Princess to the outlying archipelago of St Kilda.


Since his return he has written a colourful account of his travels and time on board this well-loved ship for The Telegraph and TravelMagazines.com

Click here to read Robin's full article:

>>The Undisputed Ship of Queens by Robin McKelvie

Read the Latest Edition of The Hebridean Times Here


We set sail from Greenock in March to commence our 31st season. Signs of spring were already visible as we cruised the Firth of Clyde and headed north for our home port of Oban. We are looking forward to our summer out of area cruises; during July and August a series of four eagerly anticipated voyages of discovery will allow guests to explore the northernmost outposts of the British Isles, Orkney and Shetland.  Reports on these, and indeed all of our cruises, will be featured on our ‘Cruise Logs’ which can be found on our website, www.hebridean.co.uk

Chief Officer, Caz Palmer, looks back on the winter refit period in the View from the Bridge article, and you can see the stunning results of the completion of our cabin refurbishment programme on pages 6 and 7.

The centre pages of this issue focus on the Firth of Clyde and our late autumn cruises in this beautiful and wonderfully sheltered, deep water region of unspoilt lochs and isles, whilst the anagram competition on the back cover gives you the opportunity to test your knowledge of this area.

I do hope you enjoy this edition of The Hebridean Times and that we have the opportunity to welcome you on board Hebridean Princess or Royal Crown for a memorable and relaxing holiday very soon.

Friday, 29 March 2019

COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS to Sheku Kanneh-Mason at the Swaledale Festival


** UPDATE ** - TICKETS FOR THIS EVENT HAVE NOW BEEN ALLOCATED

The award-winning Swaledale festival is an annual celebration of music and arts in the beautiful alndscape of the three northernmost Yorkshire Dales - Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale.  With a primary emphasis on classical music, the festival attracts the finest artists from all over the world, and regularly commissions new work.

We are proud to be sponsoring the flagship event to be staged at the 2019 Swaledale Festival, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Friends on Sunday 2nd June. Sheku and his two highly-talented siblings Isata and Braimah will be joined by two friends from London’s Royal Academy of Music for an evening of exquisite chamber music. 


Following his triumph in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition a few years ago, and his performance at Prince Harry's wedding, the brilliant cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason is without doubt the biggest name in the whole of classical music at the present time. The programme will comprise music for two, three and five players by Beethoven, Fauré and Dvořák.

We have a limited number of complimentary tickets to this event which will include a private pre-concert reception and 2 course meal at The Garden Rooms at Tennant's, Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

If you would like to attend please call us on 01756 704704 or email reservations@hebridean.co.uk to reserve your tickets. Please  be aware that tickets are extremely limited, a maximum of 2 tickets per person can be reserved and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.  For full programme details of the 2019 Swaledale Festival call the Box Office on  01748 880019 or visit www.swalefest.org 

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Cruise of the Week - Celtic Panorama

From galleries and museums to castles and coastlines, get a true taste of Scottish and Northern Irish culture on a stunning Celtic Panorama cruise.


The wild landscapes and rugged coasts of western Scotland and Northern Ireland have inspired many an artistic soul – now let them inspire you, too, on a cruise that delivers a fascinating insight into both cultures. Arts Society Accredited Lecturer Stella Grace Lyons will be joining the trip to share her knowledge. ‘I’ve always been interested in how artists interpret their homeland,’ she says. ‘Scotland has produced some remarkable artists, particularly during the second half of the 19th century, and early 20th century.

Guests will be able to make direct comparisons between the paintings I’ll be talking about, and the magical landscapes that inspired them – right there through the cabin windows.’ 

Departing from Oban, the cruise criss-crosses the North Channel and Sound of Jura, enabling guests to enjoy breathtaking coastal scenery in between exploring the cultural gems ashore. The Larne-Belfast leg of the journey takes in some of Ulster’s top attractions – from the state-of-the-art Titanic museum to the 17th-century Glenarm Castle, where guests will view Viscount Dunluce’s private collection of paintings. 

Scottish highlights include cruising around the famous Mull of Kintyre, taking the air at the beautiful fishing village of Tayvallich and sampling the superb rich malt whisky at the Laphroaig Distillery.



