Luxury Hotel Barge Cruises

Caledonian Canal on Spirit of Scotland

Explore the dramatic Scottish Highlands on this superb 6-night voyage along the Caledonian Canal on elegant hotel barge, Spirit of Scotland. Includes transfers, excursions, open bar and meals prepared by a Master Chef

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  • Glencoe
  • Loch Ness
  • Eilean Donan Castle
  • Setting of the film, Highlander
  • Urquhart Castle
  • Cawdor Castle

Spirit of Scotland cruises the beautiful Caledonian Canal and the majestic lochs of the Great Glen on this relaxing hotel barge cruise in the Scottish Highlands.

Discover the breathtaking scenery of Glencoe before cruising to Laggan, from where you can explore Eilean Donan castle, one of the most photographed in Scotland and featured in several films.

Enjoy a falconry and birds of prey demonstration on the banks of Loch Ness, and admire the magnificent tapestries and paintings at Cawdor Castle, immortalised in Shakespeare's "Scottish Play", before heading to the Tomatin Distillery to learn about the maturing and ageing process of malts, and enjoy a special tasting.

Spirit of Scotland accommodates up to 12 guests in comfortable, en-suite cabins. There are spacious public areas, including the beautiful saloon and dining area, and sun deck, perfect for taking in the passing scenery. The crew of 6 including a Masterchef prepare and serve traditional Scottish cuisine, accompanied by fine wines and whiskies.


Caledonian Canal on Spirit of Scotland Itinerary

Day 1 - Banavie (Scotland)

Guests are met at our designated meeting point in Inverness and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Spirit of Scotland. A champagne welcome by the Captain and crew and perhaps an early evening stroll before our first dinner on board.

Day 2 - Laggan

Our tour today takes us to 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, we can also visit the ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle. After lunch aboard we begin our first cruise, through Moy Bridge, the last hand-operated bridge of its type on the waterway, before crossing Loch Lochy. As we approach our 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 - Cullochy

This morning we cruise across the very scenic Loch Oich, perhaps stopping en route for a spot of fishing or a gentle stroll, then onto our pretty mooring at Kytra. 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 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 (subject to availability) 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 we cruise 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 we dine ashore at a local restaurant.

Day 5 - Dochgarroch

This morning we enjoy a picturesque cruise across world-famous Loch Ness, with perhaps a chance of spotting “Nessie”, where en-route we pass Urquhart Castle, navigating closely beneath its spectacular 13th century ruins, before continuing our cruise to moor at the hamlet of Dochgarroch. After lunch we visit Cawdor Castle (only visited between early May and the end of September; outside of these dates a visit to Fort George will be made), 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 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, 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.

Day 6 - Muirtown

This morning, our final cruise will take us through Tomnahurich swing bridge and through 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 we visit Culloden Moor, scene of the last major battle on British soil in 1746. 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. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Day 7 - Muirtown

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 12 passenger Hotel Barge Spirit of Scotland
  • 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
  • Transfers to and from barge