The Scottish Isles – Island Hopping in the Hebrides

The Scottish Isles – Island Hopping in the Hebrides

The Scottish Isles – Island Hopping in the Hebrides

The Scottish Isles – Island Hopping in the Hebrides

Travel information 11 days MS Spitsbergen
Departures
7 departures between Apr 2023 and May 2024
Price from
4036 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

11-day expedition cruise around Scotland and the Hebrides  

Romantic and rugged landscapes 

Cruise from Glasgow to remote and wildlife-rich Scottish islands, discovering local culture and history, and experiencing activities that bring you right up close to nature. We'll be landing on beaches, going on guided hikes, sea kayaking and much more as we explore this fascinating country. 

Whisky, wildlife and UNESCO Sites 

You'll be transfixed by the raw natural beauty of the Treshnish Isles, Iona and Skye, while UNESCO-listed St Kilda gives new meaning to ‘wild abandon’. Visit castles, historic homes and standing stones and experience Scotland's cultural notes with whisky, tartan and tweed.  

The Scottish Isles – Island Hopping in the Hebrides The Scottish Isles – Island Hopping in the Hebrides
  • Day 1
    Glasgow

    Embark in Glasgow

    Estimated time of departure is 10:00 PM

    Start in Scotland's stylish city of culture

    A former industrial powerhouse, Glasgow has reinvented itself as a cultural hot spot, packed with museums, galleries and parks. Discover the splendid Art Nouveau architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh before your expedition cruise begins. 

    MS Spitsbergen, one of our smaller vessels and built for close up exploration, will be waiting for you. Explore the ship before meeting the Expedition Team – your guides for your adventure ahead. Enjoy your first dinner aboard as we set sail.  

    Day 1
    Glasgow

    Embark in Glasgow

  • Day 2
    Arran

    Beautiful Isle of Arran

    Enjoy wildlife spotting on Arran 

    Welcome to the Isle of Arran, known for its heather-cloaked landscapes. It's the perfect place for a scenic hike. Why not try the popular Goat Fell trail and see if you can spot Scotland’s ‘Big Five’: the Golden Eagle, red deer, red squirrel, otter and harbour seal, all of which can be found on Arran. 

    Explore the woodland and gardens of Brodick Castle, and marvel at the Neolithic treasures and huge upright slabs at the Machrie Moor Stone Circle. Your stop wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Isle of Arran Distillery and a taste of their distinctive malt. 

    • Included Brodick Castle with Shuttle
    Day 2
    Arran

    Beautiful Isle of Arran

  • Day 3
    Islay

    Islay's whiskey and nature

    Fire up your spirit of discovery on 'whisky island' 

    Islay is the proud home of world-famous peaty single malts – but that's far from the only reason to visit. Here you'll discover fascinating ancient monoliths and the enigmatic settlement of Finlaggan.  

    Today, Islay is a wildlife paradise, home to over 200 species of birds – including oystercatchers, gannets and Golden Eagles. From its sandy beaches, you can sometimes spot dolphins and basking sharks. 

    Port Ellen is the gateway to three of the island’s nine distilleries. Of course, no trip to Islay is complete without a 'wee dram' from one of these famous and historic whisky producers, including Laphroaig and Ardbeg. 

    • Included Islay Coastal Walk 
    Day 3
    Islay

    Islay's whiskey and nature

  • Day 4
    Isle of Gigha

    Sustainable Isle of Gigha

    Discover a slice of paradise in the Hebrides 

    Today our Scottish isles cruise takes us to tiny Gigha (pronounced ‘Gee-​a), a little sandy slice of paradise in the Hebrides. The island is community-owned, bought by its 163 residents in 2002, and has a sustainable local economy. Try some of the seafood, such as Gigha halibut and oysters. 

    At only seven miles long, the best way to get around Gigha is on foot or by hiring a bike. Visit the woodland gardens of Achamore House and admire the colourful rhododendrons. Then explore white sandy coves and the turquoise waters along the coast, such as the Bàgh Rubha Ruaidh and Bàgh na Dòirlinne beaches. 

    • Included Acharmore Gardens
    Day 4
    Isle of Gigha

    Sustainable Isle of Gigha

  • Day 5
    Skye

    The spirit of Iona

    See Iona's sacred abbey and Fingal's Cave on Staffa 

    Your  adventure continues to Iona, off the coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides. You can visit the restored 6th century abbey, one of Scotland's oldest and most sacred Christian pilgrimage sites. Or enjoy a hike with the Expedition Team up Dùn I for breathtaking views of St Columba's Bay - and take a sip from the 'Well of Eternal Youth'. 

    Next, we sail to the Treshnish Isles – home to Atlantic Puffins, razorbills and Atlantic grey seals. At nearby Fingal's Cave, you'll marvel at the hexagonal basalt columns, superb natural acoustics, and mesmerising coloured waters. 

    • Included Iona Abbey Free Flow
    Day 5
    Skye

    The spirit of Iona

  • Day 6
    St. Kilda

    Wild St. Kilda

    Discover the untamed beauty of St Kilda 

    A visit to this UNESCO double World Heritage Site is an unforgettable experience. If conditions allow, we'll spend the day here. 

    One of Europe's most important seabird colonies, St Kilda's volcanic outcrops are home to thousands of nesting seabirds, including Northern Fulmars, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and over 60,000 pairs of Northern Gannets.  

    In 1930, St Kilda’s last residents asked to be evacuated due to the island's wild and exposed conditions. Explore the abandoned village and see the distinctive cleits – circular stone buildings used to store peat, eggs and smoked puffins – before returning to the comfort of your ship. 

