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Madagascar - The Eighth Continent

A circumnavigation of Madagascar aboard the MS Hebridean Sky

  • 18 December 2023
  • 4 January 2024
  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Expedition Cruising
  • Panther chameleon

Join us aboard the MS Hebridean Sky for a full circumnavigation of the fascinating island of Madagascar. The animals, plants, landscapes and people that make up this thousand mile long island are unlike anywhere else in the world and we have the luxury of two weeks of exploration to experience the many wonders of the island. During our comprehensive itinerary there will be ample opportunity to discover the rainforests which are full of wildlife including the iconic lemur, chameleons and indigenous birdlife as well as seeing the underwater world and village life.

Madagascar has long remained obscure as a destination and is still relatively unexplored, there is minimal infrastructure in many parts of the island and for those wishing to explore in some depth, doing so by small ship, especially one as well-suited as the MS Hebridean Sky is far preferable to exploring by any other means. In the company of just 100 fellow guests our days will be spent exploring ashore, often traversing over rugged terrain and walking through spectacular rainforests, and each evening we will have the benefit of returning to our comfortable ship to relax and look forward to the next adventure.

With the vessel’s fleet of Zodiacs for forays ashore, allowing access to the wonderful places denied to larger ships, we will explore and enjoy encounters with fabulous endemic wildlife in this immensely rich and timeless corner of the Indian Ocean. Your experience will be made all the more memorable by our expert crew and officers who, along with our expedition team including marine biologists, ornithologists and botanists have many years of experience in the region.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • What to Expect...

    Flexibility is the key to an expedition cruise; sometimes the whole day’s schedule will be changed to maximise your experience, something that would not be possible on a large cruise ship. Each day holds something new and below are some extracts from the ship’s log from previous expeditions which will provide you with an idea of what to expect.

    Mahajanga & Ankarafantsika National Park: No such thing as a Sunday lie-in this morning as we were up bright eyed and bushy tailed in readiness for an exciting day. The sea was a millpond. Women in traditional dress greeted us on the slipway and our transport waited at the end of a strip of market stall selling local crafts. The convoy of minibuses departed Mahajanga driving through the busy streets before heading out in the countryside. Savannah like landscape could be seen for miles on either side of the tarmac road. The savannah gave way to large swathes of rice paddies. Local rice farmers were seen harvesting the rice, children waved from the roadside, as we passed through beautiful villages. We arrived at the Ankarafantsika National Park, a mere two hours after leaving the dock. Immediately after arriving, we saw a troop of brown lemur and the gorgeous Coquerel’s sifaka expertly negotiating their way through the canopy. Already we could see this was a special place and we had not even left the car park! We were on the lookout for creatures great and small, and we found them. Our guides took us on prepared trails through the dry forest, spotting a variety of bird species, reptiles, and of course, lemur. Highlights included an eye-height view of a paradise fly-catcher incubating on a nest; a female Milne-Edwards sportive lemur with her juvenile resting on a tree trunk, iguanas basking in a variety of different body positions in spots of sunlight and, the fantastic spot of the Madagascan fish eagle. Combined we saw 51 different species of bird and reptile, and five species of lemur. What an incredible day!

    Nosy Mangabe: This morning we were anchored off the Masoala Peninsula which is covered in primary rainforest. Our destination Nosy Mangabe is a small island in the national park. We disembarked the long and ‘Birder’ walks first followed by the medium and short walks on a beautiful golden beach backed by primary rainforest. Once ashore we split into our various groups and headed off into the forest in search of wildlife. The lemurs appeared, racing through the treetops and there were frogs everywhere. There were the green-backed mantellas, quite brash in their black and green colours, tiny nondescript frogs laying their single egg in the stumps of bamboo. There were a number of leaf-tailed geckos which were so well camouflaged that they were almost impossible to see even at close range. Near the landing site, the lemurs came down to check us out and allowed for some great close up photographs. On walks inland we saw some huge boulders of 3.2 billion year old granodiorite that formed akin to how tors formed in the UK. This afternoon we had the opportunity to land at the camp for a second time and embark on an afternoon exploratory walk or enjoy a long Zodiac cruise along the peninsula. Both options were rewarded with excellent wildlife sightings. We were all back on board for a quick recap followed by dinner. Those who chose to dine outside were rewarded with a lovely sunset and the noises of the rainforest.

    More information

Hebridean Sky

Hebridean Sky

The MS Hebridean Sky is one of our two flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky. Both vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them two of the finest small ships in the world. 

View vessel details

Itinerary

  • Panther chameleon
  • Ankarafantsika National Park

Day 1 London to Mauritius.

Fly by scheduled indirect flight.

Day 2 Mauritius.

Arrive today and transfer to the MS Hebridean Sky moored in Port Louis. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening.

Day 3 Reunion Island.

We arrive at breakfast in Reunion where we have a choice of excursions. On a full day tour we will visit the central highlands where spectacularly rugged peaks of dormant or extinct volcanoes cradle huge amphitheatres known as cirques, where mountains tower to over 10,000 feet and beautiful waterfalls plummet hundreds of feet. The rich soil and mellow climate produce a lush and verdant landscape which is dotted with villages and towns with a uniquely French atmosphere. Fields of sugar cane and plantations of tropical fruits, vanilla and all manner of spices perfume the air. We will enjoy views from the Nez des Bouefs and see the Piton de la Fournaise crater. After enjoying a creole lunch in a local restaurant we will visit the ‘Cite du Volcan’ museum. Alternatively enjoy a morning tour to a vanilla plantation in St Andre where we learn about the history and culture of this integral part of Reunion’s heritage. Continue to Salazie, a verdant landscape and home to many waterfalls including the ‘Voile de la Mariee’ before spending some free time in St Denis on the way back to the ship. This afternoon is at leisure before we set sail this evening.

Day 4 At Sea.

Spend the day at sea as we sail towards Madagascar. Maybe join a lecture or find a spot on deck to relax.

Days 5 & 6 Taolagnaro, Madagascar.

Our first call in Madagascar is the southeastern port of Taolagnaro, also known as Fort Dauphin. This was the first French settlement in Madagascar, situated on a peninsula overlooked by the Anosy mountains. We will moor overnight and during our afternoon and morning here we will offer a choice of excursions including the Nahampoana Private Park. The reserve is only 67 hectares but home to four species of lemur including ring-tailed and sifakas whilst the gardens showcase Madagascan plants with three-cornered palms and spiny Desiderata trees. A tour of Taolagnaro will include the market, public gardens and the Fort Flacourt Museum where we will learn about the arrival of the Magalasay people to Madagascar and the historical links with Reunion. Also enjoy walks in the forest at the Madena Conservation Zone, a 200 hectare park protected from the region’s mining industry and where we hope to see bamboo lemur and different varieties of orchids.

