Inverness, ScotlandArrive in Inverness, and embark Lord of the Glens to the strains of a highland piper. Tonight, enjoy a reception and dinner on board while docked in Inverness.
Culloden/Clava Cairns/Loch NessFollowing an optional morning walk, visit Culloden, the infamous battlefield where “Bonnie” Prince Charlie’s Jacobite forces were defeated in 1746, and then see the ancient standing stones of Clava Cairns. Set sail this afternoon for your Scottish exploration on the Caledonian Canal, built between 1803 and 1822 to connect Loch Ness with the Great Glen’s three other lochs. Enter Loch Ness, cruise past the romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle, and learn about the legendary monster said to inhabit the loch. Moor this evening at Fort Augustus. Back aboard ship, there is a whiskey tasting this evening.
Laggan Locks/Banavie/GlenfinnanAscend an impressive flight of locks that runs through the heart of Fort Augustus. Glide along the tree-lined canal known as Laggan Avenue, or hike or bike along the towpath and rejoin the ship at the first lock. Depart Laggan Locks and sail into Loch Lochy as you continue your tour of Scotland. Follow the canal to the town of Banavie, nestled in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Great Britain’s highest mountain. In the afternoon take the West Highland railway line over the renowned viaduct to beautiful Glenfinnan, surrounded by mountains, where there are fine walking options. Welcome local musicians on board for a lively evening of music and song.
Loch Linnhe/ObanLord of the Glens descends Neptune’s Staircase, a set of eight interconnected locks, and continues through Loch Linnhe to the town of Oban, set on a picturesque bay on the Firth of Lorn. Have time to explore this lively town on foot, visiting a whisky distillery and McCaig’s Tower, a monument on a hill overlooking the town and bay that was inspired by the Roman Colosseum.
Iona / Tobermory (Isle of Mull)This morning sail to the Isle of Mull, in the Inner Hebrides. Visit photogenic Duart Castle, an impressive fortress (with a dungeon!). Drive across Mull, then cross to Iona by ferry to explore this picturesque island. Visit the medieval abbey ruins and the rebuilt abbey church, and learn about the ecumenical movement based there. Stroll through St. Oran’s Chapel and the royal graveyard where generations of Scottish kings are buried, and enjoy a brief walking tour of Iona. Continue on to the picturesque town of Tobermory, After dinner, staff from the Wings Over Mull Birds of Prey and Conservation Center visit aboard ship.
Isle of Eigg or Isle of Rum / InverieSail north from Tobermory to tiny Eigg this morning, catching glimpses of the islands of the Inner Hebrides along the way. At Eigg you can get a sense of what life is like for the roughly 90 people who live on this island community. Look for marine animals and birdlife, including Atlantic seals, minke whales, dolphins, porpoises and a variety of seabirds. Alternatively, you may visit the Isle of Rum, renowned for spectacular Kinloch Castle. Then sail to the town of Inverie, where you can have a drink at the most remote pub in the British Isles.
Isle of SkyeSail from Inverie this morning, and spend the afternoon on the Isle of Skye. Take a guided walk in the Cuillin Hills (weather permitting) amid some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. Those who prefer not to hike can explore the charming waterside town of Portree. Meet up afterward for a drink at the renowned Sligachan Hotel, a favorite with mountaineers. Celebrate your Scottish voyage at a farewell dinner on board.
Kyle of Lochalsh/Inverness/New YorkDisembark in Kyle of Lochalsh and drive to Inverness for homeward bound flights.