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11 nights
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Castles, Islands & Historic Houses of Britain

A voyage from Oban to Portsmouth aboard the MS Hebridean Sky

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If you have ever promised yourself that one day you will become better acquainted with some of the more remote regions and historically interesting parts of the United Kingdom, this late summer journey from Oban to Portsmouth provides a unique opportunity to explore the splendours of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England. Amongst the many splendid houses and gardens we will visit are the opulant Mount Stewart, beautiful Bodnant Garden, the famous, subtropical Abbey Gardens on the charming island of Tresco and Greenway, the wonderful historic house and garden that was once home to Agatha Christie. With regards to castles, we will visit some of the Kingdom’s finest including the magnificent Castle Rushen on the Isle of Man and the impressive Pembroke Castle in Wales.

True, you can always drive, travel by train and coach and reach most of our itinerary with the help of a ferry, but how much more enjoyable to join the all-suite MS Hebridean Sky and travel in comfort accompanied by our expert onboard team without any of the hassle that independent exploration of these fascinating places would entail.

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Hebridean Sky

Hebridean Sky

The MS Hebridean Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world. Formerly known as the Sea Explorer, the vessel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden in Spring 2016 before being re-launched as the MS Hebridean Sky.

View vessel details

Itinerary

Day 1 - Oban, Scotland.

Embark the MS Hebridean Sky this afternoon and sail this evening. A transfer will be available from Glasgow Central Station and Glasgow International Airport at a fixed time.

Day 2 - Colonsay & Jura.

Lying between Mull and Islay, we will spend the morning exploring the island of Colonsay, with her craggy, heatherbacked hills, sparse woodland yet impressive array of plant and birdlife. Near Colonsay House, built in 1722 by Malcolm MacNeil and bought by Lord Strathcona in 1904, we will visit the attractively dilapidated wooded gardens which protect the tiny, enigmatic 8th century St Oran’s Cross. Return to the vessel for lunch as we sail through the Sound of Islay to Jura, arriving in the late afternoon. We will go ashore at Craighouse and will be welcomed in the cooperage where we will be given an introduction to the Jura Distillery and an opportunity to taste the local product. Alternatively, join one of our naturalists on a walk along the shore or join the local bus for a short drive around the island.

Day 3 - Derry, Northern Ireland.

We will berth this morning in the historic city of Derry, renowned as one of the finest examples of a walled city in all of Europe. This morning we leave the city and drive to the Giant’s Causeway an amazing array of 40,000 basalt columns which became widely known from the 1700s as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the unique rock formations which have, for millions of years, stood as a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of the Atlantic storms and the rugged symmetry of the columns never fail to intrigue. Return to Derry for lunch and enjoy an afternoon to explore the city independently.

Day 4 - Belfast.

Spend the morning exploring Belfast at your own pace or maybe visit the Titanic Experience. Located by the site of the ship’s construction, the museum tells the story of the Titanic from her conception through her construction and launch in 1911. After lunch on board we drive the short distance to the famous house and gardens at Mount Stewart. The gardens, which were planted in the 1920s by Edith, Lady Londonderry are of international importance. The magnificent series of outdoor ‘rooms’ and vibrant parterres contain many rare plants that thrive in the mild climate of the Ards Peninsula. We will also explore the opulent house which reveals a fascinating heritage and historic worldfamous artefacts and artwork.

Day 5 - Peel, Isle of Man.

Arrive this morning on the Isle of Man and the main fishing port of Peel. Settlements have been here since the Mesolithic Age and the island also claims to have the longest continuous parliament which was founded in 979AD. This morning we will travel to Tynwald Hill, located in the little village of St John’s. This grass topped, tiered hill is made from the soil and stones from each of the island’s 17 parishes and is the point from which, each 5 July all the laws enacted in the year preceding are promulgated to the gathered government officials and the public at large, both in Manx and English languages. We continue to Castletown and the magnificent Castle Rushen, one of the best examples of a Medieval castle in Europe which was the former seat of the Kings and Lords of Mann. We end our tour at Castletown station and board the vintage steam train for a delightful and traditional journey to Douglas. Dating from 1874, the Isle of Man Steam Railway is the island’s oldest Victorian rail system and this narrow gauge railway still runs with its original locomotives and carriages. Return to the vessel for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Day 6 - Holyhead, Wales.

This morning we will arrive in Holyhead which is our base for a choice of excursions. Choose from a full day tour exploring this spectacular part of North Wales which will include a visit to Portmeirion, an extraordinary Mediterranean-style village designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. Enjoy a tour of the village before a drive through Snowdonia where we will enjoy lunch in the National Park before continuing to Bodnant Garden, one of the most beautiful gardens in the United Kingdom. Spanning some 80 acres, the garden is set above the River Conwy and offers views to the Snowdonia range. Alternatively cross the island of Anglesey and spend the morning at Plas Newydd, an enchanting mansion set on the shores of the Menai Strait enjoying wonderful views over Snowdonia. Spend time exploring the elegant house including the military museum of Henry Paget, the first Marquess of Anglesey who led the cavalry in the Battle of Waterloo, before heading into the gardens or taking a walk in the surrounding woodland. Return to the ship for lunch and a free afternoon.