Day 7 Tulear.

Having sailed around the southern tip of Madagascar we arrive in Tulear at lunchtime. This afternoon you may like to join the tour to the Antsokay Arboretum which is entirely devoted to the conservation of the plants from the south west of Madagascar and, after more than 30 years of hard work, offers a densely kept selection of flora presenting a typical sub-arid thicket with baobab trees towering over the smaller plants. We will see the four hectare botanical garden which comprises over 900 species of plants of which 90% are endemic to the region. Alternatively visit the Reniala Private Reserve, a small area of just 60 hectares but containing a spiny forest which is unique to southern Madagascar. The park is home to 200 plant species including baobabs as well as being a haven for birders with sightings of paradise flycatchers, Madagascar hoopoe and Madagascar crested drongo.

Day 8 Andavadoaka & Nosy Hao.

The vessel will anchor this morning off the small fishing community of Andavadoaka, home to the Vezo fishing people. The area offers the most diverse marine ecosystem on the southwest coast. It is also the base for Blue Ventures, a marine conservation society that has helped the local villagers invest in their community by way of training local guides and showing ways to preserve their resources. We hope to learn more about the local projects before sailing over lunch to Nosy Hao to discover the sandy white beaches where we can enjoy a swim in the warm waters.

Day 9 Morondava.

From our anchorage off the town of Morondava, we will use the Zodiacs to land on the local beach. From here there will be a choice of excursions to explore the local region. A half day morning tour will visit the Avenue des Baobabs. Of the eight baobab species in the world, six are endemic to Madagascar and here we will see the Adansonia grandidieri species with a row of 20 to 25 trees which border the gravel road. We will learn about the trees and their spiritual significance before returning to Morondava and exploring the local market. Alternatively, join a full day excursion to Kirindy Forest. Situated approximately a two hour drive from Morondava, we will pass the Avenue des Baobabs as we travel north. Kirindy is a 10,000 hectare, dry deciduous forest, one of the most endangered in the world where the flora and fauna includes many endemic species. Here we find three species of baobab, many birds and reptiles including snakes, tortoises and lizards. Eight species of lemur reside here including the pale form marked lemur.

Day 10 At Sea.

Spend a leisurely day on board as we continue our journey around the Madagascan Coast.

Day 11 Mahajanga.

Mahajanga is a major port in northwest Madagascar situated on the Betsiboka River and is our base for a full day excursion to Ankarafantsika National Park. This deciduous forest is a haven for birds, lemurs and reptiles and on a choice of walks, we will explore with our guides. Eight species of lemur have been observed here including the famous Microcebus, the smallest primate in the world. Meanwhile over 120 species of birds nest here and we will keep an eye out for the Madagascan fish eagle and banded kestrel whilst the 44 species of reptile include chameleon, turtles and crocodiles that live in Lake Ravelobe. We will enjoy lunch in the park and in the afternoon there will be options to join further walks or watch for birdlife at the nearby lake before returning to the MS Hebridean Sky.

Day 12 Nosy Tanikely.

We arrive mid-morning at the Nosy Tanikely Island Marine Reserve, an uninhabited island which offers snorkelling opportunities and wonderful beaches. We will take the chance to either swim in the clear waters or snorkel over the corals keeping an eye out for reef fish, turtles and morays. Alternatively our naturalists will lead guided walks on the island where we may see the resident lemurs, fruit bats and hermit crabs and enjoy fantastic views from the lighthouse on the island’s highest point.

Day 13 Nosy Hara.

As we continue our journey along the western coast of Madagascar we will find a number of strangely shaped limestone islets that dot the aquamarine-coloured sea. The expedition team will decide on the most suitable island for landing, such as Nosy Hara with its abundant birdlife and great places to swim off the beach. We will spend the day exploring the island on foot, walking through dense woodland and observing the unusual vegetation. Alternatively join a Zodiac cruise around the islands and a chance to snorkel over the coral.

Day 14 Diego Suarez.

This morning we will enter dramatic Diego Suarez, a stunning natural harbour with a cosmopolitan mix of inhabitants including Creoles, Indians, Chinese, Comorans and Arabs. This morning choose from a city tour visiting the Commonwealth Cemetery and Place Joffre, or a visit to the Malagasy rainforest at the Mount Amber National Park. Dividing into short and long walk parties we will go in search of lemurs and chameleons as we explore the rainforest. In the towering vegetation, we may spot several species of lemurs and chameleons as well as endemic birds, including parrots. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon cruising.

Days 15 & 16 Nosy Mangabe & Masoala National Park.

We will spend a day and a half exploring from our anchorage in Antongil Bay. We discover Nosy Mangabe, a 520-hectare island reserve and one of the most diverse areas of virgin rainforest in Madagascar which has also been an important research centre since the mid-1960s when several aye-ayes and lemurs were released into the forest. We will use our Zodiacs to land on the beach next to the forest and organise a series of nature walks looking at the varied trees, plants and ferns and we hope to spot chameleon, lizards and black and white ruffed lemur. For the birders, we will keep an eye out for Madagascar buzzard, kingfisher and paradise flycatchers. We will also explore Madagascar’s largest protected area, the Masoala National Park, which comprises of coastal rainforest, flooded forests, marsh and mangroves. Mammal species encountered include the redruffed lemur, the red-fronted brown lemur and the ring-tailed mongoose. The park is also home to various species of brightly coloured mantella frogs, all manner of extraordinary chameleons and is a refuge of the endangered Madagascar red-owl, Madagascar serpent eagle and many endemic bird species. A series of walks for all levels will operate whilst there will also be the option to swim off the beach or perhaps visit the local village.

Day 17 Taomasina.

Our final call in Madagascar is Taomasina, the country’s main port and second largest city as well as the gateway to the Pangalanes Canals, a series of rivers, waterways and lakes that extend for over 400 miles down the island’s east coast. Used mainly for transportation and fishing, the canals are also home to unspoiled beaches, lagoons and lakes whilst providing access to national parks and private reserves. This morning we will take a local boat cruise through the canal to enjoy the scenery followed by a nature walk in one of the private reserves. Enjoy lunch in the reserve before returning to Taomasina this afternoon. Alternatively visit the Ivoloina Zoological Parc, a 282 hectare property combining a small zoo where we will see up to 12 species of lemur as well as indigenous tortoises and chameleons. Meanwhile in the surrounding forests we can see wild lemurs or malachite kingfishers on one of the many walking trails.

Day 18 At Sea.

