They say knowledge is power! That’s why it’s always helpful to know as much about your cruise as possible, as this will enhance your experience, so hopefully the following information will be of assistance.
Cruising timetable: Our cruising grounds are some of the best in the world, but sometimes we can experience some unpredictable elements. For this reason, we tend to sail predominantly during daylight hours, often for short durations, with a typical itinerary seeing us sail for one or two hours after breakfast and for three or four hours after lunch, allowing guests the maximum opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenery. The Ships Master may occasionally decide to sail before breakfast if necessary, to reach a particular destination in good time or to take advantage of favorable weather conditions. Generally, we do not sail at night unless on longer passages, for excample to St Kilda.
Passing places, anchorages and ports
We will endeavour to operate to a predetermined itinerary. However, each route has a selection of lovely stopovers and anchorages and these are chosen by the Ships Master for any particular cruise according to the winds, tides and weather prevailing at the time of the cruise. This generally leads to a more enjoyable cruise for all, with the Master choosing the most suitable route for the comfort of all on-board. If there is a choice of anchorages available on any given day, the Ships Master will consult with the guests on board as to which to choose. The final decision on the cruise itinerary lies with the Ships Master.
On our standard cruise iteneraries, the following day’s daily programme – comprising the intended navigation to be undertaken, any excursion activity opportunities, timings as well as other pertinent and interesting information – is posted each evening in the Main Saloon.
Transport to and from your vessel and the shore is often by ships tender as we only occasionally lie alongside (see Going Ashore). Clothing suitable for the elements should be worn and if possible this should include waterproof trousers. Life jackets must be worn whilst aboard the tender. Our crew will assist those with slightly less mobility.
Part of the charm of our cruising grounds is that we can never really be sure of the weather, other than to know that it can be unpredictable. Bring plenty of warm clothing for you are likely to have some days when the weather is a bit cooler. Bring sun protection too as we are often blessed with glorious weather.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Health and Medical Services
Our crew are fully qualified First Aid Officers and there is extensive first aid equipment on board. We do not however carry a qualified doctor or nurse and we are often some distance away from high street pharmacies (or these may be open only at very limited periods) so please bring any medicines with you that you may need during the cruise. If you have any concerns about your medical condition or fitness prior to the cruise, please contact us immediately.
Please let us know in advance about any special medical conditions (including allergies) that the crew should be aware of. We can keep any medication refrigerated if required, and any medical devices can be charged on board.
Since we are never more than a few hours away from port, and most times less than an hour’s steaming, medical assistance can be arranged quickly ashore.
Safety Briefing and Life Jackets
At the beginning of each voyage the Master will conduct a detailed Safety Briefing highlighting all the emergency procedures and facilities on board. Whilst the ship generally operates an open bridge policy, during berthing or navigating in confined areas, guests should not access this area. Similarly, some deck areas will be restricted during these periods, to permit berthing operations and the stowing of fenders etc. Guests should at all times avoid those areas which specifically state for ‘Crew Only’.
Life jackets are provided for each passenger and will be located within your cabin. Life jackets must always be taken on journeys in the ships tender, where they are required to be worn. Life jackets must be worn when requested to do so by the crew.
For security these are kept fastened whilst at sea.
There is no lift on board. Guests with limited mobility can be accommodated provided they are accompanied by an assisting companion. Collapsible wheelchairs can be stowed aboard– please note that only limited use of any wheelchair can be made of whilst on board but they can be used on any excursions.
PLANNING WHAT TO TAKE
Golf clubs will be welcome, but please let us know that you intend to bring them.
We can store bikes on board (by prior arrangment) so please inquire and bring your helmets!
There are no restrictions on the type or size of luggage that you can bring with you (within reason), as each cabin has good storage space. Our crew will collect your suitcases from the shore or drop off point and will deliver these direct to your cabin.
Every stateroom has plenty space for all your suitcases.
Dress is casual, but on the last night a more Scottish theme is adopted so please feel free to tartan up!
Clothing and Footwear
Our cruises are very relaxed and there are no specific requirements, with casual attire the order of the day. You may wish to dress for dinner but this is very much personal preference. Waterproof clothing will be required, particularly for the short journeys ashore in the ships tenders, or for those walks ashore. Non-slip shoes are best for on deck, and for the ladies high-heeled shoes are not permitted whilst on board, to protect the decks. Strong or waterproof boots are an invaluable aid for the shore excursions. Remember also sun protection and a hat for those gloriously sunny days.
