Friday, 8 December 2017

Luxury Scotland Celebrates 25 Years with Limited Edition Monopoly Game

To celebrate their 25th Anniversary, Luxury Scotland has released a new limited-edition version of Monopoly featuring all of the consortium's 31 member properties including Donald Trump's Turnberry golf course, Andy Murray's Cromlix Hotel and, of course, Hebridean Princess.



The Luxury Scotland edition of Monopoly will give players the chance to tour Scotland for the hottest hotel properties, buy them, develop them and watch their investments shoot up in value. The game will not be going on general sale to the public but around 1,000 copies will be distributed to the featured properties and is available to purchase from Hebridean Island Cruises for £30.  

For your chance to win one of 3 copies of this exclusive game, please answer the following questions:
1. Which Luxury Scotland property was the setting for John Buchan's book, The 39 Steps?
2. Which Queen stayed at Inverlochy Castle in 1873 and wrote in her diary 'I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot'?

Please send your answers, together with your name and address by email to louise.pratt@hebridean.co.uk by Wednesday 31st January 2018. Three lucky winners will be randomly selected from all the correct entries.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Bolsover Cruise Club writes about Hebridean Princess

In October of this year Rebecca Martin from Bolsover Cruise Club enjoyed a seven night cruise on board Hebridean Princess.  During her time on board she kept a diary of her experiences.

To learn what she had to say select the links below to read her four part blog:

>> PART ONE

>> PART TWO

>> PART THREE

>> PART FOUR

Alternatively click the image below to read the full article in Bolsover Cruise Club's magazine, Into the Blue.


FREE TICKETS to London cruise shows

During the early part of 2018 Hebridean Island Cruises will be attending some of the UK’s biggest cruise and travel shows.

Come along and meet our experienced team and have your questions answered face to face – we’d love to see you…

Destinations: The Holiday and Travel Show 

Olympia London, 1st - 4th February 2018


Come face to face with your next holiday or travel experience at the UK's biggest travel show. Packed with hundreds of leading and independent tour operators, over 75 tourist boards from across the globe, cultural entertainment, world flavours, travel celebrities and more, Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show is the UK's largest and longest-running travel event. Taking place at Olympia London, 1 - 4 February 2018, the Destinations Holiday and Travel Show is the essential event to indulge your passion for travelling.

With the largest choice of exhibitors anywhere in the UK and a huge variety of holiday and travel options on offer, the Destinations Show inspires you to discover new destinations and adventures from our expert exhibitors. 

Plus, discover the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival, a line-up of incredible talks, presentations and panel sessions from a host of leading travel writers and authors, whilst exotic cultures are brought to life through dance, performance and free food and drink tastings across four Experience The World stages.

Meet the Experts Theatres also provide over 50 hours of free travel advice from destination specialists. Covering an array of journeys to every continent, get inspired to discover and learn about exciting destinations across the globe.

Wherever your next journey leads, make sure it begins at the Destinations The Holiday and Travel Show, Olympia London.

>> CLICK HERE FOR FREE TICKETS  USING CODE MSC85

London Cruise Show

Olympia London, 17th - 18th February 2018

The Cruise Show returns to the Olympia, London on the 17th and 18th February and will celebrate the range of sights, sounds and wonders available to those willing to discover the world by ship!

The world has never been more accessible for those with the spirit of adventure. Packed full of information and inspiration, Cruise Show will bring together the best specialist operators and holiday providers all under one roof. In one weekend we cover everything from all-inclusive luxury getaways to small-ship cruises destined for remote locations, as well as your chance to meet like-minded travellers on organised group tours – whether you’re travelling with partner, family or friends!

As well as meeting with an excellent range of travel companies and taking advantage of their exclusive show-only offers, visitors are also invited to enjoy the show’s interactive features. Hear first-hand experience from celebrity speakers, explorers, journalists and tour operators in a choice of 3 theatres, bursting with travel ideas and practical advice that’s bound to inspire.

>> CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Cycling over The Minch with Chris Boardman



Island hopping through the Hebrides by bike is a magical and varied experience. From the white shell sands of Tiree, Eriskay and Harris, to the majestic mountains of the Cuillins and the
awe-inspiring scenery of the Trotternish Peninsula on Skye, the islands each have a unique atmosphere.

The thrill of travelling by bicycle under your own steam heightens the physical senses and the spirit of adventure. The remoteness of these islands, sparsely populated and some traffic-free, means that cycling in the Hebrides offers tranquillity in the fresh air of unspoilt landscapes.

