Vacation like Abramovich: 5 days on a luxury yacht in Scotland

Meet the yacht in Greenock

Roman Abramovich’s superyacht Eclipse was spotted off Scotland last week, a day before the Russian oligarch was photographed enjoying a superyacht vacation in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland.

Superyachts don’t often visit Scotland’s craggy southwest coast, but this underrated cruising ground holds some undiscovered gems. This four-day itinerary follows in the footsteps of Abramovich’s visit to Scotland on Eclipse, the second largest yacht in the world, to give you a taste of what the Firth of Clyde and Inner Hebrides has to offer.

Day one: Meet the yacht in Greenock

Make like Abramovich and meet your luxury yacht off Greenock, where Eclipse was first spotted. This anchorage is perfect for large yachts since it’s in the Firth of Clyde – the largest and deepest coastal stretch of water in the British Isles – and just a short helicopter ride from the private jet terminal at Glasgow airport.

There’s not a huge amount to do in Greenock, so make the most of your luxury yacht and relax after the journey whilst you cruise to the first Scottish island on this itinerary – the Isle of Bute

days on a luxury yacht in Scotland

Follow Abramovich's route on board Eclipse and head to the Isle of Bute. This island is small – it has only one town and the marinas don’t cater for superyachts. Instead, anchor off principal town Rothesay and tender to the modest harbour – ask your captain to arrange a car to whisk you to your next destination.

If you want to copy Abramovich, grab a luxury bike and cycle around the 47sq mile island, taking in the hilly and uncultivated areas of the north and zooming through the smoother terrain of the south. The Russian billionaire is pictured above getting back into his tender after a cycle around the island.

Wildlife fans would be wise to visit Scalpsie Bay, where a colony of over 200 seals live on a beach only accessible by foot. This sandy beach on the western side of the island overlooks the stunning Sound of Bute and is a great location for a picnic lunch.

Instruct the crew to pick up some langoustines, fished from Kames bay on the northwest of the island and enjoy a seafood supper on your luxury yacht.

Picture courtesy of FameFlynet UK

days on a luxury yacht in Scotland

For your third day exploring Scotland by luxury yacht, visit the Isle of Arran and enjoy a whisky tour just like Abramovich did earlier this week (pictured above with Eclipse anchored in the background). The Chelsea Football Club owner took a tour of Arran Distillers during his visit, reportedly buying several bottles to stock his superyacht. If you fancy shopping like Abramovich in the distillery, make sure you read our guide on how to best spend £15,000 on whisky.

Serious whisky fans should consider a separate whisky tour of Scotland by yacht – pick up the August issue (on sale July 9) to find out how you can sample the world’s best whiskies on a cruise.

But if you don’t like whisky, there’s always the seven golf courses or the breath-taking scenery that can be enjoyed by foot or bike, or from the deck of your luxury yacht.

Follow Eclipse and cruise during the night to the next stop, the Isle of Islay, so you have a full day to explore when you arrive.

Picture courtesy of Paul Tipping / SWNS

Explore the outdoors on the Isle of Islay

If you have the taste for whisky after the previous day’s tour, you’ll be pleased to know that the Isle of Islay is home to eight distilleries. Anchor out and take a tender to Port Ellen, where you can pick up a bike and tour all of the island’s distilleries, as in the video below:

If you want to sample the outdoor activities that draw people to the island, you could take a tender to the uninhabited island Texa, just south of Port Ellen, or head on land and explore the scenery of Queen of the Hebrides and go bird watching in the open moorland, salt marshes and mud flats.

From here you could move on to Oban, as we suspect Abramovich is doing right now, or end the long weekend with a flight back to Glasgow from Islay Airport.

Picture courtesy of Alistair McDonald/

Explore Oban on your final day

Whilst Ambramovich made only a short visit to Oban on Eclipse – just enough time for dinner – this town on the west coast of Scotland is worthy of a day visit.

Anchor off Oban, just like Eclipse, and take the tender to shore where your captain can arrange a private car to whisk you up the hill to famous landmark McCaig’s Tower. Once you’ve taken in the spectacular viewpoints around the town, head to Eeusk restaurant for an award-winning seafood lunch.

The next stop on your visit to Oban should be Dunollie Castle, where you can take a walk through the enchanted woodlands and enjoy the views over Kerrara, North Lorn and the islands beyond.

There is, of course, a distillery in Oban that is one of Scotland’s oldest sources of single malt scotch whisky and based right beside the sea. Take a tour in the afternoon and finish it with a sample of their Oban 14 year old single malt with crystalised ginger.

Head back to the yacht for dinner on board whilst you cruise back to Greenock overnight, ready to catch a flight back from Glasgow in the morning.

Picture courtesy of Kevin George/

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