What a wildlife season 2021 is turning out to be! Whilst we are invariably always blessed with dolphins and porpoises on our travels, the prevalence of whales this season has really been something, from single minkes to large pods, and to Orcas who seem to be around in increasing frequency. We are often asked about the likelihood of seeing whales, this season has been remarkable with sightings on more than 50% of our cruises, from the waters off Arran to the Sea of the Hebrides near Stornoway. Quite remarkable!
The 2021 season awaits us and we are busy making preparations for what promises to be a special time. We have postponed our April and early May departures but intend commencing our Private Charters as soon as the lifting of restrictions permits. Already we have seen a strong increase in demand arising from those UK based guests more accustoimed to international destinations. We are determined to ensure that these guests see the very best of what Scotland has to offer!
February saw us delighted to learn that, hard on the heels of winning Best Luxury Cruise experience for the third year running, we had been nominated in The Corporate Livewire Scotland Prestige Awards 2021/22 which recognise small and medium-sized businesses that have proven to be the best in their market over the past 12 months.
We are delighted to receive Best Luxury Scottish Cruise Experience for the third year running, with our hatrick now extending from 2018, to 2019 and now 2020. We all know that 2020 was a difficult year and our season was shorter than usual. We concentrated on Private Charter bookings, due to the pandemic. Once again many thanks to all those who voted for us, it really makes a difference to the team to know that their hard work is recognised.
Spirit of Fortitude needs a 300 tonne monster crane to lift her to her winter space in the yard where we will be completing a larger than normal schedule of works as this winter sees her five year code inspection checks being completed, everything from removing the shafts and propellers, to lowering and inspecting the rudders, removing all the seacocks and servicing them. All this carried out in conjunction with our international team of surveyors.
Our team is going to be very busy!
We all know that 2020 has been a unique year with lots of challenges. Despite it all we have completed the season with some very happy clients. Sadly the Covid 19 virus meant that we could only accommodate private charters this season, we are delighted to confirm that we will be welcoming many of these guests back next year. Lets all hope that next year brings less challenges and that we can see the return of our other guests too. So now its off to the shipyard for our winter maintenance and code inspections
Stunning sunset on the Scottish west coast island of Jura
Early August saw us following the Antrim Coast and visiting some wonderful sights including the Giants Causeway, Carrick-a-rede, Portrush and Ballycastle. Shore visits to Games of Thrones filming sights were a highlight for the guests. Many thanks to harbourmaster John at Ballycastle Marina for his assistance after Portrush harbour realized that we were 32 metres and not 32 feet!!