On Coll we use the island’s limited roads for a circular route which starts and finishes in the main village of Arinagour, whilst its relatively flat and fertile neighbour of Tiree makes an idyllic island for cycling as you gently roll along the roads which run behind the many sandy bays and take in distant views of other islands in every direction.

A linear ride on Barra allows us to observe the white shell sands and rugged inland scenery en route to Eriskay and the beach where Bonnie Prince Charlie first stepped onto British soil.  On our full day tour of The Uists we discover these islands of contrasts; the soft, undulating landscapes of South Uist are a world apart from the low-lying bird-haven of North Uist, scattered with green-blue lochans.

Our final ride in the Outer Isles takes us from Harris, through traditional crofting and weaving communities, to its flatter and more fertile neighbour of Lewis. After sailing back across The Minch, we arrive at the Isle of Skye where we enjoy an invigorating pedal through the stunning yet bizarre rock formations of The Quiraing on the Trotternish Peninsula, before re-joining the ship in the island’s capital, Portree.

A linear ride on Raasay affords fine views in each direction, including a magnificent panorama of the Cuillins on Skye. Before a relaxing sail of the Small Isles, we set out from Armadale to explore the Sleat Peninsula, often referred to as ‘the garden of Skye’ where heather-clad mountains drop dramatically to the rocky shorelines and glittering blue sea, punctuated with lush gardens and dense forests.

We are delighted that this cruise will not only be accompanied by an experienced cycling guide, but also by Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman. You do not need to be an expert to enjoy the thrill of cycling through these stunning islands. The rides are on roads and the majority are gently undulating, with the exception of one steep incline for approximately a mile. Distances will vary from approximately 11 miles up to a maximum of 42 miles for the full day route on The Uists. Bicycles are provided on board or you are more than welcome to bring your own. Each day you have the option to join the rides or to enjoy a less energetic visit, the choice is yours.



Chris Boardman took Britain's opening Gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Britain's first cycling gold in 72 years. He then went on to lead the R&D team for GB Cycling in the run up to Beijing, where they became the most successful British sporting team of all time. Between Barcelona and Beijing, Chris won three stages of the Tour de france, set numerous world records (several of which still stand) and became arguably Britain's most successful cyclist to date.

>>Cycling over the Minch
Tuesday 9th to Tuesday 16th October 2018
Prices from £3,240 per person based on 2 people sharing an inside double/twin cabin.

Friday, 27 October 2017

The Delights of Ardgowan House

Ardgowan is a beautiful late 18th century house which stands at the mouth of the River Clyde, looking across to the hills of Argyll, and south-west to the islands of Bute and Arran. Its predecessor, an ancient keep - now a romantic roofless ruin in the garden - stands testament to the strategic importance of the site, which was much fought over during Viking invasions and later during Scotland’s Wars of Independence.



The house in the early 14th century, once taken by Robert the Bruce, became one of a string of west coast royal fortresses until in 1403 it was given by King Robert III to his natural son, John, whose descendants have lived there ever since.

In the late Georgian period the family (now called Shaw Stewart) decided to build a new neo-classical house here which a follower of Robert Adam, named Hugh Cairncross, designed for them. It consists of a pedimented main block, which originally centred on an elegant curved double flight of steps, with wings linking to Venetian-windowed pavilions. The sea-facing garden fa├žade is configured differently, with a central bow rising into the roofline. The main reception rooms are on the first floor and retain their original contents - Gillow furniture supplied when the house was completed in 1801, family portraits of its successive owners, including a run of pictures by Henry Raeburn, paintings and sculptures collected on various Grand Tours and some curious Napoleonic relics including the Emperor’s hat. In the library with its tall well-stocked Gillow bookcases there survives an extensive archive of material relating to the completion and furnishing of the house and a large assembly of family letters and journals. These reflect the boisterous happy life lived within these walls by generations of Shaw Stewarts which has given Ardgowan the distinctive family atmosphere much commented on by visitors today.


The 350 acre policies were laid out in the same year that the house was built. The River Kip was re-routed to flow in a new paved course through the park, groves of trees were planted and winding picturesque walks were devised through the woods to the shoreline to take advantage of the spectacular scenery. The mild Gulf Stream climate encouraged the growth of tender trees and plants in both parkland and the garden which was designed in the 19th century. The house is positioned at one end of an extensive estate which stretches from the hills behind Inverkip to the high ground to the back of Greenock and Port Glasgow. The farming operation is carried out on a number of tenanted farms; there are also forestry and livery businesses run on the estate. Lucinda Chetwode (formerly Lady Shaw Stewart) runs residential educational courses from Ardgowan too, studying the art collections of Scotland and using her own archive and collection to analyse the social history of the 18th century country house. She also runs her antiques business - Ardgowan Antiques - from here.

