UK. Gathering of the Clans for annual Classic Malt Cruise

Monday, 16 February 2009

Entries are now open for this voyage of discovery that attracts cruising enthusiasts the world over - 11th-24th July 2009

The UK's largest non-competitive sailing event, the annual Classic Malts Cruise, offers its participants a unique two-week voyage following the spectacular coastline of north-west Scotland and combines superb sailing with visits to some of the most famous single malt whisky distilleries in Scotland. This year's cruise dates are 11th July - 24th July.
Established by Diageo's Classic Malts Selection™, the Cruise was first held in 1994 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the distillery at Oban. This year, as part of Scotland's celebrations to mark the 250th  Anniversary of the birth of Robbie Burns and as part of a tourism initiative to encourage a gathering in Scotland of anyone who is a Scot, is of Scottish descent, or who simply loves Scotland, the Classic Malts Cruise is playing its part as an official event of 'Homecoming Scotland 2009'. (See for more details.)
International crews sailing in up to 100 participating yachts enjoy the Classic Malts Cruise because it offers a tried and tested formula that delivers outstanding sailing whilst exploring the bays, islands and mountains to be found on the west coast of Scotland. They also come to visit the famous malt whisky distilleries that punctuate the sailing route, starting from the busy coastal town of Oban on 11th July, then northwards to one of the world's most isolated malt whisky distilleries, Talisker on the Isle of Skye, before concluding at Lagavulin on Islay at the southern end of the Hebridean island chain on 24th July.

Chartering is a cost-effective option

Many will sail their own yachts but the Cruise organiser, World Cruising Club, is keen to highlight the availability of local charter yachts on the west coast of Scotland and they are more than happy to assist with information and advice on where to charter yachts to join the Cruise - further information is also available about chartering in Scotland at:

The area covered by the Cruise includes the waters from the southern shore of Islay, the most southerly island in the Inner Hebrides, to the northwest of Skye. The islands of Mull, Iona and the Small Isles provide a multitude of anchorages along the way. Two weeks allows for a leisurely pace between distilleries, and some cruisers even take advantage of good weather by heading for the Outer Hebrides.

Some sailors return time and again to their favourite haunts, whilst newcomers to the West Coast will enjoy the sense of freedom that comes with unexplored territory. Help is always at hand from Admiralty Charts, Clyde Cruising Club sailing directions, and of course from other cruisers who may be headed your way, but the greatest pleasure is usually discovering it all for yourself.

Marine wildlife abounds

The west coast of Scotland is home to some exciting marine wildlife, and you may get the opportunity to see dolphins, pilot whales, orca, seals and basking sharks which are often spotted in these cruising waters, whilst sea-eagles and sea-otters may be seen ashore around the remote lochs and mountains of the islands and anchorages on the route. The organisers have teamed up with local wildlife groups to educate and inform cruisers about Scottish marine wildlife and how to view these wonderful creatures in a safe and non-invasive way.

You don’t have to like whisky….  but it helps

Special distillery visits and tastings are arranged for thecruisers, with each distillery throwing open their doors to the visiting sailors and hosting a dinner and ceilidh - a typical Scottish party with music, dancing and of course fine single malts to enjoy.  Along the way, crews are also treated to informal malt whisky tastings organised in some truly spectacular locations by the Classic Malts Selection "roving noses" sailing with the yachts.

Get away from it all in natural surroundings and delightful company

The popularity of the Classic Malts Cruise is worldwide, attracting crews from Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Baltic States as well as the United Kingdom. With easy access to this special sailing region from charter locations along the West coast, crews have come from as far away as the USA and New Zealand, chartering a yacht locally to join in the fun.

World Cruising Club is able to offer advice and assistance for cruisers, particularly for those sailors who have not sailed in Scotland before, or who are considering chartering a boat.

This year is even more special than usual and World Cruising is looking forward to hearing from anyone interested in taking part in the Classic Malts Cruise 2009 as soon as possible. 

Last Updated ( Monday, 16 February 2009 )