4th October 2022 to 11th October 2022

The Science of Whisky: Scottish Hebrides Tall Ship Cruise

From £1999 per person

Deposit 25%. Final balance due 12 weeks before departure.
Discover the whisky lover’s dream cruise where you go deep into the science of how whisky is made and how different processes and stimuli affect its flavours.
Clear
Pay a 25% deposit per item
Suited to
18+, Couples, Groups, Individual
Difficulty
No sailing experience is required. Sit back and relax or get as involved with crew life as you like. Learning to navigate, trim and set the sails, and helm the ship.
Nights onboard
7
Vessel type
Tall Ship - Flying Dutchman. Restored and renovated during the winter of 2003/2004, turning it into a luxury schooner.
Vessel length
39.55 m/ 129.7ft
Skipper
Yes
Berth Style
20 guests in 10 twin cabins All cabins are en-suite and are twins.
Insurance Required
Yes

A whisky lover’s dream cruise where you go deep into the science of how whisky is made and how different processes and stimuli affect its flavours, whilst touring distilleries on the islands of Islay and Jura.

04 - 11 October 2022 - 8 days

HIGHLIGHTS

    • Exclusive talks, tours and tastings at several distilleries and maltings.
    • Accompanied by sensory scientist Professor Barry Smith.
    • 7 nights on a luxury sailing ship.
    • Onboard evening talks and tasting experiences.
    • Visiting charming coastal towns.
    • Exploring the stunning Hebridean scenery.

In partnership with:

A whisky lover’s dream cruise where you go deep into the science of how whisky is made and how different processes and stimuli affect its flavours, whilst touring distilleries on the islands of Islay and Jura. 

Of course, you will be sampling whisky, but in a way that gives you an extensive understanding of how its compounds engage your senses. You will explore whisky’s complexity and variety via a program of sensory experiences delivered by accompanying expert, Professor Barry Smith, a founding director of the University of London’s Centre for the Study of the Senses, who has also written and broadcast extensively on whisky.

Explore both traditional and brand-new state-of-the-art distilleries, whilst enjoying exclusive tours, talks and tastings from the distillery managers and master distillers. Including Oban, Bruichladdich, Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Jura. Also, the recently recommissioned Ardnahoe and Cao Ila distilleries plus the Port Ellen maltings. Many of the tastings will be direct from the cask or exclusive bottlings. The good stuff

Alongside this deep immersion into the world of whisky, you will enjoy sailing between areas of outstanding natural beauty and visiting idyllic harbour towns. Along the way, spotting varied marine life including whales, sharks and dolphins.

Aboard a comfortable and characterful 1903 tall ship with a professional sailing crew. Sit back and relax or get as involved with crew life as you like. Learning to navigate, trim and set the sails, and helm the ship.

A whisky tour like no other.

In partnership with New Scientist.

THE ITINERARY

DAY 1: JOIN YOUR SHIP, MEET YOUR EXPERT AND VISIT THE OBAN DISTILLERY

You will begin your voyage by joining the ship in the charming coastal town of Oban.

After getting to know your fellow enthusiasts and crew, Professor Barry Smith takes you on your first tasting of the week, around the Oban distillery.

Then in the evening, Barry will deliver the first of the nightly sensory experiences. Here you will discover the complexity and variety of whisky, identify your personal flavour wave and explore how different production processes can significantly affect the flavours found within a simple dram. From blind tastings to experimenting with different stimuli, Barry will give you the insight and tools to really understand and become an advocate for whisky.

This will be followed by a lovely dinner provided by the ship’s crew. This trip is full-board bar one evening (for the crew to have a night off) and all the meals are designed to complement that evening’s whisky experience with Barry.

DAY 2: SAIL TO TOBERMORY

Today, you will sail to the picturesque town of Tobermory on the island of Mull, a former 18th-century fishing port, now more famous for its appearances on TV. On the way, you will sail right past Duart Castle, which is an impressive sight, then stop in a lovely anchorage nearby for lunch. Where you can enjoy the untouched, wild nature of the Scottish west coast.

In the evening, your sensory journey with Barry will continue.