She, her second husband Christopher, and her son Ludovic are always delighted to have Hebridean Princess groups visit the house.

Hebridean Princess is due to visit Ardgowan House on the following cruises in 2018:

>> Argyll's Secret Coast commencing 1st March 2018

>> Treasures of Argyll and Bute commencing 13th March 2018

>> Architectural Gems of Argyll and the Isles commencing 30th October 2018

>> Argyll's Secret Coast commencing 6th November 2018

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Hebridean's Rising Star

The Cruise Trade News’ Rising Star awards shine a spotlight on the brightest and best talent in the cruise holiday sector and celebrate the achievements of outstanding younger members working within the industry.



The awards are open to employees who are 35 years and under on 15th September 2017.  Some join the Cruise industry a little later than others and then make a real and significant impact, so for 2017 a new category that covers over 35s who have under 5 years’ experience in the sector as of 15th September 2017 has been added.

Earlier this week Cruise Trade News announced the shortlist for this year’s Rising Star Awards.

Hebridean was delighted to receive the news that, in the Cruise Line Sales Rising Star, its newest member of the Skipton shore based team, Abigail Stevens has been shortlisted for the award.

You may recall reading about Abbie earlier this year in both The Hebridean Times and our online news hub.

>> Click here to learn more about Abbie

On hearing the news Abbie commented:

"I am absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted in the 2017 Rising Star Awards - it is so exciting and I am so much looking forward to travelling to London in November to discover who the overall winners will be.  I shall keep my fingers crossed!"

Sales and Marketing Manager for Hebridean, Jonathan Moffatt remarked:

"Abbie is a talented, enthusiastic and enchanting individual that always gives 101% in everything she does.  Since becoming part of the Hebridean team 18 months ago, she built strong relationships with guests and colleagues alike and has created systems for varying administrative procedures that have benefitted all our small team in Yorkshire.

The Rising Star Awards was an ideal way to recognise her dedication outside of the office and therefore a nomination was inevitable!  Everyone at Hebridean is rooting for her."

The full shortlist can be seen below and the winners will be announced at the Rising Star Awards lunch on November 17th at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, London, where of our shortlisted Stars are invited as our VIP guests.

>> The Rising Star Awards Shortlist 2017

Friday, 6 October 2017

Hebridean Road Show

Over the next few weeks, Hebridean will be exhibiting in conjunction with a select number of its travel agency partners. 

If you're in the area, we'd love to see you.

Cruise Select Cruise Show - Sunday 15th October - Sharnbrook Hotel, Bedford


October is National Cruise Month, and Cruise Select is holding its annual Cruise Show on 15 October 2017 at the  Sharnbrook Hotel. During the day, you will be able to meet with Hebridean Island Cruises and travel professionals from various cruise and river lines.

Cruise Select says the top reasons to come along are:

1) Your chance to discover various styles of cruising including river, small ships, expedition and luxury

2) Take advantage of National Cruise Month special offers

3) Exclusive offers only available to Cruise Select

Doors open at 10:30 am until 3:00pm.

>> Click here to register for your FREE places


Northumbria Travel Cruise Show - Wednesday 18th October - Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham

Northumbria Travel is hosting a Cruise Show supported and attended by 12 Cruise Lines, including Hebridean Island Cruises, all showcasing their ships and itineraries on the day. There will be an opportunity to attend a short presentation by each cruise line in addition to talking to the representatives from each company throughout the day.

Exclusive Offers will be available on the day.

This event is on Wednesday 18th October at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham and starts at 10am and will run until 4.30pm

Parking is free of charge.

Call Northumbria Travel on 01670 829922 to secure your complimentary tickets or email info@northumbriatravel.com

Please note spaces are strictly limited and subject to availability.


Ponders Travel Cruise Show - Sunday 22nd October - Hallmark Hotel Bar Hill, Cambridge

October is National Cruise Month, so Ponders have invited the big names in cruising and river cruising, including Hebridean Island Cruises, to join them under one roof to showcase the very best of their National Cruise Month Offers.

You will have a chance to discuss your holiday ideas with an array of travel professionals.

With a luxury prize draw on the day and exclusive holiday offers you really need to put this event in your diary.

When: Sunday October 22nd 2017
Where: Hallmark Hotel Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8EU
Time: 11am to 3pm

>> Click here to register for your FREE places