    • Included St Kilda Nature Landing - Included for all!
    Day 6
    St. Kilda

    Wild St. Kilda

  • Day 7
    Stornoway

    Stornoway

    Experience the Gaelic culture of the Hebrides 

    We travel next to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides, home of the famous Harris Tweed cloth. We'll visit Gothic-style Lews Castle, full of trails and fantastic views. You can also see 'Scotland's Stonehenge' at the Callanish Standing Stones, visit a crofting village or hike the Great Bernera Trail.  

    We'll also explore the wild and beautiful Shiant Isles, a tiny archipelago set in the Minch Strait. One of the most important breeding colonies for seabirds in Europe, keep an eye out for European Shags, Common Eiders, Northern Fulmars and Great Skuas in the surrounding waters or on volcanic ledges. 

    • Included Lews Castle Walk
    Day 7
    Stornoway

    Stornoway

  • Day 8
    Loch Scavaig and Isle of Eigg

    Isles of beauty

    Dramatic scenery awaits you on the Isles of Skye and Eigg 

    Sail to Loch Scavaig on the Isle of Skye, where dramatic scenery surrounds you. “The wildest scene in the Highlands” – that's how the Victorian poet Lord Tennyson described Loch Coruisk and the surrounding craggy peaks of the Cuillin Mountains. We'll put on our hiking boots to explore the loch with the Expedition Team. 

    Then on to the remote Isle of Eigg, home to incredible wildlife. You might spot Golden and  White-Tailed Eagles, Red Throated Divers, stonechats, seals, dolphins and porpoises. Stroll along the white sands of Laig Bay to the quartz beach where the sand sings, or hike to the top of An Sgùrr. 

    • Included Eigg Nature Landing
    • Included Loch Scavaig Landing and Hike
    Day 8
    Loch Scavaig and Isle of Eigg

    Isles of beauty

  • Day 9
    Sound of Mull

    A most delightful sound

    Get ready for the dreamy beauty of the Sound of Mull 

    Brightly-coloured Georgian houses line the waterfront in the picturesque fishing port of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. Learn about the local heritage at the whisky distillery and Mull Museum, or stroll around the loch in Aros Park and see the Baliscate Standing Stones.  

    The Isle of Mull is a magnet for birders, with the highest breeding density of Golden Eagles in Europe, while White-tailed Eagles can often be seen soaring above the coast. We'll also explore Loch Sunart, a Marine Protected Area known for otters, dolphins and porpoises, and stop by Mingary Castle. 

    Day 9
    Sound of Mull

    A most delightful sound

  • Day 10
    Colonsay

    Colonsay birds and blooms

    Immerse yourself in unspoilt island beauty

    Take a coastal walk on the Isle of Colonsay, and enjoy breathtaking views from Kiloran Bay and Plaide Mhòr. Or go for a paddle in a kayak, and you may catch sight of whales, porpoises and dolphins. 

    Flora also thrives on Colonsay, with over 400 species blooming. You’ll see some of them in the woodland gardens of Colonsay House. It's a paradise for birdwatchers, with choughs, Red Northern Divers, eagles, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and shags among the birds you can spot. Be sure to listen out for the rattle of the elusive corncrake. 

    • Included Colonsay Gardens
    Day 10
    Colonsay

    Colonsay birds and blooms

  • Day 11
    Glasgow

    Back to Glasgow

    Estimated time of arrival is 8:00 AM

    Experience the culture of Scotland's cities 

    Your Scottish Isles expedition cruise ends in Glasgow. In the harbour, you'll find the striking Riverside Museum and the tall ship Glenlee beside it. Admire the Gothic architecture of Glasgow Cathedral and view the eclectic art and natural history at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum before heading home. It’s an excellent way to round off your adventure.  

    Day 11
    Glasgow

    Back to Glasgow

Departures

2023

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
April:
14.
24.
May:
4.

2024

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
April:
10.
20.
30.
May:
10.

Current offers on this cruise:

  • Solo Traveller Offer

    Solo travellers who prefer their own space while still travelling with others, have the opportunity to save on select voyages departing in 2023. For a limited time, pay no single supplement if you book one of the below expedition cruises.
    This offer applies to a selection of departures that you can find on each voyage page.
    See Special Offer

What's included

Included in your voyage

Expedition Cruise  

  • A stay in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages* in restaurant Aune  
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board†  
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle  
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included activities 

*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water 

†Please note there is very limited Wi-Fi and phone signal in the remote areas we travel to, and streaming is not supported. 

Onboard Activities 

  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team 
  • Full use of our Science Center, extensive library and advanced biological and geological equipment 
  • Citizen Science Programme where you can ongoing with live scientific research 
  • Photography tips and techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife from our onboard professional photographer 
  • Use of ship's hot tubs, panoramic sauna and gym 
  • Informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings 

Landing Activities 

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats 
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles and all equipment for activities 
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition photographers on hand to assist you 

Notes 

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change 
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements  
  • No gratuities expected 

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights 
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team 
MS Spitsbergen
Longyearbyen, Svalbard - MS Spitsbergen
Photo: Genna Roland
A group of people posing for the camera
Photo: Stefan Dall / Hurtigruten
Your ship

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Shipyard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 180
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54m
Beam 18m
Speed 14.5 knots
MS Spitsbergen

MS Spitsbergen will take you on a voyage beyond the ordinary. She cruises along the Norwegian coast from September to May, and becomes part of our global Expedition sailings during the rest of the year.

Read more about MS Spitsbergen

MS spitsbergen
Check prices and availability

Explore other destinations: