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Ring of Brodgar is a unique stone circle in Scotland.

Scotland's Highlands and Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Lord of the Glens
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The only expedition of its kind, explore Scotland as few people have on an encompassing and enchanting Scotland voyage. Walk among ancient stone monuments, weave your way through ruins of fantastic castles, and stroll through a sacred abbey. Learn the legacy of 1,300-year-old clans and visit the cemetery of Scottish monarchs. Experience the charm of modern Scotland through live music on board and a special visit to the tiny Isle of Eigg, home to about 90 souls. This is a tour of Scotland not to be missed.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Inverness, Scotland
Day 2 : Culloden | Clava Cairns | Loch Ness
Day 3 : Laggan Locks | Banavie | Glenfinnan
Day 4 : Loch Linnhe | Oban
Day 5 : Sound of Mull | Duart Castle | Iona | Tobermory
Day 6 : Tobermory | Isle of Eigg or Isle of Rum | Inverie
Day 7 : Isle of Skye
Day 8 : Disembark in Kyle of Lochalsh | Inverness

Highlights

  • Sail through Loch Ness & learn about the legendary monster
  • Visit medieval abbey ruins & learn about the ecumenical movement
  • Hike in Cuillin Hills and enjoy spectacular views
  • Discover the ancient standing stone of Clava Cairns

Ship

Lord of the Glens

Places Visited

  • Europe
  • Scotland
  • United Kingdom
  • Banavie
  • Clava Cairns
  • Culloden
  • Fort Augustus
  • Glenfinnan
  • Inverie
  • Inverness
  • Iona
  • Isle of Eigg
  • Isle of Mull
  • Isle of Skye
  • Kyle of Lochalsh
  • Loch Linnhe
  • Loch Ness
  • Oban
  • Tobermory

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Ring of Brodgar is a unique stone circle in Scotland. Sheep walking on the road in the British countryside. Hiking through the unique Stones of Callanish. Hiking through the countryside of the British Isles. Shetland pony in the Shetland Isles.

Day 1 Embark in Inverness, Scotland

Arrive in Inverness, and embark Lord of the Glens to the strains of a highland piper. Tonight, enjoy a reception and dinner on board, with a special after-dinner performance in the lounge by a local troupe of junior Scottish dancers.

Day 2 Culloden | Clava Cairns | Loch Ness

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning visit Culloden, the infamous battlefield where “Bonnie” Prince Charlie’s Jacobite forces were defeated on April 16, 1746. The battle was brief but bloody and decisive, with as many as 2,000 Jacobites killed or wounded. It had drastic consequences for the Highlands of Scotland, and was followed by the infamous Highland Clearances that saw the mass expulsion of Catholic clansmen from their homes and in many cases from their country. Your visit includes both the battlefield and the award-winning visitor center, the National Trust for Scotland’s flagship site. Continue to the evocative 4,000-year-old burial chambers and standing stones of Clava Cairns, dating from the early Bronze Age. The impressive structures of this sacred site were developed for over a thousand years.

Set sail this afternoon on the Caledonian Canal, built between 1803 and 1822 to connect the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean along the slip-fault of the Great Glen. This afternoon sail across Loch Ness, the largest body of fresh water in Britain, deeper than any part of the North Sea. Midway across the loch cruise past the romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle, a Norman castle on an Iron Age site, where you learn about the legendary Loch Ness Monster, which is said to inhabit the loch in this vicinity. Moor this evening at Fort Augustus, with a chance to kayak in Loch Ness itself in the late afternoon or take an exploratory hike through the surrounding countryside. An on-board whisky tasting rounds off the day.

Day 3 Laggan Locks | Banavie | Glenfinnan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ascend an impressive flight of locks that runs through the heart of Fort Augustus. Seeing the process of getting the ship through the locks is always exciting, and Lord of the Glens is purpose-built to fit in the locks’ narrow confines. The ship is always an object of curiosity among local residents and other visitors as you make your transit. Then glide along the tree-lined canal known as Laggan Avenue. Depart Laggan Locks and sail across picturesque Lochs Oich and Lochy. Then continue along the canal to the village of Banavie, nestled in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Great Britain’s highest mountain. In the afternoon travel to beautiful Glenfinnan, along Loch Sheil and surrounded by mountains, where “Bonnie” Prince Charlie first raised the Jacobite standard on mainland Britain in 1745. There are fine walking options here, with dramatic views of the Glenfinnan Railway Viaduct on the West Highland Railway line, made famous more recently in the Harry Potter movies—a late Victorian construction with 21 arches.

Day 4 Loch Linnhe | Oban

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lord of the Glens descends Neptune’s Staircase, a set of eight interconnected locks dropping 64 feet to the sea lock at Corpach. Sail out into Loch Aber and continue through Loch Linnhe to the bustling town of Oban, set on a picturesque bay on the Firth of Lorn. In the afternoon, have time to explore the town on foot and to visit its famous whisky distillery, built in 1799 and still occupying its original premises. If you wish, walk all the way up to McCaig’s Tower, a monument on a hill overlooking the town and bay that was inspired by the Roman Colosseum. It’s a great vantage point, with fine views of the town and the waterfront. 

