About

Skarv Lines Trawler Cruises

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

Skarvlines sets itself apart from other West Coast cruising companies by its ability to take you to to both the Best of West and East Coasts of Scotland and connect you to both by an adventure cruise over the North of of the Scottish Mainland or the equally spectacular Caledonian Canal.

Combine 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.   If you are an experienced climber,  we can get you to a climb if conditions allow.    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 may be able to supply some instruments including 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!).

Base

Location

Skarvlines and our vessel Nova Spero will primarily work out of Corpach or Inverness and on occasion Kyle of Lochalsh.

If  time is short, you can fly into Glasgow, catch the train to Fort William and depart onboard Nova Spero from nearby Corpach, or why not catch the Caledonian Sleeper train from London where you board in the evening and wake up the next morning in bonnie Scotland!

During winter Months we will use our anchorage in Kinlochleven, the home of the Ice Factor and many more outdoor pursuits and utilise this with sheltered waters of Caledonian canal November to December .

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

Logo

Our Skarvlines Logo is based on the South Uist Flag a present from JR MacInnes Eriskay for taking him to St Kilda.

The Picture in Lounge is an original Oil Painting kindly donated by Deepa Kern : www.deepakern.com, www.saatchiart.com. This really gives our Logo a truly international connection.

The painting combines the following elements:

The words “Calvay”  and “Roshnish”
The SS Politician (see futher info on image panel on the right) 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 are actually 2 Calvays; one in South Uist at the entrance to Loch Boisdale, one in Eriskay off Roshinish Point.

Flora MacDonald and Betty Burke (aka Bonnie Prince Charlie) set off to Skye from another Roshinish on the East Coast of Benbecula.

Compton MacKenzie’s book Whisky Galore and subsequent Ealing film has recently been refilmed on location at Portsoy in the Moray Firth another one of our destinations.

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 Danish 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.

Eriskay itself is in process of choosing its own flag for the Island which will be announced soon.

Skarvlines Logo Large