Is the Queen planning another cruise to the Hebrides this summer?

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hebprinc.jpgWith all eyes on the Royal wedding at the end of this month – and speculation rife about where Wills and Kate might spend their honeymoon – no-one seem to have given a thought as to what the Queen will be doing for her summer holidays.
But I think I may know.
Checking through the calendar for Hebridean Princess’s voyages this summer, I spotted a gap. The luxury ship, which cruises round the Scottish coast and Western Isles, has been chartered for seven days from July 12.
Her Majesty sailed on the ship for 10 days last year, starting at Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, and disembarking at Scrabster, near Thurso. The Royal party enjoyed picnics on the beach at Colonsay and Harris while celebrating Princess Anne’s 60th birthday and Prince Andrew’s 50th.
She also chartered the vessel – which normally carries 49 passengers – to celebrate her own 80th birthday in 2006.
Hebridean Princess is operated by the All Leisure Group, but they are giving nothing away. Group Operations Director Mike Deegan would only say: ” We never comment on the identity of any individual or group of individuals that cruise as passengers in our vessel Hebridean Princess. This is true of passengers on commercially sold cruises or for the myriad of private charters that the vessel operates.”
But I recall exactly the same sort of noises being made last year, when 60 passengers who had already booked had their holidays re-arranged in order to accommodate the Royal party.
No word either on whether the newlyweds will be enjoying a second honeymoon on the ship. They’ve got to get their first one over with first, and despite the multitude of wedding celebrations being held on cruise ships around the world, I wouldn’t put my money on them joining in just yet.
My picture (above) shows Hebridean Princess sheltering at the entrance to Loch Leven, where I saw her during my cruise on Glen Tarsan last October.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:08+00:00 8 April 2011|Cruise Gossip, Cruise News|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Mrs M Chatfield 8 April 2011 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    If the Queen has booked the ship I hope she booked early enough that no passengers were affected. We lost our silver wedding anniversary cruise thanks to the Queen‘s holiday in 2010 (whilst our walking holiday in Wales was nice it did no way compare with what we had planned). Whilst we had our cruise money refunded, when asked, neither the Queen nor the company would give us any compensation for the money we had spent on booking our 4 children into a holiday camp or for the disappointment. All customers should beware of the booking conditions where, if All Leisure cancel the cruise package and you are unable to take a substitute cruise, then all you get is a refund of your money. They seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to apply this clause when they get a more advantageous commercial opportunity. They also reported in the press generous compensation for those displaced passengers. This only applied to those taking a substitute cruise and it is a matter of opinion whether 10-20% off a future cruise, to be booked within 5 months, is generous on a holiday which, for most people, can be at most an occasional treat.

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