Skarv Lines Trawler Cruises

Explore Scotland’s dramatic coastline with an unforgettable trawler cruise adventure onboard our wooden hulled trawler Nova Spero.

SkarvLines trawler cruises sets itself apart from other West Coast cruising companies due to our ability to offer remote hill-walking & mountaineering to our customers. Combining this with the beautiful natural landscape and playgrounds Scotland offers, its wonderful food & drink, its wildlife and our local knowledge we think we offer something really special.

Hill walking & climbing is available on all of our cruises.  Some of our trawler cruise routes have access to Sea Cliffs or the Torridon hills so climbing/ trekking or just a simple walk on Scottish Mountains are available to all.

This year we will be checking out routes for both vessel and Climbing. If you are an experienced climber,  we can get you to a climb if conditions allow.  If you require the services of a climbing guide, we can put you in touch with a guide from the Ice Factor who can meet you en route.

If you have it, take your gear it will be used  and it will be well taken care of in unlikely event it will get wet! We have our own dedicated drying room with radiator and blower.

  • Our Cruise Objective
    Our objective is to provide our guests with an unforgettable experience of Scotland’s wild places by trawler cruise. In the spirit of true Scottish Hospitality, our guests every need will be taken care of whilst on board and we will transport them to remote mountains & glens, historic castles and Scotland’s finest distilleries.
  • Our Vision
    SkarvLines has been created to combine our love for Scotland, our seafaring heritage and our passion for mountaineering. Our knowledge of Scotland’s waters, her topography and her secret places will provide our customers with a holiday experience like no other.
  • Our Mission
    We are committed to providing excellent service to our customers, and guests who book with SkarvLines. Our goal is to provide an unforgettable Scottish adventure on sea and land which leaves our customers with memories which will last a lifetime and a yearning to return time and time again.
  • Entertainment
    Any opportunity we get we will try and get at least one local musician onboard. If you play any instruments or sing you are more than welcome to join in or even take the floor yourself! We can even supply most instruments especially fiddles and bagpipes!
  • Seasickness: Some Sage Advice
    Nova Spero is a very stable and safe vessel but she does roll and until you get used to the motion (which you will), it is advisable to take tablets or use patches/ bands and if all else fails sit on a Newspaper (yes it does work at least for buses!). Please don’t try to tough it out - take the tablets and we will endeavour to make trip as smooth as possible. Check with your doctor or chemist which avoidance method is most suitable for you, we will ask you if you are taking anti-motion sickness medication as some may affect your balance. Should sea sickness strike lying down is always a good option. There are plenty of cameras recording events so you won’t miss out. We will have a stock of anti-sickness tablets on board should you require it.

To Quote sensible logic: Coll my nephew then 12 years old joined us in crossing the Minch to Eriskay. A SW gale had just ceased. After calling him several times with no response, a voice answered me saying “yes I am alright uncle John Allan. I have taken the tablets now and I am OK but I think if I get up I won’t be OK.” I like the Logic Coll! He was up and in good form as we approached Eriskay. Aye and Aunty Mary’s Pancakes helped too (another cure!).



Skarv Lines and our vessel Nova Spero will operate out of Kinlochleven a small village on Scotland’s West Coast close to historic Glencoe.

Kinlochleven is the home of the Ice Factor National Ice Climbing Centre which also offers 13m high climbing walls for practise before guests experience the real thing!

An alternative departing point is Fort William, the nearest main urban centre with good transport links by bus and train – the London to Fort William Caledonian Sleeper makes a great start to our guests Scottish Adventure.

During winter Months we will use our anchorage in Kinlochleven and utilise this with sheltered waters of Caledonian canal November to December .

Early December vessel will relocate to Seaport Marina @ Inverness and Provide Cruises up to Fort Augustus.

the team

Meet our Crew

The Skipper will be the main host for each cruise and he will be responsible for planning each day’s excursions taking into account tide and winds.

Our stewardess/ deckhand will be on hand throughout your cruise to ensure you have a great cruise experience.

Our cook will create a daily changing menu making use of fresh local produce.

All of our team have been chosen to offer the highest levels of customer service and we will have certified first-aiders on board.



Our Skarv Lines logo is based on the South Uist Flag and has been created in the form of an oil painting by Deepa Kern www.deepakern.comwww.saatchiart.com, a present from John’s cousin JR MacInnes of Eriskay for taking him to St. Kilda.

The painting combines the following elements:

  • The words “Calvay”  and “Roshnish”
    The SS Politician went aground 150 yards off Roshinish Point between Eriskay and Calvay Island (Norse and BA Chart Spelling) The story of the SS Politician and it’s cargo of Whisky is the origin of Compton MacKenzie’s play and subsequent film Whisky Galore.  There is actually 2 Calvays; one in South Uist at the entrance to Loch Boisdale and one in Eriskay off Roshinish Point.
  • The Cormorant
    The Scandinavian for cormorant is “skarv”.  In Gaelic it is written “sgarbh” but it is known locally as the Eriskay Turkey, a phrase coined by the distinguished fishing family Mansons of Mallaig. Sadly most of the Manson men where lost on their family trawler in a tragic accident off the Dutch Coast.Cormorants can dive to 60 ft with their wings tucked in and using its very powerful legs . Its body/wings lack the insulation of other seabirds which is why you see them quite frequently drying their wings.Check out Adam Nicholsons excellent book: Seabirds: The Cormorant/Skarv has a tough start in life, 50/50 Land/Sea Bird.
  • The South Uist Flag

The combination of all of these elements gives the logo its Eriskay connection, owner John MacInnes’s homeland.

Skarvlines Logo Large
Cruise Schedule Changes due to Covid-19

As a result of the travel restrictions imposed by the Government due to Covid-19, our cruises in April & May will no longer operate.  

As things stand we hope to operate from June onward and we will offer free cancellation on cruises throughout the 2020 Season.

We hope that you will join us for an adventure of a lifetime when its safe to travel again.  In the meantime, stay safe.

View Cruise Itineraries