On the Herring Trail - Shetland to Anstruther

Dates & Availability

Embarkation Location
Lerwick, Shetland
Disembarkation Location
Anstruther, UK
Start Date
Monday, 1 June 2020
End Date
Friday, 12 June 2020
Days Sailing

*Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to cancel this trip. We hope to reschedule for 2021, please contact us if you would like further details when available.*

To mark the start of Swan’s 25th year as a sail training and charter vessel, Swan is taking a trip down memory lane with a herring fishery themed trip. She will sail to various ports of historical and current importance to Scotland’s herring fishery - starting in her home port of Lerwick, Shetland, and ending in Anstruther in time for their annual harbour festival. Along the way we hope to call in at Orkney, Wick, Fraserburgh and/or Peterhead. In each port there will be an activity related to Scotland’s herring fishery, past and present.

When launched in 1900, Swan was described as one of the finest boats amongst the Scottish fishing fleet, and had a long fishing career before her retirement in the 1950s.

Today, many ports have little physical evidence of the Scottish herring booms in the early 20th century which Swan was at the heart of. This trip looks to celebrate Swan’s heritage, and how fisheries are still a major part of the Shetland, and Scottish, economy.

Your trip will start in Swan’s home port, Lerwick, with a talk about the importance of the Herring fishery in Swan’s day, and finish in Anstruther, home to the Scottish Fisheries Museum, as their annual Harbour Festival begins. If weather allows, ports of call will include Stronsay, Wick, Fraserburgh and/or Peterhead. If time and weather allow, we may also visit other ports, such as Stonehaven and/or Arbroath.

In relation to planned activities, we hope to offer a mix of Scotland's fishing heritage and modern practices. Partners already confirmed include the Stronsay Ranger, The Wick Society, Scottish Fisheries Museum and Anstruther Harbour Festival, along with a talk in Lerwick by one of our own Trustees.

While we will have a number of evenings in port, we hope to offer a good mix of overnight, open passage and coastal day sails, so you can also enjoy a varied sailing experience.

A voyage on Swan is very much a hands-on experience - you are part of her crew, and work as a team to make your voyage happen. Every trip starts with a comprehensive safety briefing, including how to work the lines on deck, and our experienced crew are always on hand to guide you in the safe operation of the ship. All tasks are shared and everyone joins in, from the most to the least experienced. For more details of what to expect on board please refer to our Welcome Aboard leaflet.

Included in voyage

Included in the price are a range of herring fishery related activities, sailing instruction, accommodation and all meals for the duration of your stay. For further details on what is included, and what to bring with you, please refer to our kit list.

Upcoming Trips


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Latest Posts

One of the Swan Trust’s main objectives is to celebrate and keep our heritage alive. Swan Trust Trustee, John Goodlad, looks back at Shetland’s Herring Fishing heritage, and the important part Swan played, and is still playing, in this story.

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Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, resultant government restrictions and event cancellations, the Swan Trust has cancelled all 2020 sailing trips. It is hoped many 2020 trips will be rescheduled to next year, which will be advertised on their website as they are confirmed. To protect its volunteers, the Trust also cancelled maintenance sessions and regular meetings for the time being, but hope to resume these as soon as restrictions allow.

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