Review: Glen Tarsan
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
5 stars? 10 at least!
67 people found this review helpful
Husband and I (60, quite fit) booked this cruise on The Majestic Line as we wanted to do a small-ship tour of the Hebrides for our silver wedding. Now, we've had some fab holidays in unlikely places in our time – up in the high arctic last year – but this will take some beating. The Majestic Line is family run, with all the personal attention (and delightfully helpful staff) that implies; there are two boats carrying a max of 12 passengers and with 4 crew apiece. Most of the action takes place in the comfortable saloon/dining room/bar or on the deck. There are 6 cabins, 4 below deck (only complaint we heard was of a slight diesel smell down there) and 2 above, one of which we booked. The cabin was wood-panelled, small but cosy with a wonderfully comfy bed and a spotless en-suite with shower. Decor generally is of a very good standard.
The meals that Stephen the chef produced each day were miraculous, masses of truly wonderful food with freshly-baked cakes and scones inbetween meals. Iain, the lovely skipper, welcomed passengers sitting with him on the bridge while Andrew and Gavin worked tirelessly. It was a very friendly, fun, welcoming atmosphere. One of the other passengers had a special birthday cake baked for her, while we had complimentary champagne for our anniversary. And yes, all the other passengers were great company, without exception.
The beauty of this type of cruise is that the boat can go into all sorts of interesting places and lochs that a larger ship couldn't attempt. The skipper might have to vary the itinerary due to weather or sea conditions but will always take you somewhere interesting. We went to beautiful Canna, Skye, Mull, gorgeous Eilean Donan castle – the list was endless – and saw sea eagles, porpoise, dolphins, basking sharks, seals …. wonderful! The views and the wildlife were just breathtaking, and Iain went to great lengths to make sure we saw what we wanted. Transfer to shore is by small tender so you need to be agile enough to get in and out, but it's worth it. Having said that, we had an octogenarian on board who was on his second Glen Tarsan cruise in 4 months. He couldn't manage all the shore excursions but was happy to stay on board and fish (rod provided!). Weather was mixed (August) but generally very pleasant.
The sea? Well, it is a small boat so you will feel more motion. I get seasick in the bath, and so didn't feel so good on the first evening when we crossed over to Mull in a bit of a swell. However Stephen gave me 2 anti-sickness tablets which were like magic and I had no further problems after that. The rest of the week the sea was just fine – sometimes a slight swell, sometimes like a millpond, but nothing to make any of us feel ill. In any event, the skipper always bases that day's sailing on the forecast so if it looks likely to be roughish on the exposed waters, then he simply takes you somewhere nice and sheltered instead. There's plenty of calm lochs and beautiful locations for him to choose, and as Iain said – he just wants the guests to enjoy themselves,not to be uncomfortable
By half way through the cruise we were having such a fabulous time I rang the office and booked another cruise for next year. We had such a wonderful and special experience, I really can't praise this lovely company, their staff and their boat enough. Forget your floating gin palaces, the Majestic Line offers a personalised holiday that is hard to beat in our view (and you don't have to go anywhere near an airport!). For your interest, we over-nighted at the Manor House Hotel in Oban (see my Trip Advisor review) which was a real gem and worth the journey on its own account.
67 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.