Thursday, 24 October 2019

A Feast for the Senses

Our 'Flavours' cruises on board Hebridean Princess and Royal Crown are a true feast for the senses.  A gastronomic voyage is the best way to discover the regional cuisine and local specialities for which the area visited is famous.

Scottish food and drink lies at the very heart of Scotland's culture and economy.  With rolling, rural hillsides, clear coastal waters and lush, fertile lands, Scotland produces some of the best, and most sought after, natural produce in the world.

Scotland’s stunning landscapes are more than just scenery – its coast and countryside are where high quality produce is reared, gathered and grown. From mouth-watering Aberdeen Angus beef, to world-renowned seafood such as hand-dived scallops, wild trout, salmon, oysters and langoustines, these are just some of ingredients that Scottish chefs have to work with. And there’s nothing quite like eating them in the region they come from!  

Which brings us to the national drink – whisky. Over 100 distilleries in Scotland produce this amber-hued liquid. There are five Scottish whisky regions, each with their own distinct flavours, and rumour has it that if you don’t think you like whisky, it’s just because you haven’t found the right one yet!

David Moorcroft recently enjoyed a Gastronomic Scotland cruise on board Hebridean Princess and you can read an account of his experience here: <<Gastronomic Scotland>> 

Join Hebridean Princess in 2020 on our Flavours of Scotland cruise on 31st March or 13th October and explore the wonderful culinary offerings of the Highlands and Islands. 

Our Flavours of the Low Countries cruise on board Royal Crown explores the best of Dutch and Belgian food and drink on a voyage through a vast network of canals and rivers, stopping in key cities to soak up local culture and sample the produce for which the area is renowned.  

Often quoted as having the best cuisine Europe, Belgium’s food specialities extend far beyond just waffles, beer and chocolate.  For such a small country, it has rich local resources such as fish and mussels, meat and game with butter, cheese, cream, beer and wine being used liberally in local cuisine.

Dutch cuisine is unique and distinctive, embracing traditional culinary customs and ingredients. It is safe to say that the Dutch are big fans of cheese – they produce nearly 674,000 tons of cheese each year and export it to 130 countries across the globe. Every region in The Netherlands produces its own distinctive cheese. Cheeses such as Gouda, Edam, and Alkmaar are named after the areas from which they originate. 

Join Guest Speaker John Ducker and savour local beer in Europe’s diamond capital of Antwerp, enjoy the world-famous Belgian chocolate in historic Brussels, sip award-winning Dutch wines in Limburg and taste one of Holland’s biggest exports, cheese, as we explore the picturesque city of Gouda. 

Friday, 18 October 2019

A Cruise Around Scotland’s Western Isles by Dave Monk

On a tour of Scotland’s Western Isles, journalist and cruise blogger Dave Monk discovered the quirky delights of Hebridean Princess.

Read his review for World of Cruising Magazine here: <<READ MORE>>

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Where are we going - Holland or The Netherlands?

By Sheila Salmon, Cruise Director, Hebridean River Cruises 

Keukenhof Gardens
Sorry for any confusion but it is a reasonable question which is frequently asked.  To be honest, both are correct in a way – nowadays North and South Holland form two counties or provinces of The Netherlands, but from the 10th century to the 16th century, Holland proper was a unified political region, a county ruled by the Counts of Holland.   The Kingdom of the Netherlands first appeared in 1579 and since that time this has been the official name for the country which now boasts 12 provinces.  However, even the tourist board seems confused!

What else is there to learn about this near neighbour – well frankly there is nowhere else like The Netherlands.  A small country which delivers an historic and cultural experience far outweighing its size! 

In 2019 Hebridean River Cruises are offering two contrasting cruises around this fascinating nation and it's low-lying neighbour, Belgium – and in a country where one fifth of the total area is water, and one third lies below sea level – a river cruise seems the logical way to travel.

Our first cruise in early April, Tulip Time in the Low Lands, will uncover delightful scenery as we explore the intricate network of inland waterways of The Netherlands and Belgium which flow through historic cities and charming countryside. Discover the contrasting highlights of these two enchanting countries, including a visit the spectacular Keukenhof Gardens, the largest flower garden in the world. Magnificent Amsterdam with its myriad of canals and unique townhouses, the bustling port of Rotterdam, the famous windmills of Kinderdijk, the silver city of Schoonhoven, and the medieval cities of Ghent and Bruges; this cruise will capture the essence of real Holland and Belgium with a perfect mix of cities, riverscapes and spring colour.

