Hotel Barge Spirit of Scotland - Barging in Scotland -

Cruising the Caledonian Canal of Scotland Between Banavie and Muirtown

About the Boat : Specifications, Fact Sheet

Scottish Hotel Barge Spirit of Scotland - Layout diagram

Length: 128 feet
12 Passengers
6 Crew
6 Staterooms configured as either doubles or twins
TV/DVD player in guest cabins
Separate cabin for tour leader
Air conditioning / Central heating
3 Sun decks: Upper deck with sun canopy and loungers; a smaller front deck; and a rear deck with covered dining area
Spa pool / Hot tub
6 Touring bikes
WiFi (subject to local reception)
2 Air conditioned minibuses


All suites can be configured as a either a double or two single beds. When configured as a queen size, one side of the bed is flush with the cabin wall. The twin bed configuration gives access to each bed due to the space created in between. As single beds, each measure 2ft 7" (0.8m) x 6ft 3" (1.9m). All cabins have an ensuite bathroom (with W.C, wash basin, and shower), wardrobes, drawers, a bedside table with reading light, and TV with DVD player. The cabin furniture is walnut. Each cabin has an opening porthole.

All cabins have a shower, wash basin and W.C. The bathrooms are fully tiled and each has an opening porthole. Towels, hand soap, shower gel, shampoo, hair dryers, slippers and bathrobes are all provided.

Cabin sizes

All the suites are similar in size measuring 130 ft² (12 m²). Each ensuite bathroom measures 5ft 3"x 4ft (1.6m x 1.25m). These dimensions are included in the overall cabin size detailed above.

Ceiling height: 7ft for guest cabins and public areas.

All sizes are approximate.


The large dining room is on the main deck and is 25ft x 17ft (7.6m x 5.2m). With large windows and a screen door which can be opened onto the rear sundeck.

Leading from the dining room towards the front of the barge is the light and spacious salon which is 22ft x 17ft (6.7m x 5.2m). Here you will find plenty of comfortable seating available and a well-stocked bar. The wheelhouse forms the front part of the salon, and is a wonderful and unique location to relax and watch the Captain navigate the barge along the stunning Caledonian Canal.


There are three lovely outdoor areas:



The barge is wired for 220 volts (not 110 volts) with sockets that corresponds to the standard European 2-prong plug.

It is suggested that you bring an adapter for your particular appliance. If you wish to use an electrical appliance onboard, 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.


Each cabin has individually controlled cooling and heating.


Complimentary WiFi is available for guests bringing their own appliances. Connectivity can be limited in remote locations.

There is no passenger telephone on board Spirit of Scotland.


Please let Paradise Connections know in advance of booking your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.

Spirit of Scotland has 3 decks. Boarding the barge is usually by ramp from the canal / loch side, but occasionally 1 or 2 steps are required depending on mooring location. Once on board, there are 2 staircases with 9 steps between the salon level and the cabin deck below. There is a single handrail on each staircase.

The rooftop sundeck is accessed from an external spiral staircase on the aft deck. There are 8 steps.

Wheelchairs can be hired locally if required. Cost is approximately 80GBP per week. Please notify us at least 8 weeks in advance if you would like to arrange a wheelchair rental. Please note that 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.


All meals aboard are prepared fresh 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, such as vegetarian / no fish / vegan, etc; and we are able to able to cater for any preferences or allergies. However, it is important that we are notified at least 8 weeks prior to your departure date. Failure to notify us in advance of your cruise may result in disappointment on board.

There is no assigned seating for meals and the dining table accommodates all guests at a single sitting.

Breakfast: Full Scottish 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, pâtés and fish dishes. Occasionally you can enjoy a picnic outdoors and sometimes a 3-course, sit-down lunch or hot soups on cooler days.

Dinner: Always a gastronomic adventure created by your talented chef. A taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, complemented by fine 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 coffee and tea. The well-stocked bar is open 24-hours per day which include wines, spirits, a wide selection of single-malt whiskies, beers, and soft drinks. All wines are served with meals and there is a Champagne Welcome on arrival.

Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some champagne and special vintage wines are not included although you may purchase bottles at cost price if you let us know in advance how many of each you require. We do not recommend special ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.

Water: Tap water in Scotland and aboard Spirit of Scotland is potable but we advise guests to use the filtered water provided.


The Spirit of Scotland has 2 air condiitoned minibuses which are used for transfer 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 everthing we can to arrange it. Please speak with us in advance of your cruise so we can pre-arrange with the Captain.

Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to remain on the barge.


Passengers are welcome to walk or cycle using the on board bicycles as often as they like. 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 Scotland cruise route. There are 6 folding bikes and helmets are provided.

Children's bikes, helmets, and child bike seats can be arranged, if required, upon request. Please notify Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks in advance of your cruise.


The region Spirit of Scotland cruises through is not suitable for hot air ballooning.


Themed Cruises are only available for charter groups. Walking (along the banks of Loch Ness and the Great Glen), Fishing, Family, and Whisky cruises are available on request. We can also adapt our cruise to include horse riding. Please contact us for details. Sample itineraries for themed cruises can be found on the ITINERARIES page of Spirit of Scotland's online brochure.


Our barges have a strict non-smoking policy for safety reasons and for the comfort of fellow passengers. If you would like to smoke we request that you smoke outside on deck away from fellow passengers.


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/pharmacy for you to purchase any necessary medicines. Due to your cruise being in a rural location, we recommend you bring all necessary medications with you. Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation and the Emergency Services can be called if required.


We recommend that 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.


Please try to fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably-sized suitcase per person. Soft-sided luggage will be easier to store once you have unpacked.

Practical comfort and relaxed clothing is the norm aboard Spirit of Scotland and for most excursions. The 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:

Umbrellas are available on board


The local currency in Scotland is British Pounds Sterling (GBP). The barge is unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.


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 guidance, our passengers on average tip approximately 5-7% of the cruise fare. All tips should be given to the Captain and are shared between the whole crew on board.

Please note that gratuities can only be made on board by cash payment.


If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things right. Bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.


Once you are on board your Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures.

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 any valuables are covered by your travel insurance.

Safes are provided in each cabin. For safety reasons, cabin doors are usually unlocked.

Go To Top

HOME > Barge Facts