Port Ellen

The Isle of Islay is outstanding for its hospitality, malt whiskies and wildlife
Contact Name Bertie Brown
Telephone +44 (0) 1496 302458 +44 (0) 7900 630 090

The anchorage at Port Ellen is protected for 300 degrees and is able to safely accommodate any of the Tall Ships in the Cruise in Company. The main pier will be closed for essential major work and a clear passage will allow landing at the pontoon berths that can take transient yachts up to 40 Ft l.o.a. on a first come basis. The Island accommodation is very busy for July 2011 but please try for further information.  Local tenders will be made available as will turning assistance from a fishing vessel.

Rich in history, seat of the Lords of the Isles, the island is mature and serves as the resource centre for the adjacent islands. A regular air service and ferry maintain the essential links.

Lively competition exists between the local football teams and a high standard in the swimming team brings home the awards. Eight distilleries carry names of distinction like no other single malt throughout the world and each one is willing to share their speciality with those who visit. The RSPB has two protected areas on the island both offering a chance to see birds rarely found elsewhere.

The strong community treasures its Pipe Band and any Ceilidh in the local hall is always better than the last!

Any golfer will know that The Machrie is the best links course on the west coast of Scotland and will challenge at any level.

All of these events and activities we are very keen to share and a special effort will be made to ensure that a Tall Ships visit to Islay would be the one that stays in the memory.

Quay Capability

Class A Yes
Class B Yes
Class C & D Yes

Port Facilities

Anchorage Yes
Berthing Depth 4.2m
Pilot Available No
Tug Available No

Distances in Nautical Miles - Greenock 100 Lerwick 415

Harbour Conditions

  • Landing at the pontoon berths available for transient yachts up to 40 Ft l.o.a.
  • Local tenders will be made available
  • 20 Pontoon berths available with water/power points, for yachts up to 15m with a controlling depth of 3m
  • 10 fixed moorings in the bay off Port Ellen
  • Safe anchorage for larger vessels (depth up to 12m) in bay off Port Ellen
  • Tidal Considerations 1m tide in the bay

Available For Crews


  • RSPB wildlife walking tour
  • Swimming competition with the local team
  • Beach Barbeque
  • Take a sailor or two home for tea programme
  • Tall Ships Ceilidh in the Ramsay Hall Port Ellen
  • Pipe band performance to welcome the crews
  • Buffet Lunch at a distillery

Whisky Distillery Hospitality

There are three local distilleries that have offered special dedicated tours to Professional crew visiting Islay. Each has a tour programme that is filling, as of now, with regular visitors. All distilleries require a minimum of seven days notice giving the time and number of crew expected.

Ships are requested to make their own direct contact with these local distilleries which can be accessed by a short ride by tender. It is suggested that early signal of intent should be established.


Contact Vicky Stevens. Visitor Centre Manager:


Contact Tricia Macintyre. Brand Home Manager:


Contact Jackie Thomson. Visitor centre Manager:

Sports Facilities

  • Sports grounds 0 km - Free entry
  • Swimming Pool Bowmore
  • Horse riding available - Pony treasure hunt
  • The Machrie Golf Course

General Facilities

  • The pontoon docks are run as a charity and will provide easy tender berthing for ships boats,
  • Fresh water available from the pontoon docks,
  • Toilets, Showers and Washing machines available opposite the marina,
  • Four Restaurants, three within hotels, also a snack van is situated on the quay,
  • SPAR Shop, Butcher, Co-op, Bank, Gift Shop and Post,
  • Office at the head of the dock,
  • Port Ellen also has a medical facility and Bowmore a hospital.