It is very important to us is that you have a wonderful stay on board; these are a few things you might like to think about.
For your comfort, convenience and safety:
BAGGAGE: Storage space is limited so we advise soft bags for your luggage. If you do have a hard suitcase, we can store it away from your cabin. If your cruise is part of a longer trip then we are happy to store excess luggage in secure premises.
DRESS: Casual dress is very much the order of the day. A warm jacket is useful for the outer decks when sailing. There are many opportunities to walk onshore therefore bring suitable footwear. If you intend to do more serious walking, lightweight waterproof trousers and jacket are useful.
FOOTWEAR: We advise that whenever possible you wear non slip shoes on deck and when going ashore in the tender. We ask that to protect the wooden decks high-heeled shoes should not be worn on board.
HEALTH AND MEDICAL SERVICES: Guests should ensure that, to their knowledge, they are fit to take a holiday during which immediate medical assistance may not be available. 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. This information is held in confidence. The boat 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. 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.
ITINERARY: The published itinerary gives an indication of the proposed route, typical highlights that may be encountered and is flexible to suit the prevailing and forecast weather conditions, in order to follow the most sheltered option. This is discussed with guests and the final decision remains with the Skipper.
LIFE JACKETS: For your safety, life jackets are provided for each passenger. Their use will be demonstrated during the safety briefing. Lifejackets must always be taken on the tender and are recommended wear, they must be worn when requested to do so by the crew.
MIDGIES: 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 but we will have on board a stock of the one we find most useful.
MOBILITY: Guests must be in good health and sufficiently fit, mobile and agile. Some parts of the ship can only be reached by staircase and the ships tender is reached via a short boarding stairway. However we do want to be able to accommodate those with restricted mobility so please discuss your requirements and we will do our best.
For your enjoyment!
BAR: There is a well stocked bar on board and house wine is complimentary with dinner. Guests wishing particular wines should discuss their requirements with the office prior to their cruise and we shall endeavour to accommodate their wishes.
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.
BOAT OPERATIONS: Passengers are often keen to learn about the running of the boat and you are very welcome to join the Skipper in the wheelhouse and learn about navigating the local area. The engineer will be happy to take you round the engine room and educate you on his pride and joy! Only a member of the crew can operate the tender, but they will be pleased to take you out while at anchor.
CAMERA FILM: Anyone interested in photography will have more than enough to inspire them, so make sure you have enough film! This can be obtained at most stops but it would be best to bring any specialist film you might require with you.
COFFEE/TEA: 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 for you to help yourselves at any time.
GOING ASHORE: Our tender will take you ashore quickly and easily. We want you to be able to do as much exploration ashore as you wish within the limits of the itinerary. We plan daily trips ashore but these are not compulsory and you can discuss your particular requirements with the crew. They have good local knowledge of the best walks and attractions and also more specialised activities such as fishing. Every effort is made to accommodate your special wishes within the day's itinerary and you can be as individual or gregarious as you like. Trips ashore tend to last around two to three hours, and there usually is an opportunity to go ashore each day, depending on local conditions and the wishes of the group. There is plenty to see and do which is free; but because our guests have different preferences, any entrance costs for local attractions and activities are at your own expense.
MEALS: All meals are served in the saloon. Each day there is a set menu, freshly prepared by your on-board Chef from locally sourced produce. The menu can be flexible to suit any dietary preferences or requirements by letting us know beforehand, or discussing this with the Chef.
ON BOARD LEISURE: Entertainment on board includes a library, chess, jig-saws, 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.
SAILING: We tend to sail after breakfast and lunch to allow our passengers 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.
SPACE: The living space on the boat is compact, but there is plenty of room to relax indoors. The choice of three outdoor decks allows you to find your own favourite spot. Our passengers quickly adjust to the charm of life on the water and, we find, are very considerate in terms of noise and personal space.
WALKING ON SHORE: There are many opportunities to explore villages and coastal areas so please bring suitable footwear. For more serious walking, bring lightweight waterproof trousers and jacket.
Further useful information:
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 credit card.
ELECTRICITY: The boat's electricity is 240V AC and standard UK 3 pin sockets are provided in cabins.
EMERGENCY CONTACT: If you wish to leave an emergency contact number please phone +44(0)131 623 5012 or the mobile and office phone of Andrew Manwell, the Shore Manager (Office - 01369 707951, Mobile - 07917 809486). He can then contact you via the Skipper. Alternatively less urgent messages can be sent via our office email email@example.com marked for the attention of yourself.
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 between all crew members.
SMOKING: Smoking is only allowed on the outside decks 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. On deck, please make sure you secure all personal belongings. The crew cannot be held responsible for personal items lost overboard.
WEATHER: The West Coast of Scotland enjoys a temperate maritime climate without extremes. Prevailing winds are south-westerly. 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 completely stunning 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 and activities are flexible to get the best from the weather on each day.
QUERIES? Do not hesitate to contact us either by phone or email with any queries, and once on board our crew will always be available to answer any questions to make your cruise as enjoyable as possible.