What a day! We had a tranquil start with the ship berthed at Inverie, a small community on the beautiful Knoydart Peninsula. Then guests chose either a long hike with fabulous wide vistas or enjoyed a coastal walk examining shells and rocks along the shore. In the later morning, calm seas and bright skies made for a stunning cruise along the westernmost point of mainland Scotland with awesome views of the Small Isles of the Inner Hebrides. The dramatic scenery results from ancient volcanic activity which formed the islands of Rum and Skye, with the islands of Eigg, Canna, and Muck shaped by lava flows and later glacial activity. This provided the perfect backdrop to a presentation on the early medieval sea-kingdoms which were once the seat of power in this area, with tales of monastic foundations, Viking raids, and clan feuds.
We were entertained over lunch by a pod of common dolphins riding the bow wave, leaping and sending up spray which sparkled in the sunshine while gannets plunged from great heights to spear their prey.
Having rounded the lighthouse at the furthermost point of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula we headed towards the island of Mull, another once-volcanic island, and guests chose between a tour of the Tobermory whisky distillery and a hike to a lighthouse, led by a local geologist who described the extraordinary geological history of the area. The rest of the day was spent exploring the delightful town of Tobermory with its colorful houses and busy harbor. The day was made complete by a talk from our conservation partners at the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.