Water way to relax in Majestic style

Relaxing under a bright blue sky on the deck of a luxury boat, watching seals bobbing up and down in the reflective waters of a sheltered rocky cove amid a backdrop of heather-clad hills, it’s easy to imagine time has stood still.

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The Majestic Line, named after a fictional shipping company in Neil Munro’s Para Handy tales, does just that.

Glen Tarsan sailing past Duart Castle, Isle of Mull

Glen Tarsan sailing past Duart Castle, Isle of Mull

By blending easy access to some of the most remote and beautiful areas of the world with the intimacy and exclusivity of a 1920s country house party it provides a tranquil antidote to the pressure modern life.

Started 11 years ago by entrepreneurs Ken Grant and Andy Thoms who turned two old fishing boats into luxurious boutique cruise ships the company has earned a reputation as one of Scotland’s best visitor experiences.

Touring the Western Isles and the long narrow fingers of sea lochs that make up the coastline from Campbeltown to Ardnamurchan each vessel has been stripped and rebuilt for passengers with an elegant wood-paneled saloon, well-appointed cabins and a sundeck from which to watch the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery of the west coast.

Deck saloon table and bar

Each ship caters for up to just 11 passengers at a time who are subjected to constant pampering by a dedicated four man crew and fed on a diet of freshly-prepared gourmet meals using local seafood, lamb, beef and venison.

The concept has proved increasingly popular with visitors from across the UK and as far afield as Australia, with cruises booking well in advance and a high level of repeat business.

“We take guests on a personal tour of Scotland’s loveliest hideaway places,” said Andy Thoms, managing director of The Majestic Line.

“It is the comfort of our ships, the level of service and the opportunity to travel in style that brings guests back time and again to experience such unique and special adventures.”

Such is the success of the company, a winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year in the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, that another another purpose built boat with the look and feel of a 1930’s ‘gentleman’s motor yacht’ is to be added to its flotilla for the 2016 season, along with a host of new and more distant itineraries.

Glen Tarsan and Castle Urquhart

Glen Tarsan and Castle Urquhart

The MV Glen Etive joins the MV Glen Massan and MV Glen Tarsan to offer a range of unique cruises around Scotland’s west coasts and islands.

Built by Ardmaleish Boatbuilding Co. Ltd on the Clyde, and finished in traditional wood and brass with spacious accommodation and a steel based hull, the new vessel will undertake longer cruises and visit new Outer Hebridean destinations, with trips planned as far afield as St Kilda.

All the vessels operated by the Majestic Line are fitted out to a high standard and the on-board cuisine, using locally sourced produce, is presented as an informal fine dining experience.

Sailing from Skye with the Cuillins in the background

Sailing from Skye with the Cuillins in the background

Cruise itineraries range from the Small Isles and Skye, visiting Eigg, Rum and Canna, to St Kilda and the Outer Hebrides, taking in the Shiant Islands and the Isles of North and South Uist. A number of special interest cruises are also available, including a Wildlife Explorer Cruise which offers the chance to explore the Isle of Mull.

A range of three and six night cruises are currently available on The Majestic Lines’ twin vessels, the MV Glen Massan and the MV Glen Tarsan.

Each boat has six en-suite cabins available, with room for 11 guests.The MV Glen Etive will have seven en-suite cabins to accommodate 12 guests. Two double cabins are reserved on each cruise for solo travellers at no supplement, which are ideal for allowing groups of three or five people to travel on board.