As Stella notes, guests can expect ‘dramatic landscapes, luxurious objects, rich and striking paintings – and some of the best food and drink you will ever taste’.

Cruising holidays don’t always ensure an intimate, truly local travel experience, but a trip with Hebridean is different. Hebridean Princess, celebrating 31 seasons of memorable voyages in 2019, carries just 50 guests, allowing for relaxed, uncrowded tours to destinations that many larger vessels simply could not reach. The Hebridean team prides itself on immersing guests in local character and culture – as exemplified by the finale of the tour, a champagne reception in the splendour of Duart Castle, personally hosted by clan chief Sir Lachlan Maclean. It’s a truly spectacular way to end this unforgettable voyage.




An Art Lovers Highlights

Don’t miss these three top cultural gems of the cruise:

Crinan Hotel and Gallery, Argyll
Situated on Scotland’s rugged west coast where Loch Fyne meets the Atlantic, the Crinan Hotel is the ideal artist’s hideaway. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, to find one actually running the property; contemporary painter Frances Macdonald, whose landscapes deftly capture the drama of Argyll and the Western Isles. Her work, as well as that of her talented son, Ross Ryan, is regularly exhibited in Crinan’s on-site gallery.




Ulster Museum, Belfast
A treasure house of Irish art set in Belfast’s tranquil Botanic Gardens, the museum includes works by William Conor, chronicler of working-class life in Ulster; Jack Butler Yeats, Expressionist painter and younger brother of the poet William; and Sir John Lavery, World War I artist and acclaimed portraitist, whose allegorical figure of Ireland, modelled by his wife, long graced Irish banknotes.

Stella’s pick: Dumfries House, Ayrshire

Dumfries House is the highlight of the trip for me – it houses such an eclectic mix of treasures from across the world. The Pink Dining Room is a hedonistic explosion of colour and luxury; I’m particularly interested in its links to Venice, where I lived and studied. The Palladian inspired chimney, the painting by Venetian master Jacopo Bassano,
and the stunning Murano glass chandelier make this, I believe, the jewel in the crown.’





To learn more about the Celtic Panorama cruise and for all cabin prices please click here

>> READ MORE

What's in Store for 2020?

Earlier than ever before, the Hebridean Princess 2020 Cruise Directory has been sent to the printers in order to be released during April.  
Next year Hebridean Princess will return to Norway for a series of four fascinating cruises.  We will explore the lesser known Hardangerfjord and the almost undiscovered Lysefjord, discover the delights of Sognefjord and the deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord, and reveal the awe-inspiring inlets and islands between Bergen and Stavanger.  

We have introduced a variety of new Scottish cruises, including four new ‘Footloose’ walking itineraries, plus there will be many other familiar favourites.  Themed cruises involving cycling, food and drink, gardens, nature and wildlife, arts and architecture, history and heritage will also appear in the 2020 cruising schedule.

The success of our Guest Speaker programme will continue to enrich selected departures and our knowledgeable on board guides will accompany every itinerary to bring each one to life.

Your new brochure should be with you from mid to end of April, but if you would like to advance register for any of our 2020 cruises please call us on 01756 704704 or email reservations@hebridean.co.uk 



Friday, 8 March 2019

Hebridean Princess Starts Season with Refurbished Cabins and Restaurant

Sumptuously refurbished cabins, marble-style bathrooms and a new look Columba Restaurant have been order of the day during the latest winter re-fit of Hebridean Princess.  

The renowned Glaswegian interior designers, John Dick and Son, were once again commissioned to complete our programme of cabin refurbishment and we are sure you will agree that the results are particularly impressive.

Sound of Islay

Loch Crinan
Cabins have benefited from richly coloured fabrics reflecting the colourful seasons of Scotland with bathrooms extensively re-modelled including 2 being fitted with separate walk-in shower cubicles in addition to new bathtubs.

Kinloch Castle bathroom
The Columba Restaurant has undergone a transformation with new seating for guests comfort.  
Columba Restaurant

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Cruise of the Week - Westering Home and Whisky Galore


 
This summer, Hebridean Princess will voyage to the Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland for a series of four extended cruises to uncover some of the best secrets of these remote outposts with a distinctly Nordic feel.

