Small Ship Stays - Oban | Self Catering | Britain's Finest


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Small Ship Stays

Self Catering

Self-Catering with a Difference: Stay Aboard a Small Ship Berthed in Dunstaffnage Marina, Oban

Three unique small ships berthed in Dunstaffnage Marina, a superb marina in an idyllic location, just three miles north of Oban. All of the vessels have been converted to ensure that you will have a unique self-catering experience both in comfort and style in an authentic small ship environment.  

Please note that with the self-catering option there is no crew aboard and the vessels are not setting sail. From April to October St Hilda Sea Adventures also offer small ship cruising and wildlife holidays to the Inner and Outer Hebrides:

  • Seahorse II: £396 per vessel per night for 6 to 11 people, £294 per vessel per night for 4 or 5 people, £250 for 3 people or less
  • Gemini Explorer: £294 per vessel per night
  • St Hilda: £204 vessel per night
  • Included: Electricity, gas (St Hilda), bed linen, shower and hand towels (not beach towels), tea towels, cleaning and washing up materials (dish washer tablets supplied on Seahorse II and Gemini Explorer).
  • Minimum three nights stay.
  • 30% deposit to confirm a booking and final payment two months before the holiday.

COVID19: New guests with only be allowed to board 72 hours after the previous guests. During the 72 hours the vessels will be deep cleaned and sanitised. You will find in your cabin a complimentary ‘pocket sized’ bottle of hand sanitizer (alcohol based).

What makes a stay at Small Ship Stays unique?

St Hilda, an ex-tall ship is a traditional, beamy, 54ft wooden (larch on oak) ketch. St Hilda is a vessel with an incredible Scottish lineage. Built in 1973 to the highest standard (Lloyds 100A1) at St Monans, Fife, by the internationally famous Millers boatyard (a family run business with 200 years of wooden boat building) and designed by G.L Watson, the world-famous Glasgow based naval architect, who created the world's first yacht design office in 1873 and designed early America's Cup challengers (such as Thistle, Shamrock II, Valkyrie I and II) as well as the famous racing yacht Britannia.

Seahorse II (82 feet long and a beamy 23 feet) was built to the highest standard for the Norwegian fjords and life in the high northern latitudes. A 10mm Swedish steel hull, air conditioned and heated throughout, and winter sailing for the British Royal Navy for months at a time in the western approaches means that the wee ship is perfect for holidays on the west coast of Scotland.

Gemini Explorer (72 feet long) is a historic, converted cruising lifeboat that once roamed the Western Approaches and was involved in the storm of the ill-fated 1979 Fastnet Race. She was built in 1974 in Bideford Shipyard as the City of Bristol (70-003), one of three, Clyde class, cruising lifeboats with an extended offshore range of 1700 miles. The Gemini Explorer entered service at the Clovelly Lifeboat Station on the North Devonshire coast and, after saving 44 lives, was finally retired in 1989.

What is the capacity for Small Ship Stays?

St Hilda cabins are warm and comfortable with six berths for guests: a double en-suite (with shower, toilet, washbasin and two pretty opening portholes), a twin semi en-suite (with toilet, washbasin and opening porthole) and a twin cabin (with washbasin). The twin cabins are both close to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. All cabin linen and towels are supplied. The well-lit, roomy deck saloon is where everyone dines and socialises and where everyone enjoys a convivial atmosphere. The outdoor decks are perfect for relaxing and you also have some deck space to embark your own equipment such as kayaks and surfboards.

Seahorse II has space for a maximum of eleven guests. There are two double/twin en-suite (with shower, toilet and washbasin), two twin semi en-suites (with toilet and washbasin), two single cabins (with washbasin) and one double/single cabin with a 105 cm wide bed (with washbasin). All cabin linen and towels are supplied. There is a wonderful deck saloon where you can dine. The spacious aft deck is ideal for alfresco dining. Here there is also plenty of room for your windsurf, kayaks and anything else you need for a great Scottish adventure. 

Gemini Explorer cabins are warm and comfortable with eight berths for guests. In the forward part of the vessel, there is a double en-suite, a twin en-suite and a single en-suite. In the aft part of the vessel, there is a twin cabin and a double cabin (with a 125 cm wide bed). These aft cabins share a bathroom. All en-suites and the shared bathroom have a washbasin, toilet and shower. All cabin linen and towels are supplied. The deck saloon is where everyone dines and socialises and where everyone enjoys a convivial atmosphere. There is an upper viewing deck complete with teak benches and perfect for relaxing. You also have some deck space to embark your own equipment such as kayaks and paddleboards. 

What can guests enjoy when staying in the Oban area?

Dunstaffnage Marina is perfectly located in beautiful surroundings with easy access to Scotland’s west coast. Nearby Oban is a bustling little ferry port and is the gateway to the Hebridean isles. You can visit local islands, take wildlife tours, sample the local whisky, explore beautiful sandy beaches, admire ancient castles, fly-fish for trout on the local lochs and play picturesque and challenging golf courses.

Other Information

Please see St Hilda Sea Adventure's website for more information:

Facilities & information


Parking (free)

No smoking

Child friendly


Garden furniture

Children's games

Bathroom & Laundry

Children's highchairs


Chef available


Book library


Gas / Electricity Details

High Chair

Kitchen Facilities

Near Beach

Parking Available

Linen included

Towels included

10+ People Capacity

Sitting room

Hair dryers

Washing machine

Central heating

Electric heating


Badminton Courts, Lawn Badminton

Bicycling, Cycling




Horse Riding, Equestrian

Jogging, running

Rafting, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, punting

Sailing, boating, cruises, yachts

Surfing, Windsurfing, Diving, Jet Skis

Wildlife, bird watching

Recommended walks

Beach (walking distance)

Beach (a short drive)

Pub (walking distance)

Pub (a short drive)

Museums (a short drive)


Golf course (a short drive)

Tennis courts (a short drive)

Recommended restaurants (a short drive)



Tea room


Picnic area

Electric oven

Electric hob




Extra info

Nearest Airport: Glasgow

Nearest Airport Time: 2 hours 0 minutes

Nearest Train Station: Oban

Nearest Railway Time: 10 minutes

Open Times: Available now for self-catering

Room Details: Combination of twin, single and double cabins

Gas & Electric Included: Yes

Price Per Week From: 1,428.00

Price Per Week To: 2,772.00


01776 810 802
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St Hilda Sea Adventures, Dunstaffnage Marina, Oban, Argyll, ObanPA37 1PX, United Kingdom

Dunstaffnage Marina, three miles north of Oban (the gateway to the Hebridean isles!) is easy to reach to by public transport, and your hosts will be happy to help with local travel information.

By Car Oban is about 2.5 hours to 3 hours drive north from Glasgow Airport and Dunstaffnage Marina is just 3 miles North of Oban on the A85. You can leave your car at Dunstaffnage marina parking. There is no need to book parking in advance. Just check-in at the marina's office when you arrive and let them know that you are holidaying with St Hilda Sea Adventures. There are ten free parking permits. If a permit is available the receptionist will then give you one against a £20 deposit which will be given back to you when you bring it back after your stay before leaving. If none of the free parking permits are available there will be a fee of £25 per week.

By Air Oban airport is a short taxi ride away from Oban and has car hire. More likely you will arrive at Glasgow International Airport which has car hire or you could take the train from Glasgow Queen Street Station to Oban. There is a bus to take you from Glasgow Airport to Glasgow Queen Street Station. Your hosts can also supply Airport taxis numbers or organize a taxi to take you from the airport to Oban. The drive from Glasgow to Oban takes around 2.5 hours to 3 hours.

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