Frequently asked Questions about The Hebridean Explorer Tours
Who will be my tour guide?
John Alasdair Macdonald, owner of The Hebridean Explorer, guides all tours - more about John here.
Can I book individual tickets or seperate group tickets?
We do not sell individual or separate group tickets for people to join tours. The prices quoted are for your private and exclusive group only (of up to 3 people) where your private group collectively hires the vehicle as a whole for a tour. Advertised tour prices still apply if your group is less than 3.
Can I book a group larger than 3?
Our current tour vehicle is a Honda CRV accommodating up to 3 passengers with window seats. While there is a 4th passenger seat in the vehicle, it is a smaller middle seat with limited width and without a window view and as such we do not recommend three adults in the back. Click for Information about the Tour Vehicle
Can I personalise and change a tour?
We try and be as flexible as possible so if you would like to visit other sites or take out stops then we will do our best to adapt a tour for you. Please note that some of our tours, particularly the longer tours to the Isle of Skye, have less flexibility due to the distances being covered and time limitations.
Do I have to book in advance?
All private tours need to be booked in advance. For all bookings a 50% non-refundable deposit is required. Full payment for a tour booking is required 30 days before the tour start date.
How far in advance do you take bookings?
We take advance bookings up to 36 months before a tour date. Many dates in the popular summer months will fill up quite far in advance – although it is always worth getting in touch at short notice as we may still have availability. ** For longer tours (5–10 days) we would recommed booking as early as possible to give the widest choice of available dates.
How do I pay for a tour?
We have an online Secure Payment System for deposit and balance payments which accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards. After confirmation of availability and tour details you will be sent a link to our Secure Payment page.
Can tours start earlier or later?
These are private tours so we are always flexible. Our stated timings are designed to maximise your tour time by avoiding traffic and making sure breaks coincide with lunch, etc. However if you need to start later (or earlier) just let us know and we will try and be as flexible as possible.
Where do Inverness tours start from?
Tours leave from your Inverness City Centre accommodation (or within 5 miles of Inverness City Centre) or we can pick you up from Inverness train station.
Where do Edinburgh tours start from?
Tours leave from (or nearby) your Edinburgh City Centre or Edinburgh Airport accommodation.
Do you offer tours from Glasgow?
Our advertised Multi Day Tours from Edinburgh can be adapted for a pickup (and/or drop off) from your Glasgow City Centre or Glasgow Airport accommodation. Please note that there is a surcharge of £100 per tour for this option.
Do you operate tours for cruise ships at Invergordon?
We do not offer any tours for cruise ship passengers from Invergordon port. We also do not offer tours for cruise ships docking in Portree or Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye.
How often do we stop?
Generally all tours have a mid-morning refreshment stop for up to 1 hour, along with a lunch stop for 1 hour and depending on the length of the day a late afternoon refreshment stop. All tours have plenty of viewpoint and photo stops. We also have regular restroom stops throughout the day. For tours with ferry trips we plan tour days that work best with travel and mealtimes. Remember this is your private tour, so flexibility is the key, if you want to stop out with our regular stops - to enjoy the beautiful countryside or just to grab a photo - then we stop!
What clothing/footwear should I bring?
We try and get off the beaten track on our tours so some stops give you the opportunity to walk over peat land, up a hill or along the side of a loch. All this is optional but if you are considering footwear then good footwear - that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty! - will give you lots of choice at stops. We always recommend a waterproof jacket as the weather in the Highlands can be very changeable.
How much luggage can I bring on a tour?
For groups of 3 we can accommodate 1 medium-sized piece of luggage per person plus a small day bag each.