HOTEL BARGES / SPIRIT OF SCOTLAND
Sunday, Day 1 Banavie
Guests are met at the Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel 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.
Monday, Day 2 Banavie to Laggan
Our excursion today will take us to the mystical area of Glencoe, renowned for its geographical beauty and famed for one of the darkest days in Scottish history. Alternatively, we can enjoy some breath-taking panoramic views on a cable car ride to the summit of Aonach Mor mountain. If time permits we can visit the ruins of the 13th century, Old Inverlochy Castle, before embarking on our first cruise, through Moy Bridge, the last hand-operated bridge of its type on the Caledonian Canal. En route, we may visit the Clan Cameron Museum, 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.
Tuesday, Day 3 Laggan to Cullochy
Today, 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.
Our afternoon cruise today takes us across the very scenic Loch Oich , with the opportunity of enjoying a walk en route, then onto our pretty mooring at Cullochy . Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 Cullochy to Fort Augustus
This morning we cruise to Fort Augustus and down the “flight” as the locals call it, to moor opposite the Benedictine Abbey at the entrance to Loch Ness. After lunch on board, we encounter some of Scotland’s bloody past as we visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle in a spectacular setting overlooking Loch Ness, then take a gentle drive to the Invermoriston Falls and the “Old Bridge” designed by Thomas Telford where you may even see a salmon leaping. This evening we have dinner ashore at a local restaurant.
Thursday, Day 5 Fort Augustus to Dochgarroch
This morning we enjoy a picturesque cruise across world-famous Loch Ness, with perhaps a chance of spotting “Nessie” , before mooring at the hamlet of Dochgarroch . After lunch we visit Cawdor Castle*, forever immortalised in Shakespeare’s “Scottish Play”. 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 is still in use as a home for the Dowager Countess of Cawdor who resides there for several months of the year. Then we visit Culloden Moor, scene of the last major battle on British soil in 1746 and end our tour at the Clava Cairns, a pre-historic clan chieftain burial site dating back to 2000 B.C . Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Dochgarroch to Muirtown
Today, our final cruise will take us through Tomnahurich swing bridge and then 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 drive through stunning hill scenery to take a closer look at one of Scotland’s best known exports, whisky, at the Glen Ord distillery, founded in 1838 on the Black Isle by the Mackenzie’s of Ord . A fascinating description of the maturing and ageing process of single and blended malts is followed by our special tasting. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Muirtown
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Inverness.
*This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.