Cruise Information and Tips
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 on any of our cruises. Within each route there is a selection of scenic stopovers and anchorages. These are chosen according to the winds, tides and weather as to which are most suitable on the day. If there is a choice of anchorages available, 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.
Once your cruise is underway, transport to and from your vessel and the shore is mainly by boat tender. Trips in the boat tender usually take a few minutes and a high level of safety is observed. The tender will normally dock alongside jetties, floating pontoons and pier stairs or on a beach area where guests are assisted onto land by the crew. The tender has a door landing platform to allow guests to walk directly from boat to shore wherever possible.
Daily trips ashore are on offer but these are not compulsory. All trips ashore are self-guided; further information and maps can be provided. The crew have 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.
We tend to sail after breakfast and lunch to allow guests to relax and enjoy the scenery. We do not sail at night although the Skipper may occasionally decide to sail before breakfast if necessary, to reach a particular destination in good time.
Our cruise routes are rich in wildlife and a variety of species are regularly seen in many of our stopovers and anchorages throughout the season. Our crew members, although knowledgeable, are not wildlife experts and we cannot guarantee wildlife sightings. We carry information on board about the wildlife living in the area and are happy to work with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and a local award-winning guide on all our wildlife cruises.
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. Special health conditions which may affect your, or other guest’s, enjoyment of the cruise must be notified to us prior to departure for the safety of all on board.
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. Life jackets 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.
Using the tender:
Once your cruise is underway, transport to and from your vessel is mainly by boat tender. There are four fixed steps on the side of your vessel to access the tender therefore a certain degree of agility is required although the crew are usually on hand to assist. In case of emergency, or other unexpected circumstances, please be aware you may be required to access the tender unassisted. Please contact us if you require more information.
PLANNING WHAT TO TAKE
Storage space is limited so we advise soft bags for your luggage. All cabins have storage under the beds for up to 3 cabin size suitcases. Each piece of luggage should not exceed;
Glen Massan - 69x75x25cm; Glen Tarsan - 70x75x29cm;
Glen Etive - 70x75x34cm; Glen Shiel - 65x78x29cm.
For guests on an extended trip it may be possible to store excess luggage whilst cruising – please contact the office in advance to arrange this.
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. Please note there is no iron onboard, and there are no laundry facilities. A warm waterproof jacket is recommended for the outer decks when the boat is sailing. Lightweight waterproof trousers are essential for tender trips and shore trips. Waterproof walking shoes are recommended for trips onshore. For safety reasons, guests should wear non-slip shoes on deck and to protect the wood, 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.
In each of the en-suites we provide Arran Aromatics shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and soap and these are replenished throughout the cruise. Hairdryers are supplied in every cabin and a selection of towels is also provided which are changed during the week.
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.
Anyone with an interest in photography will have more than enough to inspire them, so ensure you bring a camera, battery and storage. We also have a guest photo competition each season and the winner will receive a lovely hamper!
Food and drink:
All meals, snacks, soft drinks and house wine with dinner are included in your cruise 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 by contacting the office in advance of your cruise.
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; if required, please bring a suitable repellent with you when you travel.
Wifi is available on board although internet speeds and mobile coverage can vary significantly depending on factors like location and available band width. The boat has access to emergency services at all times via radio.
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 by cash or card.
The boat’s electricity is 240V AC and standard UK 3 pin sockets are provided in cabins. Facilities can be provided on board for guests that require a CPAP machine. Please advise the office in advance of your cruise if required.
Please provide an emergency contact number on your guest information sheet. Phone numbers for you to pass onto your friends and family are the Dunoon office on +44(0)1369 707951 or the mobile of General Manager – +44 (0)7379 501234. Messages can be passed on via the Skipper. Alternatively, less urgent messages can be sent via our office email email@example.com marked for the attention of yourself.
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 and Vaping:
Smoking and vaping is only allowed on the outside aft deck and guests are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of non-smokers. Smoking and vaping is not allowed in the cabins or in the deck saloon.
HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE
There is a reasonably priced, well stocked bar on board. 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, soft drinks and snacks:
Complimentary coffee, tea and soft drinks are freely available throughout the day in the saloon. There is also a snack basket of biscuits and fresh fruit available at any time.
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 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.
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 literature on board about the local wildlife, natural environment, history and culture of the area and members of the crew are 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.