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Discover the restored Iona Abbey, Scotland

Scotland Slowly

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Endeavour
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June is an ideal month to visit Scotland, with birds breeding well underway, there are plenty of opportunities for avian enthusiasts. Photographers are in their glory amid the gorgeous scenery and small-group tutorials can help shutterbugs capture the experience at its finest. Board the Ocean Endeavour and enjoy 11 days of contemporary comforts as you explore your way out from Glasgow, through the western isles and the Pentland Firth to Orkney and Shetland. Abundant ecology and spectacular geology beckon adventurers for a closer look!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Glasgow & Oban | Embark
Day 2 : Islay
Day 3 : Iona & Staffa
Day 4 : Isle of Skye
Day 5 : Mingulay
Day 6 : St Kilda
Day 7 : Isle of Lewis
Day 8 : Kirkwall, Orkney
Day 9 : Foula & Papa Stour
Day 10 : Mousa
Day 11 : Aberdeen, Scotland | Disembark

Highlights

  • Marvel at western Europe's largest collection of megalithic structures
  • Appreciate Scotland's picturesque shorelines and maritime heritage
  • Climb Mousa Broch, an almost-perfectly intact Iron Age fortification
  • View the largest seabird colony in the United Kingdom at St. Kilda

Ship

Ocean Endeavour

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Discover the restored Iona Abbey, Scotland A group of puffins sit on the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Explore the enchanting city of Glasgow Seabirds flying over dramatic ocean island cliffs St Kilda Broch of Mousa, Scotland

Day 1 Glasgow & Oban | Embark

Dubbed the Empire's Second City, this bustling metropolis is a working town and the economic engine of Scotland. Known for its architecture, Glasgow's cathedral spires and Italianate steeples sit harmoniously alongside neo-gothic towers, the sensuous Art Nou-veau of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the titanium, glass and steel that serves as the backdrop for this contemporary city. Make your way to via coach Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park to Oban, where you must board the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 2 Islay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Known as the Queen of the Hebrides, Islay is the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides, lying just forty kilometres off the Irish coast. With a climate warmed by the Gulf Stream, the island is a haven for a variety of bird species. The capital of Islay is Bowmore, home of the Bowmore Round Kirk and one of the island’s seven renowned whisky distilleries. 

Day 3 Iona & Staffa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Not far from Mull, the isle of Staffa is noted for its remarkable geography, including basaltic formations and numerous caves. The most famous of these is ‘Fingal’s Cave’, a spectacular natural feature named for the Celtic hero. Originally known in Gaelic as “the melodious cave”, it provided the inspiration for Mendelssohn’s overture, the Hebrides. Nearby Iona is where St. Columba established his monastery—the luminary of all the Caledonian Region in 563 AD. Iona was traditionally the burial place of kings and it long enjoyed the patronage of the Lord of the Isles. The restored Iona Abbey complex preserves two outstanding eighth-century crosses and a splendid collection of sculptures commissioned or influenced by the Chiefs of Clan Donald and their allies. En route to the Isle of Skye, sail by the bird cliffs at Lunga, where razorbills, guillemots, and puffins make their nests.

Day 4 Isle of Skye

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your visit to Skye continue along the southwestern shore as you visit Loch Coruisk, a freshwater loch only metres above sea level accessed through Loch Scavaig. Some maintain that this remote loch is one of the finest mountainscapes in all of Britain, set against a stunning backdrop formed by the Cuillin Mountains. Take the opportunity to hike the western shore of Loch Coruisk, making this day a superb stop for birders, hikers, and photographers.

Day 5 Mingulay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Outer Hebrides form a long archipelago off Scotland's west coast and are the stronghold of Gaelic culture and language. Mingulay is home to puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes, shags, fulmars and razorbills. Sightings of eagles and peregrine falcons are possible here. This lovely island also served as inspiration for the noted tune "Mingulay Boat Song". Now uninhabited, a large natural arch and dramatic sea stacks adorn the western side of the island.

Day 6 St Kilda

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
St. Kilda was inhabited until 1930 when the population was forced to request evacuation. This near-mystical isle, 64 km (40 mi) west of the Outer Hebrides and now a World Heritage Site supports an abundant population of seabirds, notably puffins, fulmars and the largest gannet colony in Britain, and the Soay - a unique feral sheep left by the islanders. It also preserves many examples of houses, cleits (stone beehive shaped storage structures) and prehistoric remains. A hike to the cliffs offers a stunning 274m (900 ft) vista. To visit St. Kilda is a unique privilege and a memorable experience.

Day 7 Isle of Lewis

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Farther north lies Lewis, the largest of the Hebrides, the home of Harris Tweed and Scotland's largest Gaelic speaking community. Visit Stornoway, the island's capital city. On the west side, Callanish is one of Britain's most important Stone Age sites, a primordial configuration of standing stones dating from 2000 BC. One local tradition tells the story of giants who refused to be converted to Christianity, and were turned to stone as punishment by Saint Kieran.

Day 8 Kirkwall, Orkney

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An early morning sail brings you past the Old Man of Hoy, a distinctive 137m (450 ft) sea stack, a red standstone plinth of igneous basalt on the west coast of the isle of Hoy. Incredibly, the crumbling monolith has separated from the nearby headland only in recent centuries. 