Enjoy the day at sea to relax and reflect on our Madagascan adventure as we sail back to Mauritius.

Day 19 Mauritius to London.

Disembark this morning and enjoy a morning tour of Mauritius including the Trou-aux-Cerfs Volcano, the Grand Bassin Lake and Black River Gorges. After lunch we transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Day 20 London.

Arrive this morning.

  • Waterfalls, Reunion Island
  • Black and white ruffed lemur
  • Nosy Hara

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £500 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
18 December 2023 to 6 January 2024 • 4 to 23 January 2024
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Amundsen Deck Standard Suite £10795 £10295
Byrd Deck Superior Suite £11095 £10595
Mawson Deck Premium Suite £11295 £10795
Mawson Deck Corner Suite £11695 £11195
Scott Deck Deluxe Balcony Suite £12695 £12195
Shackleton Deck Owner's Balcony Suite £13195 £12695
Shackleton Deck Hebridean Suite £14195 £13695
Amundsen Deck Standard for sole use £13795 £13295
Byrd Deck Superior for sole use £14395 £13895

Tour Reference Code: SCHKS181223/SCHKS040124

PRICE INCLUDES: Economy class scheduled air travel • 17 nights aboard the MS Hebridean Sky on a full board basis • House wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner • Noble Caledonia expedition team • Gratuities • Transfers • Airport taxes • Port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, Madagascar visa.

  • Deckplan

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    Please note that all beds can be configured as twin or double with the exception of suites 601 and 602 which both feature a fixed double bed.

Hebridean Sky

The MS Hebridean Sky is one of our two flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky. Both vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them two of the finest small ships in the world. 

 
  • Your 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 minifridge, flat screen television and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, 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 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. Additional benefits of booking this marvellous suite include complimentary mini-bar stocked with your preferences and complimentary laundry.

     

  • Your Space

    Your Space

     

    The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Hebridean Sky 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 Lounge, there is also The Club, located on the Mawson Deck which features the main bar where the onboard 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 which is well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand).

    The 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. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. 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. You will also find a clinic and Doctor on board and a lift that serves all decks. Additionally there is a small hairdressers with appointments made on request.

     

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

     

    It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky 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 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 canapés 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

    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 On Board

    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 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

    Ship Directory

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    We are delighted you have chosen the MS Hebridean Sky for your upcoming voyage. The 118-passenger, all-suite vessel is one of the finest small ships in the world and benefits from unusually spacious accommodation, public areas and outside decks.

    You will find the atmosphere on board akin to a private yacht or country hotel with a little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, talks from our onboard team and informative port briefings from your Cruise Director or Expedition Leader. After a day of exploration ashore, you will return to the comfort and peace of a well-run and exceedingly comfortable ship. Along with the Captain and officers and the Noble Caledonia team, our crew of 70 are dedicated to offering you the best possible experience during your time on board.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Passengers: 118
    Length: 90.60 metres 
    Width: 15.30 metres 
    Registered: Bahamas 
    Crew/Staff: 70 
    Year built: 1992 
    Year refurbished: 2018
    Language: English 
    Gross Tonnage: 4200 tonnes 
    Net Tonnage: 1286 tonnes

    ADAPTORS

    Adaptors for hairdryers, mobile phones etc. can be obtained from Reception. These should be returned to Reception at the end of the cruise and are the property of the MS Hebridean Sky. There is also an adaptor extension box with USB ports by the cabin television.

    AIR-CONDITIONING

    The entire ship is air-conditioned. All cabins feature individual temperature controls. In order to keep the air-conditioning system working efficiently, please keep doors closed when in use.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship uses a public address system to advise guests of all important information and activities during the cruise. Announcements can be heard throughout the public areas of the ship and in all cabins.

    CABINS

    Onboard there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well designed cabins. All feature a sitting area, en suite bathroom with vanity unit and walk-in shower featuring rainfall and separate hand held shower heads, spacious wardrobe and dressing table. Cabins on the Shackleton and Scott Decks have private balconies.

    All cabins have the following facilities: 

    • Dressing gowns and slippers

    • TV

    • Electrical outlet

    • Hairdryer

    • Heating and air-conditioning (individually controlled)

    • Mini bar & Fridge: the mini bar is stocked on arrival and replenished daily. A price list can be found in the cabin.

    • Safe

    • Molton Brown toiletries: hand soap, shower gel, shampoo, hair conditioner and body lotion

    • Telephone

    Each cabin has two twin beds that can be reconfigured to form a double bed upon request with the exception of cabins 601 and 602 which both feature a fixed double bed. Please advise the Reservations Department or the Reception Desk, once on board, if you would like a double bed.

    Cabins are serviced each morning by your cabin attendant and again in the evening when the beds are turned down.

    Please note that aboard the MS Hebridean Sky, all cabins have a shower but none have baths.

    COMMUNICATIONS

    Telephone

    If you wish to contact the ship, please call +1 954 672 6930. This is a US number so calls will be charged at an international rate. There is a phone in your cabin which has access to an outside line. Outgoing call costs will be advised on board. You can make cabin to cabin calls free of charge. The ship can be contacted by email at rec@hs.salenship.com. Please indicate the passenger name and cabin number in the subject field. 

    Satellite Internet & Wi-Fi

    Connectivity is now an important feature in our lives and we do our best to bring this service to you on board. There are facilities in the Library to access the internet and Noble Caledonia also offers complimentary satellite Wi-Fi access on board. Wi-Fi is available in the public areas and passenger cabins. You will need to bring your own device to connect in these areas. Wi-Fi cards, with your unique log in and instructions, are available at Reception. The service provided on board uses direct satellite technology and has a certain amount of bandwidth available. The same level of connectivity and speed that we enjoy at home through cable or fibre-optic based infrastructures cannot be expected on board.

    As you traverse the seas and ports, the ship’s antennae have to re-establish connection with the transmission satellites. Signal may also be blocked by mountains, buildings or even local radio frequency regulations. Remote locations out of satellite range, weather on earth or in space can also affect signal strength. Please also bear in mind that the network is shared by everyone on board so congestion can be anticipated which will slow down speeds especially at peak times. The bandwidth available to the ship means that connectivity is best served using text-based communications and simple social media. Some applications which involve downloading large files may not be available on board.

    Here are some tips for using satellite Wi-Fi on board:

    • Avoid peak times such as the return to the ship after an excursion.

    • Always log off the system when not in use to free up bandwidth space for other passengers.

    • Work offline.

    • Download any apps you need before leaving home. 

    • Turn off or disable background app data services and updates – apps that sync in the background can quickly eat up data without your knowledge.

    • Disable push notifications as these use a lot of data.

    • Remember to bring any charging or data cables required.

