Ultimate Guide to Boat Trips from Arisaig and Mallaig (2023)

boat trips from arisaig

This post was first published on 13/7/22 and updated on 10/6/23.

There’s a great variety of boat trips from Arisaig and Mallaig but it can be a bit confusing trying to find them all and compare them so I’ve compiled them into one handy post and an even handier table at the end.

There’s also a list of links to reviews that might help you too. (Let me know if I’ve missed anything.) Open the table of contents at the top to jump straight to a specific boat trip from Mallaig and Arisaig.

Given that the weather in Scotland can be quite unpredictable and rough at times, boat trips from Arisaig and Mallaig are always dependent on the weather conditions.

Some trips require a minimum number of passengers to operate and have a maximum number of bicycles and dogs allowed on the boat. Check their websites for details and updates. Social media is handy for the latest updates and available slots.

It can get cold out at sea and if the boat is moving fast, so an extra layer to wear might be good if you want to stay on deck.

Disclaimer: Everything Arisaig takes no responsibility for anything resulting from errors in fares, routes, timings, etc. Please check official websites for up to date and verified information.

Boat trips from Arisaig

Arisaig Ferry

The Arisaig ferry from Arisaig Marina sails to Eigg and Muck on specific days of the week and between the months of April and September. The ferry, MS Sheerwater, is a passenger ferry but can take a certain number of bicycles for a charge of £5 each way.

All tickets are one way so be sure to book your return ticket also. The boat to Muck stops off at Eigg first and again on the way back so you could plan a stay on the island. If you don’t want to stay a whole week, you can take an earlier ferry back to Mallaig.

Dogs are allowed on the ferry on a leash and should be pre-booked. You can find all information and book your tickets at the Arisaig Marina website here. You can also get guides on walks, etc. on the isles at the marina gift shop.

You can often see wildlife on boat trips from Arisaig to the Small Isles, including whales, seals, porpoises, dolphins and if you’re lucky, an orca.

Arisaig Ferry to Eigg

The Arisaig to Eigg ferry sails at 10am every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, and from May to August also on Tuesday and Friday. The journey takes around one hour and costs £12.50 each way for adults and £7.50 for children aged 3 to 16.

The return journey leaves at 4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The peak season Tuesday and Friday sailings return from Eigg at 2pm. . You can see more from my own experience on a day trip to Eigg here.

Arisaig Ferry to Muck

The Arisaig to Muck ferry sails at 10am every Wednesday and Saturday from April to September and also on Monday. from May to August. The journey takes around an hour and a half to two hours and costs £15.00 each way for adults and £7.50 for children aged 3 to 16. The return journey leaves at 3pm.

Arisaig 3 Hour Boat Trip

The Arisaig cruise is a great option amongst the Arisaig boat trips to admire the coastal scenery and hopefully some wildlife too. It sails at 10am every Thursday from May to September. The trip takes three hours and costs £40 for adults and £20 for children aged 3 to 16.

Arisaig 2 Hour Boat Trip

This shorter version of the 3-hour trip above sails at 3:30pm every Tuesday and Friday from May to September. The trip takes two hours and costs £30 for adults and £15 for children aged 3 to 16.

Arisaig Special Sailings

Extra sailings are sometimes scheduled, for example for special events. You can find information on these on their social media and on the notice board at the Boathouse Cafe at the Marina.

Arisaig Chartered Boat Trips

You can also charter any of the three boats of different sizes and capacities for your own private tour. This is a great option to tailor your own boat trips from Arisaig.

Visit the Arisaig Marine Website to book tours or get more information.


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Boat trips from Mallaig

Western Isles Cruises

The Western Isles Cruises boats are fitted out with toilets, indoor and outdoor seating and coffee, snacks, etc and the MV Western Isles has a bar.

