When The Majestic Line launched its small-ship cruises in 2005 on the beautiful Scottish west coast, there was no such holiday on offer in Scotland. Eleven years later, it is still unrivaled, offering a high level of comfort and hospitality for eleven guests, with ensuite cabins, spacious decks, excellent personal service and gourmet food. With the current choice of three night and six night itineraries selling out well in advance, the company has commissioned a brand new vessel to help meet demand.
The original mini-cruise vessels, The Glen Massan and The Glen Tarsan, were converted from beautifully crafted fishing trawlers available due to decommissioning. The business was conceived and run by friends, Andy Thoms and Ken Grant who had a clear division of responsibilities in their first tourism venture. Andy, an architect and marine expert would manage the boats and operations; Ken, a medical doctor and businessman would market the cruises. Or as they succinctly put it themselves, with entrepreneurial simplicity, Andy would build them and Ken would fill them.
Andy and Ken’s vision of a unique and personal guest experience is at the core of the success of the company. Small-ship cruising with The Majestic Line blends the adventure of discovering some of the most inaccessible and beautiful areas of Scotland’s idyllic western isles, with the fellowship and fun of a house party. The sea lochs and islands are teeming with wildlife and steeped in history, with an ever changing backdrop of breathtaking scenery.
Suitable fishing vessels are no longer available for conversion, therefore a new vessel, custom-designed by Andy, is being built in Scotland by Ardmaleish Boatbuilding, based on the Clyde. The Glen Etive reflects the charm and character of the existing boats but with the look and feel of a 1930’s ‘gentleman’s motor yacht’, finished in traditional wood and brass on a steel based hull. The onboard hospitality for the new vessel continues the company vision of informality and relaxation combined with a high standard of comfort and personal service, accommodating 12 guests in 7 ensuite cabins.
All three vessels provide superb on board cuisine, using locally sourced produce. Each meal is served around the communal table in the deck saloon with panoramic views of an idyllic anchorage. With three, six and ten night cruises on offer, as well as private whole boat charters, all vessels offer two cabins for single occupancy at no additional supplement.
The Glen Etive will be formally launched in April 2016 before embarking on her first season to new and far-flung destinations in the Inner and Outer Hebrides. Cruising in comfort and style, guests can enjoy a ten night cruise adventure, with a choice of itineraries taking in the larger islands of Islay, the Uists, Barra and Skye. Destinations also include the small, remote isles on the very edge of the Atlantic with evocative names such as Mingulay, Berneray, Taransay and the Shiants, and the furthest of all, St Kilda.
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