Luxury Hotel Barge Cruises

Caledonian Canal on Scottish Highlander

A 6-night luxury cruise of the Great Glen, sailing the Caledonian Canal from Muirtown aboard Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander. Includes transfers, excursions, open bar and meals prepared by a Master Chef

Call us on 01756 706512 (+44 1756 706512) to discuss this holiday

  • Cawdor Castle
  • Eilean Donan Castle
  • Ben Nevis
  • Caledonian Canal
  • Scottish Highlander

Cruise through the glorious mountains of central Scotland, through Lochs Dochfour, Ness, Oich and Lochy enjoying spectacular scenery and visits to romantic castles, battle sites and a whisky distillery. This spectacular itinerary runs in reverse on alternate weeks.

Begin this scenic cruise with a visit to the Tomatin Distillery in the hills south of Inverness. Continue to Cawdor Castle to see its Flemish tapestries, richly-decorated rooms and fine gardens. Not far away, Culloden Moor was the site of the battle between the forces of the Duke of Cumberland and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Enjoy a falconry and birds of prey demonstration on the banks of Loch Ness and discover one of Scotland's most photographed castles, Eilean Donan before heading to the mystical battlefield of Glencoe, famed for one of the darkest days in Scottish history.

The 8-passenger Scottish Highlander is decorated in Scottish Country House style, with subtle use of tartan furnishings and landscape paintings. There are four en suite cabins for her pampered passengers, looked after by a crew of 4 including a Master Chef, who conjures up delicious food using fresh local ingredients. There are bicycles on board, enabling guests to cycle the tow path or explore on their own.


Caledonian Canal on Scottish Highlander Itinerary

Day 1 - Muirtown

Guests are met at our designated meeting point in Inverness and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Scottish Highlander. Champagne Welcome and perhaps an early evening stroll to the sea lock with wonderful views over the Moray and Beauly Firths. Dinner on board

Day 2 - Dochgarroch

Our first cruise will take us up the Muirtown lock flight and through 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. next it’s on to the Muir of Ord distillery, founded in 1838 by licence holders Robert Johnstone and Donald MacLennan. Next, it’s on to Tomatin Distillery, established in 1897 in the hills south of Inverness. We are given a fascinating description of the maturing and ageing process of their whiskies, each with its distinctive characteristics, followed by our special tasting of several single malts. Dinner on board.

Day 3 - Dochgarroch - Fort Augustus

This morning we enjoy Cawdor Castle, forever immortalised in Shakespeare’s “Scottish Play”, Macbeth. 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 the Dowager Countess of Cawdor still lives there for part of the year (please note Cawdor Castle is only visited between early May and the end of September, a visit to Fort George will replace it outside these dates). Then, if time allows, we take a tour through the Clava Cairns, a pre-historic clan chieftain burial site dating back to 2,000 B.C. After lunch on board, 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.

Day 4 - Fort Augustus

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 dependent) 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 of locks” and then on to our pretty mooring at Kytra. This evening we dine ashore at a local restaurant.

Day 5 - Kytra - 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.

Day 6 - Banavie

Our final cruise today will see us cross Loch Lochy, passing Gairlochy, where there is the option to visit the Clan Cameron Museum. We continue on to Moy Bridge, the last fully hand-operated bridge on the canal to moor 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 mystical battlefield of Glencoe, famed for one of the darkest days in Scottish history. If time permits, we can also visit the ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Day 7 - Banavie

After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Inverness.

PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary runs in reverse on alternate weeks. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

Price Includes

  • 6 nights accommodation onboard 8 passenger Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander
  • All meals on board catered for by the on board Master Chef
  • Open bar with a large range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks
  • All wines served throughout the cruise
  • Excursions and admittance fees as per itinerary
  • Use of barge facilities including bicycles and fish finder
  • Transfers to and from barge

Special Features

  • 2 Oct 2017 departure is a Whisky themed cruise. Please contact us for details