Ferry from Mallaig to Inverie, Knoydart and Tarbet

The boat to Inverie on the Knoydart peninsula is one of my favourite day trips from Mallaig. You can either just take the boat there and back if you’re short on time or take the first boat and come back with the last. See more on Knoydart and why to visit here.

The 2023 summer timetable (Apr-Oct) is currently at 7:30am, 10:15am, 2:15pm and 6pm Monday to Friday with the early boat going at 8:30am on Saturday. The Sundays sailings are 9am, 11am (May-Sep), 2:15pm and 6pm .

The boat from Inverie to Mallaig sails Monday to Friday at 8am, 11am , 4:15pm (May-Sep) and 6:30pm. Saturday sailings are the same but with the early boat going at 8:30am. The Sundays sailings are 9:30am, 11:30am (Apr-Sep), 3:00pm and 6:30pm. The trip each way takes 30-45 minutes.

An adult return ticket costs £15 and a single is £7:50 and £7. Children aged 5-15 go half-price and under fives and dogs go free. If you have camping gear, baggage, etc, there may be an extra charge of £1 per piece. There is also a discount for Highland Member cardholders.

From May to September, the 2:15pm boat trip to Knoydart continues further down the loch and to Tarbet on the other side for a longer cruise. This is great to combine with a hike over to or from Loch Morar. Read more here.

The boat trip to Tarbet leaves Inverie at 3pm (or Mallaig at 2:15pm) Monday to Friday from May to September and heads back to Inverie at 4:15pm and then on to Mallaig.

Make sure you book ahead if you’re planning to catch the boat from Tarbet after a hike from Morar. The trip between Inverie and Tarbet costs £6 each way and takes 30-45 mins.

Wildlife Cruise

The Mallaig Wildlife Cruise sails daily from April to October at 12:45pm, 2:30pm(Jul-Aug) and 3:30pm. (The later Saturday train is usually different but this wasn’t yet confirmed at the time of updating.) This is one of the most popular Mallaig boat trips for day-trippers fitting in perfectly with the Jacobite Steam Train. Fares are £18 for adults and £9 for 5-13, under fives and dogs go free.

On this trip look out for seals, porpoises, dolphins, and even sharks and whales. Of course, there are lots of birds to see too.

Mallaig Boat Hire

Western Isles Cruises also has a rib boat available for private tours, drop-offs, etc and their other boats can be hired for private tours and events. This is a great way to plan your own Mallaig boat trips.

Go to Western Isles Cruises website to book, check sailing timetables, fares, info on private hire, etc.

CalMac (Caledonian MacBrayne) Ferries

Ferry from Mallaig to Skye

The boat from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye sails to Armadale several times a day and is for both cars and passengers. A single adult fare is £3.20, double for return and a child fare (5-15) is half-price. A car is £10.65 one way, bikes go free. Check the website for timings, rates for mobile homes, etc. and conditions. The journey takes around 45 minutes.

The harbour is two minutes walk from Mallaig Railway Station. Book train tickets with Trainline here.

Skye is best explored with a car or a bike but there a few options for foot passengers. Take bus 52 from Armadale Pier to Broadford and Portree and also City Link 917 across the bridge to Kyle of Lochalsh.

Eilean Donan Castle

If you go by car, it’s worth popping over the bridge to see Eilean Donan Castle which is right next to it.

If you plan to stay on Skye, check hotels deals here or also check vacation rentals on Skye

If you are not holidaying in Arisaig, see organised tours to Skye from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness

Mallaig Ferry to the Small Isles

Cars are not allowed on the ferry from Mallaig to Canna, Rum, Muck and Eigg unless with a permit for necessary work on the island. Bikes are allowed. Apart from the timings below, you can also take longer routes on other days if necessary. See the CalMac timetables for all options.

Ferry from Mallaig to Canna

The Mallaig to Canna ferry sails on Mon and Sun 10:10am, Weds 9:55am, Fri 12:45pm, Sat 7:35am and Sun 9:10am. The journey takes 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on the route and costs £5.90 for an adult single, double for return and half-price for children aged 5 to 15, under 5s are free but must have a ticket.

