A small-ship cruise in the Hebrides is now a must-have holiday thanks to the Channel 5 programme“Cruising with Jane McDonald”
For the first time, cruise Guru Jane McDonald decided to try a small-ship cruise as part of her new series “Cruising with Jane McDonald”. The broadcast of her experience on board a mini-cruise vessel has set our very niche sector of cruising alight.
Jane joined a group of shipmates on board our mini-cruise vessel Glen Tarsan, in May 2016 for a 6-night cruise around the Island of Mull in the Inner Hebrides. To our delight, the programme managed to encapsulate, in a very evocative way, why our mini-cruise vessels and the Hebrides are so special.
The effect of the broadcast has been immense. Within the first ten minutes of the programme, our website crashed with the level of traffic. It was all hands on deck responding to messages on facebook, phone and email, from people desperate to book a cruise!
The Majestic Line is the market leader in small-ship cruising in the Hebrides, with three vessels in operation, including the new vessel Glen Etive, built in the Clyde in 2015. In total we can accommodate around 1,000 guests each season, offering a very personal adventure afloat, the complete antithesis to massive cruise ships that has been Jane's experience until now. It seems that people want what Jane discovered she loved. We have had many thousands of bookings requests and have run out of printed brochures. We expect our 2017 season to be totally booked out very soon and are also getting high levels of bookings for 2018
Andy Thoms, founder and part owner of The Majestic Line, appears in the programme playing the bagpipes and announcing a very individual grace to the Haggis. Andy and his business partner Ken Grant pioneered our own unique small-ship cruises in Argyll and the Hebrides 12 years ago to introduce people to this wonderful part of the world in the best possible way, from the sea. It is now a burgeoning tourism sector with some of our previous Skippers starting their own small-ship cruising companies, which we are happy to support. ‘Cruising with Jane McDonald’ has set the sector alight and helps people understand why small-ship cruising is so special.
Channel 5 reported that “Cruising with Jane McDonald” is the most successful new series launch this year with The Majestic Line attracting over 1.6m viewers. On twitter the show trended nationwide at no 5.
Executive Editor of the series, Fi Cotter Craig said that her team were all blown away by everything The Majestic Line offered us on our Inner Hebrides cruise; the scenery, the food, the crew, the cosiness of the Glen Tarsan and as for the weather - wow. Even Jane said it was one of her favourite cruises ever and she's been on a few - there was something utterly magical about the whole experience
While appearing on Loose Women, Jane McDonald commented, "Scotland was unbelievable. I know I'm not supposed to have a favourite but it was Scotland"
The Majestic Line loved having Jane on board too and is delighted that she is now a fan of small-ship cruising.