Sailing Cruise Info

St Kilda

The Wildlife

Calendar 2017

6 Day trips

12 day trips

The Yacht

Island images

Customer Comments

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Comments from previous guests


Comments from 2016

Hi David.

Thanks for the great trip.  The sailing, wildlife and the islands were all totally amazing and we hope to join you again next year!    Jan, Peter & the kids  (Peterhead)


Hi David

Thanks for a great trip around the Isles. We had a really enjoyable time, and thanks for arranging the sunny weather. I'll keep in touch when we get home.  Iain. (Canada)



Just a quick note to thank you for sharing your knowledge of the Islands with us, it was a fascinating week. Ivan & Roni  (Suffolk)


Hi David

Huge thanks to you for getting us safely thru all those big seas.  It is amazing to be able to be out in those conditions and feel safe - if a bit sick - so really I am very grateful to have been able to be out there.  And it is your skill that makes it all possible - so more thanks.   It's so great to be out there in the unpredictability of it all.   What winds and waves and creatures may show up.  Samighita (Lancaster)




Comments from 2015


It's hard to know what I enjoyed the very most of it all - but I think it was the sailing. I'd never been on a yacht before and have been horribly ill on car ferries etc - so it was great just not to feel ill. The major surprise tho is how much I totally loved the sailing itself. The wonderful connection of winds and waves and tides and the sense of being part of the sea. Brilliant. So more thanks for all this and for the great food, the comfy bunk, the beautiful boat and for all your skill, care and good humour getting us all to

such lovely wild places.

Hoping all your trips go well this year and that you enjoy them as much as we did.

We hope to make it back in 2016 for more adventures. Samagita (Lancs)

Thanks for a great trip around the Isles. We had a really enjoyable time, and thanks for arranging the sunny weather. I'll keep in touch when we get home. Iain (Western Australia)

Thank you for the trip to the Monachs - they were an exceptional experience! You live in a nice area of the world! All the best,  Kai (Germany)

I finally made it on one of your 12 day cruises - this was memorable again!! - I found I enjoyed being given the opportunity to learn to sail (a little) was very exciting.   The food was again lovely and walking on the islnds and the wildife was another treat - thanks again.   Ann ( London )

We hope to see you again next year, maybe later in the season to see more cetaceans?  Sailing the yacht was great fun and as well as exploring the islands we both learned a lot!!   Teresa & John (Hove)

We had a lovely time - the birds and flowers were fantastic and we so enjoyed the lovely anchorages  Peter & Liz (Maryport)

Great to sail with you again and we missed the rain!!.  Kate & Leslie (Bishop Haughton)

Comments from 2014

Just a quick note tp say thank you for our sailing /walking tour of the Western Isles. We liked the islands, the wildlife, the flowers ...... and the absence of midges. Jackie & Ras (Sandgate)

Many thanks to you for a most enjoyable time last week. Managed to get home in time for lunch on Saturday and greatly enjoyed the trout. Many thanks! Hope to see you again.        David (Strathaven)

I just want to say Thank You for a very enjoyable week's holiday. It was a great experience.

The food was great and I have already bought some of the ingredients to try and reproduce some of the delicious meals.            Sally (Fort William)

A great trip, sailing was really fun for my first time.  Wildlife was better than we expected and the weather much much better than we hoped.  see you next year.  Peter and Joan (Newhaven)

Seeing so many dolphins at one time was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.  Not only that, visiting the many totally different islands with someone who knew them so well was very special.  As a first time sailor I fully enjoyed being given the chance to learn about it despite that being totally unintended when I booked.                     Patricia Wells (Cornwall)

Comments from 2013

I arrived safely in Lyon after having evaded the combined dangers of local ales and the world pipe band championships. Thanks again for this great trip and best wishes to you and Julie. Regards, Bertrand Fredeche (France)

We really enjoyed our wild, peaceful & sea-filled trip. It was a culture shock driving back down south afterwars - I could really get used to that sace and freedom. Thank you both so much for your hospitality, skill & hard work! Rachel, Chris,Dan & Alex Parsloe  Isle of Wight

