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Small-ship Expedition Cruise

Scotland Slowly

June 13–24, 2023
From $6,395 to $15,995


Starts: Glasgow, Scotland
Ends: Aberdeen, Scotland

© Dennis Minty

In the isles of Scotland, the past is present. Music, dancing, and stories. Rugged ruins. Ancient villages. Soaring seabirds. Visit mystical, coastal Scotland by ship!

Scotland, like good whisky, is best savoured slowly. Nature and culture thrive on the isles. Hear music and stories. Revel in wildlife. Absorb the scenery. Immerse yourself in history.

Explore in comfort aboard Adventure Canada’s “Ocean Endeavour”. Visit historic Aberdeen, the Shetland islands, Pentland Firth, Orkney and the Hebrides, disembarking in Glasgow. Learn from Scottish experts as we go.

Scotland is spectacular in springtime. June is breeding season for birds. Search for whales on a Zodiac outing. Meet the locals and get a glimpse of island life. Raise a dram at world famous distilleries.

Wander among Neolithic ruins. Explore sea caves and bird cliffs.

Savour Scotland. Slowly!

Ring of brodgar orkney standing stones

© Dennis Minty

Standing stones, Callanish, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.

A Letter from Virginia Van Vliet

Dear ROM travellers,

I am thrilled to share that ROMTravel is working together again with Adventure Canada, the award winning family run travel company. This time we are delighted to introduce Scotland Slowly.

Scotland is a wonderful contradiction of wild ocean, dramatic cliffs rocks, and gentle grasses, but magic flows through this mystical, coastal landscape. You may have experienced the delights of Edinburgh or the rich architecture and arts of Glasgow, but it is the islands that remain a last bastion of the Gaelic language and culture. They are a stronghold of forgotten lifeways, and home to tightknit communities built by clan and kin, ancient mysteries awaiting rediscovery.

Like whisky, Scotland is best savoured slowly. The sea will be our gateway to its past and present, to a world of faeries, legends, and ancient kingdoms. Aboard the 198 passenger expedition ship “Ocean Endeavour” we will explore the rugged coastline from Aberdeen to Glasgow. We will enjoy fine food and comfortable lodging, with a fleet of Zodiacs to bring us to fjords and caves, cozy communities, and clamouring cliffside colonies of seabirds.

On board, we will learn from storytellers and historians who will regale us with Scottish folklore and history, and scientists and artists who will explore alongside us on shore. Music, dancing, and storytelling are at the heart of Scottish culture, and not to be missed are Scotland’s famous pubs where we will enjoy a pint or two and mix with locals for a dance and a yarn. Always, we learn as we go.

Join me, as a distinguished ROMTravel guest, where you will enjoy the company of a small group of friendly, like minded people. Together we will discover Scotland by sea.

ROMTravel will host a number of information sessions on our Scotland Slowly expedition, please join us.

Virginia Van Vliet

ROMTravel Contact Information

Virginia Van Vliet
ROMTravel Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 416.925.5891

How to Book

To reserve your space contact Adventure Canada at 905.271.4000 or 1.800.363.7566 extension 1 or email at [email protected].

Broch Of Dun Carloway Lewis

© Dennis Minty

Broch of Dun Carloway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.

About Your Travel Provider, Adventure Canada

Adventure Canada is an award winning family run travel company with more than thirty years’ experience specializing in travel to the world’s more remote destinations. They engage, educate, and entertain by connecting people to each other and the land through travel. Adventure Canada’s pioneering approach to small group experiences emphasizes wildlife, culture, learning, and fun. Our ROMTravel experience is organized by Adventure Canada in conjunction with local operator, Frontiers North Adventures, another Canadian family business specializing in Churchill.

Ontario registration numbers 04001400 and 50021860

Certified Safe Travels Operator

Adventure Canada has been awarded a Safe Travels certificate by the World Travel and Tourism Council and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. This accreditation recognizes us as a global leader in our adopted health and hygiene protocols and confirms our commitment to putting the safety, health, and security of our clients, staff, and crew before all else.

Top 5 Experiences on Scotland Slowly

Itinerary Scotland Slowly

Dates: June 3 to 14, 2023, aboard the “Ocean Endeavour”.
Cost: From $6,395 United States Dollars depending on cabin category. Flights not included.
Starts: Aberdeen, Scotland.
Ends: Glasgow, Scotland.