Ferry from Mallaig to Rum

The Mallaig to Rum ferry sails on Mon 10:10am, Weds 9:55am, Fri 12:45pm, Sat 7:35am and Sun 9:10am. The journey takes between an hour and 20 minutes and 2.5 hours depending on the route and costs £4.70 for an adult single, double for return and half-price for children aged 5 to 15, under 5s are free but must have a ticket.

Ferry from Mallaig to Eigg

The Mallaig to Eigg ferry sails on Mon and Thurs at 10:10am, Tues 9:55, Fri 8:00, Sat 1:20pm and Sun at 2:45pm. The journey takes an hour and 20 minutes and costs £4:35 for an adult single, double for return and half-price for children aged 5 to 15, under 5s are free but must have a ticket.

Ferry from Mallaig to Muck

The Mallaig to Muck ferry sails on Tues 9:55am, Thurs 10:20am, Fri 8:00am and Sun 2:45pm. The journey takes an hour 15 mins to two hours 15 mins depending on the route and costs £5.05 for an adult single, double for return and half-price for children aged 5 to 15, under 5s are free but must have a ticket.

Not a day trip, but for something longer, you can also take the ferry from Mallaig to Lochboisdale in South Uist. It takes 3.5 hours and fares start at £11.30 for adults and £63 for cars.

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Minch Adventures

For those looking for something more private, tailored or adventurous, look at Minch Adventures for some great trips combining sea, land, activities and food!

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I hope that’s given you lots of ideas for day trips from Arisaig to explore the surrounding area. What are your favourite boat trips from Arisaig or Mallaig? Drop it in the comments along with any handy tips.

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Boat Trips from Arisaig and Mallaig FAQs

You can find the answer to most questions about boat trips from Arisaig and Mallaig in the post above

  • What are the best boat trips from Arisaig and Mallaig on a short holiday? For me, it’s Arisaig to Eigg and Mallaig to Inverie.
  • Can I take my car to the Canna, Eigg, Muck and Rum? No
  • Can I take my car to Knoydart? No
  • Can I take my dog on the ferry from Mallaig to Rum, Canna, Eigg, Muck, Skye, Inverie? Yes
  • Can I take my dog on the ferry from Arisaig? Yes, but tell them before.
  • Do I have to pay for my dog on the ferry from Mallaig to Skye/Rum/Canna/Eigg/Muck? No, dogs go free but you should pre-book to ensure a space.
  • How much is the ferry from Mallaig to Skye? £3.50 for adults each way, half-price for 5-15
  • How much is the ferry from Mallaig to Rum? £4.70 for adults each way, half-price for 5-15
  • How much is the ferry from Mallaig to Eigg? £4.35 for adults each way, half-price for 5-15
  • How much is the ferry from Mallaig to Canna? £5.90 for adults each way, half-price for 5-15
  • How much is the ferry from Mallaig to Muck? £5.05 for adults each way, half-price for 5-15
  • Do under fives need a ticket on the ferries from Mallaig? Under 5s go free on CalMac Ferries but they need a ticket.
  • How long is the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig? How long does the ferry take from Mallaig to Skye? 45 minutes
  • How long is the ferry from Mallaig to Rum/Canna/Eigg/Muck? See information above
  • Where do boat trips from Arisaig leave from? Arisaig Marina opposite Arisaig Hotel
  • Do boat trips from Arisaig run all year? No, from April to October
  • Can I take a ferry from Mallaig to Uist? Yes, there is a ferry from Mallaig to Lochboisdale
  • What are the Mallaig ferry routes? Skye, Rum, Canna, Eigg, Muck and Lochboisdale with Calmac and Inverie and Tarbet with Western Isles Cruises
  • Is there a ferry from Mallaig to Portree? No, take the ferry to Armadale then a bus.

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