As we return to our home port of Oban, we tour some of the finest distilleries in the Northern and Western Isles to taste some of the finest whiskies for which Scotland is world renowned. However, you do not need to be a whisky connoisseur, or even a whisky lover, to enjoy this cruise of varied adventure as in every port of call alternative visits are available – there is something to appeal to everyone.

Embarking in the east coast port of Invergordon could not be simpler with our rail or air packages, our experienced reservations staff will assist with travel arrangements to Inverness to connect with our onward coach transfer to the port. alternatively you can park your car in Oban and join our transfer to Invergordon at the start of the cruise.

Our first port of call is the historic town of Wick which has been a Royal Burgh since the 16th century. At the Wick Heritage Museum, located in the heart of the Thomas Telford designed Pulteneytown, we discover the many aspects of life during the heyday of the herring fishing industry. alternatively, we can enjoy our first tasting of the maritime malt at old Pulteney, the most northerly distillery on the British mainland.

Arriving in Orkney, we go ashore in the capital, Kirkwall, which was granted royal Burgh status by James III of scotland in 1486. Kirkwall's skyline is dominated by the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral, known as The Light of the North, where we can enjoy a guided tour. The cathedral was commissioned by Earl Rognvald Kali in the 12th century and took 100 years to complete, using locally quarried red and yellow sandstone. Most unusually, the cathedral is not the property of any particular church, but belongs to the people of Kirkwall.

Or perhaps travel to Highland Park, standing proud in Orkney’s remote and remarkable landscape, where whisky has been distilled since 1798. here we meet the modern day Viking descendants, whose passion and skill continue the centuries old traditions to ensure the whisky stands apart.

Scapa Flow, an excellent natural harbour, was a major royal navy base during both world wars. In the early months of World War II, a German submarine slipped into Scapa Flow and sank the HMS Royal Oak, killing 833 men out of its crew of 1,400. Winston Churchill, first Lord of the Admiralty at the time, ordered that causeways be constructed to block most of the eastern approaches. These causeways came to be called the Churchill Barriers, and today they provide road links connecting several islands. We travel along the causeway to Lamb Holm to wonder at the beautiful and unique Italian Chapel, built by the Italian prisoners of war who helped to construct the barriers.


The distillery at Scapa sits in a beautiful location overlooking Scapa Flow, a wonderful backdrop to taste this artisanal single malt forged by the extreme elements of Orkney.

Leaving Orcadia in our wake, we plot a south-westerly course, round Cape Wrath and head for the Western Isle of Lewis, where the magnificent neolithic standing stones of Callanish were erected some 5,000 years ago. At Dun Carloway we discover the ruins of a well-preserved broch, an iron age structure designed to impress and defend. At 9 metres tall, it still stands close to its impressive full height and we can observe an excellent cross-section of a broch which was probably constructed around 200 BC.

Sailing south to Harris, we arrive in Tarbert where we can partake in a tour of the island with its stunning scenery and the rich history which has shaped its identity across the centuries, with norse and Gaelic influences evident. The recently opened Isle of Harris distillery produces an award-winning gin, which has become a firm favourite on board Hebridean Princess.

Crossing The Minch to the inner sound, we make landfall on the Isle of Raasay to discover the island’s first legal distillery. During our tour we learn of their innovative whisky making process and philosophy and catch sight of the incredible view across to Skye.  Otherwise, you may choose to explore the island on foot before enjoying well earned refreshments at Raasay house, where Johnson and Boswell were guests of the Macleod chief in 1773. 

On Skye, we head to Armadale and the romantic ruins of the castle, spiritual home of Clan Donald, and the Museum of the Isles which charts 1,500 years of highland history, or visit the distillery at Torabhaig, the second ever licenced single malt scotch Whisky distillery on the island.

The Ardnamurchan peninsula is home to Scotland’s greenest distillery. sitting in a spectacular location on the shores of Loch Sunart, the Ardnamurchan distillery opened in July 2014 to begin the process of producing what will eventually become world-class single malts.

Our final port of call is the Georgian capital of Mull, Tobermory, where there is the opportunity for a little retail therapy or refreshing strolls in the colourful harbour town. Established in 1798, Tobermory distillery is one of the oldest commercial distilleries in Scotland. Here we can compare two different, but equally alluring, single malts: the fruity, unpeated Tobermory and the more robust and smoky Ledaig.