Map

Map of Scotland, showing our planned route and ports of call.
  • Day 1-2: Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Day 3: Aberdeenshire
  • Day 4: Papa Stour and Foula
  • Day 5: Kirkwall, Orkney
  • Day 6: Isle Of Lewis
  • Day 7: St. Kilda
  • Day 8: Outer Herbrides
  • Day 9: Skye
  • Day 10: Iona and Staffa
  • Day 11: Islay
  • Day 12: Glasgow/Greenock, Scotland

Highlights

  • Appreciate Scotland's picturesque shorelines and fascinating maritime heritage.
  • Wander among monuments at the heart of the Neolithic Orkney Unesco World Heritage site.
  • Marvel at the largest collection of prehistoric megalithic structures in western Europe.
  • Sample a wee dram at one of Scotland’s finest distilleries on the Isle of Islay.
  • Experience island life on Foula in the Shetlands.
  • View the largest seabird colony in the United Kingdom at the cliffs of Saint Kilda, a Unesco World Heritage site.
  • Purchase world famous Harris Tweed, hand woven from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.
Skara brae orkney scotland

© Dennis Minty

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, Scotland

Itinerary

Day 1 and 2 Aberdeen, Scotland

Many of Aberdeen’s historic stone buildings are made of locally quarried granite. High in mica, they can sparkle like silver. The city is famed for its 45 parks, gardens, and floral displays.

In recent years, Aberdeen has become the gateway to the North Sea oil industry, but the city retains its old world charm and is a wonderful place for a walkabout.

On Day 1, enjoy a welcome dinner and overnight hotel stay exclusive to ROMTravel guests. On Day 2, after a walking tour we will depart via coach to board the “Ocean Endeavour”, our home for the next ten nights.

Day 3 Fair Isle

Once a Viking hub, Fair Isle is now an idyllic island colony of artists and shepherds. The island boasts 350 bird species, including puffins and great skuas in substantial numbers. The local museum is dedicated to preserving island heritage.

Day 4 Papa Stour and Foula

Marine and bird life flourish at Papa Stour among cliffs, caves, sea stacks, and blowholes. We will have a morning Zodiac cruise exploring the coastline’s rugged beauty!

Twenty three kilometres west of the Shetland Islands, Foula is the most remote inhabited island in the United Kingdom. Here, a few dozen folk make their homes, many preserving traditional methods of agriculture and subsistence. Arctic terns, red throated divers, and great skuas may be found here.

Day 5 Kirkwall, Orkney

Kirkwall is dominated by the massive Saint Magnus Cathedral, dating from 1137. This is the final resting place of the famed Orcadian Arctic explorer, John Rae.

Saint magnus cathedral kirkwall orkney

© Dennis Minty

Saint Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland.

We will visit the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a Unesco World Heritage site. Here, we will find the 4,000 year old Ring of Brodgar and the Hall of Clestrain, the childhood home of John Rae.

Day 6 Isle of Lewis

Lewis is the largest of the Hebridean Islands and a Gaelic stronghold.

Harris Tweed has its headquarters on Lewis. Its product is hand woven exclusively in the Outer Hebrides by weavers working at home. We will visit Stornoway, the island’s capital.

On the west side of Lewis is Callanish, one of Britain’s most important Stone Age sites. Callanish’s standing stones are said to be giants who were punished by Saint Kieran for refusing to convert to Christianity.

Day 7 Saint Kilda

The archipelago known as Saint Kilda was inhabited until 1930. Today, Saint Kilda is a Unesco World Heritage site, protecting fascinating ruins as well as natural heritage features.

Seabirds thrive on the island of Hirta, notably, puffins, fulmars, and the largest gannet colony in Britain. Hirta is also home to feral sheep left by the departing islanders. Enormous cliffs offer dramatic ocean views!

Day 8 Outer Hebrides

At times referred to as the Long Isle or the Western Isles, the Outer Hebrides are a fantastic collection of over 100 islands 70 kilometres off Scotland’s west coast. Known today as a leader in renewable energy and a Gaelic stronghold, the Outer Hebrides have a colourful history. Here we find the oldest evidence of human habitation in Scotland with Pictish, Norse and Scots influence.

We will search out the rich marine

and bird life of the islands as conditions permit.

Day 9 Skye

This is a fabulous day for birders, photographers, and hikers. We will cruise the southwestern shore of Skye to visit Loch Coruisk, a freshwater loch accessed through Loch Scavaig. Here we find one of the finest mountainscapes in Britain, backed by the Cuillin Mountains. We will have an opportunity to hike the western shore and revel in the view.

Day 10 Iona and Staffa

The isle of Staffa is famed for basaltic formations and numerous caves. The best known of these is Fingal’s Cave, a spectacular geological feature named for the Celtic hero. Originally known in Gaelic as “the melodious cave”, it provided the inspiration for Mendelssohn’s overture, “The Hebrides”.

Saint Columba established his monastery at nearby Iona, the burial place of kings. The restored Iona Abbey complex preserves two outstanding 8th century crosses and a splendid collection of sculpture.

Day 11 Islay

The Queen of the Hebrides, Islay is the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides. This island lies only 40 kilometres from the Irish coast. Islay is a haven for seabirds, thanks to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream.

We will visit Loch Finlaggan historic site, home of the Lords of the Isles and Clan Donald, along with a visit to Gruinart Nature Reserve, a thriving habitat for barnacle goose, hen harriers and corncrakes.

Islay is world famous for fine whisky, thanks to clear waters, fine peat and barley.

