Isle of Mull (cruise-by), United Kingdom cruises
On the land.
The sight of the island is dominated by the Mull mountains: a beautiful combination of grey granite and green slopes. Small coastal towns can be seen from the ocean, most notably the colourful seafront houses of Tobermory, made famous by the CBBC series Balamory. The coastline varies from flat, sandy beaches to sheer rocky cliffs. The former forms a habitat for unusual plant species, including thrift, which can turn the view varying shades of pink.
Below the waves.
Nestled in the cracks and crevices of the shore are an abundance of wildlife, including otters and grey seals, which head out to sea from time to time. In deeper waters swim larger marine mammals, including common and bottlenose dolphins, harbor porpoises and even minke whales. Lucky visitors might even spot orca that sometimes come to the area, lured by the pupping seal population. Most elusive of all is the basking shark – the second largest fish in the world. Keep your eyes peeled for its fin or tail peeking out from the water as it feeds on the plankton clouds under the waves.
In the sky.
The Isle of Mull is also known as Eagle Island, and you can guess why. This area is home to the densest population of breeding golden eagles - Scotland’s national bird – in the world, and they are truly a sight to behold. Rarer than this are sightings of the white-tailed eagle. This majestic creature disappeared from the islands for over a century, only to return in the 1980s. With a 2.5metre wingspan, they are difficult to miss once they decide to take flight from the craggy clifftops. Alongside these winged giants, you can see grey heron, oystercatcher, puffins and many others along the coastline.