Day 7 - Steep Holm Island, England.

Enjoy a relaxing morning at sea as we cruise around the Welsh coastline. This afternoon we hope to land on Steep Holm Island located in the Bristol Channel. This small island, just one kilometre long by 400 metres wide, has a fascinating history having been inhabited since the Stone Age and was used by the Romans as a signal station and the Vikings as a base for their raids on the mainland. In the 1860s Lord Palmerston commissioned the fortification of the island to blockade the ports of the area from Napoleon’s forces and these were enhanced in 1941 during the Second World War. Today the island is a Nature Reserve and after landing we have the freedom to explore the trails that cross the island. You may wish to visit the Victorian Barracks, see the gun emplacements at Split Rock Battery or look out for some of the wildlife including Muntjac deer.

Day 8 - Pembroke, Wales.

We spend the day on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast. From our nearby berth we will visit the 12th century Pembroke Castle, the second largest castle in Wales and birthplace of Henry VII. Its vast walls, towers and keep were impregnable to cannon fire during the Civil War and so much of this impressive fortress remains intact today that it will be the focus of our tour. We will then enjoy a short drive to the ancient town of Tenby, a picturesque walled, Medieval town that has remained largely unchanged from when it was built 500 years ago. We will take time to stroll through this town’s delightful centre before returning to the ship for lunch. This afternoon the active may wish to stretch their legs on a scenic walk along a section of the Pembrokeshire coastal path past lighthouses, cottages and Mill Bay where Henry Tudor landed in 1485. Alternatively take the scenic drive to St Davids, Britain’s smallest city, and explore the magnificent 12th century cathedral and Bishop’s Palace.

Day 9 - Isles of Scilly, England.

Spend the morning on traffic free Tresco, walking its idyllic lanes from the beach to the famous subtropical Abbey Gardens. Defying the Atlantic weather, this miracle of a garden is home to more than 20,000 species of plants from over 80 countries. Enjoy time to wander at your own pace along the paths. Sail over lunch to St Agnes, the most south westerly community in the United Kingdom. Surrounded by rocks and reefs, this delightful tiny island offers marvellous coastal walks with over one third designated as “sites of special scientific interest”. The small island of Gugh lies across a narrow sandbar and here we find a single stone monolith called the ‘Old Man of Gugh’ which dates back to the Bronze Age.

Day 10 - Dartmouth.

Sail this morning along the River Dart to our anchorage off the town of Dartmouth. If time permits we hope to explore ashore before lunch on board. On a choice of excursions this afternoon you may decide to visit ‘Greenway’, the wonderful historic house and garden that was once home to Agatha Christie. Visit the gardens, including the Camellia Garden, a wonderful place to sit and ponder on the history of the house and the notable residents and visitors that have included Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake. Alternatively visit the 1920s country retreat of the D’Oyly Carte family at Coleton Fishacre. Lose yourself in the RHS accredited garden by the sea as we wander the paths through glades and past tranquil ponds. Meanwhile the house interior is imbued with 1920s elegance and Art Deco features.

Day 11 - Guernsey & Herm, Channel Islands.

Our last day is spent in the Channel Islands. We awake in Guernsey, the ‘Island of Flowers’ where there will be the option of a walking tour of St Peter Port including a visit to Castle Cornet, a 12th century battlement which guards the entrance to St Peter Port Harbour. Alternatively, enjoy a panoramic drive to see the beautiful coastline and also visit the Little Chapel, built in 1914 as a miniature version of the famous basilica at Lourdes. This afternoon we make the short crossing over to Herm which at just one and a half miles long and half a mile wide, is perfect for exploring on foot.

Day 12 - Portsmouth.

Disembark this morning. Transfers will be provided to Portsmouth Harbour Railway Station at a fixed time.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £500 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
7 to 18 September 2018
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Amundsen Deck Standard Suite £5120 £4620
Byrd Deck Superior Suite £5320 £4820
Mawson Deck Premium Suite £5680 £5180
Mawson Deck Corner Suite £5995 £5495
Scott Deck Deluxe Balcony Suite £6595 £6095
Shackleton Deck Owner's Balcony Suite £6995 £6495
Shackleton Deck Hebridean Suite £7495 £6995
Amundsen Deck Standard for sole use £6495 £5995
Byrd Deck Superior for sole use £7095 £6595

Tour Reference Code: SCHKS070918

Price Includes: 11 nights aboard the MS Hebridean Sky on a full board basis, house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board, Noble Caledonia onboard team, shore excursions, gratuities, transfers, port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance.

