It is very important to us that you have a wonderful stay on board; please read the information below to get the best out of your cruise.
THE CRUISE ITINERARIES
Cruise Routes, Stopovers and Anchorages: We do not operate a fixed itinerary in any of our cruise routes. Within each route there is a selection of lovely stopovers and anchorages and these are chosen according to the winds, tides and weather as to which are most suitable on the particular week of the cruise. If there is a choice of anchorages available on any given day, the skipper will consult with the guests on board as to which to choose. The final decision on the cruise itinerary lies with the Skipper.
Going ashore: Transport to and from your vessel and the shore is by boat tender. There are three fixed steps on the side of your vessel to access the tender therefore a certain degree of agility is required. Please contact us if you require more information. Trips in the boat tender usually take a few minutes and a high level of safety is observed. The tender will land on a flat beach area where guests are assisted onto the beach by the crew. The tender has a door landing platform to allow guests to walk from the boat to land on one level.
Trips ashore: Daily trips ashore are on offer but these are not compulsory. All trips ashore are self-guided and further information and maps are provided by the crew where necessary. The crew has excellent local knowledge of the best walks and attractions to visit on each cruise route. Trips ashore tend to last between 1 to 2 hours; any entrance costs for local attractions and activities are at guests own expense.
Cruising timetable: We tend to sail after breakfast and lunch to allow guests to relax and enjoy the scenery. We do not sail at night; the Skipper may occasionally decide to sail before breakfast if necessary, to reach a particular destination in good time.
Wildlife: Our cruise routes are rich in wildlife and various species are regularly seen in many of our stopovers and anchorages. However, our crew members, although knowledgeable, are not wildlife experts and we cannot guarantee wildlife sightings, which are often seasonal in species seen. We carry information on board about the wildlife living in our cruise routes.
Weather: The West Coast of Scotland enjoys a temperate maritime climate without extremes, with south westerly prevailing winds. 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 of course what makes the landscape so spectacularly beautiful and dramatic. Our guests assure us it is worth putting up with occasional rain to enjoy spells of glorious weather and spectacular scenery. Our itineraries are flexible to get the best from the weather on each day.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Health and Medical Services: The vessel is never far from land, therefore there is no doctor or nurse on board. Members of the crew are qualified First Aid Officers and there is a first aid kit on board. Please bring any medicines or pharmaceutical products that you may need during the cruise; there are also pharmacies in many of our ports of call. Arrangements to consult a doctor on land can usually be made at relatively short notice and assistance can be summoned quickly in the event of an emergency. Guests should ensure that, to their knowledge, they are fit to take a holiday during which immediate medical assistance may not be available.
Lifejackets: For your safety, life jackets are provided for each passenger. Their use will be demonstrated during the safety briefing at the start of the cruise. Lifejackets must always be taken on the tender and it is recommended they are always worn while on the tender. Life jackets must be worn when requested to do so by the crew
PLANNING WHAT TO TAKE
Baggage: Storage space is limited so we advise soft bags for your luggage. On the Glen Massan if you have a hard suitcase with a volume limit less than 69x75x25cm this can be stored under the beds. On the Glen Tarsan cases must be smaller than 70x75x29cm. We can sometimes store your luggage away from your cabin if it is too big. If your cruise is part of a longer trip then we are happy to store excess luggage in our secure premises onshore.
Clothing and footwear: Casual dress on board is very much the order of the day. Some guests prefer to dress for dinner but this is personal choice. A warm waterproof jacket is recommended for the outer decks when the boat is sailing. Lightweight waterproof trousers and jacket are essential for tender trips and shore trips. We advise that whenever possible guests wear non-slip shoes on deck and when going ashore in the tender. Waterproof walking shoes and boots are recommended for trips onshore. To protect the wooden decks high-heeled shoes should not be worn on board.
Health and Medicines: Let us know of any special medical conditions e.g. allergies that the crew should be aware of. If you need to keep any medication refrigerated, or have any medical devices that will need charging etc, let us know and we will check their compatibility with the ships electrical system. Bring any medicines or pharmaceutical products that you may need during the cruise.
Toiletries: In each of the en-suites we provide Arran Aromatics shampoo, shower gel and soap and these are replenished throughout the cruise. Hairdryers are supplied and a selection of towels is also provided which are changed during the week.
Binoculars: The boat has a selection of binoculars but you may wish to bring your own, as there are lots of opportunities to spot birds and other wildlife.
Camera: Anyone with an interest in photography will have more than enough to inspire them, so ensure you bring the camera, battery and storage.
Food and drink: All meals, snacks and house wine with dinner are provided and there is a well stocked bar on board. If you wish to ensure particular food and drink items are available on board, this can usually be arranged.
Midges: While on board you are safe from the infamous Scottish midge which is around in June, July and August. However you may need to apply repellent when you go ashore. You may have your own preference to bring with you but we will have on board a stock of the one we find most useful.
Communications: The cellular system in the Highlands and Islands can be irregular; however during every day at some time you will be able to use your mobile phone and there are pay phones on shore. The boat has access to emergency services via radio. Email is not available on board. It is usually possible to access the internet from local hotels or in an emergency via our shore manager.
Currency on board: The currency on board is pounds sterling (£). While on the boat, you will only require currency for your bar bill. A cabin tab is run for the purchase of drinks from the bar which is settled at the end of your cruise with cash or by card.
Electricity: The boat’s electricity is 240V AC and standard UK 3 pin sockets are provided in cabins.
Gratuities: Tipping is entirely at your discretion. However if you do want to leave a gratuity please give it to the Skipper who will ensure it is shared equally between all crew members.
Smoking: Smoking is only allowed on the outside aft deck and guests are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of non-smokers. No smoking is allowed in the cabins or in the deck saloon.
Valuables: A small safe is provided to leave valuables.
HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE
Bar: There is a well stocked bar on board and house wine is complimentary with dinner. Guests wishing particular soft drinks, spirits or beers should discuss their requirements with the office and we will make every effort to oblige.
Coffee, tea and snacks: Complimentary coffee and tea is freely available throughout the day in the saloon from the crew. There is a snack basket of biscuits and fresh fruit available for guests at any time.
Meals: All meals are served on board around the communal table in the deck saloon. Each day there is a set menu, freshly prepared by your on-board Chef from locally sourced produce. Personal preferences and dietary requirements can be catered for by providing information in advance of the cruise. Every meal is served to the backdrop of a different anchorage.
Entertainment: Entertainment on board is very low-key and includes a library, chess, jigsaws, board games and magazines. We have a selection of DVD's, mainly related to the local history and natural environment which may be watched in the saloon after dinner or at other times if everyone is in agreement.
Learning: Many of our guests are very keen to know more about boat operations and the cruising area. Guests are welcome to join the Skipper in the wheelhouse at certain times and learn about navigation and perhaps even take a spell at the wheel. The engineer will be happy to take you round the engine room. A crew member will be pleased to take you on the tender while at anchor. There is an area bible on board about the local wildlife, natural environment, history and culture of the area and members of the crew are very knowledgeable, although not expert in any field apart from boat operations.
QUERIES AND FURTHER INFORMATION
Please do not hesitate to contact us either by phone or email with any further queries. You may also like have a look at the “Frequently Asked Questions” section on our website for more information.