Cruise Information & Booking details

Guideliner Hebridean Wildlife Cruises

Cruise Information

The wildlife specialists.

Please note:

There are several cruise companies which offer “wildlife trips” which include visits to towns and harbours etc as a matter of course. We do not. If you want a genuine specialist wildlife cruise with a local expert, anchoring every night in isolated places where you can expect to enjoy the peace and quiet, then Guideliner can offer you exactly that.

If you want a general cruise with a wildlife theme, then please contact the other cruise companies.

Our Western Isles & St Kilda trips are similarly aimed at the wildlife enthusiast, if you simply wish to visit St Kilda, please contact another cruise company (see links)

We try to go ashore every day, and such trips are made via the ships’ tender (a 12ft Rigid Inflatable Boat). Landings are made onto the beach or any suitable shoreline – we do not use piers or harbours, and some agility may be required on occasion.

The trips are in operation from May to the end of September. Most trips leave from Dunstaffnage Marina, which is three miles north of Oban, where there is a rail connection. The marina is only two hours by road from Glasgow and has car parking available.

Although our cruises all start on a Monday morning, we do ask our guests to join the boat on the previous Sunday evening so that we can leave early Monday morning and give you a full first day, which of course you have paid for. The trips finish by midday 6 or 12 days later, to allow travellers by train to catch their connection at Oban.

On all our cruises, you will find that we have a unique feature: the skipper David Leaver. He is a local naturalist, a photographer and a writer, and is renowned for knowing when and where to find the best and most interesting wildlife.

He should with over 28 yrs experience living and working in the area!!

Six Day Cruises

On our six day cruises we intend to spend our time sailing around the islands taking every opportunity to go ashore and seethe wildlife. Passages tend to be of fairly short duration, perhaps three or four hours, allowing us plenty of time later in the day to walk ashore and explore. We are also able to visit some of the best seabird colonies in the area; Rum, Canna, Muck & Eigg; the Treshnish Isles; Coll and Tiree, etc.

We may also be able to visit some of the more inaccessible parts of the mainland such as Lochs Hourn and Nevis, and other isolated places such as Coruisk on Skye. Further south we may visit Iona for its scenery and religious and historic interest, and perhaps Colonsay and Isla or the isolated lochs of Jura. 

Wherever we go we will see the most marvellous scenery and wildlife – whales and dolphins, sharks and seals, otters and deer, and visit some of Britain’s best bird watching sites. The profusion of flowers that are to be seen on the machair islands is also stunning ; there are many varieties of orchids as well as other beautiful wild plants. All the time there is the opportunity for some fantastic photography and even painting for the artistic spirit! Otherwise there is plenty of time to just relax and let the world go by, whilst enjoying excellent food, good company and wonderful scenery.

Each evening we will stay in an isolated bay or anchorage to enjoy a peaceful evening and perhaps to watch otters play around the boat as the sun sinks below the horizon in a blaze of colour. We always lie at anchor, and only in exceptional circumstances will we stay overnight in a populated harbour. Please refer to the comment at the head of this page.

12 Day Cruises

The 12 day cruise is intended to offer the opportunity to visit and explore many more of the islands of the west coast including the Western Isles, the Inner Hebrides and on some specific trips St Kilda, weather permitting. During the cruises, passage times are kept to a minimum so that we are able to enjoy visiting the islands with plenty of time to explore and enjoy them. Guideliner is an excellent boat for making such swift passages and we are able to go ashore every day and see the islands and wildlife via the ships tender. In the evenings we stop overnight at isolated anchorage’s where we are also able to get ashore. As with the 6 day trips, we always lie to anchor and except during one day when we need to get stores and take on water, we do not visit populated harbours.

During the sea passages we are often visited by whales and dolphins and continue to keep up our recording of cetacean sightings and of course basking sharks.

As usual guests can expect a high standard of catering and comfort. Midway through the trip we normally stop off at a more “civilised” harbour where we can enjoy some time off as a rest period for everyone. Most clients take this opportunity to dine ashore at one of the very good local eating houses which we can recommend. Throughout the cruise you can be assured of the very best attention from the skipper and crew.

On some of our 12 day cruises we do aim to get to St Kilda as a priority. The islands that make up the archipelago of St Kilda are of great historic and geological interest. The abandoned village, the superb cliff-top scenery and the extensive bird life make these islands a truly delightful place to visit. We normally expect to stay there for 2 – 4 days (usually dictated by the weather).

We normally try to make for St Kilda more or less straight away after departing from Dunstaffnage, with perhaps a stop over at Barra or perhaps Canna. If the weather is unsuitable we will cruise around the other fantastic parts of the Hebrides until it improves, when we will again try to make for St Kilda. This flexibility is essential if we are to have the best chance of a successful visit to those wonderful islands. It means we do not have to make the passage in conditions which perhaps the guests might find uncomfortable. It also means that in unsuitable weather conditions we can sometimes leave St Kilda to seek shelter and then return when the conditions improve.


Prices are all inclusive except for alcoholic drinks:

£720.00 per person per six day trip – 2006

£780.00 per person per six day trip – 2007

£1350.00 per person per twelve day trip – 2006

£1450.00 per person per twelve day trip – 2007

A 5% discount applies to all our past guests

We are very proud of the high standard of our catering, We offer breakfast, lunch (packed if going ashore) and a three course evening meal. Between times you can get coffee, tea and biscuits whenever you wish. Please specify any particular dietary requirements on booking. Vegetarians are welcome (the skipper is one!). We do try to use fresh produce whenever possible, and local seafood when available.

There are no hidden charges.

To obtain a booking form please click here: Booking Form

For further details, a chat, or to book:

e-mail: [email protected]

Tel. 01470 532393 (evenings and weekends are fine.)
Mobile; 0780 8899356 (also the yacht during the season.)