Banavie to Muirtown
7 days/6 nights
Starting in Inverness this 7-day itinerary takes you on a journey through the magical Scottish waterways of the Caledonian Canal and the lochs of the Great Glen. Explore famous Scottish castles such as Eilean Donan, discover charming towns and marvel at the incredible highland scenery. Guests will also visit legendary Culloden Moor, learn fascinating history and savour a whisky tasting at a local Distillery. This really is the ultimate way to experience a country in all its wonder.
Today you will be met at the designated meeting point in Inverness and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the Spirit of Scotland barge. Enjoy a champagne welcome by the Captain and crew and mingle with your fellow travellers. There might be a chance of an early evening stroll before your first dinner onboard.
This morning, explore the dramatic scenery and mystical battlefield of Glencoe, famed for one of the darkest days in Scottish history when soldiers of the Campbell clan massacred 30 members of Clan MacDonald. If time permits, you may also visit the ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle. Return to the barge for lunch.
In the afternoon, enjoy your first cruise through Moy Bridge, the last hand-operated bridge of its type on the waterway, before crossing Loch Lochy. As the barge approaches tonights mooring spot at Laggan, a Highland Piper may be there to greet you with a stirring rendition of traditional Scottish music. Dinner on board.
This morning cruise across the very scenic Loch Oich, perhaps stopping en route for a spot of fishing or a gentle stroll, before heading to tonight’s pretty mooring point at Kytra.
After lunch, take in some of the finest scenery Scotland has to offer as you drive to one of its best known and most photographed castles – Eilean Donan. The castle has featured in movies such as “Highlander” and James Bond’s “The World Is Not Enough” and overlooks three sea lochs. Dinner on board.
After breakfast, visit the private Highland Club, a spectacular and exclusive set of residences, as well as a former 19th century Benedictine Monastery. Here we are treated to a falconry and birds of prey demonstration on the banks of Loch Ness. The majesty of the swooping birds against the backdrop of the sweeping Scottish Highlands is not easily forgotten. You will also have time to explore the pretty village of Fort Augustus before returning to the barge for lunch.
In the afternoon, the vessel cruises to Fort Augustus and down the “flight of locks” as the locals call it, to moor opposite the Benedictine Abbey at the entrance to Loch Ness. This evening enjoy dinner ashore at a local restaurant.
Today wake up and enjoy a picturesque cruise across world-famous Loch Ness, with perhaps a chance of spotting “Nessie”. Enroute, pass Urquhart Castle, navigating closely beneath its spectacular 13th century ruins, before continuing on to moor at the hamlet of Dochgarroch.
After lunch visit Cawdor Castle* forever immortalised in Shakespeare’s “Scottish Play”, Macbeth. The picturesque gardens have been listed amongst the top 100 in the United Kingdom. The castle contains a superb collection of tapestries, pictures and furnishings and is still in use as a home for the Dowager Countess of Cawdor who resides there for several months of the year. If time allows, 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.
Your final full day takes you through Tomnahurich swing bridge to the locks at Muirtown. Here there is the opportunity to take a bicycle ride or stroll to the sea lock with wonderful views over the Moray and Beauly Firths.
After lunch explore Culloden Moor, scene of the last major battle on British soil in 1746, where English Government troops faced the Highlanders of “Bonnie Prince Charlie”. Afterward, visit Tomatin Distillery, established in 1897 in the hills south of Inverness. Enjoy a tour learning about the fascinating maturing and ageing process of their whiskies, each with its distinctive characteristics. Cap off your tour with a special tasting of several single malts. Tonight is the Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
After breakfast, will be transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Inverness. Tour ends.
B = Breakfast | L = Lunch | D = Dinner
Please note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. Some activities may not be available at certain times of the year and are replaced by an alternative tour. On alternate weeks the cruise will travel in the reverse direction.