Depart from: Arisaig (1 April - 30 September only)
Ferry time: 2-2.5hrs
Ferry operator: Arisaig Marine Ltd
Ferry frequency: Once daily - to Eigg and Muck on Mon, Weds, Fri and Sat; and Eigg and Rum on Thurs. On Sun and Fri, there are 3-hour sightseeing tours without island stops.
Cars allowed?: No
Whilst the large passenger ferries operated by Caledonian MacBrayne only serve the Small Isles a few times a week, Arisaig Marine’s wildlife cruises on the MV Sheerwater make it possible to visit Eigg and either Muck (Mon, Weds, Fri and Sat) or Rum (Thurs only) in a single day.
The Small Isles are normally visited as part of multi-day itineraries, but this trip is manageable in a day as long as you’re happy spending around half of your time at sea. There are incredible views to offer and amazing wildlife-spotting opportunities, so we can assure you that you won’t be bored on the way!
The timetable is such that you will have the choice of spending approximately 5 hours on the Isle of Eigg or three hours on Muck / two-and-a-half hours on Rum. If you opt for Muck or Rum, you will have around 30 minutes on Eigg to stretch your legs between arrival and departure of the boat. In each case, the boat departs mid-morning and is due back into Arisaig at around 5pm.
The Isle of Eigg has a distinctive shape and will be instantly recognisable from Arisaig on a clear day. If you opt for a longer stop on Eigg, you can climb the impressive Sgurr to take in the views and visit the local tearoom.
The tiny Isle of Muck has just 38 inhabitants and is a miniature paradise in the middle of the sea. Friendly and welcoming residents, a cosy tearoom and a beautiful beach with views out to the tidal Horse Island will be the highlights of your visit.
The larger Isle of Rum is known for its scenery and enormous deer population, and you will have time to take in Kinloch Castle, follow the otter hide trail and/or visit the Rum Craft Shop.
- The boat timetable is approximate since the boat trips across to the islands are also wildlife tours, so if anything interesting is in the area, your captain will divert and spend longer at sea to ensure you get a good view!
- You cannot take your car or bike on the MV Sheerwater, so you will need to plan your visit to the Small Isles on foot
- Gallanach beach on the Isle of Muck, a gentle 1-mile walk from the ferry terminal. If the tide is right, you can walk across the causeway to Horse Island, which is excellent for spotting birds
- Take a pit-stop at the Isle of Muck tearoom
- The rugged wilderness and towering peaks of the Isle of Rum, as well as Kinloch Castle
- Exceptional views from the top of the Sgurr on the Isle of Eigg, amply rewarded with a visit to the Galmisdale Team Room
- Spotting seals, dolphins, all manner of seabirds, and - if you’re lucky - whales or even basking sharks from the open back deck of the MV Sheerwater