- COVID-19. Whilst mask rules in Scotland have now changed in line with the rest of the country and the wearing of masks is no longer mandatory, the cabin of the boat when all 12 passengers are inside is quite an enclosed space so for the safety of our crew and each other, we would appreciate it if masks could be worn when inside the cabin, there is also hand sanitiser available aboard the boat at various points and we’d encourage their use.
- Avian Flu. Unfortunately there is an outbreak of avian flu affecting the seabirds on St Kilda, whilst landing on the outliers where the majority of the seabirds nest is no longer permitted, the main Island of Hirta is still open for visitors and we don't expect this to change, Hirta is the only one we would be landing on in any case on our scheduled day trip. For more information please visit the NTS Planning Your Visit page.
- Best time to visit. We generally get our better spells of weather early on in the summer, but in previous seasons this has also been the period where we have had our worst spells of weather. The weather in the Hebrides is very changeable and can see us cancelling trips at short notice, at any stage of the season - during the season we never look any further ahead than 2 days with any degree of confidence. So I'm afraid it is impossible for us to advise on a 'best time' of the season to book a St.Kilda trip.
- Accommodation. If you visit the Getting Here page on our website you will find various accommodation providers there, they can all be recommended. Failing that try the Visit Outer Hebrides or Visit Scotland websites.
- Payment. The price of the St.Kilda day trip for 2021 is £220 per person, to confirm your booking a deposit of £90 per person is required, with the remaining £130 to be paid on the day of the trip by cash or by card. Any discounts are applied at deposit payment stage so as all passengers (Inc children) will have a balance of £130 on the day of their trip, please contact us directly for a discount code if you have previously been offered one.
- Refunds. If we are unable to run your booked trip deposits are returned in full, within 15 full business days after the date of your trip, this will be done to the card you used with when you made your reservation - refunds can not be paid to another card. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further details of our cancellation policy.
- Gift Vouchers. Our gift vouchers are in card format and are posted out, they can be purchased for either the deposit amount of the trip or the full amount, should you wish to purchase a voucher then please drop us an email for further details. If you have a gift voucher then please contact us directly with your voucher number so we can supply you with the appropriate discount code to enable you to make a reservation online.
- Location. St.Kilda trips depart from Leverburgh pier, South Harris, HS5 3UF please see our Getting Here page. Our shorter Rib trips run from Tarbert Marina, HS3 3DJ, again, please see our Getting here page for further info on this, particularly on parking.
- Two Day Window. Our trip schedule is arranged on the basis of three 'two day windows' a week, i.e. Monday/Tuesday, Wednesday/Thursday or Friday/Saturday. Each two day window will have a 'booked trip' which will have both days allocated to it and will run on the best day of that window, whether that be day one or day two. As such passengers booked on a two day window trip must be available for both the days they have booked for.
- Stand-By Trips. These will run on the spare day of a two day window, assuming the weather is suitable for a trip to run on both days. and this will most likely be on day 2 of a two day window. If the two day window trip goes on day 1 that then leaves day 2 spare, if day 2 has suitable weather we then run our stand-by trip, if not then I’m afraid stand-by trip is cancelled, similarly if the two day window trip doesn’t sail on day 1 it then gets day 2 as it’s back up day, which also means the stand-by trip is cancelled. However, on occasions it might be that weather dictates that we swap trips round and the Stand-By Trip runs on day 1 and the Two Day Window trip runs on day 2, so being available for both days of a stand-by reservation is preferable.
- Change of date. Should you now be unavailable for the dates you booked and wish to change to another window, just check our availablity via the Booking Page and drop me an email with your Order ID and date of the trip you would like to move your reservation to.
- Which day. We never look further ahead than the next day with the St.Kilda trips, as such we are unable to advise passengers any further in advance of this. We will notify you as to which day your trip is running by sending an SMS message to your supplied number(s), we find this is the best method of contacting passengers and we will be in touch with you the morning prior to your reservation to let you know which day we are looking at - as such we do require mobile numbers when you make your reservation, your numbers will be used for no other purpose than to notify you of your trip. The same notification will also go out by email to the address you supplied when making your reservation, so between email and SMS we should get the trip notification to you. There might be occasions where we need to contact you a couple days in advance, so please keep an eye on emails and mobiles in the run up to your trip.
- Likelihood of Stand-By trip running. Similar to the above it's impossible to say more than a couple days in advance, weather dictates that, at any time of the season.
- What time. Trips generally depart at 8am and we meet at 7.45am, on rare occasions we might bring trips forward by an hour or so to avoid weather, similarly we might delay departure for the same reason. We would let you know in advance if we were looking to do this.