    • Your Network provider may offer a cruise package but be careful, once the land signal is lost, this will transfer to the satellite signal which will incur greater costs.

    • Cruise Terminals ashore often have good land based internet to supplement your connectivity.

    • Put your phone on Airplane Mode when not in use to avoid roaming charges from your Network Provider.

    • Be careful not to access private accounts such as bank accounts on public Wi-Fi systems. 

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced on board and delivered to your cabin daily.

    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

    If you have any dietary requirements such as vegetarian, low salt, gluten free and low cholesterol, please notify the Reservations Department. We regret that not all dietary requirements can be guaranteed. If you have any specific or special foods that you require we recommend that you take some with you although we will endeavour to accommodate your needs. Once on board, please speak to the Chef or the Maitre D’ at dinner on your first night on board to reconfirm your needs.

    DINING & DRINKING

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the Restaurant. During good weather, early riser’s coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner may also be served on The Lido Deck. Afternoon tea is served in The Club or in The Lounge depending on activities. Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits are available self-service 24 hours a day in The Club. House wine, beer and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner. MS Hebridean Sky operates an open seating policy which greatly enhances the convivial atmosphere on board. The Restaurant has table configurations of 8, 6, 4 and some 2’s. Room service is not available on board. As we operate an open seating policy, we regret that reservations cannot be made. Please note that passengers are not permitted to consume their own supplies of alcohol on board. 

    DISABLED FACILITIES

    There is a lift on board but the ship does not have facilities for disabled or wheelchair dependent passengers. Additionally, most shore excursions involve some walking and some excursions are walking tours only. There is no chair lift on board and access to the ship is by gangway.

    DISEMBARKATION

    Your Cruise Director / Expedition Leader will provide you with detailed disembarkation information prior to the end of your cruise. This will include transfer information (where applicable). If you should have any specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Cruise Director / Expedition Leader as soon as possible after embarkation.

    DRESS CODE 

    The dress code on board is defined as casual. During the day, comfortable and casual attire is appropriate. The evenings are smart casual. Jackets and ties are not required. However, we kindly ask you to refrain from wearing shorts during evening meals in the Restaurant. You may wish to wear something a little dressier for the welcome and farewell dinners, for example, a jacket and tie for gentlemen and occassion wear for ladies. No “black tie” is necessary. 

    ELECTRICITY

    Voltage is 110V/60Hz (American standard) and a 220V razor socket. This is only suitable for low voltage electrical appliances, e.g. mobile phone or camera charger. We recommend that you bring a twopin American adaptor for the 110v plug. Please note that the use of personal hairdryers, clothing irons, coffee makers, curling tongs, etc. in the cabins is strictly forbidden as they may damage the ship’s electrical system. If you require electrical medical equipment, please notify the Reservations Department as soon as possible.

    GOING ASHORE

    Please wait in the public areas or in your cabin until an announcement is made with instructions to disembark. Sailing times for each port are listed in the Daily Programme. Please note sailing times and ensure that you return back to the vessel at least 30 minutes prior to departure. In some ports a passport or port landing card must be carried when going ashore. This will be announced over the PA System if required. If the ship is in a remote area and you hear a continuous blast of the ship’s horn then please return immediately to the landing site. When leaving the ship at any time while in port always ensure you have checked IN/OUT at the gangway.

    HAIR & BEAUTY SALON

    MS Hebridean Sky has a hairdresser providing haircuts and hairstyling. Some beauty treatments and massage are also available. Appointments for hair styling can be made onboard at the Reception Desk. Fees for all treatments are available at Reception and will be charged to your on board account. Each cabin is equipped with a hairdryer which can be found in the right hand top drawer of the dresser.

    HEALTH & HYGIENE

    We have comprehensive plans in place to protect the health and hygiene of our passengers and crew. These are kept up to date in line with new advice and guidance and are continually evaluated. The ventilation system provides all cabins and communal areas with fresh non recycled air. There is no recirculation of air on board. UV technology has been installed to ensure no risk of transmission via ventilation units. Hand sanitisers are present throughout the vessel particularly at entrances to dining venues and at the gangway. We kindly ask that you ensure to use these regularly. When it is required to bring in enhanced procedures you will be advised in either your pre cruise documentation or on board.

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    Laundry service is available on board. Laundry bags and a price list can be found in the wardrobe in your cabin. Please complete the laundry list and leave it together with the bag of items to be laundered on your bed. Your laundered items will be returned within 24 hours. There are no public launderette or ironing facilities on board. In the interest of safety we ask that you do not use an electric iron in your cabin. An ironing service is available at reasonable cost. Dry cleaning facilities are not available on board. In the interest of the environment, towels will not be automatically changed every day. We ask that you put used towels on the bathroom floor if you wish them to be changed for fresh towels. Towels left hanging on the towel rack will not be changed.

    LIFT

    All passenger decks can be reached by lift. Please do not use the lift in the case of a fire or an emergency.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the ship, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. Onboard the ship, any liquids, cosmetics, paper(s) and perishable items left behind will be disposed of immediately. Any books left on board the ship will be incorporated into the ship’s library or donated to charity. Other items left behind on the ship will be kept on board for 1 month or 2 cruises (whichever is the longer period), and after this time, any unclaimed items will be given to a local charity at the next main port the ship visits. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia within 21 days of disembarking. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    MAIL

    Although reception staff are happy to post letters on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or at the port of call at which you make such a request. Some postal services are unreliable and many letters or postcards that you ask to be delivered on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en route. Under no circumstances can we be held liable for such occurrences.

    MEDICAL FACILITIES

    Medical services are available 24 hours a day. There is a Doctor on board, and crew members are trained in first aid. Cabin visits by the ship’s Doctor are available. Please note that all consultations and services are charged for. To arrange an appointment with the ship’s Doctor please contact Reception. It takes some people longer to find their sea legs. Sea sickness tablets are available from Reception, and should be taken at least one hour prior to departure.

    MINI BAR

    For your convenience a mini bar facility has been set up in your suite on a chargeable basis. Items consumed during the cruise will be charged to your onboard account. Your Steward will restock your mini bar on a daily basis and replenish consumed items. The mini bar price list is placed in the cabinet of your mini bar. The final statement will be delivered to your cabin in the early morning of your disembarkation.

    NEWS

    News channels are available on your cabin TV and in addition daily news bulletins can be found at Reception and in The Library.

    NOBLE CALEDONIA TEAM

    Throughout your cruise you will be accompanied by your Noble Caledonia team who will be happy to assist you with any queries or requests you may have.

