Facts About the Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander
The Scottish Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander was built in 1931 and operated as a cargo barge in Holland. She was later converted to an 8-passenger hotel barge cruising the highlands of Scotland along the Caledonian canal.
117 feet long
1 Twin / Double Suite
3 Twin / Double Staterooms
All weather wheelhouse with observation area for guests
8 Touring Bikes
Air Conditioned Minibus
- Former purpose: Cargo Barge operating in Holland
- Original year of construction: 1931
- Dimensions: Length 117ft (35.66m) Width 16ft 6" (5m)
- Year converted to a Hotel Barge: 2000
- Generators: 2 x Cummins Onan 27kva generators
- Main engine: Gardner 6LX 127HP
- Maximum speed: 7.5 knots
- Water & fuel capacity: 8 tons of water and 3 tons of fuel
Your Crew On Board
- Crew of 5: Captain, Chef, Tour Leader, Hostess & Deckhand. All staff speak English.
Accommodation On Board
Maximum 8 passengers / 1 Suite and 3 Staterooms
All cabins can be configured with either 2 single beds or a double bed.
All cabins have an en-suite bathroom, wardrobes, drawers and a bedside table with reading light. The fittings are of solid mahogany.
In the 3 staterooms, the top of the beds are positioned in the recess beneath the 2 large picture windows, one of which opens.
The Cameron Suite has 4 porthole windows which all open.
- Cameron Suite (Bow) 12ft x 12ft 4” (3.65m x 3.77m)
- Macpherson Stateroom (Mid) 11ft 6”x 10ft (3.53m x 3m)
- Fraser Stateroom (Mid) 11ft 6”x 10ft (3.53m x 3m)
- Mackintosh Stateroom (Mid Stern) 11ft 6”x 10ft (3.5mx3m)
Bathrooms: The Cameron Suite bathroom measures approximately 4ft 6” (1.4m) x 6ft 2” (1.85m). The stateroom bathrooms each measure 2ft 7” x 4ft 4” (0.8m x 1.3m)
Ceiling height: The ceiling height in the Cameron Suite is 6ft 6” (2m) but gets a little higher in some parts. The height in all the Staterooms is 6ft 9” (2.1m)
Size of the beds:
- In the Cameron Suite, the double bed measures 5ft wide x 6ft 3”(1.5m x 1.92m) or as 2 single beds, each measures 2ft 6” wide x 6ft 3” (0.9m x 2m) with a small gap of 4cm between the beds.
- In the Staterooms, as a double 6ft wide (1.85m) x 6ft 6” (2m) or as 2 single beds, each measures 3ft (1m) wide x 6ft 6” (2m).
All sizes are approximate.
Bathrooms: All cabins have a shower, wash-basin, and WC. The bathrooms are fully lined & have a heated towel rail, 110v shaver socket and an air extractor fan (except the Cameron Suite which has a porthole). Towels, hand soap, shower gel, shampoo, hair dryers, slippers and bathrobes are all provided.
The barge has household style central heating. Air conditioning unit in Saloon area. Each cabin has a cooling fan.
Computer and Telephone
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available on board for guests bringing their own appliances. Connectivity can be limited in remote locations.
There is no passenger telephone on board Scottish Highlander.
The local currency in Scotland is GBP Pound Sterling. Scottish Highlander unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.
Cycling & Walking
You are welcome to walk or cycle, using the on board bicycles. Most guests choose not to miss any cruising and tend to cycle or walk when the barge is stationary.
Cycling opportunities can be limited on certain days due to the differing terrain along the cruise route.
There 4 general purpose and 4 folding bikes on board. Children’s bikes, helmets and child bike seats can be arranged if required on request – please notify Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks prior to your departure.
Dining Room & Saloon
20ft long (6.1m) x 12ft wide (3.6m).
Accessed from the main sundeck by a double door and then 5 steps down. The saloon is finished in yew and Brazilian mahogany and there are 7 observation windows. For relaxation there are 2 leather armchairs, 2 Chesterfield sofas, and a coffee table.
In the dining area of the saloon the dining table seats up to 9 guests. There is a long fully stocked bar with fridge.
Tartan carpet runs throughout the saloon leading into a corridor accessing the 4 cabins. The dining area has a wooden floor.
