Boats are a great way to see Scotland. Fast, slow, motor-powered or paddle-powered, they can offer a unique view of Scotland’s spectacular landscapes and wildlife, with a dash of adventure thrown in! Check out these 9 top suggestions for getting out on to Scottish waters this summer.
1. See the World’s third largest whirlpool
The Gulf of Corryvreckan, off Scotland’s west coast, is home to the infamous Corryvreckan Whirlpool - the third largest in the world!
For an exciting excursion to see the maelstrom in action, you can jump on board the Sea Leopard II with Craignish Cruises, learning how the whirlpool works, whilst hearing tales of Prince Breckan and the Calliach. Find out more on the Craignish Cruises website.
Alternatively, Seafari Adventures Oban operate a fleet of modern RIBs and offer daily Corryvreckan Wildlife Tours. The 'Corry' is a rich feeding ground with much wildlife to be seen. For the more adventurous and limited to big Spring Tides, why not join Seafari for one of their 'Whirlpool Specials'. A tour specifically concentrating on tides and whirlpools, these tours are popular so book early. Find out more on the Seafari Adventures Oban website.
2. Visit ‘the islands at the edge of the world’ direct from Skye.
The UK's only UNESCO dual world heritage site is here in Scotland and not to be missed. The uninhabited archipelago of St Kilda lies in the Atlantic Ocean, 41 miles west of Benbecula in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. With Go To St Kilda, make the 4-hour boat journey from Uig on Skye to this remotest part of the British Isles, where you can enjoy dramatic scenery, spectacular seabirds and gain a fascinating insight into the way of life of the St Kildans prior to their evacuation in 1930. Visit Go To St Kilda’s website to find out more.
3. Enjoy an evening cruise along the coast of Arran
For a more sedate experience, join Ocean Breeze RiB Tours for an evening excursion into the Firth of Clyde. Aboard one of their rigid inflatable boats, you’ll set sail from Arran, the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, to watch the sun set and the birds roost. Find out more on the Ocean Breeze RiB Tours website.
4. Experience the freedom of paddling
Join Seafreedom Kayak for an introduction to sea kayaking in a beautiful and sheltered location in Argyll. For complete beginners, you’ll start on grass before taking to the water to enjoy your new-found freedom! Seafreedom Kayak offer bespoke packages as well as organised tours, so you’re guaranteed to find an experience to suit your skill level. More info is available on Seafreedom Kayak’s website.
5. Explore beneath the waves
Setting sail from Kyle of Lochalsh, you can enjoy Scotland’s stunning scenery and wildlife, both above and below the waves on board Seaprobe Atlantis. Through large windows in the boat’s underwater viewing gallery, you can explore the underwater world of this Special Area of Conservation, whilst a wildlife guide explains all that you see. Find out more on the Seaprobe Atlantis website.
6. Take a fishing trip on Loch Leven
If fishing is your bag and you want to catch yourself a great day out, then look no further than a fishing adventure aboard the rib "SeaXplorer". Setting sail on Loch Leven, near Fort William, your skipper will provide all necessary equipment and lots of local knowledge. For more information visit the SeaXplorer website.
7. Set sail for “the best viewpoint in Scotland”
On the beautiful Isle of Skye, Misty Isle Boat Trips transport passengers from Elgol to the breathtaking Loch Coruisk, where you can enjoy what has been described as “the best viewpoint in Scotland”. On your journey, enjoy a rich variety of wildlife and, of course, the spectacular scenery. Visit the Misty Isle Boat Trips website to find out more.
8. Enjoy exhilarating wildlife watching
For an exhilarating wildlife watching tour, hop on board AquaXplore’s offshore RIBS on Skye. With a typical cruising speed of 25 knots, these tours enable a faster transfer to the remote and beautiful Small Isles of Canna, Rum, Soay and Eigg. Take in breathtaking scenery, unique history and abundant wildlife – all whilst enjoy the thrill of a fast boat ride! Find out more on the AquaXplore website.
9. Moor at “The Gateway to the Small Isles”
For seasoned sailors exploring the West Coast of Scotland, Arisaig Marine provides the perfect sheltered base. Known as “the Gateway to the Small Isles”, the bay provides good shelter from most wind directions and is easy to enter. Sixty professionally checked swinging moorings are available from a nightly basis through to the full season. Visit the Arisaig Marine website to find out more about moorings and shore side facilities.