    ONBOARD ACCOUNT

    All passengers will have their own “ship account” which allows you to sign a receipt for any expenses and then settle your bill at the Reception Desk at the end of the cruise. You will need to register your card at Reception shortly after sailing. If you are sharing a cabin with a friend and would like separate bills, please inform Reception. Prices on board are shown in British Pounds. All final accounts will be presented in British Pounds.

    Your ship’s account can be paid by:

    • Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express).

    • Cash (British Pounds, Euros or US Dollars).

    If you intend to settle your shipboard account using your credit card, please provide Reception with an imprint of your card at your convenience during the cruise. As a standard procedure, a GBP10.00 pre-authorisation hold for settlements is made via credit card. 

    Debit cards and pre-pad credit cards may not automatically be accepted. Please let us know in advance if you plan to use one.

    PASSPORTS

    All Passports are collected by the Purser upon embarkation. Passports are necessary to facilitate immigration formalities at each port of call and are returned at the end of the cruise.

    PUBLIC AREAS

    The Club – Located on the Mawson Deck aft. The Club features the main bar and a 24 hour tea and coffee station. A quiet place to meet friends or relax during the day. In the evening our onboard resident pianist plays before and after dinner.

    The Library – Located on the Mawson Deck aft. In The Library you can find a well stocked selection of reference books pertaining to the destinations. Fiction books, games and playing cards are also available for your pleasure. Novels brought on board may be exchanged with other books in the paperback library. Should you wish to donate any books which you may have brought with you, we will be happy to add these for the pleasure of future guests. Reference books may not be removed from the ship.

    The Lounge – Located on the Byrd Deck aft. Daily Briefings by the Cruise Director or Expedition Leader are given in The Lounge which is fitted with multiple screens and presentation equipment. Informative talks from the Guest Speaker or expedition team are also given here.

    Observation Deck – Located on the Shackleton Deck. There is an area for sun loungers ideal for sunbathing as well as a forward facing viewing platform.

    Promenade Deck – Located on the Mawson Deck. We kindly ask for your consideration to those guests whose cabins are located on and beneath the Promenade Deck. Please use the deck for walking / jogging between the hours of 8.30 am and 9.00 pm.

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    Your comments are important to us therefore before your cruise ends, you will receive a questionnaire. We are always looking for ways to improve your holiday experience and appreciate the time you take to complete the questionnaire. Kindly hand your completed questionnaire in at Reception.

    SAFE

    There is a safe in every cabin located in the drawer of the television cabinet. The safe can be programmed with your own code, instructions can be found inside the closet door and cabin staff will be available to assist upon embarkation. We recommend that you leave money and other valuables in the safe. Kindly remember to remove all items from the safe before disembarking the ship at the end of your cruise.

    SAFETY DRILL & SAFETY

    International Maritime Law requires a lifeboat safety drill to take place prior to sailing. All guests must attend this compulsory and important exercise. Please listen for the announcements. During the drill, all ships services will be suspended. Your assigned lifeboat station, location of your life jacket and the signal for lifeboat and fire drills are clearly explained on the emergency card posted on the back of your cabin door. Life jackets are located in your cabin. During the safety drill you will be shown how to wear the life jacket. It is essential that you take certain safety precautions while on board:

    • Walk, never run and be especially careful on wet and slippery decks. • Ladies are advised to wear low heeled shoes especially on deck. • Footwear should be worn at all times. • Hold on to the handrails in passageways and stairways.

    SHIP’S ID CARD

    These personal ID cards with essential information are issued to each guest during embarkation. Please remember to check in and out at the gangway with the crew member on duty in order for them to ensure that you are on board prior to sailing.

    SMOKING POLICY

    The MS Hebridean Sky offers a smoke-free cruise environment. Smoking is not permitted inside the ship, including the balcony areas and is only permitted in the designated area outside on Mawson Deck aft. Please never throw any cigarette ends overboard – the breeze could carry the smouldering end back on board and start a fire. We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

    TELEPHONE CALLS

    Calls to other cabins can be made free of charge by dialing the cabin number. Lift the handset and dial the cabin number. If you wish to make an outside call, please check at Reception to purchase a prepaid telephone card and instructions. Costs are available from Reception and charges are automatically billed to your onboard account.

    TELEVISION

    All cabins are equipped with a flat screen television offering a selection of news and documentary channels.

    TOILETRIES

    Molton Brown shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, body lotion and shower gel are provided in your bathroom. If you have forgotten anything ie. toothpaste, please ask Reception, who have a selection of items available for purchase.

    VISITORS

    For the safety and security of all passengers no visitors are allowed on board the ship.

    VISITING THE BRIDGE

    At times Bridge visits may be possible. If visiting the Bridge, please note this is a working area and access may sometimes be restricted

    WAKE UP CALL

    Wake up calls can be requested through the Reception Desk before 11.00 pm.

    WATER

    Water from the taps in your cabin is safe to drink. Previously the MS Hebridean Sky used 54,000 bottles of water a year. In order to reduce the damage caused to the environment by waste plastic, we have replaced plastic bottled water where possible with eco-friendly, reusable water bottles and water carafes. These are for your use during the cruise and we kindly ask you to leave them in your cabin at the end of the cruise. The bottles and carafes can be filled from the tap or the water station outside the Club. Alternatively your cabin steward can refill your carafe daily. Should you prefer to use plastic bottled water then please just let your cabin steward know.

    ZODIAC OR LOCAL BOATS TO GO ASHORE

    Some destinations may require the use of the ship’s Zodiacs or local tender boats to go ashore. Guests will be advised where and when to meet the Zodiac or local tender boat for travel to and from the ship. Please ensure that your hands are free at all times and accept the assistance given by the crew onboard the MS Hebridean Sky when boarding tenders / Zodiacs. A Zodiac safety briefing will be given.

    Please Note: These details should be used as a guideline only. Information is subject to change.

    V. November 2021

  • Cabin Plans

    Cabin Plans

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  • Videos

    Videos

  • Deck plans
    • Deckplan

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      Please note that all beds can be configured as twin or double with the exception of suites 601 and 602 which both feature a fixed double bed.

  • View all tours
  • Your 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 minifridge, flat screen television and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, 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 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. Additional benefits of booking this marvellous suite include complimentary mini-bar stocked with your preferences and complimentary laundry.

     

  • Your Space

    Your Space

     

    The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Hebridean Sky 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 Lounge, there is also The Club, located on the Mawson Deck which features the main bar where the onboard 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 which is well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand).

    The 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. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. 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. You will also find a clinic and Doctor on board and a lift that serves all decks. Additionally there is a small hairdressers with appointments made on request.