DAY 3: EXPLORE STAFF AND IONA

The uninhabited island of Staffa is famous for its hexagonal basalt columns and the Fingal’s Cave, an 80m long cathedral in the Earth’s interior, exposed to the constant waves of the Atlantic. This place inspired Mendelssohn to write the “Hebrides Overture”. A visit to Staffa is not always possible due to the sea conditions. But it is an unforgettable experience to approach this remote piece of rock with the zodiac.

Further south, before the southwest tip of Mull, you will explore the small island of Iona. For about 400 years it has been a centre of the Irish monks and is known for its calmness and the beauty of nature.

Before dinner, Barry will take you through the third set of experiments that will equip you to get the most out of the distillery visits on the days ahead.

DAY 4: ARRIVE AT ISLAY FOR THE CAOL ILA AND ARDNAHOE DISTILLERIES

Over the next three days, you will be exploring the coast, towns and distilleries of whisky island par excellence, Islay.

Your first stop is the Caol Ila distillery. A state-of-the-art site that has just reopened after a multi-million-pound transformation. It is the largest distiller on Islay and very distinct from the other distillers on the island. Here you will take a tour based on the concept of how different flavours are created in the process of distillation and maturation.

Since most distilleries have their own boat bridge, your smaller ship can dock or anchor directly alongside the distillery, making the visits particularly easy-going.

After lunch, you will enjoy an exclusive visit to Islay’s newest distillery. In 2018, the stills at Ardnahoe began running with spirit for the first time. Here you will be split into small groups for a detailed distillery tour with senior staff, then a tasting session followed by a group Q&A.

DAY 5: PORT ELLEN MALTINGS, BRUICHLADDICH DISTILLERY AND MEET GEORGIE CRAWFORD

You will start the day with a private tour of Port Ellen maltings, which supply the malt for many of Islay’s distilleries. The malt is produced in drums, which can be likened to a very large washing machine drum. Then dried in kilns before being transported across the island. They are rarely open to the public, so this is a real treat.

Then you will take a short minibus ride to the Bruichladdich distillery for a tasting session. They produce 3 distinct single malts: Bruichladdich which is unpeated, Port Charlotte which is heavily peated and Octomore which is classed as super heavily peated.

In the evening, you will be joined onboard by Georgie Crawford. Having previously managed Lagavulin and led the reconstruction of Port Ellen distillery, Georgie is now the distillery manager for Elixir Distillers who are building a new distillery and maltings on the island. So will be able to give a fascinating insight into the whisky history of Islay and also building a distillery from scratch.

DAY 6: LAGAVULIN AND ARDBEG DISTILLERIES, THEN OVERNIGHT OFF JURA

Whilst still moored off the south coast of Islay, you will experience both a tour and tasting at Lagavulin, with its unusual pear-shaped stills. Here you will see their distillers at work during the tour and then enjoy a tutored tasting.

In the afternoon you will enjoy a tasting session at the beautifully located Ardbeg distillery with distillery manager Colin Gordon.

DAY 7: JURA DISTILLERY

Whilst sailing back northwards, you will stop off at the remote Jura distillery for a tour and tasting direct from three different casks.

The island of Jura is a paradise of untouched wilderness and natural beauty. The name Jura means “Deer Island”. This is still an appropriate name, 5500 deer live there and only 180 people.

DAY 8: DISEMBARK FROM OBAN

Today, you will set sail and enjoy the way back to Oban via more wild nature, rugged coastlines and quiet fishing villages. Then bid farewell to your fellow explorers as you disembark at Oban.


Please note: With all tours as exciting as this, we can be at the mercy of prevailing conditions, particularly the weather. So, a degree of flexibility and an open-minded attitude is helpful. Should we make any changes to the distilleries visited, we will ensure you have an equally engaging and insightful experience.

MEET THE EXPERT

Barry C Smith is a professor of philosophy and Director of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. He is also the founding director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists.

He has written theoretical and experimental papers, publishing in Nature, Food Quality and Preference, Chemical Senses and Flavour. He collaborates with chefs and artists and consults widely for the food and drinks industry. In 2007, he edited Questions of Taste: the philosophy of wine.

