Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 15/05/2024

Celebrating sailing adventures in Argyll and the Isles

A press release from Destination Management Organisation (DMO) Argyll and the Isles Tourism Cooperative (AITC) has, this week, launched a bid for Argyll and the Isles to be known as "Scotland's Sustainable Sailing Capital".

This ambition celebrates the sustainable nature of sailing and the large volume of innovative sailing businesses and events in the area that go the extra mile to ensure their breath-taking experiences help to protect, restore and enhance their outstanding natural environment.

With an exciting year ahead for the region's maritime sector, including welcoming the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race to Oban in July, it's no wonder sailors of all abilities, from around the world, are in agreement that Argyll and the Isles is uniquely placed to enjoy some of the best sailing adventures and make a positive impact on the local environment.

Crew preparing Provident for her centenary year voyage. Credit Wild About Argyll / Phil Wilkinson

The businesses making waves

The bid to be known as "Scotland's Sustainable Sailing Capital" wouldn't be possible without the businesses and organisations committed not only to providing outstanding experiences, but doing so in a way that protects the environment around them. Here's what's happening across the region in 2024:

  • Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

    For the first time in its 27-year history, the Clipper Race will be making its penultimate stop in Scotland when it arrives in Oban in July 2024. It's renowned as one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet, welcoming adventurers from all walks of life to take on the exceptional challenge of racing across the world’s oceans on board a 70ft yacht. Their historic first visit to Scotland will be celebrated through a range of events and festivities. Find out more about the Clipper Race coming to Oban on the official race website. 

  • Responsible sailing adventures

    Stravaigin Sailing harness the power of the wind and sun for their sailings to reduce the need for fossil fuel engines and generators. They also educate their visitors on how to care for the local environment.

    Their Skipper Jon Ormiston said: “Stravaigin is an old Scots word meaning 'to wander' - we like to think that encapsules our ethos of immersive, sustainable slow adventures, exploring and discovering new landscapes, experiences, foods, cultures and creating meaningful experiences that linger." 

  • Committing to the Green Blue Pledge

    The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Scotland is encouraging sailors visiting the area to support the Green Blue Pledge. The pledge has been created for boat users to actively declare their commitment to following sustainable boating practices with simple and practical guidelines. 

  • Other activity in the region

    • Argyll-based Provident (one of the last sea-going Brixham Trawlers which featured in the latest BBC series of Traitors) is embarking on a special voyage to celebrate her centenary year
    • the founder of Wavysail is launching a pioneering initiative to develop low impact adventure yachts
    • Basking Shark Scotland is leading eco-conscious and educational wildlife tours
    • Tighnabruaich Sailing School is preparing to celebrate its sixtieth year

Sustainable and responsible tourism are the keys to developing Scotland's visitor economy. More than ever, consumers are attracted to environmentally sensitive businesses and destinations that support them. With an outstanding maritime environment and some of the best sailing in the world, Argyll and the Isles thoroughly deserves to be Scotland's Sustainable Sailing Capital.

David Adams McGilp, Regional Director and the Marine & Coastal Tourism Lead at VisitScotland

Related links