     

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

     

    It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky 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 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 canapés 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

    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 On Board

    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 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

    Ship Directory

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    We are delighted you have chosen the MS Hebridean Sky for your upcoming voyage. The 118-passenger, all-suite vessel is one of the finest small ships in the world and benefits from unusually spacious accommodation, public areas and outside decks.

    You will find the atmosphere on board akin to a private yacht or country hotel with a little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, talks from our onboard team and informative port briefings from your Cruise Director or Expedition Leader. After a day of exploration ashore, you will return to the comfort and peace of a well-run and exceedingly comfortable ship. Along with the Captain and officers and the Noble Caledonia team, our crew of 70 are dedicated to offering you the best possible experience during your time on board.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Passengers: 118
    Length: 90.60 metres 
    Width: 15.30 metres 
    Registered: Bahamas 
    Crew/Staff: 70 
    Year built: 1992 
    Year refurbished: 2018
    Language: English 
    Gross Tonnage: 4200 tonnes 
    Net Tonnage: 1286 tonnes

    ADAPTORS

    Adaptors for hairdryers, mobile phones etc. can be obtained from Reception. These should be returned to Reception at the end of the cruise and are the property of the MS Hebridean Sky. There is also an adaptor extension box with USB ports by the cabin television.

    AIR-CONDITIONING

    The entire ship is air-conditioned. All cabins feature individual temperature controls. In order to keep the air-conditioning system working efficiently, please keep doors closed when in use.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship uses a public address system to advise guests of all important information and activities during the cruise. Announcements can be heard throughout the public areas of the ship and in all cabins.

    CABINS

    Onboard there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well designed cabins. All feature a sitting area, en suite bathroom with vanity unit and walk-in shower featuring rainfall and separate hand held shower heads, spacious wardrobe and dressing table. Cabins on the Shackleton and Scott Decks have private balconies.

    All cabins have the following facilities: 

    • Dressing gowns and slippers

    • TV

    • Electrical outlet

    • Hairdryer

    • Heating and air-conditioning (individually controlled)

    • Mini bar & Fridge: the mini bar is stocked on arrival and replenished daily. A price list can be found in the cabin.

    • Safe

    • Molton Brown toiletries: hand soap, shower gel, shampoo, hair conditioner and body lotion

    • Telephone

    Each cabin has two twin beds that can be reconfigured to form a double bed upon request with the exception of cabins 601 and 602 which both feature a fixed double bed. Please advise the Reservations Department or the Reception Desk, once on board, if you would like a double bed.

    Cabins are serviced each morning by your cabin attendant and again in the evening when the beds are turned down.

    Please note that aboard the MS Hebridean Sky, all cabins have a shower but none have baths.

    COMMUNICATIONS

    Telephone

    If you wish to contact the ship, please call +1 954 672 6930. This is a US number so calls will be charged at an international rate. There is a phone in your cabin which has access to an outside line. Outgoing call costs will be advised on board. You can make cabin to cabin calls free of charge. The ship can be contacted by email at rec@hs.salenship.com. Please indicate the passenger name and cabin number in the subject field. 

    Satellite Internet & Wi-Fi

    Connectivity is now an important feature in our lives and we do our best to bring this service to you on board. There are facilities in the Library to access the internet and Noble Caledonia also offers complimentary satellite Wi-Fi access on board. Wi-Fi is available in the public areas and passenger cabins. You will need to bring your own device to connect in these areas. Wi-Fi cards, with your unique log in and instructions, are available at Reception. The service provided on board uses direct satellite technology and has a certain amount of bandwidth available. The same level of connectivity and speed that we enjoy at home through cable or fibre-optic based infrastructures cannot be expected on board.

    As you traverse the seas and ports, the ship’s antennae have to re-establish connection with the transmission satellites. Signal may also be blocked by mountains, buildings or even local radio frequency regulations. Remote locations out of satellite range, weather on earth or in space can also affect signal strength. Please also bear in mind that the network is shared by everyone on board so congestion can be anticipated which will slow down speeds especially at peak times. The bandwidth available to the ship means that connectivity is best served using text-based communications and simple social media. Some applications which involve downloading large files may not be available on board.

    Here are some tips for using satellite Wi-Fi on board:

    • Avoid peak times such as the return to the ship after an excursion.

    • Always log off the system when not in use to free up bandwidth space for other passengers.

    • Work offline.

    • Download any apps you need before leaving home. 

    • Turn off or disable background app data services and updates – apps that sync in the background can quickly eat up data without your knowledge.

    • Disable push notifications as these use a lot of data.

    • Remember to bring any charging or data cables required.

    • Your Network provider may offer a cruise package but be careful, once the land signal is lost, this will transfer to the satellite signal which will incur greater costs.

    • Cruise Terminals ashore often have good land based internet to supplement your connectivity.

    • Put your phone on Airplane Mode when not in use to avoid roaming charges from your Network Provider.

    • Be careful not to access private accounts such as bank accounts on public Wi-Fi systems. 

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced on board and delivered to your cabin daily.

    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

    If you have any dietary requirements such as vegetarian, low salt, gluten free and low cholesterol, please notify the Reservations Department. We regret that not all dietary requirements can be guaranteed. If you have any specific or special foods that you require we recommend that you take some with you although we will endeavour to accommodate your needs. Once on board, please speak to the Chef or the Maitre D’ at dinner on your first night on board to reconfirm your needs.

    DINING & DRINKING

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the Restaurant. During good weather, early riser’s coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner may also be served on The Lido Deck. Afternoon tea is served in The Club or in The Lounge depending on activities. Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits are available self-service 24 hours a day in The Club. House wine, beer and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner. MS Hebridean Sky operates an open seating policy which greatly enhances the convivial atmosphere on board. The Restaurant has table configurations of 8, 6, 4 and some 2’s. Room service is not available on board. As we operate an open seating policy, we regret that reservations cannot be made. Please note that passengers are not permitted to consume their own supplies of alcohol on board. 

    DISABLED FACILITIES

    There is a lift on board but the ship does not have facilities for disabled or wheelchair dependent passengers. Additionally, most shore excursions involve some walking and some excursions are walking tours only. There is no chair lift on board and access to the ship is by gangway.

    DISEMBARKATION

    Your Cruise Director / Expedition Leader will provide you with detailed disembarkation information prior to the end of your cruise. This will include transfer information (where applicable). If you should have any specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Cruise Director / Expedition Leader as soon as possible after embarkation.

    DRESS CODE 

    The dress code on board is defined as casual. During the day, comfortable and casual attire is appropriate. The evenings are smart casual. Jackets and ties are not required. However, we kindly ask you to refrain from wearing shorts during evening meals in the Restaurant. You may wish to wear something a little dressier for the welcome and farewell dinners, for example, a jacket and tie for gentlemen and occassion wear for ladies. No “black tie” is necessary. 