Ship to Shore: This cruise is not classified as an expedition cruise, however Zodiac landing crafts are integral to the operation of the voyage due to some of the small ports we will be visiting where we will be at anchor.

 

  • All Decks

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Hebridean Sky

The MS Hebridean Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world. Formerly known as the Sea Explorer, the vessel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden in Spring 2016 before being re-launched as the MS Hebridean Sky.

 
  • MS Hebridean Sky
    MS Hebridean Sky
  • Library
    Library
  • Reception
    Reception
  • The Lounge
    The Lounge
  • The Club
    The Club
  • Hair & Beauty Salon
    Hair & Beauty Salon
  • Restaurant
    Restaurant
  • Restaurant
    Restaurant
  • At sea
    At sea
  • Sun loungers on Observation Deck
    Sun loungers on Observation Deck
  • Owners Balcony Suite - Cabin 601
    Owners Balcony Suite - cabin 601
  • Deluxe Balcony Suite
    Deluxe Balcony Suite
  • Deluxe Balcony Suite
    Deluxe Balcony Suite
  • Corner Suite
    Corner Suite
  • Premium Suite
    Premium Suite
  • Hebridean Suite
    Hebridean Suite
  • Superior Suite
    Superior Suite
  • Premium Suite
    Premium Suite
  • Staff On Board
    Staff On Board
  • Staff On Board
    Staff On Board
  • Food & Drink On Board
    Food & Drink On Board
  • Artwork On Board
    Artwork On Board
  • Lido Deck
    Lido Deck
  • MS Hebridean Sky
    MS Hebridean Sky
  • Owner's Balcony Suite
    Owner's Balcony Suite
  • Owner's Balcony Suite
    Owner's Balcony Suite
  • Your Suite

    On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites. All feature a sitting area and fourteen suites have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views with suites on the Scott and Shackleton Decks featuring private balconies. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring vanity unit with sink and walk-in rainfall shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.

    Additional facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones will enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The beds in each suite can be configured as twins or double with the exception of suite 601 and 602 which feature fixed double beds.

    The impressive Hebridean Suite, located on the Shackleton Deck consists of a separate bathroom and sitting room with extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additonal benefits of booking this marvellous suite include complimentary internet usage, complimentary mini-bar stocked with your preferences and complimentary laundry.

     

  • Your Space

    The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge on the Byrd Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director and talks from Guest Speakers and Expedition staff take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens.

    In addition to the main Lounge, there is also The Club, located on the Mawson Deck which features the main bar where the on board pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also offers a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Mawson Deck is The Library. Well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads, you will not find yourself short of excellent literature on board. A selection of games and two computers complete with complimentary internet access can also be found in The Library.

    The main dining room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Amundsen Deck and is a bright and charming setting to enjoy the delicious meals on board.

    Outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Scott Deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Further to this on the top Shackleton Deck there is an observation area which offers a fantastic platform for spotting wildlife complete with deck furniture, ideal for relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request.

    Throughout the vessel you will notice a wide selection of artwork. With the assistance of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, we were able to secure some wonderful prints from the expeditions of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton.

  • Your Dining

    It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions.

    With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board all three vessels is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapes take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice.

    In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose.

    The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.

  • For your Comfort

    The MS Hebridean Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and Doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.

  • Life Onboard

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels.

    When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship.

    The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.

  • Ship Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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  • Cabin Plans

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    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}Suite 601 is located on the Shackleton Deck and measures approximately 22 square metres with a large private balcony of 8 square metres with table and chairs. The configuration of the suite varies to the other suites on the Shackleton Deck and is as shown in the cabin plan above.

  • Review

    Click below for a review on Silver Travel Advisor of our La Dolce Vita cruise aboard MS Hebridean Sky.

    Cruising the coast of Sicily with Noble Caledonia

  • Deck plans
    • All Decks

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Tour Extensions

    • 5th to 7th September 2018

      If you would like to spend some time at the five star, Gleneagles Hotel before joining the MS Hebridean Sky we are offering a two night independent stay. The hotel is within an hour’s drive of Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. There are also direct trains from London arriving in five hours to the hotel’s very own station, just two minutes from the hotel. To join the MS Hebridean Sky, there will be a Noble Caledonia transfer from the hotel to the vessel in Oban.

      Whilst at the hotel you can simply relax and enjoy the wonderfully comfortable surroundings or partake in an extensive range of optional country pursuits and leisure activities including a round of golf on one of the iconic courses, archery, horse riding or fishing. There are a number of walking trails around the grounds and a wonderful health club which is complimentary for guests and includes two indoor pools, a bubble pool and thermal suite and well equipped gym.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £395

      Price includes: Two nights accommodation in a Classic Room at Gleneagles Hotel including breakfast, transfer from hotel to MS Hebridean Sky.

      Not Included: Travel insurance, transport to hotel.

      NB: Minimum numbers apply.

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