Just a quick note to say a huge thank you for a great time last week.  Although the wind and weather didn't play ball some of the time you still managed to give us a good week, well done!  And to top it all Andy won Wimbledon yesterday - what a fantastic end to our scottish week!  Susan and Peter Williams


Hi, Just a quick note to say thank you for another great trip and also thanks to Julie for the very enjoyable food. Hopefully will see you next year. Jo (Ritzema) Tyne & Wear


Can I just say a big thanks for a wonderful trip to the Hebrides last week. The weather was "perfect" for my first sail on Saltwater Gypsy and the wildlife and scenery was fantastic as was the crack! Also a big thanks to Julie for her cool head ......it was the cooking I was thinking of here!  Alastair Pearston

Comments from 2012

The sighting of the white beaked dolphins was the best bit of the holiday for me but the two otters playing near the boat was Angela's favourite! We both enjoyed the food immensely and everyone on board were very helpful to us both.  Although we can't walk far nowadays we still saw so many exciting things - it was a really good holiday.  Peter and Angela Hudson Suffolk

Being on a small boat was somewhat strange at first but I soon got used to it - even the boat heeling over!!  Walking around the islands was great, my favourite was Muck especially the cream cakes!  The birds were wonderful and I enjoyed getting close enough to get some good photos to show my friends. Hope to come along on another cruise next year and will be in touch.  Lesley Thomas  Perth

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say how much we enjoyed our cruise with you.  The yacht was very comfortable and the food was much better than we expected!  Thanks for showing us around those lovely islands, we have some wonderful memories of the birds, otters, dolphins and the flowers you showed us.  Thanks again. Mary and Tim Wallace Peterborough.

We are now into double figures on our cruises with you!  Every one has been an absolute delight and your love for the work you do and the islands has not diminished over all these years.  Wonderful food, company and wildlife on every trip - we'll see you again next year all being well.  Diana and Craig Reynolds Cornwall.


Comments from 2011

Thanks once again for a really enjoyable trip.  Our other cruises with you were on Guideliner and sailing was a totally new experience for us!  It was great and the wildlife as usual lived up to all our expectations.  See you again.  Lucy & John Talbot

The new yacht is super!!  Thanks for another wonderful cruise - the food was delicious, the company convivial and the wildlife excellent.  Some of our photos are attached - so pleased with them.  Terri and Peter Turnbull.

We'd been to the Hebrides on another yacht - must say your trip was so very diffferent and much more enjoyable.  David's knowledge of the islands and of the wildlife made the cruise so special and actually staying in all those wonderful anchorages made the evenings magic!  My photo's are great - thanks for the advice David.  See you again. Michelle and Alan Vaughan. Cornwall

I hope to come again on one of your 12 day cruises - this last one was memorable - I found I enjoyed being on a sailing boat much more than I expected.  Walking around the islands each day was a pleasure and the company in the evenings plus the lovely food ended each day nicely.  Ann Lawrence  London


Comments from 2010

Just a quick note to thank you SO much for the week you gave us.  John Maclaren.

Many thanks for making the Orkney Adventure so enjoyable. We are aware of your kindnesses and patience with both of us and would like you to know that they were very much appreciated.  Love, Jenny and John Tole

We all want to thank you again for this wonderful trip.  I hope we´ll keep in touch. Claus Rudde- teufel & family (Germany)

We just wanted to say the biggest “thank you” for the best experience ever. We loved every minute and your company.  We have bored everyone to death with eagles, otters and all the rest, but, the most magic thing of all was being on the sea with a skipper (and mate) who knows what’s what! It was thrilling.  Love to you both, Sarah and Geoff  xx

We yearn for a sail with you again and will be back with you next year. For value for money there is nothing to beat you -sailing or foodwise.

With very Best Wishes. Allan & Birgitta Forsyth


At the Shiants

Comments from 2009

We were so fortunate to find the  company,the crew, the boat ,the food and the weather. Hope to sail with you again with or without our grandsons,(17 & 15)      

  Allan & Birgitta

A quick note to thank you and Julie for looking after us so well last week. I joined the boat with a real fear of sailing (the potential wildlife (+ Vernon) was what urged me back to a boat), and I left with a desire to do more      


Thank you so much for the great week - despite the awkward weather and despite the hiding aquatic mammals, I had a very enjoyable and really happy time  


Comments from 2007

Waling up hill on Hirta

  Firstly, thank you very much for an absolutely superb holiday.  Both Darren and I had a great time, and learnt a huge amount.  The company was excellent; the islands and wildlife simply stunning, and as for the food - Julie, I seem to have put on 7lbs, and Darren (in spite of the vegetarian fare) has put on 5lbs!

