A true adventure. The vessel was impressive, the crew was professional, yet warm and the food was superb. Every need was anticipated. We saw dolphins, puffins and other wildlife up close. The Abbey at Iona is humbling.
Everyone enjoyed the scenery and the staff.
Lovely time had by all!
Thank you for making my job so easy.
We just completed this tour during our May 2018 2-week visit to Scotland, and the four of us agree it was the absolute highlight of our trip. None of us had travelled overnight on such a small, inimitable ship, and admittedly we were a bit nervous about the expected Scottish weather. As luck would have it, our weather turned out to be beautiful for almost the entire trip – much better than we had expected and planned for.
The ship’s crew was amazing – *so* friendly, accommodating, and solicitous as to our comfort and trip experience. Lorne was the captain, Alastair was engineer, Johnny was the cook, Martin was steward, and Daniel was first mate (apologies if we got the positions mixed at all). This was the most professional, outgoing, polite and amiable group you could ever hope to put together. We had complete confidence in them, and it was clear they were selected for their experience and professionalism. They were a delight to talk to, and very knowledgeable about the islands and the history of the area. Of course, we will never tire of hearing that lovely Scottish lilt, either.
We had a bit of luck in the timing of the 3-day Mull and Iona cruise, in that it turned out it was only the four of us on the boat! So, it was this wonderful 5-man crew working solely with us to make sure we were comfortable at all times, showing flexibility in routing around the islands and where we would put in (that probably is less or not possible with a full boat of unrelated groups of people).
The second day was sunny but very windy (from the north) and of course quite cool in the wind. We made our way west to round the southwest tip of Mull to head to Iona, but the sea was rough enough that it was becoming a bit unpleasant (no one was sick, but hours of rocking about sitting in the cabin was not what we were looking for). Our captain, Lorne, said it was also dicey about our ability to put in for the night at Iona, so we all agreed to bail and head back east to the protected area south and east of Mull. Immediately it was much better (following seas and wind with us). We ended up going to Tobermory (northeast coast of Mull) instead. That was beautiful – such a picturesque, colorful harbor town and setting!
The scenery was beautiful to us everywhere – it’s rugged and without trees in many places, but still lovely. We visited Duarte Castle, and that was stunningly situated on a point of land overlooking the Sound of Mull, near Oman. You can climb to the top and look out on a 360º vista of the area. The inside of the castle is very interesting, too – it is still fully in use by the owner.
The ability to pull into small inlets, stop, take a small launch ashore, walk around footpaths, then return and have a lovely lunch outside on the rear deck on a beautiful sunny day I don’t think can be done with larger boats. We had a spectacular day when we stopped at Carsaig for lunch. It was a picture postcard place, and we hiked up a footpath and took some photos looking out on the bay with our ship moored there.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the incredible cooking that Johnny, our cook, did on the trip. We ate wonderful dishes of mainly Scottish-influenced foods, including lots of fresh fish, some beef and lamb, and the most amazing sauces! Johnny’s cooking rivals any top-tier restaurant in Boston. We were amazed at what he could produce in that small galley on board. We also had tea with scones, great desserts, and basically food and drink whenever we were ready. Martin gave us a whiskey tasting session one evening, and Johnny gave us a short cooking lesson on making the best gnocchi we’ve ever had.
The accommodations (cabins) were far more spacious than we’ve had on cruise ships, and the beds were very comfortable and the cabins nicely appointed.
I’ll conclude by saying again, this cruise was an absolute delight, and you could not ask for a finer group of people to serve as the crew.
This trip was amazing! the staff where very attentive to all of our needs and the food was truly something to write about. One of the most enjoyable cruises we have ever been on and look forward to seeing you all this year.
What a wonderful cruise we had on the Spirit of Fortitude. It was an absolute luxury and the staff were very attentive and worked very well together. We very much loved the trip and hope to be back soon!
We just wanted to let you know how really wonderful our cruise of the Western Isles was and how much we enjoyed it all. The Spirit of Fortitude was absolutely luxurious and the scenery more splendid than we had ever imagined but we reserve an even higher praise for the terrific crew you have put together. They looked after us every step of the way, nothing was too much bother and the food was outstanding. When we said goodbye on Tuesday it was like farewelling friends.
Thank you very much for a wonderful trip and an experience we will never forget.
Just fantastic cruise, wonderful scenery, friendly ports, most helpful and pleasant crew and the most gorgeous food have ever tasted. Most of the food was local sourced. The yacht is very comfortable, clean and spacious. Would highly recommend.
I loved this cruise! The booking process was simple and the staff very helpful, we got some great weather which was also a bonus. One less item on the bucket list!
Dear Denice, I am writing to thank you for the wonderful service we received while cruising with The Spirit of Fortitude. Good customer service and a high quality offering is so important when on honeymoon. Their was so much to see and do and the live music was such a treat as we had never heard such a voice as that of young Orla. Our standard of accommodation and the privacy afforded was at such a high level, so much room to move within the cabins and a real sense of space altogether within the ship. When asked would we recommend The Royal Scottish by Alice, we had already posted a recommendation on our facebook! Hope to return again, which i am sure we will.
Can’t say enough how we have enjoyed our time onboard this amazing vessel, she is truly something different and much needed in the West of Scotland. My Grandmother and i have shared a special time and made wonderful friends along the way. The cabins are so large and comfortable and you were right , we had no difficulty getting around.
Dear crew of the Spirit of Fortitude, I thought I would send a written thanks to you all as we haven’t had such a great time spent when cruising, as we had with The Royal Scottish. The service we received from start to finish was first class and I can’t thank you enough for helping with the booking of our hotel which was stunning and arranging our transport. It was so good to touch down and just relax. The food was truly exquisite and well, just a cut above. I have recommended you to some of my friends and I hear they are now booked on this year’s voyage. I so wish we had the time to return this year but will see you all next season. Phil & Nancy