Barry is a frequent broadcaster, who has appeared on BBC One’s Masterchef, BBC Two’s Inside the Factory and on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet. He is a frequent contributor to The World of Fine Wine and wine columnist for Prospect Magazine.

COVID-19 CUSTOMER SERVICE PROTOCOLS

Fully flexible deposit: choose between receiving a full refund or transfer to alternative departure date if your tour is postponed due to Covid-19 in the destination country.

Safe touring protocols: we will always aim to operate our tours as per the original itinerary. Although if necessary our expert local tour guides may amend scheduled activities or visits to comply with local safety advice. The safety and well-being of our guests is our priority.

FULL FINANCIAL PROTECTION

Kraken Travel is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that, at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with the current ”The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations ” all passengers booking with Kraken Travel are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form with Evolution Insurance Company Limited. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Kraken Travel.

  • Entry to all the distillery tours and tastings as indicated.
  • Walking seminars, evening tasting and sensory experiments with Barry Smith.
  • Full board (except one evening for the crew to have a night off) plus all soft drinks at mealtimes.
  • All port fees, tourist fees and fuel expenses.
  • Bed linen and towels.
  • The use of a zodiac for certain landings where no harbour or jetty is available.
  • The crew including captain, cook and first mate.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Food when ashore.
  • Transport to and from Oban.
  • Twin cabin for solo use supplements £1,380.
  • If you are a solo traveller, we can also try to arrange for you to share a cabin with other solo travellers of the same gender at no extra cost.

ACCOMMODATION

T/S Flying Dutchman

This is not a floating hotel but a traditional sailing ship that is comfortable, intimate and small enough to anchor directly next to many of the distilleries. Alongside the crew and Barry’s lodging, the ship has berth for 22 guests. It was restored and renovated during the winter of 2003/2004, turning it into a luxury schooner.

The ship has a large deck area on which you can sit and soak up the sun. There is a cosy bar in the deckhouse and plenty of room for eating together on deck.

Cabins

All of the cabins on board are twin en-suites with air-conditioning. There is also one 4-berth cabin up forward, which can either be booked as one whole cabin or be occupied by solo travellers who are comfortable with sharing a cabin. Please don’t forget to bring a European plug adapter to plug your electrical devices in your cabins.

Twin Cabin & Ensuite

COVID-19 CUSTOMER SERVICE PROTOCOLS

  • Fully flexible deposit: choose between receiving a full refund or transfer to an alternative departure date if your tour is postponed due to Covid-19 in the destination country.
  • Insurance policy available that provides Covid-19 related cover.
  • Departure briefing: covering Coronavirus specific measures in place at arrival airports, with the airline and in the destination country including local regulations.
  • Safe touring protocols: we will always aim to operate our tours as per the original itinerary. Although if necessary our expert local tour guides may amend scheduled activities or visits to comply with local safety advice.  The safety and well-being of our guests is our priority.

PACE AND PHYSICALITY

Despite a warm forecast on land, the weather can change rapidly and be more inclement at sea, so suitable clothing is a must. You will be sent a full kit list before departure. You will need to bring layered and waterproof clothing along with hiking and wellington boots. Preferably in a squashy rather than hard-sided bag.

When visiting the distilleries there will be lots of steep steps and heights to navigate. Distilleries are designed for creating outstanding whisky but not necessarily group tours. Nevertheless, this will allow you to get up close to the inner working of the distilleries.

Plenty of time is built in for rest and relaxation both under sail and when docked. When under sail you can get as involved as you like in crew life and the crew will be happy to show you the basics of trimming the sails and navigation. No activity or tasting is mandatory and we do ask you to drink responsibly.

FULL FINANCIAL PROTECTION

Kraken Travel is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that, at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with the current ”The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations ” all passengers booking with Kraken Travel are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form with Evolution Insurance Company Limited. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Kraken Travel.

Oban is on the west coast of Scotland about 90 miles north-west of Glasgow. The journey between Glasgow and Oban is particularly scenic whether by road or railway. Glasgow Prestwick is the nearest large airport to Oban and is approximately 97 miles away.

Oban is on the west coast of Scotland about 90 miles north-west of Glasgow. The journey between Glasgow and Oban is particularly scenic whether by road or railway. Glasgow Prestwick is the nearest large airport to Oban and is approximately 97 miles away.