The second cruise, Flavours of the Low Countries, sails through a vast network of canals and rivers, stopping in key cities to soak up local culture and sample the produce for which this area is renowned.  Savour local beer in Europe’s diamond capital of Antwerp, enjoy the world-famous Belgian chocolate in historic Brussels, sip award-winning Dutch wines in Limburg and taste one of Holland’s biggest exports, cheese, as we explore the picturesque city of Gouda.   Combined with a visit to the spectacular Keukenhof Gardens, this voyage is a true feast for the senses.

Both cruises will also give you an impression of The Netherlands’ age-old fight against the sea as we cruise through some of the amazing network of waterways which epitomise the country – both natural and man-made.  There is of course the phrase which encapsulates this, “God created the world but the Dutch made Holland” and here again we are back where we started!

1st to 8th April 2020.
7 nights Amsterdam to Antwerp
Prices from £3,210 per person based on 2 people sharing an outside deluxe twin cabin.

8th to 15th April 2020.
7 nights Antwerp to Amsterdam
Prices from £3,210 per person based on 2 people sharing an outside deluxe twin cabin.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Footloose through the Inner Sound

Our first ‘Footloose’ cruise of 2020 offers a tantalising blend of energising walks and fascinating visits to suit every taste.  The diverse landscapes of the Small Isles and Skye contrast with the mainland gems of Gairloch and Shieldaig on this ‘Footloose’ escape of peaceful seclusion.

If you haven’t experienced a Hebridean Footloose-style cruise before, we hope you will
join us for a real treat. The walking part works like this: at each port of call, there is a guided walk which you can choose to join. Each is outlined in the daily itinerary, and the experienced on-board guides will also give a short briefing the previous evening on what to expect, and answer guests’ questions.

We sometimes walk directly from the harbour, or use a hired coach or mini-bus to reach the starting point. Some morning or afternoon walks may only last a couple of hours, but on others we spend most of the day exploring - carrying our own packed lunch supplied by the ship, or calling into a local hotel along the route where lunch has been booked.

How difficult is it? Well, although some routes will cross rough ground, or ascend fairly steeply at times, we are not taking you mountain-climbing! If you have already enjoyed walking off-road, in areas like the Lake District or Peak District, you will be more than ready for this. During an all-day exploration we may cover as far as 8 miles or so, but other walks are much shorter. The guides’ briefing, in the Tiree Lounge the night before, will fill in the details.  And of course, there are also other options for those who would prefer a more leisurely experience.

For the walks you will need your own equipment, including a small rucksack and clothing to cope with rapidly changing weather. If you have walking poles, please bring them as they are invaluable when the terrain gets a bit rougher. We hope you can join us in April to go Footloose through the Inner Sound. And finally, don’t forget your boots!
Footloose through the Inner Sound
Tuesday 28th April to Tuesday 5th May 2020.
7 nights, Oban to Oban.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Hebridean Roadshow October 2019

Over the coming weeks Hebridean will be out and about attending various events. 

Members of the Hebridean shore-based team will be on hand to showcase both Hebridean Princess and our European River Cruise Programme.  

We'd love to see you - please come along and we'll be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

Cruise Select Annual Cruise Show  

Sunday, 6 October 2019 at the Sharnbrook Hotel, near Bedford.

During the day, you will be able to meet with travel professionals from various cruise and river lines including Hebridean's Sales & Marketing Manager, Jonathan Moffatt.

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

The Sharnbrook Hotel (Park Lane, Sharnbrook, MK44 1LX) is located just off the A6 with lots of free parking. The very popular Italian restaurant hosts their famous £9.95 All Day Sunday Roast as well as authentic Italian options should you wish to stop for a bite to eat. We recommend you pre-booking as it can get very busy.

We look forward to seeing you on the day.

Northumbria Travel Cruise Show 

Sunday, 27th October 2019 at Rockliffe Hall, Great Hurworth, Darlington - 10am to 4:00pm

Hebridean's Business Development Manager, Hannah Cockell, will be presenting at 12.00pm.

To reserve your place please call 01670 829922, email or for more information CLICK HERE