Steve Blamires has published two books with Skylight Press, including the recent Chronicles of the Sidhe about the enigmatic Scottish writer, Fiona Macleod. Steve is originally from the Isle of Arran in the west of Scotland where the Gaelic and Celtic cultures are still strong. He has been working in the international travel industry for twenty years. For the past decade he has been working as a historian and tour-guide exclusively with National Geographic on its expedition cruise ship the National Geographic Explorer. He started The Wee Tour Company to design and manage customized tours of Scotland, by land and sea, for small groups who wish to explore an interest – scenery, art & culture, photography, ancestral research etc. – but whose needs are not being met by the big conventional tour companies.
The Wee Tour Company facilitates an exclusive seven day cruise for no more than twenty guests aboard two vessels, Glen Tarsan and Glen Massan, traditional 80-foot wooden fishing vessels, which have been lovingly restored to provide charming cruising accommodation and are full of the traditional character of their original construction. The Cruise itinerary has been designed by Steve, a fiercely passionate Scotsman with an intimate knowledge of the waters, the islands of the Inner Hebrides and their remote mainland hideaways. The next cruise runs from Saturday, August 31st through Saturday, Septempber 7th of 2013. Here are some of the highlights of the tour taken from the company brochure.
Duart Castle, Isle of Mull – Seat of Clan Maclean and home to Sir Lachlan Maclean, the present clan chieftain. The castle sits in a well-sheltered bay with commanding views of all the major waterways around the south end of Mull. Enjoy a guided tour of the interior of the castle (perhaps by Sir Lachlan himself) and then stroll through the Millennium Wood, a forested plantation created by Sir Lachlan to reintroduce native species to Mull.
Isle of Staffa – One of the Hebrides’ most fascinating natural formations comprising of thousands of basalt columns all twisted and sculpted into fantastic shapes. If conditions allow, it is possible to land on this tiny uninhabited island and walk into the long and narrow Fingal’s’ Cave and watch the waters rush in and out with the distinctive eerie sound which was the inspiration for Mendelsohn’s “Hebridean Overture.” Not many people get the chance to visit this special dream-like place.
The Isle of Iona – The highlight of any trip to the Inner Hebrides. This stunningly beautiful island was where St Columba arrived from Ireland in 563AD and started missionary work that spread throughout Scotland, England and even as far as Switzerland. Today, the restored Abbey is the focal point for many visitors. The island is a place of quiet and calm with a resident population of less than 200, almost no vehicles, and an atmosphere that defies description. The island is home to “The Iona Community” whose members are spread across the globe, many of whom will never actually set foot on this idyllic island. It is said that on Iona the veil between this world and the next is so thin you can reach out and touch the Celtic Otherworld. This has always been a very popular port of call.
The Treshnish Isles – This remote archipelago lies west of Iona. No longer inhabited, these hard to get to and rarely visited islands are stunning in their scenic beauty. This little archipelago is a place that captures the essence and the serenity of the Inner Hebrides. It is hard to imagine that up until recently these islands were inhabited by hardy Gaelic crofters who lived a life almost unchanged since the time of St Columba. The archipelago is a Mecca for birders and photographers.
For more information contact:
The Wee Tour Company
9 Falconer Street
(360) 643 0054
© Wee Tours Company/Steve Blamires