A whisky lover’s dream cruise where you go deep into the science of how whisky is made and how different processes and stimuli affect its flavours, whilst touring distilleries on the islands of Islay and Jura. 

Of course, you will be sampling whisky, but in a way that gives you an extensive understanding of how its compounds engage your senses. You will explore whisky’s complexity and variety via a program of sensory experiences delivered by accompanying expert, Professor Barry Smith, a founding director of the University of London’s Centre for the Study of the Senses, who has also written and broadcast extensively on whisky.

Explore both traditional and brand-new state-of-the-art distilleries, whilst enjoying exclusive tours, talks and tastings from the distillery managers and master distillers. Including Oban, Bruichladdich, Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Jura. Also, the recently recommissioned Ardnahoe and Cao Ila distilleries plus the Port Ellen maltings. Many of the tastings will be direct from the cask or exclusive bottlings. The good stuff

Alongside this deep immersion into the world of whisky, you will enjoy sailing between areas of outstanding natural beauty and visiting idyllic harbour towns. Along the way, spotting varied marine life including whales, sharks and dolphins.

Aboard a comfortable and characterful 1903 tall ship with a professional sailing crew. Sit back and relax or get as involved with crew life as you like. Learning to navigate, trim and set the sails, and helm the ship.

A whisky tour like no other.

In partnership with New Scientist.

THE ITINERARY

DAY 1: JOIN YOUR SHIP, MEET YOUR EXPERT AND VISIT THE OBAN DISTILLERY

You will begin your voyage by joining the ship in the charming coastal town of Oban.

After getting to know your fellow enthusiasts and crew, Professor Barry Smith takes you on your first tasting of the week, around the Oban distillery.

Then in the evening, Barry will deliver the first of the nightly sensory experiences. Here you will discover the complexity and variety of whisky, identify your personal flavour wave and explore how different production processes can significantly affect the flavours found within a simple dram. From blind tastings to experimenting with different stimuli, Barry will give you the insight and tools to really understand and become an advocate for whisky.

This will be followed by a lovely dinner provided by the ship’s crew. This trip is full-board bar one evening (for the crew to have a night off) and all the meals are designed to complement that evening’s whisky experience with Barry.

DAY 2: SAIL TO TOBERMORY

Today, you will sail to the picturesque town of Tobermory on the island of Mull, a former 18th-century fishing port, now more famous for its appearances on TV. On the way, you will sail right past Duart Castle, which is an impressive sight, then stop in a lovely anchorage nearby for lunch. Where you can enjoy the untouched, wild nature of the Scottish west coast.

In the evening, your sensory journey with Barry will continue.

DAY 3: EXPLORE STAFF AND IONA

The uninhabited island of Staffa is famous for its hexagonal basalt columns and the Fingal’s Cave, an 80m long cathedral in the Earth’s interior, exposed to the constant waves of the Atlantic. This place inspired Mendelssohn to write the “Hebrides Overture”. A visit to Staffa is not always possible due to the sea conditions. But it is an unforgettable experience to approach this remote piece of rock with the zodiac.

Further south, before the southwest tip of Mull, you will explore the small island of Iona. For about 400 years it has been a centre of the Irish monks and is known for its calmness and the beauty of nature.

Before dinner, Barry will take you through the third set of experiments that will equip you to get the most out of the distillery visits on the days ahead.

DAY 4: ARRIVE AT ISLAY FOR THE CAOL ILA AND ARDNAHOE DISTILLERIES

Over the next three days, you will be exploring the coast, towns and distilleries of whisky island par excellence, Islay.

Your first stop is the Caol Ila distillery. A state-of-the-art site that has just reopened after a multi-million-pound transformation. It is the largest distiller on Islay and very distinct from the other distillers on the island. Here you will take a tour based on the concept of how different flavours are created in the process of distillation and maturation.

Since most distilleries have their own boat bridge, your smaller ship can dock or anchor directly alongside the distillery, making the visits particularly easy-going.

After lunch, you will enjoy an exclusive visit to Islay’s newest distillery. In 2018, the stills at Ardnahoe began running with spirit for the first time. Here you will be split into small groups for a detailed distillery tour with senior staff, then a tasting session followed by a group Q&A.

