Hebridean Princess

Former name: Columbia

Hebridean Princess current position

Hebridean Princess current location is at North East Atlantic Ocean (coordinates 56.32491 N / -6.26200 W) cruising en route to BUNESSAN. The AIS position was reported 9 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Hebridean Princess

Year built1964  /  Age: 57
Flag state United Kingdom
BuilderHall, Russell & Company (Aberdeen, Scotland)
OwnerHP Shipping Ltd
OperatorHebridean Island Cruises UK
Speed15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph
Length (LOA)71 m / 233 ft
Beam (width)14 m / 46 ft
Gross Tonnage2112 gt
Passengers60
Crew38
Passengers-to-space ratio43
Decks5
Cabins30
Decks with cabins4
Last Refurbishment2011
Former namesColumbia

Hebridean Princess Review

Review of Hebridean Princess

The 164-built (as "MS MacBrayne") Hebridean Princess cruise ship is owned by HP Shipping Ltd and operated under long-term charter by the UK-based travel company Hebridean International Cruises via its brand "Hebridean Island Cruises".

Initially, the vessel (IMO number 6409351) was designed as a Ro-Pax ship/cruiseferry (and operated as such for the first 25 years of its service) with passenger capacity 600 and cargo capacity 50 vehicles (cars). The boat was built in Aberdeen Scotland and deployed for regular crossings between the Scottish islands.

History - construction and ownership

The 50-passenger ship Hebridean Princess was significantly refitted in 1989 in Great Yarmouth (England). The vessel was transformed into a luxury cruise ship and received a new name "MV Hebridean Princess". The car-carrying feature was removed, providing more space for additional passenger cabins. The crew-to-guest ratio was also considerably increased.

Hebridean Princess cruise ship

The period from July 21 to 29, 2006, is memorable for the cruise ship, as HM Queen Elizabeth II chartered Hebridean Princess for a 'family holiday' to mark the Queen's 80th birthday. The 8-day "cruise charter" cost Her Majesty GBP 125,000. On July 23, 2010, The Queen chartered the cruise ship for a second time, for a 14-day sailing vacation.

The vessel is owned by HP Shipping Ltd (shipowner that also owns Lord of the Glens) and chartered to Hebridean Island Cruises (HP Shipping-owned subsidiary and travel brand) with headquarters in Skipton (Yorkshire England).

Decks and Cabins

Hebridean Princess staterooms (30 total, in 9 categories) include 1x Suite (named Isle of Arran), single cabins (3 grades) and double cabins (5 grades). Most cabins are outside/oceanviews. There are 3x inside single cabins and 3x inside double. All cabins are named after glens, islands or other Scottish landmarks.

Due to the vessel's old design, passenger accommodations are highly individual (sizes and design), featuring soft furnishings, top-quality bed linens, Molton Brown toiletries.

The boat has 5 passenger decks, of which 4 are with cabins.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The Columba dining room reflects the passenger breakdown, with 2 main tables - Captain's and Chief Engineer's, as well as a number of 2- or 4-person tables, depending on whether couples prefer to sit together. Solo travellers are invited to dine with the Captain or Chief Engineer each night. Unlike almost any other cruise ship, all food is fresh and locally sourced. Hebridean Princess menus feature top-quality seafood and fish, along with grouse, pheasant, venison and prime beef.

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

There are a number of knowledgeable cruise guides onboard Hebridean Princess, who stay for the duration of the sailing. When the ship is in the dock, local musicians perform in the evening. The only other entertainment consists of nightly TV-run films. By day, the main entertainment is to be found ashore. Hebridean Princess carries 5 small boats. Twice-daily motorboat excursions take travellers onto the islands for guided cycle trip and walk.

Itineraries

MV Hebridean Princess entered service (with her new name) on May 26, 1989, and started offering luxury voyages around Scotland's Western Isles. Over time, the itinerary program was extended to Ireland, Orkney and Shetland Islands, the Norwegian Fjords.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis (and Scotland's ban on cruising), for summer 2021 (July-August) Hebridean Princess was relocated from Scotland to England's south coast.

  • The originally scheduled voyages to Shetland and Orkney were cancelled, with the options of full refund or rebooking to the new itineraries.
  • For July and August, the ship had scheduled departures from Isle of Portland (Weymouth, Dorset England) and Cardiff Wales, prior to returning to the principal homeport Oban Scotland (September 2021).
  • The revised summer season included destinations in Wales, Lundy Island, Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly, plus some smaller ports on the southern coast.

Hebridean Princess' regular itineraries from Scotland were scheduled to restart on September 3, 2021.

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