We hope you will join us on this voyage of discovery.



Guest speaker: Charles MacLean
Charles MacLean has been writing about scotch whisky for thirty-six years, and has published seventeen books on the subject. he sits on several judging panels, including that of the international Wine & Spirits Competition, has chaired the nosing panel of the scotch malt Whisky society since 1992, and advises many whisky companies on cask selection and flavour profiling. he was the founding editor of  Whisky magazine, writes regularly for several international magazines and websites and is a frequent commentator on TV and radio.



>> Click here for more information and fares

M.V Hebridean Princess - The History of the Ship by John Noorani

Regular guest John Noorani has always been interested in the history of transportation, but he has a special interest, and indeed love, for Hebridean Princess.  This is clear from the detail of his research into his recently written book, M.V Hebridean Princess - The History of the Ship.

John's 28 page chronological composition is illustrated with a wealth of photographs from the launch of M.V Columba in 1964 right through to the present day.

The book costs just £5.00, plus postage and packaging, with all proceeds in aid of the International Otter Survival Fund (a charity supported by the author) and will be fund matched by Hebridean Island Cruises.  Copies are available to purchase on board or by contacting our Skipton office on 01756 704704, or by email reservations@hebridean.co.uk


Friday, 25 January 2019

Eagerly Anticipated Hebridean Princess Video - Watch Now

You may have read in issue 29 of our newsletter, The Hebridean Times, the article about capturing the World of Hebridean Princess on video.


During last year, Upfront Photography from Glasgow, were invited to film on board Hebridean Princess to produce a video that would capture everything typical about a Hebridean Princess cruise.

We hope you enjoy watching the final video below.

>> The World of Hebridean Princess on Video

Alternatively, visit our home page:

>> Hebridean Home Page

Hebridean Island Cruises Increases its Support for UK Marine Conservation

https://www.sea-changers.org.uk/
Hebridean Island Cruises has been working with its customers to raise funds for Sea-Changers, the UK marine conservation charity, since 2012 and during this time their guests have donated nearly £30,000. Up until now donations have been made as an optional addition by Hebridean’s guests when they book their cruise aboard the Hebridean Princess. From now on the company itself will match-fund every donation made by its guests, effectively doubling the contributions. 100% of the money that guests donate will continue to fund marine conservation projects; whilst the company’s donations will help to fund Sea-Changer’s first employee post – since the charity has grown considerably, they now need a paid worker to administer the grant fund.


The combined funds will allow Sea-Changers to award more marine conservation grants across the UK. Over the years Sea-Changers has enabled a vast range of vital marine conservation activity, much of it in Scotland and including around the beautiful Hebrides themselves.
 

Some examples of such projects are:

• Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust – funding to purchase much needed computer equipment for their dedicated research vessel, Silurian.

• Marine Conservation Society - purchasing beach cleaning equipment for Scotland enabling MCS to clean and survey 240 Scottish beaches, engaging over 3,000 volunteers, and collecting data on key types of litter polluting Scottish seas and beaches.

• Beach Watch Bute – Funding for storage benches throughout the island in key areas affected by marine litter. The benches will contain handy grabbers, bags, and gloves.

• Basking Shark Scotland - running a series of clean ups in the remote islands of Argyll transporting their volunteers via ribs and an inflatable dinghy.

• Shetland Amenity Trust - funding to produce a film about the UK’s most successful voluntary litter pick which involves 20% of Shetland’s population volunteering to clean its beaches and coastlines annually.

• Craignish Restoration of Marine and Coastal Habitat (CROMACH) – for a pilot re-introduction of the native oyster to Loch Craignish, in order to improve water quality and increase biodiversity while exploring the potential for greater community-led regeneration of the loch using a keystone species.

• Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery - funding to help the hatchery's economic cycle and enhance breeding stocks by allowing the hatchery to pay fishermen and release even more lobsters back to sea.


Helen Webb, Co-Founder of Sea-Changers said, “2018 has been the year when the UK really began to wake up to the problem of plastic pollution and its impact on our seas and wildlife. This and other marine problems can be tackled and with the support of caring marine-based businesses like Hebridean Island Cruises we can make a real difference. We are delighted that the company is going to match every guest’s donation in this way – the increased funds will make a huge difference to our work.”

