Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Hebridean Times Issue 23 Read it Now

I am delighted to announce that the Autumn Edition of The Hebridean Times, brimming with all the latest news from on board and ashore at Hebridean Island Cruises is now available to view on our website.

Another successful season is drawing to a close and in this issue we rekindle happy memories of the year so far, and look forward to next season.  To those of you who have cruised with us in 2016, we hope it was one of the highlights of your year, and to those of you who are considering a cruise with us in 2017, we hope you find some inspiration in the following pages.

In this issue we are pleased to announce our sponsored events at this year’s Ilkley Literature Festival, and the newly confirmed guest speaker for the cruise in September next year which celebrates Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, Bruce Bennison.

We would also like to ask you to vote for us in the forthcoming industry awards for which Hebridean Island Cruises has been nominated, please see page 15 for details. 

Warm regards

Ken Charleson
Chief Operating Officer

>> Click here to read the latest edition of The Hebridean Times

Friday, 12 August 2016

Hebridean Guests Continue to Support Marine Charity

Press Release


Eight UK marine conservation charities and projects are set to benefit from the latest round of Sea-Changersgrants. The money is raised by fundraising with scuba divers, sailors and cruise-goers, via the charitys marine business partners such as Mikes Dive Store, Boat Sharefinder and Hebridean Island Cruises. The money, raised and donated by lovers of the sea, has been allocated by Sea-Changers, the marine conservation fund-raising charity, through its latest series of grant awards.

Weve raised a very useful amount of money for this round of awards,said Helen Webb, Co-Founder of Sea-Changers. This means we can award up to £1,000 for some projects, which might not sound a lot, but it can make a lot of difference to projects around the UKs shores.

The latest round of grants will help support a diverse mix of good causes, from citizen scienceprojects which demonstrate the growing involvement of local communities in recording the species found around their local coastlines; to research into lobster populations to help ensure they are fished sustainably. Another interesting project will help establish a number of voluntary Water Wardensaround the Northumbrian coast.

Schools are very important to us as well. Were funding an exciting project in Devon to help school children understand the science of marine pollution and microplastics.Helen Webb, Co-Founder of Sea-Changers
Grant awards have been made to projects right around the UK, from Scotland to the South West and from the Isle of Man to the north-east of England.
Grants have been made to the following organisations and projects:

Baie Ny Carrickey Crustacean Fisheries Management Association (BNCCFMA) - To fund a project that will tag 2000 lobsters over the summer within the Baie Ny Carrickey closed area to enable more effective local management measures, such as increased minimum landing size of lobsters and population-forecasting.

Fin Fighters - To run a citizen shark science programme that will radically enhance studies and data collection on specific species in the UK and around the Atlantic.

Bug Life To part fund the National Seashell Survey Citizen Science project which is aimed at increasing the knowledge and recording of marine mollusc diversity across the UK coast.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) To buy equipment to be used by the Shorewatch volunteer-led citizen science project, co-ordinated from the Scottish Dolphin Centre on the Moray Firth.

Appledore Sustainable Fish To promote the conservation of sharks that swim off the North Devon coast through a series of events involving the Shark Trust, community groups and churches and the Appledore Carnival.

Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) - To increase awareness of South Arran Marine Protected Area (one of the first Scottish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to be legally enforced) through a pop-up exhibition (banners, leaflets and educational materials).

Northumberland Wildlife Trust To establish a group of 15 Water Wardens who will adopt a stretch of coast and carry out regular litter picks, weighing and reporting on the litter collected.

Sea Dream To run an inter-school marine awareness campaign in South Devon with a focus on plastics in the ocean. Schools will take part in a combination of linked activities to contribute to actual research; including beachcombing, litter picking, performing timed specific distance litter surveys and, taking and analysing water and sediment samples to look for microplastics.

(More details and a full list of funded projects will be published online at www.sea-changers.org)

Sea-Changers was established as a charity in May 2011, with the sole purpose of raising funds for UK marine conservation projects. Since then, individuals and businesses all around the country have been joining a growing body of sea-changerskeen to protect the seas around the UK by supporting this important cause.


Notes to editors

About Sea-Changers
1. Sea-Changers is a charity with the mission of raising thousands of pounds for marine conservation charities, primarily in the UK. Registered Charity No. England and Wales No. 1142119.
2. Sea-Changers was founded by Helen Webb and Rachel Lopata. They run the organisation on a voluntary basis, with the support of a wider network of volunteers.
3. Sea-Changers works through partnerships with commercial organisations which serve consumers who are accessing, enjoying or travelling via the sea.

About The Sea-Changers Grant Process
1.    Grants are open to UK-based marine conservation charities and projects.
2.    Grant decisions are made by Sea-Changers’ Trustees with specialist advice provided by marine biologist, Helen Scales and in line with Sea-Changers’ agreed funding policy.
3.    Funding rounds take place at regular intervals through the year. Sea-Changers is keen to hear from marine conservation projects to discuss future grant applications and eligibility. The deadline for the next grant round is the 30th of September 2016.

Further information about Sea-Changers can be found at www.sea-changers.org.uk
For further information and image requests, please contact:
Helen Webb, Co-Founder
Tel: 07909 897867

Email: helen@sea-changers.org.uk

Monday, 4 July 2016

Vote for Hebridean in two categories at the British Travel Awards 2016

Vote for Hebridean Island Cruises in two categories at the British Travel Awards 2016!

We are proud to announce that we have been nominated in two categories in the prestigious British Travel Awards 2016:

Best Luxury Cruise Line
Best Small Ship Cruise Line

The British Travel Awards is the largest poll of consumer opinion on the performance of companies and enterprises operating in the travel and tourism industry.

The winner of each category is decided entirely by the public and we know we can count on your support!