Bowmore distillery islay

© Dennis Minty

Bowmore Distillery, Islay

Day 12 Greenock and Glasgow, Scotland

The “Ocean Endeavour” arrives in Greenock in the morning. Originally a small fishing community, Greenock grew with industrialization and boasts the site of the first dock on the River Clyde. The community has a rich maritime history and was a major shipbuilding and import centre.

We will depart via coach to Glasgow. You may choose to extend your stay in Scotland on your own or make your way home from here.

Expedition Cost

All prices are per person, in United States Dollars.

Cabin Category 10 $ 15,995

Cabin Category 9 $ 14,995

Cabin Category 8 $ 13,595

Cabin Category 7 $ 12,995

Cabin Category 6 $ 11,995

Cabin Category 5 $ 10,995

Cabin Category 4 $ 9,995

Cabin Category 3 $ 8,695

Cabin Category 2 $ 7,395

Cabin Category 1 $ 6,395

Expedition Cost Includes

  • Welcome dinner and one hotel night, based on double occupancy, in Aberdeen on Day 1
  • Passage aboard the Ocean Endeavour
  • Applicable taxes and credit card fees
  • Complimentary expedition jacket
  • Contribution to Adventure Canada’s Discovery Fund
  • Special access permits, entry, and park fees
  • Expert expedition team
  • Guided activities
  • Sightseeing and community visits
  • All Zodiac excursions
  • Port fees
  • Pre-departure materials
  • Educational program
  • Camera Lending Program
  • Interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment
  • All shipboard meals

Expedition Cost Does Not Include

  • Commercial and charter flights
  • Program enhancements/optional excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Possible fuel surcharges and administrative fees
  • Pre- and post-trip hotel accommodation

Program Enhancements

We are pleased to provide the following optional program enhancements to help you make the very most of every day, in your own way!

Expedition Jackets (Complimentary)
You will receive a complimentary expedition jacket to keep you protected from the elements. Designed specifically for expedition travel, your jacket is waterproof and windproof. This jacket is yours to keep as a coveted and useful memento of your adventure.

Camera Lending Program (Complimentary)
Travellers aboard “Ocean Endeavour” expeditions will be able to use precision, professional-quality photography equipment. Together, we empower our guests to create truly dynamic images and tell vibrant stories.

Qajaq/Kayak (Pay Extra)
Explore at water level in small groups with our experienced kayak guides. We offer excursions on double kayaks, as well as the essential gear for safety and comfort.

Biking (Pay Extra)
Experience communities and landscapes at your own pace! For fitness enthusiasts and independent explorers, we carry a fleet of Kona mountain bikes. These multi geared, all purpose bikes are available during select community excursions.

Our Commitment to Safe Travel

As leaders in the expedition travel industry for over thirty years, Adventure Canada takes very seriously the ongoing health and safety concerns of all our guests, community hosts, staff, and crew during the global Covid 19 pandemic. Much uncertainty remains about the future of safe travel, and we are doing our best to understand these new challenges and respond appropriately.

In consultation with recommendations from the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators and the World Health Organization, we have developed the below set of guiding principles in preparation for our upcoming 2021 season.

We are closely monitoring the situation and will make changes to and further develop these protocols in the months ahead.

Learn more about our health and safety procedures.

Clean Ship

The “Ocean Endeavour” is equipped with a Hepa filtered fresh air heating and cooling system. Medical grade virucidal cleaning agents and sanitization equipment will be used to clean and sterilize all cabins, public areas, crew areas, and ship’s equipment on an increased cleaning schedule.

Healthy People

Mandatory pre screening and Covid 19 testing will be conducted before all guests, staff, and crew board the ”Ocean Endeavour”. Daily health screenings will include temperature checks and health questionnaires for your personalized health log. Social distancing measures and small group programming will be the norm on our expeditions.

Responsible Experiences

All staff and crew will be trained on infection control and Covid 19 outbreak prevention protocol, including two dedicated professional medical staff for each voyage. Our executive management team will complete a thorough review of all expedition logistical plans before each departure to ensure our plans are prioritizing evolving health and safety best practices and local requests.

Community Commitment

All visits will be tailored to ensure community and guest safety is at the forefront of all our activities. Mandatory health and safety briefings will be conducted before each community visit based on site specific best practices and community requests. We will continue to collaborate with community tourism partners to ensure specific guidelines are followed.

Contact Information

Virginia Van Vliet
ROMTravel Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 416.925.5891

Adventure Canada
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 905.271.4000 or 1.800.363.7566 extension 1

Health & Safety Measures

Adventure Canada is committed to offering inspiring, thoughtful, and transformative travel experiences—all while keeping health and safety front of mind.

Learn More

ROMTravel

100 Queen’s Park, Toronto,
ON M5S 2C6
www.rom.on.ca

Contact us
416.586.8034
[email protected]

ROMTravel is organized by the Royal Ontario Museum Volunteers to provide support for the Museum. The ROM is the agency of the Government of Ontario.