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.
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
Visit Culloden, the infamous battlefield where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite forces were defeated in 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 Scotland Highlands and was followed by the infamous Highland Clearances that saw the mass explusion of Catholic clansmen from their homes, and in many cases, from their country. This visit includes both the battlefield and the award-winning visitor center, the National Trust for Scotland's flagship site. See the standing stones and passage tombs of Clava Cairns, dating from the early Bronze Age. The impressive structures of this sacred site were developed for over a thousand years. This afternoon, set sail on the Caledonian Canal, built between 1803 and 1822 to connect Loch Linnhe with the three other lochs that lie in the slip fault of the Great Glen. Enter Loch Ness, where you ’ll learn about the legendary monster said to inhabit the loch. Ascend an impressive flight of locks that run through the heart of Fort Augustus to moor at the top of the village. Set out on a hike this evening. (B,L,D)
Continue along the Caledonian Canal, ascending to 106 feet at Laggan Lock, after gliding along the tree-lined canal known as Laggan Avenue. Sail onward across picturesque Lochs Oich and Lochy before descending Neptune's Staircase, a set of eight interconnected locks dropping 64 feet to the sea loch at Corpach. From Corpach, drive to Glenfinnan to explore the spectacularly scenic location now famous for Harry Potter, or chose to explore Loch Linnhe by kayak from the moorings in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. (B,L,D)
Sail through Loch Linnhe to the town of Oban, set on a picturesque bay on the Firth of Lorn. There is time to explore this lively town on foot, visiting a whisky distillery and McCaig’s Folly, a monument on a hill overlooking the town and bay that was inspired by the Roman Colosseum. This evening, you have a whisky tasting onboard ship.
Day 5: Sound of Mull | Duart Castle | Iona | Duart Castle | Tobermory
Sail to the Isle of Mull, in the Inner Hebrides. Drive across Mull, then cross to Iona by ferry to explore this picturesque island. Explore the island, which is of vital historic importance. Saint Columba arrived here in 563 with twelve followers, 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. Stroll through St. Oran’s Chapel and the royal graveyard where Scottish kings, including Macbeth, are buried.
On Mull, visit Duart Castle. The ancestral home of Clan MacLean—an impressive fortress (with a dungeon!) with dramatic views over the Sound of Mull—was built in the 13th century, and is still lived in by the MacLean family. Re-joining the ship, you sail the dramatic Sound of Mull for the overnight berth at the picturesque fishing community of Tobermory. This evening, plan to meet with a member of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust to learn about their efforts to protect marine mammals in these waters.
Day 6: Tobermory | Isle of Eigg or Isle of Rum | Inverie
Sail north to either Eigg or Rum, 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, you ’ll have the chance to walk or cycle around the island trails, enjoy views of the imposing crag of Sgurr, and talk with the local residents. If you visit Rum, you ’ll 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. 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.
Continue north to the Isle of Skye. At the Museum of the Isles, trace the legacy of the 1,300-year-old Clan MacDonald, 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. Set out on a guided walk on the Balmacara Estate, affording spectacular coastal and mountain views. Alternatively, explore nearby Eilean Donan Castle, which sites on a tidal island at the confluence of three lochs, and is connected by causeway to the mainland. A Jacobite stronghold, it was destroyed by government forces in 1719 but restored in the early 20th century.
Celebrate your voyage with a farewell dinner onboard.
Day 8: Kyle of Lochalsh | Disembark | Inverness
Disembark in Kyle of Lochalsh and drive through the highlands to Inverness. Then transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
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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.
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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.
Kids under age 18 save $500 per person
Rates are capacity-controlled and are subject to change without notice.
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