About Sea-Changers
1. Sea-Changers is a charity with the mission of raising substantial funds for marine conservation charities and projects, primarily in the UK. Registered Charity No. England and Wales No. 1142119 and in Scotland SC043922
www.sea-changers.org.uk

2. They exist in order to harness the energy, good will and resources of those who love the sea, particularly those who use it for leisure activities such as diving, sailing, boating and cruising holidays.

3. Sea-Changers works through partnerships with commercial organisations that serve consumers who are accessing, enjoying or travelling via the sea.
About Hebridean Island Cruises
1. Featuring some fine tours ashore, the luxurious Hebridean Princess offers the highest standards of 5* accommodation, together with a level of service from an almost forgotten era. 

2. Carrying just 50 guests and a dedicated crew of 38, Hebridean Princess has an enviable reputation for exceptional service. She has 30 spacious, elegant and well-appointed cabins, 10 designated especially for the single traveller.

3. For more information and to book visit www.hebridean.co.uk or call 01756 704704.

North Norfolk Travel Show - Sunday 10th March 2019

Discover the world in one day - and all under one roof!
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/north-norfolk-travel-show-tickets-54064435181
Hebridean's Business Development Manager, Hannah Cockell, will be on hand to showcase everything Hebridean and provide answers to any questions you may have about Hebridean Princess, as well as our European river cruises programme on board Royal Crown.

In addition, you will be able to explore the endless holiday options on show and plan your next trip face-to-face with travel experts.

There will be exclusive show-only specials and trip giveaways.

The North Norfolk Travel Show is being held on:

Sunday, 10th March 2019 between 11am and 4pm.

At:

Holkham Hall, Holkham Road, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AB

Should you wish to attend please register using the following link www.nntravelshow.com and enter 'Hebridean' under 'Where did you hear about the show'.

We look forward to seeing you on the day.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Cruise of the Week - The Romantic Main and Rhine

GERMAN GREATS ON THE ROMANTIC MAIN AND RHINE - by Stella Grace Lyons

German art has often been overlooked and neglected. This is particularly the case for the artworks produced during the middle ages and Renaissance. Yet Germany has an extremely rich and varied tradition in the history of art; from the precise Renaissance woodcarvings and prints, to romantic paintings imbued with beauty and mystery, to tumultuous period of the Third Reich, where art was distorted into a tool of terror. In July 2019, guests on the Romantic Main and Rhine river cruise will have the wonderful opportunity to explore this tradition, and see gems by the german greats: Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein the Younger, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Stefan Lochner, Max Liebermann, Max Beckmann, and Caspar David Friedrich.


Why have we dismissed German art? The truth is we haven’t, at least, not always. In the late 19th century Britons were extremely knowledgeable about German culture; literature, poetry, music and art. At this point, and in the 18th century, German culture laid the foundations for the Western world. Germany invented the romantic sensibility, and it was Caspar David Friedrich who depicted this sensibility in paint, in his melancholic and highly imaginative works.

But in the 20th century it all went wrong; people struggled to appreciate the new art emerging from Germany. Perhaps it was too raw for their taste. Max Beckmann for example, described the effects of World War I as an ‘injury’ to his soul and produced images reflecting his experience that are confrontational, powerful and haunting. Knowledge and appreciation for German art dwindled during the first world war, and disappeared almost completely by the time of the second.


In July, we will be lucky enough to explore German works in some of the finest collections in the country, as we cruise along the Main and Rhine. We start the week with a visit to Schloss Weissenstein, an opulent Baroque palace complete with marbled staircases, frescoed ceilings, and a shell-studded grotto. Here guests can admire Lothar Franz’ large collection of Old Masters, including works by Dürer and many by other European painters including Breughel, van Dyck, Rubens and Titian.