    ELECTRICITY

    Voltage is 110V/60Hz (American standard) and a 220V razor socket. This is only suitable for low voltage electrical appliances, e.g. mobile phone or camera charger. We recommend that you bring a twopin American adaptor for the 110v plug. Please note that the use of personal hairdryers, clothing irons, coffee makers, curling tongs, etc. in the cabins is strictly forbidden as they may damage the ship’s electrical system. If you require electrical medical equipment, please notify the Reservations Department as soon as possible.

    GOING ASHORE

    Please wait in the public areas or in your cabin until an announcement is made with instructions to disembark. Sailing times for each port are listed in the Daily Programme. Please note sailing times and ensure that you return back to the vessel at least 30 minutes prior to departure. In some ports a passport or port landing card must be carried when going ashore. This will be announced over the PA System if required. If the ship is in a remote area and you hear a continuous blast of the ship’s horn then please return immediately to the landing site. When leaving the ship at any time while in port always ensure you have checked IN/OUT at the gangway.

    HAIR & BEAUTY SALON

    MS Hebridean Sky has a hairdresser providing haircuts and hairstyling. Some beauty treatments and massage are also available. Appointments for hair styling can be made onboard at the Reception Desk. Fees for all treatments are available at Reception and will be charged to your on board account. Each cabin is equipped with a hairdryer which can be found in the right hand top drawer of the dresser.

    HEALTH & HYGIENE

    We have comprehensive plans in place to protect the health and hygiene of our passengers and crew. These are kept up to date in line with new advice and guidance and are continually evaluated. The ventilation system provides all cabins and communal areas with fresh non recycled air. There is no recirculation of air on board. UV technology has been installed to ensure no risk of transmission via ventilation units. Hand sanitisers are present throughout the vessel particularly at entrances to dining venues and at the gangway. We kindly ask that you ensure to use these regularly. When it is required to bring in enhanced procedures you will be advised in either your pre cruise documentation or on board.

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    Laundry service is available on board. Laundry bags and a price list can be found in the wardrobe in your cabin. Please complete the laundry list and leave it together with the bag of items to be laundered on your bed. Your laundered items will be returned within 24 hours. There are no public launderette or ironing facilities on board. In the interest of safety we ask that you do not use an electric iron in your cabin. An ironing service is available at reasonable cost. Dry cleaning facilities are not available on board. In the interest of the environment, towels will not be automatically changed every day. We ask that you put used towels on the bathroom floor if you wish them to be changed for fresh towels. Towels left hanging on the towel rack will not be changed.

    LIFT

    All passenger decks can be reached by lift. Please do not use the lift in the case of a fire or an emergency.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the ship, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. Onboard the ship, any liquids, cosmetics, paper(s) and perishable items left behind will be disposed of immediately. Any books left on board the ship will be incorporated into the ship’s library or donated to charity. Other items left behind on the ship will be kept on board for 1 month or 2 cruises (whichever is the longer period), and after this time, any unclaimed items will be given to a local charity at the next main port the ship visits. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia within 21 days of disembarking. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    MAIL

    Although reception staff are happy to post letters on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or at the port of call at which you make such a request. Some postal services are unreliable and many letters or postcards that you ask to be delivered on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en route. Under no circumstances can we be held liable for such occurrences.

    MEDICAL FACILITIES

    Medical services are available 24 hours a day. There is a Doctor on board, and crew members are trained in first aid. Cabin visits by the ship’s Doctor are available. Please note that all consultations and services are charged for. To arrange an appointment with the ship’s Doctor please contact Reception. It takes some people longer to find their sea legs. Sea sickness tablets are available from Reception, and should be taken at least one hour prior to departure.

    MINI BAR

    For your convenience a mini bar facility has been set up in your suite on a chargeable basis. Items consumed during the cruise will be charged to your onboard account. Your Steward will restock your mini bar on a daily basis and replenish consumed items. The mini bar price list is placed in the cabinet of your mini bar. The final statement will be delivered to your cabin in the early morning of your disembarkation.

    NEWS

    News channels are available on your cabin TV and in addition daily news bulletins can be found at Reception and in The Library.

    NOBLE CALEDONIA TEAM

    Throughout your cruise you will be accompanied by your Noble Caledonia team who will be happy to assist you with any queries or requests you may have.

    ONBOARD ACCOUNT

    All passengers will have their own “ship account” which allows you to sign a receipt for any expenses and then settle your bill at the Reception Desk at the end of the cruise. You will need to register your card at Reception shortly after sailing. If you are sharing a cabin with a friend and would like separate bills, please inform Reception. Prices on board are shown in British Pounds. All final accounts will be presented in British Pounds.

    Your ship’s account can be paid by:

    • Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express).

    • Cash (British Pounds, Euros or US Dollars).

    If you intend to settle your shipboard account using your credit card, please provide Reception with an imprint of your card at your convenience during the cruise. As a standard procedure, a GBP10.00 pre-authorisation hold for settlements is made via credit card. 

    Debit cards and pre-pad credit cards may not automatically be accepted. Please let us know in advance if you plan to use one.

    PASSPORTS

    All Passports are collected by the Purser upon embarkation. Passports are necessary to facilitate immigration formalities at each port of call and are returned at the end of the cruise.

    PUBLIC AREAS

    The Club – Located on the Mawson Deck aft. The Club features the main bar and a 24 hour tea and coffee station. A quiet place to meet friends or relax during the day. In the evening our onboard resident pianist plays before and after dinner.

    The Library – Located on the Mawson Deck aft. In The Library you can find a well stocked selection of reference books pertaining to the destinations. Fiction books, games and playing cards are also available for your pleasure. Novels brought on board may be exchanged with other books in the paperback library. Should you wish to donate any books which you may have brought with you, we will be happy to add these for the pleasure of future guests. Reference books may not be removed from the ship.

    The Lounge – Located on the Byrd Deck aft. Daily Briefings by the Cruise Director or Expedition Leader are given in The Lounge which is fitted with multiple screens and presentation equipment. Informative talks from the Guest Speaker or expedition team are also given here.

    Observation Deck – Located on the Shackleton Deck. There is an area for sun loungers ideal for sunbathing as well as a forward facing viewing platform.

    Promenade Deck – Located on the Mawson Deck. We kindly ask for your consideration to those guests whose cabins are located on and beneath the Promenade Deck. Please use the deck for walking / jogging between the hours of 8.30 am and 9.00 pm.

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    Your comments are important to us therefore before your cruise ends, you will receive a questionnaire. We are always looking for ways to improve your holiday experience and appreciate the time you take to complete the questionnaire. Kindly hand your completed questionnaire in at Reception.