The barge is wired for 240 volts with 110 volt sockets in the bathrooms for shaving. We suggest you bring an adapter for your particular appliances, which should correspond to the standard UK 3 pin plug. There are also 2 USB ports in each cabin for re-charging phones, I-pads, laptops etc.
If you wish to use your electrical appliance on board, please ask one of the crew when you arrive on board to ensure that it is suitable to the barge’s electrical system.
We cannot be held responsible for unforeseen voltage fluctuations which sometimes occur when swapping from one voltage system to another.
The Scottish Highlander barge has a very comfortable 9-seater (including driver) air-conditioned minibus. Which is used for transfers and excursions.
For charter bookings, the itinerary can be adapted to suit your group’s particular needs. If a destination or excursion is within a reasonable distance of the barge, we will do everything we can to arrange it. Please speak with Paradise Connections in advance of your cruise and we can pre-arrange with the Captain.
Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to remain on the barge.
Facilities On Board
- 8 Bicycles (See Cycling & Walking, above)
- A small library of books and maps
- A collection of board games
- Binoculars for watching the wild bird life
- Hi-Fi system with CD player and radio
- There is a small CD selection on board
- Wi-Fi internet access is available for passengers bringing their own appliances. (Please see Computer & Telephone, above)
- There is a compass, depth sounder, chart plotter with AIS in the wheelhouse
Food & Drink
All meals on board are freshly prepared by your chef and most meals are a set-menu (there is no choice available). International and traditional Scottish cuisine is featured.
We are able to arrange special meals, e.g. vegetarian / no fish / vegan etc; and we are able to cater for any preferences or allergies. However, it is most important that we are notified of any specific requirements at least 8 weeks prior to your departure date. Failure to notify Paradise Connections in advance of your cruise may result in disappointment on board.
There is no assigned seating and the dining table accommodates all guests at a single sitting.
Breakfast: Full Scottish cooked breakfast or Continental-style buffet breakfast with toast, fruit, cereals, fruit juices, decaffeinated or regular tea and coffee.
Lunch: Usually consists of a light buffet with salads, pates and fish dishes. Occasionally you can enjoy a picnic out and sometimes a 3 course sit-down lunch or hot soups on colder days.
Dinner: Always a gastronomic adventure by your talented chef. A taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, harmonizing food and good wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee and liqueurs.
Captain’s Farewell Dinner: Captain’s dinner on the last night of the cruise. Guests may choose to dress slightly more formal.
Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated tea and coffee. There is also a Nespresso Coffee machine available with an à la carte menu of speciality coffees. The well-stocked bar is open 24 hours, which includes wines, spirits, Scottish single Malt Whiskies, beers, and soft drinks. All wines are provided with meals and there is a Champagne welcome on arrival.
Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some champagnes, whiskies and special vintage wines are not included although you may purchase bottles in advance of your cruise at cost if you notify us in advance how many you require. We do not recommend specific beverage ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.
Hot Air Balooning
The region Scottish Highlander cruises in is not suitable for hot air ballooning.
We recommend you bring sufficient clean clothing for your cruise as there are no laundry facilities on board. However, the crew may be able to assist in an emergency on a request basis.
Luggage / What To Pack
Please plan to travel with one suitcase per person. Soft-sided luggage will be easier to store once you have unpacked. There is a limited amount of space on the barge and minibus.
Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard Scottish Highlander and for most excursions. Dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal. For the Captain's Farewell Dinner on the final evening, guests often dress-up which is optional.
Suggested things to pack:
- A sweater or lightweight jacket for evenings,
- A sun-hat in the summer is recommended.
- During spring and autumn cruises we recommend layered clothing as well as a substantial warm raincoat.
- Comfortable walking shoes with low or no heels and textured non-slip soles.
Umbrellas are available on board.
Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you require frequent or ongoing medical attention.
The crew are unable to administer medicines but can accompany you to a chemist for you to purchase any necessary medicines. Due to your cruise often being in a rural location, we recommend you bring all necessary medication with you. Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation and the Emergency Services can be called if required.
Problem During Your Cruise
If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things right. Please bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.
Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.
Scottish Highlander has boarding steps with 2 handrails from the bank to the main deck. The gradient can sometimes be steep.
There are 5 wide stairs from the main deck down to the saloon with handrails on both sides. The staterooms are on the same level as the main Saloon. To access the Cameron suite, there are 3 stairs down from the stateroom corridor with a single handrail.
