Swan Trust offers varied 2020 diary and online booking

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8 January 2020

The Swan Trust is offering a varied 2020 programme of classic sailing trips, which can now be booked online. Swan will visit two festivals on the UK Mainland, cruise down the Caledonian Canal, explore the Western Isles, and hop over to St Kilda. She will also be sailing around Shetland, including a new half day Lerwick Harbour Tour with local guide Laurie Goodland, various Day Trips, a Sessions and Sail voyage and trips to coincide with local Festivals.  In August she will sail to Norway on a trip inspired by the Shetland Bus then take a cruise around the Hardangerfjord before sailing home to Shetland.

Swan will spend April and May in Shetland, being rigged and undertaking annual crew training, before her first public trip - a musical tour of the isles with local musician Barry Nisbet, to coincide with the Shetland Folk Festival. Another new partnership for 2020 is with Laurie Goodlad, of Shetland with Laurie. She will join Swan in May to offer half day guided Lerwick Harbour Tours. The rest of May will see a number of day trips to various parts of Shetland, including Noss, Mousa, the Scalloway Isles, Skeld and East Shetland's 'nooks and crannies'. There will also be a weekend South Mainland sail and the Trust’s annual School charters.

In June, to celebrate the start of her 25th year as a sail training and charter vessel, Swan will take a trip down memory lane with a Herring Fishery themed tour. The trip will start in Swan’s home port of Lerwick and end in Anstruther, in time for their annual Harbour Festival. Stops along the way will include Orkney, Wick, Peterhead and/or Fraserburgh. The Trust is linking in with local organisations to provide an activity in each port related to the herring fishery past and present – including the Scottish Fisheries Museum, The Wick Society and the Stronsay Ranger Service.

Following the Anstruther Harbour Festival, Swan will offer a trip up the east coast of Scotland to the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy. Passengers will stay aboard for the weekend and enjoy all the festival has to offer, with weekend passes and access to the crew only areas included, before leaving the festival as part of its parade of sail and disembarking in Inverness.

From here she will take passengers down the Caledonian Canal to Oban, after which she will welcome passengers aboard for a tour of the Western Isles and St Kilda. This trip will disembark in Mallaig, where she will pick up for a Hebridean cruise which will end in Ullapool to prepare for a private charter with Sail Training Shetland back to the Isles.

Swan will return to the Isles with the Sail Training Shetland Trainees for the start of August, when she will take part in Shetland Boat Week and Festival of the Sea activities. Following this she will head over to Norway on a Shetland Bus inspired voyage, before taking a trip around the Hardangerfjord. Returning to Shetland at the start of September, she will be available for Shetland trips and if any local groups would like to charter her please get in touch with the Swan Trust.

The Trust is also pleased to announce that, for the first time, passengers can book and pay for trips of more than one day online. The Trust has been working with NB Communication to install a number of new features on their website, including online booking and donations, galleries, a section to thank supporters, and volunteer and newsletter sign up forms. The Trust hopes that all of this will enable better communication with its customers and volunteers, as well as an easier booking process.

David Goodlad, Chair of the Swan Trust, said: “Swan is a unique vessel, and a great community asset. We have always attracted a range of passengers, both local and from further afield and we hope our 2020 diary will appeal to both. We have scheduled trips which help us achieve our core aims, of promoting our heritage and islands and enabling anyone to learn the techniques of sailing a traditional sail Fifie, as well as being attractive to passengers, to help us earn income to maintain the vessel. We are delighted with the work NB Communications have done to upgrade our website. To be able to take online bookings, payments and donations for the first time is a big step forward for us and will make the booking process much easier. Along with the varied diary and activities on offer, we hope this will make our 2020 season a success. If you would like further information on any of our trips, or chartering the vessel, please contact us on”

Details of all 2020 sailing trips aboard Swan, inlcuding day trips around Shetland, can be found here.


Want to get involved in maintaining and operating a traditional wooden sailing vessel? There are a number of different ways you can volunteer to safeguard, care for and sail this unique heritage asset.

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