A range of quality toiletries are carried on board with shampoo, shower gel and soap, but you are always welcome to bring your own favoutrites if you wish. Hairdryers are supplied and a good selection of quality towels are also provided which are changed on a regular basis.
Hairdryers are located in the top drawer of the vanity unit/desk in each State Room.
We can offer a laundry service but a surcharge will be in operation and we do not accept responsibility for any damages caused. Drying of outside wear is always available. An iron and ironing board is available. Fresh towels and bed linen will be provided.
Whilst the ship carries these, it is a good idea to bring your own so that you can take advantage of the breath-taking scenery at any time.
Don’t forget this (or your charger for camera phone).
Food and drink
Our cruises are fully inclusive of all meals and snacks. This sometimes includes a picnic lunch or barbecue, and on occasion we sometimes dine in local hostelries. House wine is served with dinner along with soft drinks. The well-stocked Whisky Bar on the Bridge Deck caters for those wishing something stronger. Special requests for particular food and drink items can usually be provided by prior arrangement.
Mobile phones are in range for most of the voyage(s), but please note some blind spots do exist, particularly in the remote lochs and islands. You will be able to charge your phone whilst on board. The ship will always be able to make contact with the shore in the event of an emergency.
The vessel is equipped with WIFI, which is available for guest use. However there are geographical limitations to coverage, and date usage means that guest streaming of movies and the like is not available. For these reasons WIFI availability cannot be guaranteed
A ‘running tab’ cashless system of payments operates on board for your bar, shop and laundry bill. A detailed account of purchases made, are available for guests to check & settle on the penultimate day of the voyage. Accounts can be settled in cash, or by Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards. American Express or Diners are unfortunately not accepted at this time.
A safe deposit box is located inside the wardrobe of each cabin.
The boat’s electricity is 240V AC and standard UK 3 pin sockets are provided in cabins. It is a good idea to make sure you have a surge protector plug with you to protect your equipment.
The ship is contactable in almost all possible eventualities. However, in the first instance if you wish to leave an emergency contact number with your family at home, please use +44 (0) 1577861121 and we will then contact you via the Ships Master.
If you wish to leave a gratuity, which is always appreciated for exceptional service, please give it to the Ships Master who will ensure it is shared equally between all crew members.
The Ship operates a strict no smoking policy in all of the interior areas, including cabins. Alarms are fitted throughout the vessel. Smoking is restricted to a small area of exterior deck only, and only at certain times i.e. no smoking at all during maneuvering operations.
HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE
We have a stock of items you may have forgotten to bring for sale on board.
House wine is complimentary with dinner, and we have an excellent Wine List. There is a well-stocked bar from which you can purchase a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, including premium wines and champagnes.
Coffee, tea and snacks
Complimentary tea, coffee and snacks are available throughout the day in the main saloon. You can also have these in your own cabin.
Fine dining is a vital part of the perfect cruising experience. On board, we take special pride in the quality of our cuisine, prepared by our expert chef from locally sourced produce. Meals are generally served in the saloon dining table on the main deck, where awe-inspiring scenery is on view through the picture windows. Whilst dinner is sometimes at anchor, breakfast and lunch are often taken enroute at the saloon, or sometimes upstairs in the Whisky Lounge, as we make our way to our next destination, with breath-taking landscapes rolling by. In addition, we can offer, subject to availability, private dining within your cabin, or alfresco on the rear deck, perhaps to celebrate that special occasion or just that private time. After dinner, guests usually retire to our Whisky viewing room on the Bridge Deck, for convivial chat and entertainment. Weather permitting, barbecues are sometimes held on deck and/or ashore.
Most of the usual dietary requests can be catered for providing prior notification is made.
We do not have a pre-set agenda in terms of entertainment but our ships are well equipped with televisions in the main saloon and in every cabin, although our cruising grounds sometimes means that satellite antenna reception is not available. We carry a large DVD library, as well as a reading library, board games and musical instruments. Entertainers sometimes join us for music and fun.
The library is available for all. It includes a large desk area, where you can sit and watch the scenery pass from the panoramic windows. It includes a selection of games and reference books.