We are able to hire wheelchairs locally – a small charge may apply. Please notify Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks prior to your departure. Please note wheelchairs are not suitable for use on board. Passengers must be accompanied by someone who is able to push the chair as the crew are unable to assist.
Safety & Security
Once you are on board, your Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures. Safety Instructions are detailed below.
Please note that we cannot be responsible for any valuables that you bring on board. We strongly recommend that you do not bring valuables with you unless required and that you ensure that all valuables are covered by your travel insurance.
There is a safe located in each cabin. Cabin doors are not locked for safety reasons.
Scottish Highlander has a strict non-smoking policy for safety reasons and for the comfort of your fellow passengers.
There is an outside deck area at the Bow of the barge with a large table and seating for 8 guests.
For charter groups only, Golf, Walking (along the banks of Loch Ness and the Great Glen), Fishing, Whisky, and Family Cruises are available on request. We can also adapt our cruise to include horse riding. Special interest cruises often have a supplement, for details please visit Scottish Highlander's Itinerary page and Rates page.
Gratuities are not included in the cruise fare. Tipping is entirely discretionary but is greatly appreciated by the crew if you are fully satisfied with the level of service on board.
As a guideline, the average tip given by our guests from around the world is approximately 5% of the Cruise Fare.
The usual way to give the tip is to give the amount in cash as one lump sum to the Captain / Cruise Director on the last day of the cruise. They will distribute the amount equally amongst the crew.
Sterling, Euros or Dollars are equally appreciated. ATMs are accessible for cash withdrawal on most itineraries during the cruise and the crew can advise where these are located.
For details of the Scottish Highlander vehicle, please see “Excursions,” above. The approximate transfer duration is 15 minutes or 2 hours depending on the cruise route.
Tap water in Scotland and on-board Scottish Highlander is potable, but we advise guests to use the bottled water provided in each suite.
Safety Instructions On Board Scottish Highlander
On arrival the Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures on board.In addition, it is important that all passengers are familiar with the safety instructions detailed below.
- Please follow the instructions of the Captain and crew at all times.
- Remember that decks can be slippery. Please wear non-slip shoes and do not run or jump whilst on board.
- Do not walk on the side or rear decks or outside the guard rails.
- Passengers are not permitted in the engine rooms, technical areas or crew accommodation at any time, or in the galley or wheelhouse unless accompanied by a crew member.
- Do not embark or disembark the barge unless the gangplank and handrail are in place or the crew have advised that it is safe to do so. Never do so when the barge is moving.
- Be careful when the vessel is being moored up with the barge ropes. In particular do not step into a loop in the rope or try to release the mooring rope from a bollard.
- Keep clear of any overhead obstructions and remain seated if on deck whilst the barge passes under bridges with restricted headroom.
- Do not attempt to touch the sides of any lock or bridge.
- Do not open lower deck portholes whilst the barge is moving.
- Life jacket preservers are located in designated lockers in your cabin or in designated deck lockers. Once on board, please take the time to identify their location and read the instructions.
- For fire safety reasons, smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the barge.
- The barge's equipment such as the hot-tub and bicycles must only be used following preparation by the crew. Use of the bicycles and the hot tub is at your own risk. Breakable glasses are not permitted in the hot tub and alcohol consumption is not advised
- There is an open bar policy on board. However, excessive alcohol consumption can be dangerous, particularly in a warm climate and in proximity to deep water and the Captain has the discretion to withhold alcohol if safety to passengers or crew is at risk.
In an emergency:
- Keep calm. Do not return to your cabin to recover your possessions.
- If you discover a fire on board, sound the fire alarm and notify a crew member immediately. If possible, close doors behind you to confine the fire. Please take the time to identify the location of fire alarms and fire extinguishers.
- If the alarm sounds or you hear repeated continuous blasts on the barge horn, you must, if possible, assemble on the sundeck for further instructions.
- If you discover water below deck, notify a crew member immediately and go to the sundeck to await further instructions
- If you are in your cabin and the way to the sundeck is obstructed, follow the signs to the alternative fire exit. Please take the time to identify all fire exits.
- Scottish Highlander is equipped with a defibrillator for use in case of cardiac arrest. Instructions in English are given automatically by the machine.
- The emergency number for fire, police or medical assistance on all public phone networks is 112
Please ask a member of the crew on board if you require any further safety advice
HOME > Specifications and Barge Facts for Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander