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Cruises to St Kilda from Skye

I picked up a leaflet today about these cruises from Skye.
They depart from Stein Jetty at 0650, return at 2030. The 4 hour passage is on a RIB.
4 hours each way and 4 hours there.
The cost is £260 per person.
See www.gotostkilda.co.uk.
I can't find any mention of them on the forum.

Posted by
3122 posts

This sounds fascinating. The tour website indicates there is some guided walking at the destination and lots to see in addition to bird watching.

Posted by
1376 posts

Hi, isn31c,

Kilda Cruises from Leverburgh will get you there more quickly, and are a bit cheaper. We went out ti St. Kilda a few years ago. Fascinating place! It was one of those once in a lifetime trips. Three hours out, three hours back, and about six hours on shore. If you do decide to travel, best to read either Tom Steel's book or Charles MacLean's book before going, to get some idea of what life was like on Hirta before the islands were evacuated in 1930.

Thousands of puffins!

Best wishes,

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
1376 posts

Hi again, Stuart,

My error on the Kilda Cruises trip out of Leverburgh. The time on Hirta is actually five hours, which gives you plenty of time to explore. There is a good hike for us OAPs up to The Gap, which gives you a great view of the massive cliffs and a view out to Boreray.

After your time on land ends, the boat will take you around Boreray, Stac Lee, and Stac an Armin before heading back to Leverburgh. So it's three hours out, five hours on Hirta, and four hours back.

The voyage around the outer islands and stacks is amazing. Given all of our modern comforts and conveniences, it is really hard to believe how difficult life must have been for the St Kildans. They had virtually no contact with the outside world, and their diet consisted mainly of oatmeal, gannets, and gannet eggs. The men had to scale nearly impossible cliffs to obtain the eggs and to catch the gannets.

I hope that you have the opportunity to visit.

Best wishes,

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
6394 posts

What I always fancied was the CalMac annual cruise from Oban to St Kilda on either the LOTI or the Clansman.
You used to sleep in sleeping bags on the car deck or, for the lucky few, in the sleeping cabins which both ships then had.
Unfortunately they always sold out very fast.
Sadly the fleet is now so small that I don't see those trips coming back.

It always struck me as a far more suitable vessel for a long voyage in such exposed waters.

These RIB's are awfully tiny vessels for such a passage- it looks a smaller boat than the Jura Passenger ferry, and that can be quite a lively crossing in what are much more sheltered seas.

Posted by
1376 posts

Hi, Stuart,

Kilda Cruises actually use a small 12 passenger cruiser to reach St Kilda. As they can't get in close due to some sort of regulations (They told us it was so that rats couldn't get to shore!), the passengers are actually taken on shore on an RIB, while the boat remains at anchor in the harbour.

You're absolutely right - there's no way in hell I'd make that crossing on an RIB in the open Atlantic!

There used to be NTS work parties who would go out for two weeks in summer to work on restoring the houses and cleits. The bookings for the (volunteer) work parties were filled as soon as they became available, and this was in the days long before the internet!

Best wishes once again.

Mike (Auchterless)