Lacking a royal yacht these days, the Queen has twice chartered Hebridean Princess for holidays around the deserted beaches and tiny islands of north-west Scotland. And it’s easy to see why.

Having started in 1964 as Columba, one of the Caledonian MacBrayne fleet of car ferries, this boutique little gem was converted to cruising and rechristened by the Duchess of York in 1989. She retains much of her older styling and guests enjoy this; the wooden decks, lots of glistening brass – including the old-fashioned brass engine room signaller – are all still pristine.