Celebrating 60 years at sea for the Hebridean Princess

Last month marked a momentous anniversary for the Hebridean Princess as the small luxury cruise ship celebrated 60 years at sea. To commemorate the occasion, a formal lunch was held on board with a very special VIP guest – HRH The Princess Royal.

Speaking about the event, Ken Charleson, Managing Director of Hebridean Cruises, said, “We were delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal back on board Hebridean Princess to help us celebrate such a momentous occasion. Since 1989, Hebridean Princess has established herself as the epitome of luxury small-ship Scottish cruising, earning an enviable reputation for her renowned level of service and attention to detail.”

Indeed, for the last 35 years, luxury cruising has been the order of the day for this princess – but that wasn’t always the ship’s purpose. 

She was first launched as RMS Columba on 12th March 1964 at the Hall Russell yard in Aberdeen – 235 feet long and weighing in at 2,112 tonnes. Based in Oban for her first 25 years, she operated as a simple passenger vessel, serving both as the Royal Mail Ship and the MacBrayne car ferry.

Then, in 1989, she was transformed with a major refit into the refined cruise ship MV Hebridean Princess - and set a course for the Western Isles of Scotland. She’s been transporting passengers around some of the country’s most compelling coastal and island scenery ever since.

In 2012, she was granted a Royal Warrant by Queen Elizabeth II, making the Hebridean Princess the only travel brand with this accolade. She was also chartered on two separate occasions by the Queen: in 2006 for her 80th birthday and again in 2010 for a second private holiday. 

She’s unique in offering a luxurious way to travel to some of the more remote areas of Scotland, including the Outer Hebrides and St Kilda. Because she’s so compact, she can reach islands, lochs and bays that are quite beyond the reach of other vessels.

On board, no more than 48 passengers can enjoy the all-inclusive experience, with all meals, snacks and drinks taken care of – including champagne by the glass, naturally. 

The best part? There’s still some limited availability to book a cruise this spring and summer. We can’t think of a better way to treat yourself… 

Have a look at the upcoming Hebridean Princess cruise calendar and book your place for this truly unique experience. Or, if you can’t bear to share, the Hebridean Princess is also available for exclusive charter. To find out more about either option, or to speak to one of the team, email reservations@hebridean.co.uk