Darren & Sharon

Extraordinary Experience:  

  Well planned Island visits and beautiful anchorages.

  Well fed by Julie, great food, now to work it off !!

  Blessed with unusually favourable weather.

  Great wildlife sightings.


I just wanted to thank you both for such a great holiday( 25th-30th June) I really have a taste for this type of holiday now and look forward to coming again next year ( hopefully with better camera gear) probably later in the season and hope to have more contacts with Minke etc.


Just wanted to say thank you for another great holiday - great wildlife (and photos!) and good company.


My wife, Katherine, and I both really enjoyed our holiday with you at the beginning of this month. Scenery was really good and the company excellent. Everyone got on so well with everyone else! Julie's cooking is to be recommended.

And of course we were delighted to see the hump backed whale and so many otters.

John & Katherine

Comments from 2006

On Coll beach

We wanted to thank you again for our 12-day trip. We were very apprehensive to begin with especially as the weather was less than favourable. It was the first time we had any experience of life on a small boat.

The beautiful scenery, birds and wildlife soon became so fascinating for us that the 12 days where over all too soon.                                                                                                                                             Maureen and John

Many thanks for another wonderful two weeks, with the added bonus of getting to St. Kilda this time!  It really was a splendid experience with good food and good company. 

Pat & Colin

Many, many thanks for a great holiday,

The highlights, for me, were:

1.  The cuckoo and her interesting secretive behaviour - I'm sure you were right, she was in the act of egg laying and I feel privileged to have observed it. 

2.  The two golden eagles, on the same walk, 'talking' to each other as they flew overhead.  

3.  The otter and subsequent walk on 'otter island'. 

4.  The small pearl bordered fritillaries especially on my walk to 'Tennyson Waterfall'. 

5.  The orchids, in particular the fragrant (which will always remind me of Elaine!).


Thanks for a superb holiday 17-22 July 06.It was all that I hoped for and more.

Julies cooking was excellent ,she rose to the challenge of my Gluten free diet which is never easy.

I felt as though I was on holiday with people I had known for years ,a lovely feeling.


Comments from 2005

In ancient oak woodland

Many thanks for a wonderful week.  It was an amazing experience and thanks to you we saw so many interesting places and birds. The company also made the trip special as did Julie's cooking.

Pat & Colin

Kind regards to you and Julie and many thanks for giving us such a super time.

Alan & Nancy

I just wanted to say thanks David for being so good at what you do, which allowed me to have a holiday that I enjoyed immensely. Thanks again -  or to quote a phrase I learnt in \Scotland - the whole experience was "brilliant".

Verna. Canada

Thanks a lot for taking us out on your yacht, we had an amazing week and I can't think of a better guide. We were all very happy with the trip and I for one could have stayed longer It is an amazing part of the country and we'll be back. I got a lot from your photography advice as well, I really want to come back again and try and improve!

Matt & Sarah

Comments from 2004

On top od Sandray hill

Just a few lines to thank you for the wonderful holiday Val and I experienced, the wildlife and scenery were breathtaking. Please thank Julie for the wonderful food and her good humoured Yorkshire banter. Val and I will never forget the friendship and happiness of all on board, and will remember the wildlife and scenery for ever.
All the best
Val & John

Just a quick email to thank you both once again for a great week, the good food and good company it was a pleasure meeting and spending time with you.

Kindest Regards
Howard, Millie, Rachael and Richard

Thank you both for such a wonderful holiday, it was super and we can't wait to come again, thank you for taking the trouble to show us such wonderful animals and birds and explaining every thing to us.  Thank you Julie for such wonderful meals, everything was delicious.

Love to you both Maralyn

Thank you, thank you, it was all lovely – you were so good setting off on the Sunday night and again so early on Monday. We had all set our hearts on reaching St. Kilda. Magical sights to keep in the mind for ever – Conachair above the cloud ....... a single gannet, concorde amongst the gulls, following us. Canna was very special.  You can drop me off there for a while. The people were great – how did you find us!

