Adventure sailing holiday – St Kilda: to the ends of the Earth
25 April – 09 May 2021 (£1,499)
No previous experience needed
Adventure to St KildaMagnificent, awe-inspiring St Kilda. More often than not spoken about in hushed tones by sailors, such is the lure of this difficult to reach archipelago. Situated more than 40nm west of the Outer Hebrides and uninhabited since 1930. it has some of the highest cliffs in Europe, and large colonies of rare and endangered birds, especially puffins and gannets. It's vast cliffs strut out into the Atlantic, swept by storms even in summer, yet form some of what has been described as one of the most beautiful places in Europe.
The Outer Hebrides are an exposed and tricky area to sail, and weather conditions can be unpredictable and turn quickly. As such, more than ever, this itinerary is a guide only and we will be very much working with the weather. We may not make it to St Kilda – that is what makes it so elusive – but we will try!
Summary of the area
Sailing the west coast of the Outer Hebrides gives access to stunning white sand beaches scattered along a coastline that faces the full might of the Atlantic Ocean. The ultimate Scottish sailing destination, the dual World Heritage Site of St Kilda lies 42 miles out to the west from the Sound of Harris.
The islands we can sail around and explore
Other Outer Hebrides outlying islands on the Atlantic Coast include the Monach Isles off the coast of North Uist. Off the west and north coast of Lewis lie the Flannan Isles, North Rona, Sula Sgeir and the iconic Rockall. Between West Loch Tarbert and Loch Roag there are the more easily accessible islands of Taransay (famous for its starring turn as the island in the BBC series Castaway) and Scarp.
Marine life includes common and harbour seals, basking sharks, dolphin, porpoise, blue shark and Minke whale.
St. Kilda is the biggest island in the archipelago with Boreray and Soy to the north and Levenish to the south. It is a double UNESCO world heritage site and home to over a million seabirds. Wonderful anchorages, and so much to see and explore ashore. We just have to hope we have the weather to make it there!
You should join the boat in Stornoway any time after 1200 hrs on the start day. You will disembark the boat in Oban at 1200 hrs on the last day
- Stornoway airport is served by direct flights from the mainland (all less than about an hour’s duration) from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. Flights are by Flybe and Eastern Airways.
- Caledonian MacBrayne ferries sail at least twice daily in each direction between Ullapool and Stornoway (one each-way crossing on Sundays).
- Scottish Citylink coaches operate service number 961 (booking essential) from Ullapool to Inverness (& v-a-v), with luggage handling through to Stornoway arrivals hall. Citylink connects with coach services from Glasgow and Edinburgh, which in turn connect with the National Express network.
- Oban is a 3-4 hour train ride from Glasgow rail station, which has a coach connection to Glasgow Airport (IATA code: GLA)
AGE & EXPERIENCE
These adventure sailing holidays are open to everyone aged 18 years and over. If you are aged 70 or over, or have any concerns about your health, we ask that you get a doctor’s note before booking. This is just to make as certain as possible that you will be okay out on the water.
NO PREVIOUS SAILING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. We really urge you not to spend any extra money unless you are sure you want to! You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.
We are committed to helping as many people as possible have an amazing sailing holiday and experience the magic of the sea. Our skippers and mates have medical training and the boats have some medical supplies and equipment on board. However, the reality is that once on board access to professional medical assistance is going to be slower than if you were on land. If we are offshore it may be some days. For this reason we ask you to check through the medical disclosure form below before you book. If you answer yes to any of the questions, you should get in touch with us before you book. It will probably still be fine but it’s good to make sure. You will be asked to submit the form electronically 14 days before the start date, ensuring that we have the most up to date information.
- It is essential that you have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
- We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance that covers you for any medical mishaps in the build up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim you fees.
- Please note we cannot refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medial issues.
- For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.
TRIP CATEGORY: COASTAL
Mostly day sailing, shorter mileage and more time to head ashore and explore. However you must be aware that in this region the weather can turn quickly and we may encounter rougher seas
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- Foul weather clothing to keep you dry in any conditions.
- Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
- Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
- All on-board food and snacks.
- Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
- RYA sailing qualifications where applicable.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Your travel to and from the start and end points.
- Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here)
- Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route
- Any meals you eat ashore
Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras.
- These expeditions have small numbers of people on board. When you book, you are committing to being a part of the crew.
- These are genuine adventure sailing holidays and you will be helping sail the boat, planning where we go, navigating, cooking and keeping the boat clean and tidy.
- When you book, the deposit is non refundable. It is possible to cancel subsequently, however you may still be liable for the balance of the invoice, depending on how close you are to the start date when you cancel.
- Please ensure you have read and agreed to the T&Cs and read the Trip Notes before booking.