The perfect way to explore the majestic Scottish islands at a leisurely pace! This is an exclusive cruise in that the ships are small, they will never take more than 11 passengers, the dedicated crew includes a chef.
Some of the cruises have a theme, such as a wildlife cruise, photography- or an art cruise. On these departures, an expert comes along (at no extra cost) to teach the participants how to take the best photographs, about the local wildlife etcetera.
The Seahorse II was built to the highest standard for the Norwegian fjords and life in the high northern latitudes. Powerful enough to cruise the many spectacular islands and lochs of the Inner- and the Outer Hebrides, yet small enough to anchor in remote beautiful places that larger passenger ships are unable to visit. It can take a maximum of 11 guests, it has a wonderful deck saloon for dining and from there one can view the spectacular Hebridean wildlife. The ship also has a high foredeck for wildlife spotting and a boat deck for lounging, two sea kayaks and a paddleboard that guests can borrow.
The Gemini Explorer is a historic converted cruising lifeboat, since then she has had extensive re-fits and modifications including a new galley, high bulwarks, viewing top deck, en-suite accommodation and a saloon. The ship also has an upper viewing deck with teak benches perfect for enjoying the scenery, relaxing or spotting wildlife. There is also an onboard two-person sea kayak that guests can borrow.
The ex-tall-ship St.Hilda is a traditional beamy wooden ketch, it has an incredible Scottish lineage. It was built specifically for sail training with a crew of 20. Since the conversion it now only fit eight persons, making her very spacious inside. St. Hilda has sailed across the North Sea on a number of occasions and, weather permitting, she will often get under sail on the cruises. The outdoor spaces are large and safe, perfect for spotting wildlife or relaxing, the roomy deck saloon is where everyone dines and socialises. There is an inflatable sea kayak for guests to enjoy on the cruise.
An overview of the services included is specified for each tour (at the bottom of the tour page).
The food onboard is prepared every day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will have wine or beer with your dinner as well as a pre-dinner aperitif, morning coffee and afternoon tea with homemade cookies or cake and often warm scones.
As we offer tours to multiple countries throughout Europe, we do not have staff available to meet with you in person. Please rest assured, however, that we are always available on the phone and email during office house and through our emergency phone outside of office hours should you require assistance during your travels.
No transfers are included, but you can book your airport transfer as an additional service, this is also possible to book locally after arrival. The transfer from the hotel to the railway station and port can be booked with the hotel after arrival. Information on how to get to your hotel and to the railway station/ port using local transport will be provided with the travel documents. It is generally very easy and convenient to get to and from the airport or railway station by public transport as we use centrally located hotels.
The weather can be quite localised and can change from sun to rain and back again from hour to hour not just day to day. This type of weather system is what makes the landscape so stunning and dramatic. We can guarantee, though, that you will find that it is worthwhile to put up with the occasional rain to enjoy spells of glorious weather and spectacular scenery. The cruise itinerary and activities are flexible to get the best of the weather on each day.
Storage space is limited onboard, we advise soft bags for ease of stowing. Casual wear is best onboard. Take practical, warm and water & windproof clothing (both jacket and trousers) for going out on deck. Layered clothing will cope with all temperatures, bring a pair of gloves to help work the ropes and sails if you want to participate. With regards to footwear, please bring a pair of clean shoes to wear on deck and inside the boat (non-slip is ideal) and either a pair of clean, light walking boots or wellingtons for trips to go ashore. High-heeled shoes should not be worn on board. Don´t forget to bring binoculars and a camera as well as sunglasses and suncream!
The cellular system can be irregular, however, at some time during every day you should be able to use your mobile phone. There are also phones onshore. Most of the time, it is possible to access the internet from local hotels, pubs or use your personal phone as a hotspot whenever the network allows it.
Seahorse II / Gemini Explorer – their electrical supply is 240V AC. All cabins have a power outlet for a UK three-pin plug. Most modern electronic devices (laptops, tablets, mobile phones, camera battery chargers etc.) will work on either 110V or 220V supply. Please check your device before plugging in though!
St.Hilda – when away from shore the electricity supply is 24V DC. You can recharge your devices using the ships transformer. In port, standard 240V AC UK 3-pin sockets are provided in the main cabins once the ship is connected to the shore supply.
No smoking is allowed anywhere on deck or down below including all the cabins and deck saloon.
The facilities of the cabins vary between the ships and if your booking is in category gold or silver. Towels and bed linen are provided in all cabins. In category gold, you will always have a private shower and toilet. In category silver, there is usually a handbasin in the cabin and a shower & toilet just outside the cabin that is shared with one or two more cabins.
Yes, this is always recommended.
Trude joined the Haman Group in 2005, and has built up Authentic Scandinavia since the very beginning in 2008. She is now happy to share her time between Authentic Europe and Authentic Scandinavia.
Swedish born with many years behind her in the travel industry. She has been with Authentic Europe from the beginning and is responsible for the UK & Ireland programmes having spent 25 years living in England.
Emmanuel is native French and responsible for our tours to France. He has been living in Norway since 2014 and loves to explore the world on his bicycle. Emmanuel joined the Authentic Europe team in 2019.
As the CEO of the Haman Group Anette’s days are not your typical 9-5 job but she very much enjoys it! Anette is the one who made the dream of Authentic Scandinavia/Europe possible.
Orijana is born in Bosnia and Herzegovina but came to Norway in 1994. She has been in charge of Authentic Scandinavia's accounts since 2011. In 2013 she became the Chief Accountant of Haman Group.