An exciting new addition to our programme! From September 2019 we are offering small ship art cruises. What an enriching way of exploring Scotland’s most stunning locations! And to celebrate this new partnership we’re offering places at introductory prices on the September 2019 trip. So, book your flights to Scotland and come on board 🙂 – Fully booked – you can register your interest for a 2020 art cruise
We will cruise Scotland’s Great Glen in a wee ship, sailing through Loch Ness and along the incredible Caledonian Canal. See the wonderful autumn colours in the company of our onboard, very experienced, art tutor Anthea Gage, RSW. Anthea has more than 30 years’ experience teaching artists of all ages and abilities.
During the cruise you will be discovering, with your sketch book, how to record and capture the ever changing and beautiful Scottish sea- and landscapes around the boat, as well as ashore when appropriate. We will explore a wide variety of materials and techniques, from drawing with traditional media like pencils and oil pastels, to liquid watercolour painting, mixed media work and collage. The focus will be on developing individual skills and enjoying learning about new approaches to drawing and painting, using the sketches to later produce a more finished and detailed work indoors. There are several sheltered spots on deck to work outside as well as space in the main cabin area. This workshop is suitable for all artistic skills levels and art materials will be provided.
This seven day Scottish cruise travels both ways through the Caledonian Canal which connects Fort William on the west coast of Scotland, situated at the top of Loch Linnhe, to Inverness on the east coast, the capital of the Highlands, situated on the Moray Firth.
The Caledonian canal is some 60 miles long and its 29 locks, 10 bridges and 4 aqueducts link the lochs of Dochfour, Ness, Oich, and Lochy. These spectacular sea and fresh water lochs are all located in the Great Glen. Throughout the cruise there are great walks, stunning wildlife, amazing sea and fresh water lochs and picturesque Highland villages and towns. And, perhaps, even a chance of seeing the elusive Loch Ness monster!
This cruise departs from Dunstaffnage Marina near Oban and finishes in Inverness.
Our itinerary is flexible and will depend on guests’ wishes, your skipper and, of course, the weather conditions.
Oban: We embark our vessels at 1.30pm at Dunstaffnage Marina, near Oban, the gateway to the Hebridean isles.
Places we may visit include:
Castle Stalker, Loch Linnhe: We head out into beautiful Loch Linnhe and cruise along the east side of the picturesque Isle of Lismore to an anchorage off Shuna Island. We will pass the famous Castle Stalker located on a small tidal loch and our spectacular backdrop up ahead is the Ben Nevis mountain range.
Corpach, Caledonian Canal entrance: To arrive at the Caledonian Canal entrance we cruise up Loch Linnhe. In this stunning sea loch you will have the opportunity to see many types of sea wildlife, including sea eagles, dolphins, seals and the occasional whale. We are surrounded by fantastic scenery with the impressive Ben Nevis mountain becoming closer as we travel up the loch. After carefully navigating the Corran Narrows we anchor off the Canal entrance at Corpach.
Caledonian Canal: We enter the canal and climb up through the eight locks of “Neptune’s Staircase” to rise nearly 500 feet above the sea. You can walk along the towpath or stay on board as we climb. Then we cruise to Gairlochy and our first inland freshwater loch which is the long and narrow Loch Lochy. In the autumn, the surrounding hills are alive to the bellows of the rutting stags and the tree-lined parts of the canal are truly magnificent in their autumn colours. We cruise on through beautiful Loch Oich to reach the town of Fort Augustus.
Fort Augustus, Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness: We can visit the bustling town of Fort Augustus with its canal side pubs, Clansman Centre and Caledonian Canal Heritage Centre. When we leave the town we begin our descent through the locks to Loch Ness. This a large, long (23 miles) very deep loch and is famous for golden eagles, ospreys and of course “Nessie”! We can anchor off the fabulous, historical Urquhart Castle for an incredibly scenic night.
Drumnadrochit: We can visit the pretty village of Drumnadrochit, home to the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, and surrounded by Glen Moriston and Glen Urquhart. We finally cruise to the end of Loch Ness and arrive at Muirtown Basin, near Inverness.
Inverness: Our final destination Inverness is a beautiful historic city, capital of the Highlands, and not far from the site of the famous Battle of Culloden. There is the Ness Island Trail, which follows the River Ness, and you can even walk the towpath to the Canal’s end at Clachnaharry, where it enters the sea.
Seahorse II (82 feet long and a beamy 23 feet) was built to the highest standard for the Norwegian fjords and life in the high northern latitudes. A 10mm Swedish steel hull, air conditioned and heated throughout, and winter sailing for the British Royal Navy for months at a time in the western approaches means that this wee, cruise ship is more than enough for our summer adventures in the Gulf Stream warmed waters of the west coast of Scotland. Powerful enough to cruise the many spectacular islands and lochs of the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides, yet small enough to anchor in remote and hauntingly beautiful places that the larger passenger ships are unable to visit. With a maximum speed of 11 knots (from a 350 hp Volvo diesel) and with 15 tons of fuel and 10 tons of fresh water Seahorse II is a sturdy, go-anywhere, yet comfortable adventurer.
Seahorse II can take up to eleven guests. There are two double (or twin) en-suites and two further twins, two single cabins and one double/single cabin with a 105 cm wide bed, all temperature controlled and with washbasin. All cabin linen and towels are supplied including towelling dressing gowns for the cabins with no en-suite. There is a wonderful deck saloon where we dine and view the spectacular wildlife. A bridge full of the best navigational aids, a high foredeck for wildlife spotting and a boat deck for lounging, Seahorse II is the perfect vessel for your life afloat.
On the spacious aft deck (ideal for alfresco dining when the boat is at anchor or under way) we have a powerful little crane for launching Seahorse II’s tender, two sea kayaks and paddle board. Here there is also plenty of room for windsurf and kitesurf gears, diving gear, sailing dinghies and anything else you need for a great Scottish sea adventure.
You will have a crew of three taking care of you – a professional skipper, an on board chef and another crew member to provide assistance whenever needed.
Prices are in £ (Pound Sterling) and per person:
Single cabin – £1235 introductory price
Twin cabin (two beds) – £1235 introductory price
En-suite twin cabin (two beds) – £1564 introductory price
En-suite double cabin (one large bed) – £1564 introductory price
This 7-day art cruise package includes:
Not included: flights to and from Scotland; transport to and from cruise departure/end location.
Guests are required to take out personal travel insurance. A non-refundable deposit of 30% of the package cost secures your space.