DAY 5: PORT ELLEN MALTINGS, BRUICHLADDICH DISTILLERY AND MEET GEORGIE CRAWFORD

You will start the day with a private tour of Port Ellen maltings, which supply the malt for many of Islay’s distilleries. The malt is produced in drums, which can be likened to a very large washing machine drum. Then dried in kilns before being transported across the island. They are rarely open to the public, so this is a real treat.

Then you will take a short minibus ride to the Bruichladdich distillery for a tasting session. They produce 3 distinct single malts: Bruichladdich which is unpeated, Port Charlotte which is heavily peated and Octomore which is classed as super heavily peated.

In the evening, you will be joined onboard by Georgie Crawford. Having previously managed Lagavulin and led the reconstruction of Port Ellen distillery, Georgie is now the distillery manager for Elixir Distillers who are building a new distillery and maltings on the island. So will be able to give a fascinating insight into the whisky history of Islay and also building a distillery from scratch.

DAY 6: LAGAVULIN AND ARDBEG DISTILLERIES, THEN OVERNIGHT OFF JURA

Whilst still moored off the south coast of Islay, you will experience both a tour and tasting at Lagavulin, with its unusual pear-shaped stills. Here you will see their distillers at work during the tour and then enjoy a tutored tasting.

In the afternoon you will enjoy a tasting session at the beautifully located Ardbeg distillery with distillery manager Colin Gordon.

DAY 7: JURA DISTILLERY

Whilst sailing back northwards, you will stop off at the remote Jura distillery for a tour and tasting direct from three different casks.

The island of Jura is a paradise of untouched wilderness and natural beauty. The name Jura means “Deer Island”. This is still an appropriate name, 5500 deer live there and only 180 people.

DAY 8: DISEMBARK FROM OBAN

Today, you will set sail and enjoy the way back to Oban via more wild nature, rugged coastlines and quiet fishing villages. Then bid farewell to your fellow explorers as you disembark at Oban.


Please note: With all tours as exciting as this, we can be at the mercy of prevailing conditions, particularly the weather. So, a degree of flexibility and an open-minded attitude is helpful. Should we make any changes to the distilleries visited, we will ensure you have an equally engaging and insightful experience.

MEET THE EXPERT

Barry C Smith is a professor of philosophy and Director of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. He is also the founding director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists.

He has written theoretical and experimental papers, publishing in Nature, Food Quality and Preference, Chemical Senses and Flavour. He collaborates with chefs and artists and consults widely for the food and drinks industry. In 2007, he edited Questions of Taste: the philosophy of wine.

Barry is a frequent broadcaster, who has appeared on BBC One’s Masterchef, BBC Two’s Inside the Factory and on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet. He is a frequent contributor to The World of Fine Wine and wine columnist for Prospect Magazine.

COVID-19 CUSTOMER SERVICE PROTOCOLS

Fully flexible deposit: choose between receiving a full refund or transfer to alternative departure date if your tour is postponed due to Covid-19 in the destination country.

Safe touring protocols: we will always aim to operate our tours as per the original itinerary. Although if necessary our expert local tour guides may amend scheduled activities or visits to comply with local safety advice. The safety and well-being of our guests is our priority.

FULL FINANCIAL PROTECTION

Kraken Travel is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that, at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with the current ”The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations ” all passengers booking with Kraken Travel are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form with Evolution Insurance Company Limited. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Kraken Travel.

The temperature in this sailing area varies (13° to 9° Celsius for October) with mostly grey skies and medium winds. We suggest you bring the following:

Warm weather clothes, including coats, jumpers and long trousers.

Water shoes (boots or plastic shoes)

Hiking shoes

Camera

A plastic / waterproof bag for your camera when disembarking

A hat

European 2 pin plug adapter

Full details of our cancellation policy for this trip can be found in our Terms & Conditions.

FULL FINANCIAL PROTECTION

Kraken Travel is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that, at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with the current ”The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations ” all passengers booking with Kraken Travel are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form with Evolution Insurance Company Limited. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Kraken Travel.

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