Isle of Skye is the northernmost and largest of Scotland's Inner Hebrides Islands. Its peninsulas radiate from the mountainous center (dominated by the Cuillin mountain range), with rocky slopes ranked among the country's most dramatic sceneries.
Skye Island covers a total area of approx 1656 km2 (639 mi2) and has population around 10,000. The highest elevation point (the Sgùrr Alasdair peak in Black Cuillin) is 993 m (3258 ft).
The island's history includes times of Norse rule followed by a long period of Clan Donald and Clan MacLeod domination. Next were the 18th-century's Jacobite risings and Highland Clearances (large scale eviction of tenants in Scottish Highlands) which replaced local communities with sheep farms. Residents numbers declined from over 20,000 (early 19th century) to under 9,000 (late-20th-century). The island's population includes approx 30% Gaelic speakers, which explains the deep respect of culture.
The island's main industries are agriculture, sea fishing, forestry and tourism. The largest settlement is Portree - ferry port famous for its picturesque harbour. Ferry links are available to several neighbouring islands. Another transportation link to mainland Scotland (Eilean Ban) is the Skye Bridge - road bridge over Loch Alsh.
The climate is wet and windy but mild. The abundant wildlife features red deer, golden eagle and Atlantic salmon. The flora is dominated by heather moor.
Portree is popular as the home of the Quidditch team (Harry Potter) called "Pride of Portree". Among the town's attractions is the Aros museum (Gaelic heritage-themed). The name Portree could be translated as Port Rìgh (meaning "king's port") or as Port Ruighe (meaning "slope harbour").
Armadale is a village in the island's southern end. There is a tourist centre located next to Armadale Castle's ruins. Sabhal Mor Ostaig is a Gaelic learning centre.
Dunvegan is famous for its Dunvegan Castle (Clan MacLeod). In recent years it became an increasingly popular holiday vacation travel destination.
Isle of Skye cruise terminal
Most cruise ships to Skye Island dock (anchor) at Portree - port town (island's largest) located on the eastern coast. Portree cruise port has a harbour with a ferry pier.
Other ports where smaller ships may dock (anchor) are Armadale and Dunvegan. Port Armadale is small (also has a ferry pier) and serves mainly the regular scheduled Caledonian MacBrayne ferries to Mallaig (ferry port in Lochaber, on Highlands of Scotland's western coast).
Port Isle of Skye cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Isle of Skye, Uig-Dunvegan-Armadale-Portree, Scotland. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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