See you again before too long, I hope. Pat

Thank you for a great holiday, I don't know when I last enjoyed a holiday so much.


Comments from 2003

Walking on Lunga
I have walked with elephants, micro-lighted over Victoria Falls, and sat in a dinghy surrounded by 300 water buffalo in Botswana, last week onboard was just as thrilling and as much fun. I saw all I hoped for and more than I dreamed I would.

Julia. Bristol

Lawrence and I had a wonderful week with you, it certainly exceeded all expectations. It is difficult to pick out the highlights. Lunga, the minke, the sea eagle, the orchids, the food............. I now have the boat as the wallpaper on my computer so I think of you every time I switch on!!

Rosemary & Lawrence

The opportunity to view the islands & the mainland from the sea was something to savour, as was the abundance of marine and land based wildlife & flora. All of the above were enhanced by your knowledge of the wildlife & the local history and as if that was not enough, it was all enhanced yet again by your undoubted love, passion and enthusiasm for you subject and the willingness with which you shared all of this with your guests. Many thanks for a fantastic holiday

Dave & Cheryl, Wirral

Many, many thanks for making this such a wonderful honeymoon and a holiday we will never forget.

Vicki & Adam

Thanks for a fabulous holiday.  Difficult to identify the "highlights" because I enjoyed it all, but I'll never forget the dolphins racing under the bow. See you again next May.

Judith. Melbourne (UK)

Many, many thanks for a superb week - I enjoyed every minute of it.

Millie.  Benderloch

Thank you for giving us such a splendid holiday.  We saw so many interesting things, living and geological, though I was particularly pleased to have spotted the wildcats - so few people have seen one!  Loved the dolphins and the gannets and the guillemots and every thing!

Christine & Sue. Braintree

One short shower of rain in two weeks of being in Scotland that must be a record. Many thanks for a fabulous holiday. The wildlife was splendid. It was a holiday to remember.

Many thanks

Alan and Pat



Just a short note from Perryn and me to express our sincere thanks for your hospitality and a wonderful holiday. Neither of us had done anything quite so intrepid before and thanks to you we now have some rather unique holiday stories to regale our friends with. Your enthusiasm and passion for the islands/flora/fauna certainly ensured we gained the most from our time aboard, and Lesley's skills in the kitchen were first class. We would definitely sail with you again - but maybe earlier in order to meet the puffins!!

Warm regards, Tracy and Perryn, Hope. N. Wales

I just wanted to say how much Alan and I enjoyed our holiday with you aboard your yacht. I have so many wonderful memories of the places we visited and the animals, birds, flowers and other wildlife we saw. Your knowledge of the fauna and flora and the islands, the cooking and the company made it a very special holiday. It was a privilege to spend three full days on and around St Kilda - it is a truly amazing place! The thousands of gannets around the stacs will be something I will never forget. Also as we were travelling, the rafts of shearwaters were truly wonderful. Add to that the puffins, seals, golden and white tailed eagles, otters, dolphins and minke whales - well, what more could you ask.

Karen and Alan (Hocking) Chickerell

How are you? This is Jonathan Ross, my family and I recently went on one of your holiday cruises with you. I would like to say we all enjoyed it very much and it was an experience of a lifetime. In the e-mail I have attached pictures of the juvenile Minke whale we saw and we have many more which we would be happy to send you as there are many better ones. If you like we would also be happy to send you the video footage of the whale as it is very interesting and exciting to see. Thanks again for the holiday of a lifetime and if we don't go to the Newfoundland's or the west coast of Canada as I would like to, I think we may pay another visit to join you.
Yours Thankfully
Jonathan Ross. (aged 14) P.S. say thank you for the lovely cooking


I wanted to thank you so very much for a wonderful holiday. I especially liked the otters, golden eagles and the great skuas' lunchtime display. The scenery, puffins, razorbills etc. etc. etc. were also great as was the company.

Julia - Fishguard

I am writing to thank you for the wonderful cruise to St Kilda and other islands which you organised for my family and myself. The yacht was very comfortable and the meals were excellent and ample. Thanks for the great care you took of us all.