A particular highlight of our trip for art lovers will be a visit to the Städel museum in Frankfurt. The collection spans 700 years of art; from the middle ages, to the present day. Look out for the German greats here; the collection includes works by Hans Holbein the Younger, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and an exquisitely coloured early work ‘The Little Garden of Paradise’ by an anonymous artist, known as the Upper Rhenish Master. The Städel museum is also the location of some fantastic 20th century German paintings. These include works by Max Liebermann, a German-Jewish Impressionist painter who became the leading painter in 1890s Berlin. His portraits and impressionistic landscapes were in great demand in the 19th century, but due to his Jewish background, his work was confiscated during Nazi rule. Max Beckmann, Otto Dix and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner are also represented; three ‘degenerate’ artists who explored the brutalities of the war in works exploding with colour, power and expression. The collection also houses masterpieces by European artists, including works by Jan van Eyck, Vermeer, Botticelli, Monet, Degas and Picasso.

In Cologne, guests will be treated to two artistic wonders. The prestigious Wallraf-Richartz collection will again provide an opportunity to see German masters, including works by Dürer and Caspar David Friedrich. Personally, I am extremely excited about finally visiting a work known as the ‘Cologne Mona Lisa’, by Stefan Lochner, one of the most famous German medieval painters. The work, officially titled ‘Madonna in the Rose-bower’, is a panel painting that dates from around 1440. It is one of the finest examples of Mary shown in a hortus conclusus (an enclosed garden), a symbol of her virginity. Our final excursion will be to Cologne cathedral, a building adorned with treasures, including the altar at the heart of St. Mary's Chapel, painted in 1442 and considered to be a masterpiece from the late Gothic Cologne School of Painting.

This trip will be full of varied delights for art and culture lovers. Expect to be bombarded with artworks that are opulent and beautiful, but also those that are powerful and provocative. I look forward to seeing you and to discussing the works on board!

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Visit Hebridean at Alnwick Rugby Club




Hebridean has teamed up with Travel Counsellors to support Alnwick RFC under 15's fundraising Cruise/Travel Event, to raise monies to help fund a trip to the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup.


Hebridean, along with other cruise lines and travel suppliers, will be showcasing its 2019 line up of cruises and we would be delighted if you came along to see us.

There will also be speciality suppliers and demonstrations from:

Aesthetics, Make-up, Jewellery, Clothing, Coffee, Life/Business Coaching, The Real Taste of Northumberland

Entry to the event is FREE and included is a glass of Fizz and Canapes on arrival.

Sunday 17th February - 3pm to 6pm.
Alnwick Rugby Club, Northumberland.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Cruise of the Week - Outlook on the Clyde

Outlook on the Clyde
Hebridean Princess
5th March 2019 - 7 Nights
Greenock - Rothesay - Strachur - Crarae - Sanda Island - Holy Isle - Great Cumbrae - Greenock

Doubles from £3,190 per person
Singles from £3,140

https://www.hebridean.co.uk/itinerary-example.php?id=167

 

Sheltered from the Atlantic by the Kintyre peninsula, the Firth of Clyde is one of the largest areas of sheltered deep water in the British Isles.  The Firth’s many long lochs penetrate far into the Highlands, whilst its outer reaches comprise a scattering of islands, each of different size and character.



Venturing ashore at the Victorian resort of Rothesay, we admire the astounding Victorian Gothic mansion, Mount Stuart House, ancestral home of the Marquesses of Bute, before navigating the narrow Kyles of Bute and Loch Fyne.

From Strachur we explore Sir Robert Lorimer’s finest work, Ardkinglas House, and enjoy a private tour of Strachur House by Sir Charles and Lady Maclean.  Before transiting Loch Fyne and Kilbrannan Sound, the private apartments of Inveraray Castle are opened exclusively for us to uncover the secrets of the Dukes of Argyll.

https://www.hebridean.co.uk/itinerary-example.php?id=167

Springbank Distillery is the oldest independent family-owned distillery in Scotland and its story spans centuries of whisky history.

The tiny isle of Sanda is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and at its southern tip we discover the lighthouse built in 1850 by Alan Stevenson, nicknamed ‘The Ship’.

The sea cliffs of Ailsa Craig offer tantalising views as we steam north to Holy Isle guarding the entrance to Lamlash Bay and a place of worship and meditation since the 6th century. 

On the Isle of Arran, we explore the grand baronial castle, formal gardens and woodland country park at Brodick ahead of our final landing on the delightful island of Great Cumbrae which boasts the smallest cathedral in Britain.

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