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Paddle Steamer Waverley leaving Oban Harbour

Paddling steadily up the Sound of Mull on the deck of this grand old lady is considered by many to be as close to heaven as you can get.

Oban used to be known as the ‘Charing Cross of the North’, such was the hustle and bustle in the harbour as the steamers and coasters plied their trade to the islands. The modern ferries of today carry on this vital service but each year an elderly and distinguished visitor returns to her old berth at the North Pier to recall the halcyon days of cruising to the Western Isles. Our old friend the PS Waverley is perfectly at home in these waters, her elegant lines complemented superbly by the magnificent scenery of the west coast. A range of cruises takes in islands large and small; tranquil sea lochs, towering mountains and ruined castles, while all the time the steady beat of the paddle wheels provides a wonderfully nostalgic soundtrack.

 

 

 

Having travelled to Oban via Loch Lomond and Inveraray, our first cruise takes us to Armadale on the Isle of Skye, and on to Loch Nevis and the remote village of Inverie, which can only be accessed by sea. The following day we rejoin the Waverley for an afternoon cruise that will take in some of the superb coastal scenery to the south of Oban as we sail down the Firth of Lorne, weaving between the islands, nosing into sea lochs and perhaps even negotiating the Gulf of Corryvreckan where the legendary whirlpool lies in wait.

 

 

 

 

 

Available departure dates and prices

 

Paddling steadily up the Sound of Mull on the deck of this grand old lady is considered by many to be as close to heaven as you can get.

Friday 27 May 2016

We depart from our designated pick-up points and travel via Loch Lomond and Inveraray, where there will be an opportunity for lunch.

Later in the afternoon we continue to our comfortable hotel in Oban, the bustling harbour town known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’. Dinner will be served on arrival.

Saturday 28 May 2016

After breakfast this morning we transfer the short distance to Oban’s North Pier, the departure point for our cruise aboard the PS Waverley. The Waverley is the last     ocean-going paddle steamer plying its trade in British waters. It was built in 1946 to replace the 1899 Waverley which was sunk at Dunkirk and is an extremely impressive sight with its immense 2100 horsepower steam engine. On board facilities include a   self-service restaurant, cafe, bar and souvenir shop.

Our cruise will take us out of Oban Bay and across the Firth of Lorne with fine views of Ben Cruachan and the mountains of Morvern to our right, past the lighthouse at the southern end of Lismore and into the Sound of Mull. We then go round the Point of Ardnamurchan and sail past the Small Isles of Muck, Eigg and Rum. On a clear day, the Outer Hebrides can be seen on the horizon and as we sail close to the islands look out for seabirds, seals and, if you are lucky, the occasional porpoise or Minke whale. After calling in at Armadale on the Isle of Skye we sail across the Sound of Sleat to Loch Nevis, berthing for around half an hour at the picturesque and remote village of Inverie, which is only accessible by sea. In the afternoon we will return to Armadale to pick up anyone who has gone ashore then retrace our route through the Sound of Mull and back to Oban. Dinner is served on board, with arrival due back in Oban in the mid-evening.

 Sunday 29 May 2016

After breakfast we have the morning at leisure in Oban. An uphill walk to McCaig’s Folly, the coliseum-like structure that dominates the town, is rewarded with fine views over the harbour and the hills of Mull beyond (weather permitting, of course).

In the afternoon we board the Waverley once again for an afternoon cruise that will take us south of Oban and around the sea lochs and islands that lie off this beautiful stretch of coastline. If conditions allow we will sail by Corryvreckan, the legendary tidal whirlpool, brought about by a peculiar combination of tides and topography.

We return to our hotel where dinner is served in the evening.

Monday 30 May 2016

Following breakfast we check out of the hotel and begin our homeward journey, taking a scenic route, north over the Falls of Lora to Ballachulish and Fort William, the former garrison town that sits beneath the towering bulk of Ben Nevis. Following an opportunity for lunch here (not included) we travel through Glencoe, whose haunting beauty never fails to impress, before arriving back at our original departure points early evening.

Included in the price

  • 3 nights’ bed and full breakfast at the Royal Hotel in Oban (or similar). All rooms have private facilities
  • Two dinners in the hotel and one on board PS Waverley
  • Comfortable coaching throughout
  • One full-day and one half-day cruise on PS Waverley
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager

 

Not included (per person)

  • Single room supplement            £60.00
  • Insurance                                 £18.50 (under 65); £37.00 (65-74); £55.50 (75-90)
  • Rail/air travel and overnight accommodation in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Perth before or after the tour available on request

*Excursions are subject to confirmation of the Waverley’s 2016 timetable 

The same 3-day package by air from London (other airports on request) is also available from £495pp (single supplement - £60 per person)

Departure points and times:

 

Depart Return
Aberdeen (Skene Street, opposite Denburn Car Park) 0700 2145
Montrose (Railway Station) 0745 2100
Arbroath (Railway Station) 0805 2040
Dundee (outside Discovery Point) 0830 2015
Perth (Bus stop on Canal Street, Tay Street end) 0900 1945
Kinross (Kinross Services) 1000 1845
Dunfermline (outside Fife College) 1015 1830
Edinburgh (Marriott Hotel, Glasgow Road) 1045 1815
Glasgow (Millennium, George Square) 1200 1700

                                  

Please note pick-ups are subject to minimum numbers and all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.

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Jimmy the driver was impeccable and fun - his driving skills gave us great confidence on the narrow roads through Royal Deeside.

Bob Guthrie, Broughty Ferry

The staff at our hotel on Islay were young and keen, very pleasant and helpful indeed.

Mr and Mrs Turner

A superb holiday - thanks Trish the Tour Manager was very helpful and knowledgeable - the free day was a great idea.

Mr and Mrs Somerville
 
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