Robin, Joan and Geoff. Whitley Bay

We both thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, once again you excelled yourself in finding wonderful scenery and the birds and mammals to match. As you know Sue loves otters and I believe in all 6 were spotted. However I think the highlight of the trip was the day the dolphins swan alongside - a very special time - I took lots of photographs. Once again many thanks for a wonderful holiday and the concern and care which you showed to us both. It was an experience we will never forget.

Sue & Ian. Beverley

Letters from 2001

We both really enjoyed the holiday and would like to do it again one day. I thought we had a great group - do people always get on so well on your cruises? Must be the good food!! PS Can I have the "sweet potato curry " recipe please? Helen & Andy Stafford

We saw everything we set out to see - and more! Thanks for being such a good skipper - for taking us to such beautiful anchorages and showing us the lovely walks. Beverley & Mike

We "Canna" do more than say thanks for a very privileged week. All our love - Liz & Mike, Carolyn & Russ, Pat & Paul.

We are not renowned for our "boating activities" but not only were our worries completely allayed, but also our wildest hopes were justified. It was indeed a memorable week. The company was delightful, the cooking was magnificent and the scenery and wildlife all added up to a holiday we shall always look back on with much joy. Jennie & Derek Hitchin

I would just like you to know that those days aboard the yacht last month were for me a truly amazing, rewarding and wonderful holiday. Add friendly, cheerful companions and a skipper who shared his love and knowledge of sea and wildlife and weather, and of the multiple islands & lochs and opened our eyes to so much around us. Shirley (London)

We're so grateful for the idyllic trip you gave us. We can honestly say that it's the best holiday we've ever had. Now when I see the hordes of cruise visitors coming into Bermuda, I feel terribly sorry for them. Liz & Mike Bermuda by e-mail

We cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to travel with you on the yacht over the last two weeks. Your kindness and expertise make this one of the great memorable experiences of our lives. Jim & Maria, Holland

What have you done to me? 50 years old, 30 years in the bank and after one week on board, I've asked for early retirement! Jean & I thoroughly enjoyed our holiday with you. The memories will remain for a long time. Jimmy & Jean London


On Canna



Letters - pre 2001

Many thanks for an excellent weeks' holiday. Thanks to your efforts and hospitality we've had an experience which we thoroughly enjoyed and which we would like to repeat in the future. Ian & Helen Smith. Orgival, France.

Thank you for a splendid holiday, everything turned out to be great - the skipper, the food, the boat, the crew & the incomparable scenery & wildlife. Jeannie. Maidenhead

We saw everything we set out to see - and more! Thanks for taking us to such beautiful anchorages and showing us such lovely walks Beverly & Mike. Salisbury

Being aboard took us totally away from "normal life" it was lovely to experience being in remote and beautiful places. We were so lucky to have seen so many birds, flowers sea mammals etc -just fabulous Maeve. Kent

Thank you for a wonderful holiday. I enjoyed the company and simply relaxing in such capable hands. Denise. Croydon

I would just like you to know that those 12 days aboard the yacht last month, were a truly amazing and wonderful holiday, with a skipper who shared his love and knowledge of the sea, the wildlife and the multiple island and lochs and who opened our eyes to so much around us. Shirley. London

Many thanks for a great holiday- maybe we can do it again sometime. Diane & Bill. Honeoye Falls USA

The morning with the basking sharks was without doubt, the highlight of a memorable week. It was fabulous, the company was wonderful, the cooking was scrummy and the wildlife amazing. see you next year. Chris. Bordon Hants

Many thanks for a really great trip. On reflecting on the list of species seen, it is incredibly impressive! It was so helpful having the various plants and birds pointed out! Maggie. Somerset

Herewith the list of what we saw on our voyage around Mull, which for me was a very memorable one - I would love to do it again. Bruce. Linton

It was lovely to experience being in remote and beautiful places. We were so lucky to see so many birds, flowers, sea mammals etc. Just fabulous. Maeve & Sue. Kent




These comments are from people who have enjoyed being guests  on one of my trips over the years and have been kind enough to let me know.

David Leaver

Their letters & emails are kept on record here at Northern Wanderer.



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