Retracing Brendans Footsteps with Bessie Ellen 2017

Voyage No. Start date End date Start port End port Days Price
BE270517 Sat 27 May (16.00) Fri 2 Jun (10.00) Oban Liverpool (Canning Dock) 7 £750 Book voyage »


Join our early summer voyage southwards down past Jura and Islay, along the coast of Northern Ireland and on to Liverpool with her great river, the Mersey leading to a city of culture and maritime heritage.

The voyage will include some night passages, although at this time of year the sun hardly sets and we have 24 hour visibility.

Night passages means watches and we encourage you to join with us and take part in the sail handling, look out and navigation work .

Voyage Details

Voyage Description

From our departure from Oban, we head south, down past the Garvellach Isles, once home to St Brendan and on towards the Mull of Kintyre. As the sun sets into the Atlantic our ship settles into her gentle routine as the wake slips astern, steep silhouettes of the outer isles brand the skyline.

It’s not all about the sailing however, and your voyage will aim to stop on the charming Isle of Rathlin. This small island lying off the Antrim coast has a rare and wild beauty. Here, in the peace and quiet you can either enjoy a walk or hire a bike to visit this jewel of Northern Ireland.

Setting sail from the bay and catching the strong tides that run through the North Channel, Bessie Ellen will continue south and perhaps find time to make a stop at Ramsey on Isle of Man for a more adrenaline fuelled kind of fun. Held in the last week of May and the first week of June the Isle of Man TT is split into two weeks, the first being the qualifying or practice week, with daily sessions held in the evening from 6.30pm. Bessie Ellen should make quite a spectacle in this charming but tidal harbour.

Liverpool and the Mersey is of the most historic channels of water in the world. From sailing ships to liners, the river has seen so much life, and today Bessie Ellen will sail up to her berth in the centre to be welcomed by this great maritime city.


Rathlin Island. The wildlife is evident before you step ashore with many opportunities to spot auks, gannets and gulls with even a chance of porpoises or dolphins.

Seals and eider ducks laze around the harbour at most times of the year. Whether on cycle or on foot, look out for wheatears, peregrines, stonechats, skylarks and lapwings.

At the southernmost tip of the island, Roonivoolin is important for wildlife, especially choughs which feed here, but lapwings, corncrakes, snipe and Irish hares all benefit from targeted management of this land. Over the past 40 years, the fortunes of these species in Northern Ireland have fared badly as changes to farming practices resulted in drastic declines. Lapwing numbers declined by more than 60 per cent. Corncrakes have all but disappeared and only one pair of choughs remain. Choughs were extinct in Northern Ireland for nearly 10 years and bred again on Rathlin Island in 2007 after a 19-year gap.

Useful Information

How to get there:

By Air
Flybe offer regular flights to Glasgow 

Please note that you will need to arrange your own travel insurance, which covers you for the duration of your voyage. We recommend Topsail Insurance, which offers single policies from about £20.


Start Location:

End Location:


Read our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a few common enquiries that we receive.

Ready to book this voyage?

We only need a few details from you to reserve a space.

Book a voyage »