Voting is now open - Every vote counts and it could be yours that makes the difference. To cast your vote please visit www.britishtravelawards.com before 30th September and click on the 'VOTE' button. Alternatively, to vote only in the Hebridean Island Cruises categories, please click on either of the links below.

We are nominated for:

Best Luxury Cruise Line

>> Cast your Vote

Best Small Ship Cruise Line

>> Cast your vote

Thursday, 21 April 2016


Here is The Hebridean Times, brimming with all the latest news from on board Hebridean Princess and ashore at Hebridean Island Cruises.

In this issue we are delighted to share with you details of the cruises we have planned for 2017, including a return to the stunning Norwegian fjords, and introduce the newest additions to our on board team.  UNESCO World Heritage Sites are the focus of our editorial piece on pages 8 and 9, whilst on pages 10 and 11 our renowned guest speakers Jim Gardiner and Nicholas Merchant write about the highlights of the cruises they will be accompanying this year on Hebridean Princess and Royal Crown respectively. 

Details of how to apply for complimentary tickets to the Halle Orchestra at the Swaledale Festival can be found on page 6 and we would like to thank our guests who have donated over £16,000 to our charity partnership with Sea-Changers, find out how this money has been spent on page 15.

I hope you enjoy perusing this edition of The Hebridean Times.  If you require any further information regarding our latest special offers and current availability, please call Jonathan, Lisa or  Louise on 01756 704704 – with nearly 60 years of Hebridean experience between them they will easily be able to answer any queries you may have.

With best regards

Ken Charleson - Chief Operating Officer

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

HEBRIDEAN'S CHARITY PARTNERSHIP: Raises over £16k for Marine Conservation Projects

Hebridean Islands Cruises’ partnership with marine conservation charity Sea-Changers is now entering its fifth year of operation.  Many guests have chosen to add a small donation to their booking fee, as a way of giving something back to protect the beautiful seas, shores and marine wildlife that form such a fundamental part of the experience when cruising aboard the Hebridean Princess. 

The total raised now exceeds £16,000. Every penny donated goes to fund vital marine conservation projects, including: direct clean-up activities; species protection work; conservation research or education and awareness-raising. The charity’s activities have increased over the last five years as a direct result of your generosity. 

Much of the money raised has been targeted to projects around the Scottish Coast, including, for example:

A grant to the Scottish Seabird Centre to buy cameras to monitor the full breeding cycle of the grey seals situated on two islands including Isle of May National Nature Reserve which is the largest grey seal colony on the east coast, and the island of Craigleith.

Funding for a schools project throughout Skye, Lochalsh, Knoydart, and the Small Isles, which allowed groups of pupils to learn about and experience different aspects of the marine environment through a variety of media, including hands-on science based workshops

Development of a protected breeding site for Common Terns at Loch Craignish, in Mid Argyll on the west coast of Scotland. Prior to this, in spite of a trapping programme, American mink had predated the nesting colonies, to the extent that in 2012 only 1 pair of Common Terns was seen at the head of the loch.

A grant to the Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit (CRRU) who are undertaking vital research to inform and assist in the implementation of the first ever Marine Protected Area proposed for Minke whales in UK inshore waters (in the Moray Firth.)

Work in and around the Garnock Valley and Irvine, to make this part of Scotland an even better place for marine wildlife - the funds included support for a community clean-up around the nearby estuary. 

These are just a few of examples of activities, in part made possible by the generosity of Hebridean Island Cruises’ guests. To find out more about Sea-Changers’ work, visit http://www.sea-changers.org.uk/index.php

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

NEW WEBSITE: Launched by Hebridean

After several months of work Hebridean Island Cruises is delighted to launch its new website.  Working closely with its website developer, Plan B Online, the new site highlights the cruising area of its flagship vessel, Hebridean Princess, as well as its European River Cruises programme.

Emphasis is on an image driven site with picture galleries being placed on most pages, illustrating Hebridean’s unique and elegant style of cruising.

Virtual tours of the 30 elegant cabins on board Hebridean Princess allow the site user to sample the elegance of life on board this special little ship.

Ken Charleson, Chief Operating Officer of Hebridean Island Cruises said:

“We wanted to create a new website that would really stand out and bring our off the beaten track destinations to life.  Videos of the ship’s cabins, restaurant and life on board really does emphasise the luxury and elegance of the cruises we offer.  We’re delighted with what Plan B Online has achieved and I am certain that our guests will feel the same”.

A new ‘News Hub’ allows site visitors to read about the latest news, both on board Hebridean Princess and ashore, and is complemented with live Facebook and Twitter feeds.  This area will also be home to the ‘Daily Cruise Blog’ which will recommence at the start of the 2016 Hebridean Princess cruising season on 1st March and which will provide a daily diary of each cruise as it unfolds.

Other new features include a telephone call back facility, allowing users to speak with a member of the small shore based Hebridean team without incurring any telephone charges, a special offers page and an e-newsletter sign up area.

Friday, 22 January 2016


At an investiture at Trinity House, London last week, Captain Trevor Bailey was awarded the Merchant Navy Medal for services to safety on high-speed catamaran ferries and to the Nautical Institute.

The medal was presented by Admiral The Right Honourable Lord West of Spithead GCB DSC ADC, Patron of the Merchant Navy Medal Fund.

The prestigious Merchant Navy Medal has been awarded by the Merchant Navy Medal Committee,
on behalf of the industry, from 2005 until this time.

Captain Bailey said "I am deeply honoured and very proud to have received this prestigious award  -  with a maximum of only 20 medals awarded per year, this adds to the significance of the award."
Captain Bailey was accompanied by his wife Lynda and his father Deryk, both of whom have travelled on Hebridean Princess.