Continuous occupation by Vikings, Celts, Picts and stone-age peoples make Orkney one of the richest archaeological areas in the UK. Visit the 4,000-year old Ring of Brodgar, one of Europe's finest ancient Neolithic monuments, and also Maes Howe, a Neolithic chambered cairn estimated to have been constructed around 2700 BC.

Kirkwall is a fine country town dominated by the massive Magnus Cathedral, dating from 1137, one of the best examples of its kind in Britain and the final resting place of Orkney-born Canadian Arctic explorer, John Rae. Orkney has strong links to the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). From HBC's early days, their ships regularly called at Stromness for supplies and labour. By late 18th century three quarters of the HBC's workforce in Canada were Orcadians.

Day 9 Foula & Papa Stour

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Papa Stour, with its amazing caves, blowholes, and sea stacks, has a population of under twenty souls, though marine and bird life flourishes there. Erosion of volcanic rock has created geologic wonders here, including high cliffs, caves, sea stacks, and blowholes. There are numerous Neolithic burial sites on the island, as well as Norse Ruins. The island is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the neighbouring seas, a Special Area of Conservation. 

Found twenty-three kilometres west of the Shetland Islands, Foula is the most remote permanently inhabited island in the UK. Here, a few dozen folk make their homes, many preserving traditional methods of agriculture and subsistence—yet most have access to the Internet in their crofts. Known for its 365-metre cliffs, Foula is popular with birders looking to see Arctic terns, red-throated divers and great skuas. 

Day 10 Mousa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The isle of Mousa, in addition to being a fine birding island, Mousa is the site of the best preserved broch in the world. These fortified structures are unique to Scotland. Explore the 12m (40ft) high monument and climb the inner staircase up. Its precise function is a matter of debate and a potent source of speculation.

Day 11 Aberdeen, Scotland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
The Clipper Adventurer arrives in Aberdeen in the morning and you can chose to extend your stay on your own or make your way home.

Ocean Endeavour

Per person starting at
$4,995
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 1 Quad
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Quadruple - Category 1
Deck four. Interior cabin, four lower berths, private bath (separate shower room and powder room) - approx. 240 sq. ft.
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 2 Triple
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Triple - Category 2
Deck four. Interior cabin, 3 lower berths, two private baths - approx. 200 sq. ft.
Interior Twin cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Interior Twin - Category 3
Deck five. Interior cabin, 2 lower berths, private bath - approx. 125 sq. ft. (twin)/110 sq. ft. (single)
Exterior Twin Cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Exterior Twin - Category 4
Deck four. Porthole window, unobstructed view, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 100 sq. ft. (twin)/90 sq. ft. (single)
Exterior Twin Cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Main Twin - Category 5
Deck five. Picture window, unobstructed view, 2 lower berths, private bath - approx. 115 sq. ft.
Comfort Twin cabin on board Ocean Endeavour
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Comfort Twin - Category 6
Deck four. Two portholes, views, two lower berths OR matrimonial bed- 175 sq.ft. Deck seven: picture window, partial view, two lower berths- 135 sq.ft. Deck eight: Picture windows, obstructed view, matrimonial bed, pvt. bath, fridge - 160 sq.ft.
Top Deck Twin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Select Twin - Category 7
Deck five. Picture windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths OR matrimonial bed, approx. 190 sq. ft. and deck eight: oversize windows, partial obstruction, private bath, refrigerator - approx. 145 sq. ft.
Superior Twin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Superior Twin - Category 8
Deck five. Two picture windows, view, two lower berths, sitting area- 210 sq.ft. Deck seven: forward-facing windows,view, matrimonial, private bath w/full tub- 180 sq.ft. Deck seven: picture windows, partial view, matrimonial, pvt bath, fridge - 160 sq.ft
Junion Suite on board the Ocean Endeavour
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Junior Suite - Category 9
Deck five: picture windows, views, matrimonial bed, sitting area- approx. 270 sq. ft. Deck seven: forward-facing picture windows, views, matrimonial bed, private bath w/full tub, sitting area, private bath, refrigerator - approx. 290 sq. ft.
Suite on the Ocean Endeavour
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Suite - Category 10
Deck seven. Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed view, matrimonial bed, private bath with full tub, refrigerator - approx. 310 sq. ft.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.

- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the double occupancy rate.

Expedition Costs Include:
  • Pre-departure materials
  • The expertise and company of our expedition staff 
  • Onboard educational programming
  • Interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment
  • All shipboard meals, including on deck barbecues & afternoon tea, 24-hour coffee, tea and snacks
  • Hors d’ouevres & snacks during evening recaps
  • 24-hour documentary and film programming
  • Fully stocked library
  • Nikon Camera Trial Program
  • Introductions to local people and customs
  • Sightseeing
  • Museum entries, park accesses, port taxes
  • Access to pristine wilderness areas
  • Zodiac tours and cruises
  • On-site archaeology workshops
  • Community programming: local performances, presentations, and demonstrations
Expedition Cost Does Not Include:
  • $250 USD Discovery Fund Fee
  • Commercial and charter flight costs
  • Gratuities (suggested at $15 USD per person per day)
  • Bicycle rentals
  • Personal expenses
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Possible fuel surcharges
  • Pre- and post-trip hotel accommodation
  • Additional costs associated with credit card payment
  • Program enhancements

Included

  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Change & customize to make it yours.
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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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