Friday, 26 January 2018

Come and meet us at London Cruise Shows

Next month we 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.


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.


Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Scotland's Magical West Coast by Richard A Baines of Logan Botanic Gardens

Richard Baines with Gardener's World presenter Carol Klein.
There are few horticultural spectacles that can compete with the beauty and splendour of gardens along the West Coast of Scotland in early Summer. 

Gardens along the western seaboard are famous for their impressive displays of Himalayan plants such as Rhododendrons, Magnolias, Blue Poppies and Camellias and May will be the ideal period for viewing them at their very best. 

Most of the gardens are located very close to the coast and have idyllic views across the western seaboard. This has the advantage of not being hit by late frosts and also having an earlier growing season than gardens inland.

Inverewe in Wester Ross has a wonderful collection of tender Rhododendrons such as Rhododendron Edgeworthii and some magnificent Asiatic Magnolias such as Magnolia Wilsonii with its pure white petals and clusters of red stamens. The view from the walled garden across Loch Ewe is to die for!

Spring fragrance is an integral part of visiting Attadale Gardens which have numerous specimens of the Yellow Azalea, Rhododendron Luteum. It also has an oriental garden from Japan plus a sunken fern garden.

Dundonnell Estate Garden hosts a fine collection of Camellias, Magnolias and Rhododendrons and has an impressive laburnum walk in this ancient walled garden.  Exciting planting in new borders provides all year colour centred around one of the oldest yew trees in Scotland.

Durnamuck Garden situated on the edge of Loch Broom with stunning views is a real plantsman’s garden. With a rich mix of herbaceous borders, trees and shrubs, Mediterranean plants and plants originating from South Africa one will observe plants that are seldom seen in the U.K.

Dunvegan Castle and Gardens has over five acres of formal gardens which will be at their prime in mid - May. Included in the garden is a water garden with its ornate bridges and islands complemented by its rich plant collection. The castle’s former vegetable garden is now elegantly landscaped and houses a diverse range of plants and features such as a glasshouse, garden museum, pond and larch pergola. A lot of restoration work has been carried out in the last thirty years to restore the garden.

Lip na Cloiche Garden is beautifully situated close to the shoreline on the Isle of Mull, and has stunning views of Loch Tuath and the Isle of Ulva. For the avant collector you will be delighted to hear that the garden has an unusual range of plants for sale!

One of Scotland’s national treasures are its castles. Glengorm Castle is an impressive 19th century country house commanding fine views across the surrounding landscapes.

Many of the gardens that we will visit have developed as a result of personal passion for plants and hard work and Ard Daraich Garden is no exception. here a rock garden has been created on a granite hillside creating small pockets in the thin peat layer for planting.

Scottish gardens host some of the finest displays of Himalayan Blue Poppies on the planet and this will be the ideal time of year to view them at Ardtornish Estate Gardens. Why not take this opportunity to view some of Scotland’s finest gardens in the comfort and homeliness of this fabulous cruise ship.

Himalayan Blue Poppies
Richard Baines will accompany our Secret Gardens of the Western Seaboard cruise commencing 15th May 2018 for 7 nights.

A day in the life: David Indge

Hebridean Princess Chief Purser David Indge, tells Ben Ireland from Travel Weekly how life at sea on the 50-berth luxury cruise ship enables him to combine his love of travel and people.

David was born in Bristol and lived at Keynsham.  After attending Weston-Super-Mare catering college for two years, with a love for travel, he joined P&O as a steward in 1974.

After two years sailing on the Canberra, he was transferred to Princess cruises, where he met his wife Pat on board the Sun Princess in 1979.  Following their marriage in 1982, he moved to P&O ferries across the channel and Bay of Biscay.  He seized the opportunity to join Hebridean Islansd Cruises in 2005.

David says he has not looked back since, enjoying all aspects of working for Hebridean and meeting so many friends and interesting guests.

>> Read Ben Ireland's full article in Travel Weekly here

Thursday, 4 January 2018

30 Years Cheers by Graham Clarke

Now that 2018 has arrived, here at Hebridean Island Cruises we are excitedly looking forward to celebrating the 30th cruising season of Hebridean Princess. Guest speaker Graham Clarke has kindly penned a 30th anniversary poem titled "30 Year's Cheers".

Our 30th anniversary season will not go unmarked and therefore we will be replicating itineraries from our inaugural year of 1989, along with cruises from our tenth season of 1998 and the twentieth season of 2008:

>> Original cruise from 1989 - Islands of the Inner & Outer Hebrides 22 - 29 May 2018

>> Original cruise from 1998 - The Hebridean Isles 19 - 26 June 2018

>> Original cruise from 2008 - Secrets of the Western Isles 25 Sept - 2 Oct 2018

30 Years Cheers - by Graham Clarke

A nice glass of whisky with one cube of ice
And a portion of haggis would also be nice

Such pleasures enhance this marvellous trip
On this our most excellent wee Scottish ship

So here's to our Captain and his noble Crew
Our wonderful chefs just cooking for you

Preparers of dishes and bakers of breads
Cleaners of cabins and makers of beds

Here's to our Purser and Chief Engineer
And blokes on the bridge who know how to steer

And men on the deck we call seamen able
And those lovely people who wait at our table

Ensuring our comfort as we sit to dine
And ever attentive at pouring the wine

This ship's been cruising for thirty great years
A Princess deserving of three hearty cheers

So one for our Captain one for his Crew
And might I suggest the third one for you!

© Graham Clarke 2017

Graham Clarke will accompany the Isles of Scilly and Celtic Coasts cruise commencing 10th July 2018 as guest speaker.