Day 5 Sound of Mull | Duart Castle | Iona | Tobermory

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning sail across the Sound of Mull, at the edge of the Atlantic, to Craignure on the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides. Drive across Mull, then cross to Iona by ferry to explore this picturesque island, which is of vital historic importance. St. Columba arrived here in 563 with twelve followers. They built a church and began the process of converting the peoples of the area to Christianity. Iona became famous as a place of learning and as a pilgrimage site. Visit the medieval abbey ruins and the rebuilt abbey church, and learn about the ecumenical movement based here since the 1930s. Stroll through St. Oran’s Chapel and the royal graveyard, burial site of generations of Scottish kings (including Macbeth), the Lords of the Isles, and High Kings of Norway. Have a home-cooked lunch in the St. Columba Hotel.

On the way back to Craignure, visit photogenic Duart Castle, the ancestral home of Clan Maclean—an impressive fortress (with a dungeon!) with dramatic views over the Sound of Mull. It was built in the 13th century and is still lived in by the Maclean family. Continue aboard Lord of the Glens to the picturesque town of Tobermory, with the whole evening free to explore this colorful village. Tobermory was established in 1788 and is famous for the brightly painted houses that line its waterfront, located at the bottom of a cliff face. Tobermory is also home to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, and one of their representatives come aboard to give a presentation on their remarkable work in these waters.

Day 6 Tobermory | Isle of Eigg or Isle of Rum | Inverie

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, explore Tobermory’s lively quayside. Then sail north to the "Small Isles" to land on Eigg, Rum, or even outermost Canna, depending on weather conditions. The islands have small populations of fewer than one hundred souls, but teem with wildlife. Look for marine animals and birdlife, including Atlantic seals, minke and humpback whales, dolphins, basking sharks and harbor porpoises and one of the largest colonies of Manx shearwaters in northern Europe. If you visit Eigg, have the chance to walk around the island, which is dominated by the imposing crag of An Sgurr, and talk with the local residents. If you visit Rum, visit fanciful Kinloch Castle, completed in 1900 as the home of Sir George Bullough, who had purchased the island with money he had earned as a textile magnate. The castle is now managed by Scottish National Heritage. If conditions permit, it may be possible to visit distant Canna, the outermost of the Small Isles, which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland.

Then sail to the tiny village of Inverie, where you can have a drink at the Old Forge, the most remote pub in the British Isles (there is no road to Inverie, which can only be reached by sea or after a 17-mile hike). The pub is a convivial place, where you can have a chat with Inverie’s residents over a pint of local ale.

Day 7 Isle of Skye

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
sail from Inverie this morning, and spend the day on the Isle of Skye. At the Museum of the Isles, trace the legacy of the 1,300-year-old Clan Donald, the Lords of the Isles, who once ruled the west coast of Scotland. See the ruins of Armadale Castle, ancestral home of the MacDonalds, and take a walk through the beautiful woodlands and gardens. Then sail for Kyle of Lochalsh, passing through the dramatic narrow sound between Skye and the mainland, with its tidal races and currents.

Afternoon options include a guided walk in the Cuillin Hills on Skye (weather permitting), amid some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. The Cuillin Hills are much loved by Scots as having some of the most beautiful landscapes anywhere, and some of the finest hiking. Alternatively, if you prefer not to hike you can explore Eilean Donan Castle and the charming village of Plockton on the mainland. The small 13th-century castle of Eilean Donan sits on a tidal island at the confluence of three lochs, and is connected by a short bridge to the mainland. A Jacobite stronghold, it was destroyed by government forces in 1719 but restored in the early in the twentieth century in Arts and Crafts style. The charming planned fishing village of Plockton has an attractive waterfront with exuberant gardens that speak eloquently of the temperate influence of the warm North Atlantic drift in these high latitudes. It’s an enjoyable place for photography or just for an afternoon stroll.

Celebrate your Scottish voyage at a farewell dinner on board, with traditional Scottish musicians to entertain you after dinner in the lounge. 

Day 8 Disembark in Kyle of Lochalsh | Inverness

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in Kyle of Lochalsh and drive to Inverness for homeward bound flights.

Lord of the Glens

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Per person starting at
$7,880
Lord of the Glens' Cabin 1 and 1s.
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Cat 1
Roberts Deck: Picture window and two lower single beds (#209) or a double bed (#211, 212). Watt Deck: #104-106. Two portholes and a double bed or two lower single beds.
Lord of the Glens' Category 2 Cabin.
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Cat 2
Roberts Deck: #201-208, 210, 214, 216-217, 218-219. Picture window and two lower twin beds. Cabins 218 and 219 are solo cabins, each with a double bed and picture window. Alexander Graham Bell Deck #301-306: Picture window and two lower single beds.

Notes

Kids under age 18 save $500 per person

Included in cruise fare:
  • Meals as indicated
  • Coffee and tea with included meals
  • Soft drinks such as sodas and fruit juices aboard ship
  • Tours as shown in the itinerary
  • Services of an expedition leader and two expedition staff members aboard Lord of the Glens
  • Local guides on all excursions
  • Tips to local guides and bus drivers
  • Porterage
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh

Not included in cruise fare:
  • Air transportation
  • Meals not shown in itinerary
  • Tips to ship’s crew
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Soft drinks such as sodas and fruit juices
  • Alcoholic beverages other than first and last nights aboard Lord of the Glens

Included

  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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