Standard Classic Barge Cruise Itinerary - Scottish Highlands
Sunday, Day 1 : Muirtown
Guests are met at the designated meeting point in Inverness and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Scottish Highlander. Champagne Welcome and if you wish, an early evening stroll to the sea lock with wonderful views over the Moray and Beauly Firths. Then perhaps savour one of the hotel barge’s many single malts before your first dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 : Muirtown to Dochgarroch
Our first cruise will take us up the Muirtown lock flight and through the Tomnahurich swing bridge, with an option to walk alongside River Ness to the hamlet of Dochgarroch. After lunch on board, we visit Culloden Moor, scene of the last major battle on British soil in 1746 where English Government troops faced the Highlanders of “Bonnie Prince Charlie”. If time allows, then we take a tour of Clava Cairns, a pre-historic clan chieftain burial site dating back to 2,000 B.C and setting for the Outlander TV series. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 : Dochgarroch to Fort Augustus
This morning we enjoy a visit to Cawdor Castle*, forever immortalised in Shakespeare’s “Scottish Play”, Macbeth. The picturesque gardens have been listed amongst the top 100 in the UK. The castle contains a superb collection of tapestries, pictures and furnishings and the Dowager Countess of Cawdor still lives there for part of the year. After lunch onboard, we cruise through Loch Dochfour and across Loch Ness, where en-route we pass Urquhart Castle, navigating closely beneath its spectacular 13th century ruins, before continuing our cruise to Fort Augustus. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 : Fort Augustus to Kytra
After breakfast, we visit the private Highland Club, a spectacular exclusive set of residences and a former 19th century Benedictine Monastery. Here we are treated to a falconry and birds of prey demonstration (weather permitting) on the banks of Loch Ness, and the majesty of the swooping birds against the backdrop of the sweeping Scottish Highlands is not easily forgotten. There is time to explore the pretty village of Fort Augustus before lunch on board, after which our cruise takes us up the “flight”, as the locals call it, at Fort Augustus and then on to our pretty mooring at Cullochy. This evening we are given a tutored private whisky tasting at charming The Glenmoriston Arms Hotel, followed by dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Thursday, Day 5 : Kytra to Laggan
This morning’s cruise can be partially walked as we cross the very scenic Loch Oich, perhaps stopping en route for a spot of fishing, and onto the pretty Laggan Avenue. As we approach Laggan, our Highland Piper may greet us with a stirring rendition of traditional Scottish music. After lunch on board we take in some of the finest scenery Scotland has to offer as we drive to one of its best known and most photographed castles, Eilean Donan, which has featured in movies such as “Highlander” and James Bond’s “The World Is Not Enough” and overlooks three sea lochs. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 : Laggan to Banavie
Today, our final cruise will see us pass through Moy Bridge, the last fully hand-operated bridge on the canal, before mooring at Banavie beneath Ben Nevis and a stroll from Neptune’s Staircase leading down to Loch Eil. After lunch on board, our tour today takes us to the renowned Dalwhinnie Distillery, standing in the Cairngorms National Park. Here, we are given a tour of the distillery and taste some single malts paired with a selection of delicious chocolates. If time permits, on the drive back to Scottish Highlander we can also visit the ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle. Captain’s Farewell Dinner and of course, the opportunity to enjoy another wee dram or two.
Saturday, Day 7 : Banavie
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Inverness.
NOTE: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.