Spirit of Scotland
Spirit of Scotland is an elegant hotel barge with extensive public areas inside and out that are perfect from which to admire the spectacular Highlands scenery in comfort as she sedately cruises the Caledonian Canal and the lochs of the Great Glen. Although purpose-built in 2001, her style evokes that of the traditional steamers that plied the lochs of Scotland in times gone by. Having cruised a number of inland waterways in Europe in recent years, Spirit of Scotland will commence cruising in Scotland from June 2017.
Accommodating up to 12 passengers in comfort, her interior features a bright and spacious saloon and dining area with picture windows, a separate bar, and an integral forward wheelhouse giving views of the cruise route ahead. A great spot to sit with the Captain and enjoy the stunning scenery of the Highlands passing by. The 6 air-conditioned cabins offer a choice of twin or double beds and are complemented by well-designed en suite shower rooms.
Outside, there are separate areas where you can relax on a recliner or perhaps in the spa pool, as well as a covered dining terrace. And the large upper sun deck is the ideal place to admire the breath-taking backdrop with a canopy for shade and plenty of sun loungers for relaxation. You'll see historic landmarks such as the loch-side Urquhart Castle.
All this, together with the traditional Scottish cuisine, fine wines and wide range of whiskies served on board by an attentive crew of 6, combine to ensure a truly memorable cruising experience.
Day 1: Banavie You will be met at the Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel in Inverness and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Spirit of Scotland. Enjoy a champagne welcome by the Captain and crew and then perhaps an early evening stroll before our first dinner on board.
Day 2: Banavie to Laggan Your excursion today will take you to the mystical area of Glencoe, renowned for its geographical beauty and famed for one of the darkest days in Scottish history. Alternatively, you can enjoy some breath-taking panoramic views on a cable car ride to the summit of Aonach Mor mountain. If time permits you can visit the ruins of the 13th century, Old Inverlochy Castle, before embarking on your first cruise, through Moy Bridge, the last hand-operated bridge of its type on the Caledonian Canal. En route, you may visit the Clan Cameron Museum, before crossing Loch Lochy. As you approach your mooring at Laggan, a Highland Piper may be there to greet us with a stirring rendition of traditional Scottish music. Dinner on board.
Day 3: Laggan to Cullochy On your cruise today, you 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, which has featured in movies such as "Highlander" and James Bond's "The World Is Not Enough" and overlooks three sea lochs. Our afternoon cruise today takes you across the very scenic Loch Oich, with the opportunity to enjoy a walk en route, then onto your pretty mooring at Cullochy. Dinner on board.
Day 4 : Cullochy to Fort Augustus This morning you cruise to Fort Augustus and down the "flight" as the locals call it, to moor opposite the Benedictine Abbey at the entrance to Loch Ness. After lunch on board, encounter some of Scotland's bloody past as we visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle in a spectacular setting overlooking Loch Ness, then take a gentle drive to the Invermoriston Falls and the "Old Bridge" designed by Thomas Telford where you may even see a salmon leaping. This evening we have dinner ashore at a local restaurant.
Day 5: Fort Augustus to Dochgarroch This morning enjoy a picturesque cruise across world-famous Loch Ness, with perhaps a chance of spotting "Nessie", before mooring at the hamlet of Dochgarroch. After lunch you visit Cawdor Castle, forever immortalised in Shakespeare's "Scottish Play". The picturesque gardens have been listed as being amongst the top 100 in the UK. 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. Then you visit Culloden Moor, scene of the last major battle on British soil in 1746 and end your tour at the Clava Cairns, a pre-historic clan chieftain burial site dating back to 2000. B.C. Dinner on board.
Day 6: Dochgarroch to Muirtown Today, your final cruise will take you through Tomnahurich swing bridge and then the locks to Muirtown, where there will be the opportunity to take a bicycle ride or walk to the sea lock with wonderful views over the Moray and Beauly Firths. After lunch drive through stunning hill scenery to take a closer look at one of Scotland's best known exports, whisky, at the Glen Ord distillery, founded in 1838 on the Black Isle by the Mackenzie's of Ord. A fascinating description of the maturing and ageing process of single and blended malts is followed by your special tasting. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.
Day 7: Muirtown After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to your choice of location in Inverness.
*This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
• Transfer to the barge from the meeting point • All meals on board catered for by the onboard Master Chef • Open bar with a range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks • Excursions and entrance fees as per the itinerary • Use of bicycles • Transfer back to Inverness at the end of the cruise
Pricing (per person) $NZD
August 6, 13, 20, 27
September 3, 10, 17, 24
October 1, 8, 15, 22