Our love of Scotland and passion for art and everything creative are the starting points for the Wild at Art experiences we plan for you. For years we’ve been exploring Scotland’s vibrant art, crafts and culture so we can package things we like, to bring you up close and personal with them.
If you are familiar with Ellis O’Connor’s work, you’ll know the dynamic energy to be seen in the paintings are her response to observed changes in the landscape – “the movement and rhythms of the sea and the land … the merging of sea with air, advancing rain and mist, ever changing light – elements that seem to be about something intangible.” We invite you to join Ellis on this 7-day art cruise vacation and let the elements around you inspire your art with her guidance.
Ellis is a contemporary landscape artist based in North Uist. To immerse herself in the environment, Ellis makes much of the artwork on site where extreme weather and the elements find their way into the pieces. She loves helping others cultivating a deeper understanding of the natural environment and describes the process of working outdoors in wild weather as almost ‘performative’.
Read more about Ellis and see examples of her own work on her profile page.
“I find meaning in the turbulent and chaotic ways of the landscape and elements around me. Everything is temporary, everything is shifting, we can only flow with it not against it.”
Seahorse II (82 feet long and a beamy 23 feet) was built to the highest standard for the Norwegian fjords and life in the high northern latitudes. A 10mm Swedish steel hull, air conditioned and heated throughout, and winter sailing for the British Royal Navy for months at a time in the western approaches means that this wee cruise ship is more than enough for our summer adventures in the Gulf Stream warmed waters of the west coast of Scotland. Powerful enough to cruise the many spectacular islands and lochs of the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides, yet small enough to anchor in remote and hauntingly beautiful places that the larger passenger ships are unable to visit. With a maximum speed of 11 knots (from a 350 hp Volvo diesel) and with 15 tons of fuel and 10 tons of fresh water Seahorse II is a sturdy, go-anywhere, yet comfortable adventurer.
Seahorse II can take up to ten guests plus the art tutor. There are two double (or twin) en-suites and two further twins, two single cabins and one double/single cabin with a 105 cm wide bed, all temperature controlled and with washbasin. All cabin linen and towels are supplied including towelling dressing gowns for the cabins with no en-suite. There is a wonderful deck saloon where we dine and view the spectacular wildlife. A bridge full of the best navigational aids, a high foredeck for wildlife spotting and a boat deck for lounging, Seahorse II is the perfect vessel for your life afloat.
On the spacious aft deck (ideal for alfresco dining when the boat is at anchor or under way) we have a powerful little crane for launching Seahorse II’s tender, two sea kayaks and paddle board.
In addition to the art tutor, who looks after your creative side, there is a crew of three taking care of you – a professional skipper, an on board chef and another crew member to provide assistance whenever needed.
Single cabin (wash basin, shared bathroom) – £3150
Semi-en-suite twin cabin (two beds; wash basin and toilet, shared shower) – £2950
En-suite twin cabin (two beds; wash basin, toilet and shower) – £3150
Guests are required to take out personal travel insurance. A non-refundable deposit of GBP 500 secures your space.
This cruise departs and finishes at Dunstaffnage Marina near Oban. Oban is well connected to the public transport network. The easiest way to get to Oban is by train from Glasgow Queen Street station. The journey takes around 3 hours. The train journey from Edinburgh is also via Glasgow Queen Street and takes just over 4 hours in total. Timetables will be available here.
We’ll be happy to help you find the best travel connections and accommodation before and/or after the cruise experience!
We can’t wait to run creative experiences and welcome guests to our beautiful country again. In the meantime we have to be patient and stick to the official guidance around Covid-19. Once we start back, you can be reassured that all precautions will be in place to keep you safe so you can travel with peace of mind.
New bookings – update
We understand that in these uncertain times flexibility is key when making any travel plans for the future and we want to make sure our guests can book with confidence.
Considering the ongoing travel restrictions and quarantine rules we temporarily offer an easy registration option for bookings made between 16 September 2020 and 31 March 2021. This is how it works:
We trust that you only register if you plan to join the trip providing travel from your country to the UK is possible and you wouldn’t have to quarantine once you get here.
All bookings made between 1 June and 31 March 2021 also have additional flexibility in that you can move your booking up until 10 weeks before departure to any future date within 24 months of your original holiday date.
All other terms and conditions remain the same- click here for more information.
We wish to reassure you that as a member of The Travel Vault all payments made to Wild at Art Ltd are protected through financial failure insurance and therefore as a customer you have 100% financial security.
The cruise takes us along the majestic Sound of Mull, famous for its wildlife and bordered by the Isle of Mull and the Morvern Peninsula, and along historic Loch Linnhe. The voyage will give you the full flavour of Scotland from the sea: its sheltered sea lochs, tranquil anchorages, picturesque harbours, ancient castles and even a whisky distillery.
Oban: Your departure point will be Oban (Dunstaffnage Marina), the gateway to the Hebridean isles. After a short introduction to life on board our small ship we lift anchor and set sail to our first destination.
Timings will allow for daily drawing and painting sessions at the locations we visit. These may include:
Loch Linnhe: The long Loch Linnhe goes all the way to Fort William. We travel past Lismore Island for the sheltered anchorage off Shuna Island. We can go ashore and visit the local nature reserve on the mainland and admire the famous Castle Stalker. There are lovely walks across the causeway bridge to Port Appin.
Loch Spelve: A narrow entrance leads us in to the tranquil waters of Loch Spelve (on the beautiful Isle of Mull) with its surrounding ancient oak forest. If we are lucky we might spot an otter along the loch shore. We can also pick up some locally grown mussels in the morning before we leave to our next destination.
Duart Castle: Our daytime anchorage in Duart Bay is below the spectacular 13th century Duart Castle, the ancestral home to the Maclean clan. You can visit the castle, learn about its rich clan history and walk along the shore to find your favourite painting spot.
Tobermory: One of the most picturesque towns in the Hebridean Isles with its famous whisky distillery and colourful waterfront. We anchor in the bay where a Spanish galleon was supposedly sunk with all its treasure. We can spend a day ashore and for the adventurous there are fast boat trips that can be arranged to visit Fingal’s cave on the Isle of Staffa. You may want to paint the wooden fishing boats and the colourful waterfront.
Isle of Oronsay: Just south of Oronsay island, another Inner Hebridean island, lies secluded Loch Drumbuie. A squeeze between high sided cliffs and we are in a perfectly sheltered anchorage. We can spend a tranquil night here.
Loch Aline: At the picturesque Loch Aline there are woodland walks and, at the head of the loch, is the ancient Ardtornish estate with its woodland gardens.
Please note that our route is weather dependent. Weather doesn’t just mean good or bad weather. There are many considerations such as tidal gates, wind direction and strength, the strength and direction of currents, overfalls, and fetch. Depending on the weather and nature’s conditions, wildlife viewing varies.