- Weather/Cancellations. In the event of us being unable to travel to St.Kilda due to adverse weather conditions, deposits will be returned in full. If you are availble for a trip later in the week then we will try and accommodate you should there be spaces availble, the more availablity you have the better. We do try and make decisions on trips they day before, however on some occasions we will ask passengers to meet at the pier in the morning and a decision will be made there by the skipper. When moving passengers to another trip Two Day Window passengers will take priority as they will have been booked with us earlier than a Stand-By passenger.
- Landing. We always land at St.Kilda, if we have any doubts about getting ashore the trip is cancelled, we would not run a 'non landing' trip to St.Kilda. Some other Islands we visit without piers such as the Shiant Islands can be tricky to get ashore, it might be that when we arrive there is too much swell to land, if that was to be the case the trip would then run as a 'non landing' one.
- Double booking. We do not allow this without prior arrangement from us as this can see us running with empty seats on the second booked trip. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further details of our cancellation policy.
- Reserve list. We don't operate a reserve list, should you wish to be considered for any 'two day window' cancellations then you would have to be booked on the 'stand-by' trip (explained on the Booking Page) for this window, any 'two day window' cancellations places are offered to whoever is first booked on the 'stand-by' trip, if they are not available we would then offer it to the next booked passengers on the 'stand-by' trip.
- Toilets. There are public toilets available on St Kilda and there is a toilet on board our boat.
- Food. There are NO catering outlets of any kind on St Kilda. Passengers must ensure that they bring their own food and drink with them for the day. Tea and coffee will be provided aboard the boat on your return to it in the afternoon, and you will also be given a slice of our delicious homemade gingerbread. If you would like a pack lunch made for you then we can recomend Lunchbox Hebrides.
- Clothing. Parts of St Kilda are very exposed and as a consequence passengers are strongly advised to dress appropriately. If you choose to spend time on the deck of the boat during the journey this can also be very cold. Warm, waterproof clothing is essential as is sturdy footwear.
- Maps. You will be given a map of St Kilda and a guide to the island before you disembark, you will also be met by the NTS ranger for a short safety brief on the Island.
- Camping trips. (Campsite bookings made with the NTS before 5th Febuary 2021 are being honoured, as long as the campsite is able to open on that date, no further campsite bookings for 2021 are being taken by the NTS till the current Covid-19 situation is clearer.) Camping trips require the booking of 2 separate 'two day window trips', one for your outward journey & one for your return journey, so with it being 2 separate trips they incur a double fare, please note, we do not allow camping trips to be booked on a stand-by trip. Camping trips require a bit more to work in your favour than a day trip does and carry a bit of risk as you could end up there longer than planned, so in the first instance, please contact us directly by email for further information before making a reservation. Camp site spaces are also limited and allocated by the NTS, so please also contact the National Trust for Scotland for further details on this - they do not usually release camp site availablity until the start of the year.
- Collect from Uist. For passengers based in Uist who are wishing to join one of our scheduled trips, we would wait for them to arrive off the first ferry in the morning from Berneray before departing for St.Kilda. However we are not back in Leverburgh in time to catch the last ferry to Berneray so you would have to arrange for a nights accommodation in Harris. If you make a reservation this way you must contact us separately to advise of this so as we will wait for you.
- Children. Children are permitted to travel to and from St.Kilda provided they are accompanied by an adult. We advise that parents/guardians give due consideration before taking a child on this journey and we would not recommend that children below the age of 12 travel. Please contact us if you require further details.
- Age limit. Whilst we operate a policy of not recommending the St.Kilda trip for children under the age of 12, we do not have an upper age limit on passengers. However, the St.Kilda trip, and St.Kilda itself, does require passengers to be fit and well and have a good degree of mobility to partake in this trip. If unsure please contact us to discuss.
- Pets. Due to the ecological fragility of St Kilda, there are very strictly no pets allowed. If you have a dog and wish to join one of our trips there are a couple folk in Harris who provide a 'dog sitting' service, they are both used regularly by our passengers and feedback has been very positive. Please contact Yvonne Bissell at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her page Paws on Harris Or Annie Tempest at email@example.com (Not Available On Saturdays) or through her page Grannie Annie's
- Drones. The NTS have a blanket ban on operating any kind of drones at St.Kilda, so they are not allowed on this trip. On any of our other trips we dont have an issue with them, but we would not allow them to be flown from the boat so this would have to be done from when ashore, we would however ask you to to respect your fellow passengers as not everyone takes kindly to drones buzzing around, and some of the Islands we vist have very sensitve bird breeding colonies so we ask that these are not approached or the birds disturbed in any way.
- What do you do in the winter. Hibernate!
Telephone: 01859 502007