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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 July 2006, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Queen's cruise ends in Stornoway
The Queen leaves the boat
The cruise came to an end in Stornoway
The Queen's 80th birthday cruise around Scotland's Western Isles has come to an end in Stornoway.

Members of the Royal Family set off from Islay on the Hebridean Princess, a converted car ferry, last Friday.

During her eight-day cruise, the Queen received langoustines from two Skye fishermen and was given a tour of Gigha by a local shopkeeper.

A crowd of about 200 people gathered in Stornoway on Saturday to greet the royal party.

The crew of the Hebridean Princess lined the top deck of the vessel as the Queen led the way down the gangplank, followed by Prince Philip.

The rest of the royal party followed on behind, although Prince Charles was returning to the ship to travel on to his holiday home at the Castle of Mey in Caithness.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were travelling to Royal Deeside to begin their annual summer break at Balmoral, while the rest of the family was expected to fly from Stornoway to London.

The Earl of Wessex and daughter Lady Louise
The Earl of Wessex and daughter Lady Louise leave the boat

The Queen had regularly sailed up the west coast of Scotland before the Royal Yacht Britannia was taken out of service in 1997.

However, this was the first time in a decade that she had sailed round the Western Isles.

The area's Scottish National Party MP Angus MacNeil praised the Queen for her choice of location.

He said it showed she had good taste and could recognise a quality destination when she saw one.

The cruise took place on board the Hebridean Princess, which normally sails from Oban for tours of the Scottish islands and to Norway.

The vessel can carry 49 guests and is usually run by a crew of 38.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the Queen disembarking in Stornoway



SEE ALSO
Lochalsh welcomes royal visitors
27 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Queen on ferry for islands cruise
21 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands

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