At NoFlyCruises we love small ships and especially one’s that have a story to tell. In a recent blog post we investigated the fascinating Hjalmar Bjørge, with a history of fishing fleet support and rescue and now as a passenger ship exploring the Scottish Isles.
This week, a ship called Fingal is our muse, a 23-berth ex-lighthouse tender vessel that has been beautifully transformed into a boutique small cruise ship, or so she appears. On taking a closer look at Fingal it became apparent that she is in fact a floating luxury hotel, permanently berthed two miles from Edinburgh’s city centre in the no fly cruise Port of Leith.
The ship offers sumptuous stays in glamourous surroundings, but she has also has a working history, which makes her even more compelling. Starting life as a lighthouse tender (you don’t get more romantic or cinematic than that), Fingal transported keepers and supported maintenance to some pretty remote locations in Scotland.
She was originally launched as a working ship in 1963 and operated for c36 years out of Oban and then Stromness, Orkney. Mv Fingal next went into private ownership and spent the following 14 years moored on the River Fal in Cornwall, another location that the team at NoFlyCruises adore. At some stage she was also renamed Windsor Castle!
In 2014, she was acquired by Britannia (as in the ex-Royal Yacht also permanently moored in Edinburgh and a fantastic shore excursion option), towed to Leith and transformed into this gorgeous floating hotel.
Fingal offers “lavish cabins with brass fixtures, porthole windows and free Wi-Fi, plus flat-screen TVs, underfloor heating and rainfall showers. Duplex cabins feature spiral staircases and separate living areas, and there’s an elegant penthouse suite that also adds a separate dining area and private deck.”
As with Britannia she is also able to cater for events when such things are once again possible.
We’ve not experienced Fingal ourselves yet, but she’s certainly on our list, we think she looks like a great place to spend a night or two, and the perfect base to explore Edinburgh. She would even make the perfect pre-or-post cruise hotel option for your No Fly Cruise embarking or disembarking in Leith or Rosyth.
No fly, no cruise, but absolutely fabulous!
Images courtesy of Fingal Hotel showing the ship at berth, a Duplex Suite and the Lighthouse Bar