Hebridean Princess
Hebridean Princess / Hebridean Island Cruises
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Lounging on deck
Lounging on deck / Hebridean Island Cruises
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Royal Crown Restaurant
Royal Crown Restaurant / Hebridean Island Cruises
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Dessert / Hebridean Island Cruises
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Royal Crown Lounge
Royal Crown Lounge / Hebridean Island Cruises
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Cabin / Hebridean Island Cruises
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Hebridean Island Cruises

Our Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Hebridean Island Cruises purchased its flagship, the 50-guest Hebridean Princess, in 1987, and after extensive reconstruction and refurbishment — she had been a 600-passenger ferry built in 1964 — launched what is now considered to be one of the smallest luxury cruise ships afloat. Hebridean Princess’ cruising season is March to November, mostly from her home port of Oban on Scotland’s west coast, and she visits remote islands, lochs, and bays beyond the reach of larger vessels. Privately escorted tours designed to capture the culture and history of each port are included. More recently, the company added 38-guest Lord of the Highlands, which is designed to cruise the Caledonian Canal and is outfitted with rich hardwood finishes and cream paneling designed to resemble a Pullman carriage.

What We Love

Superb Staff: Hebridean Princess has British officers and an excellent Latvian crew who excel at discreet and unobtrusive service. With a crew-to-passenger ratio of virtually one-to-one, the service level is about as good as it gets at sea.

Fresh, Local Cuisine: Every meal in the Columba Restaurant is a tour de force. Here some of Scotland’s finest chefs take full advantage of the fresh local produce to create truly memorable cuisine, especially for the gala dinners.

Best Known For

All-Inclusive Fares: All drinks (wines, spirits, Champagne, beers, and soft drinks) are part of the cruise fare, as are gratuities and excursions. A connoisseur wine list is available at additional cost. 

Personal Tours: Accredited Blue Badge Guides accompany all tours ashore. Hebridean Princess has two shore tenders, a Zodiac, and a rowboat (for passenger use).

Who It's Best For

Social Couples and Singles: More than half the passengers are repeaters, which reflects how popular the experience is and how varied the itineraries are. These cruises are especially popular with mature singles, as the chief purser is proficient at ensuring no one is excluded from the social house party that is hosted each cruise.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

That Scottish Weather: It is notoriously unpredictable, so bring warm clothes that can be layered. Bug spray is also advisable, as the Scottish midge can be bothersome from June through August.