    SAFE

    There is a safe in every cabin located in the drawer of the television cabinet. The safe can be programmed with your own code, instructions can be found inside the closet door and cabin staff will be available to assist upon embarkation. We recommend that you leave money and other valuables in the safe. Kindly remember to remove all items from the safe before disembarking the ship at the end of your cruise.

    SAFETY DRILL & SAFETY

    International Maritime Law requires a lifeboat safety drill to take place prior to sailing. All guests must attend this compulsory and important exercise. Please listen for the announcements. During the drill, all ships services will be suspended. Your assigned lifeboat station, location of your life jacket and the signal for lifeboat and fire drills are clearly explained on the emergency card posted on the back of your cabin door. Life jackets are located in your cabin. During the safety drill you will be shown how to wear the life jacket. It is essential that you take certain safety precautions while on board:

    • Walk, never run and be especially careful on wet and slippery decks. • Ladies are advised to wear low heeled shoes especially on deck. • Footwear should be worn at all times. • Hold on to the handrails in passageways and stairways.

    SHIP’S ID CARD

    These personal ID cards with essential information are issued to each guest during embarkation. Please remember to check in and out at the gangway with the crew member on duty in order for them to ensure that you are on board prior to sailing.

    SMOKING POLICY

    The MS Hebridean Sky offers a smoke-free cruise environment. Smoking is not permitted inside the ship, including the balcony areas and is only permitted in the designated area outside on Mawson Deck aft. Please never throw any cigarette ends overboard – the breeze could carry the smouldering end back on board and start a fire. We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

    TELEPHONE CALLS

    Calls to other cabins can be made free of charge by dialing the cabin number. Lift the handset and dial the cabin number. If you wish to make an outside call, please check at Reception to purchase a prepaid telephone card and instructions. Costs are available from Reception and charges are automatically billed to your onboard account.

    TELEVISION

    All cabins are equipped with a flat screen television offering a selection of news and documentary channels.

    TOILETRIES

    Molton Brown shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, body lotion and shower gel are provided in your bathroom. If you have forgotten anything ie. toothpaste, please ask Reception, who have a selection of items available for purchase.

    VISITORS

    For the safety and security of all passengers no visitors are allowed on board the ship.

    VISITING THE BRIDGE

    At times Bridge visits may be possible. If visiting the Bridge, please note this is a working area and access may sometimes be restricted

    WAKE UP CALL

    Wake up calls can be requested through the Reception Desk before 11.00 pm.

    WATER

    Water from the taps in your cabin is safe to drink. Previously the MS Hebridean Sky used 54,000 bottles of water a year. In order to reduce the damage caused to the environment by waste plastic, we have replaced plastic bottled water where possible with eco-friendly, reusable water bottles and water carafes. These are for your use during the cruise and we kindly ask you to leave them in your cabin at the end of the cruise. The bottles and carafes can be filled from the tap or the water station outside the Club. Alternatively your cabin steward can refill your carafe daily. Should you prefer to use plastic bottled water then please just let your cabin steward know.

    ZODIAC OR LOCAL BOATS TO GO ASHORE

    Some destinations may require the use of the ship’s Zodiacs or local tender boats to go ashore. Guests will be advised where and when to meet the Zodiac or local tender boat for travel to and from the ship. Please ensure that your hands are free at all times and accept the assistance given by the crew onboard the MS Hebridean Sky when boarding tenders / Zodiacs. A Zodiac safety briefing will be given.

    Please Note: These details should be used as a guideline only. Information is subject to change.

    V. November 2021

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What to Expect...

Flexibility is the key to an expedition cruise; sometimes the whole day’s schedule will be changed to maximise your experience, something that would not be possible on a large cruise ship. Each day holds something new and below are some extracts from the ship’s log from previous expeditions which will provide you with an idea of what to expect.

Mahajanga & Ankarafantsika National Park: No such thing as a Sunday lie-in this morning as we were up bright eyed and bushy tailed in readiness for an exciting day. The sea was a millpond. Women in traditional dress greeted us on the slipway and our transport waited at the end of a strip of market stall selling local crafts. The convoy of minibuses departed Mahajanga driving through the busy streets before heading out in the countryside. Savannah like landscape could be seen for miles on either side of the tarmac road. The savannah gave way to large swathes of rice paddies. Local rice farmers were seen harvesting the rice, children waved from the roadside, as we passed through beautiful villages. We arrived at the Ankarafantsika National Park, a mere two hours after leaving the dock. Immediately after arriving, we saw a troop of brown lemur and the gorgeous Coquerel’s sifaka expertly negotiating their way through the canopy. Already we could see this was a special place and we had not even left the car park! We were on the lookout for creatures great and small, and we found them. Our guides took us on prepared trails through the dry forest, spotting a variety of bird species, reptiles, and of course, lemur. Highlights included an eye-height view of a paradise fly-catcher incubating on a nest; a female Milne-Edwards sportive lemur with her juvenile resting on a tree trunk, iguanas basking in a variety of different body positions in spots of sunlight and, the fantastic spot of the Madagascan fish eagle. Combined we saw 51 different species of bird and reptile, and five species of lemur. What an incredible day!

Nosy Mangabe: This morning we were anchored off the Masoala Peninsula which is covered in primary rainforest. Our destination Nosy Mangabe is a small island in the national park. We disembarked the long and ‘Birder’ walks first followed by the medium and short walks on a beautiful golden beach backed by primary rainforest. Once ashore we split into our various groups and headed off into the forest in search of wildlife. The lemurs appeared, racing through the treetops and there were frogs everywhere. There were the green-backed mantellas, quite brash in their black and green colours, tiny nondescript frogs laying their single egg in the stumps of bamboo. There were a number of leaf-tailed geckos which were so well camouflaged that they were almost impossible to see even at close range. Near the landing site, the lemurs came down to check us out and allowed for some great close up photographs. On walks inland we saw some huge boulders of 3.2 billion year old granodiorite that formed akin to how tors formed in the UK. This afternoon we had the opportunity to land at the camp for a second time and embark on an afternoon exploratory walk or enjoy a long Zodiac cruise along the peninsula. Both options were rewarded with excellent wildlife sightings. We were all back on board for a quick recap followed by dinner. Those who chose to dine outside were rewarded with a lovely sunset and the noises of the rainforest.

Also of Interest

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Itinerary at a glance

  • Johannesburg / Tulear / Morondava / Mahajanga / Nosy Tanikely / Diego Suarez / Masoala National Park / Nosy Mangabe / Mauritius
13 nights from £9495
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