Navigate Scottish locks on this relaxing cruise
About the Tour
This fantastic five-night cruise through the heart of the Highlands begins with a night in Edinburgh before we board our ship for a journey through the rugged coastline of Scotland's west coast to the unspoiled beauty of the Isle of Mull, up Neptune's Staircase, along the Caledonian Canal, and across Loch Ness.
- Standard Class rail travel
- Scenic excursion on the West Highland Line
- Hotel accommodations for 1 night
- 5 nights cruise on board MV Lord of the Glens
- 15 meals, including Captain’s farewell dinner
- Guided walking tour of Oban, including visit to McCaig's tower and a whiskey distillery tour and tasting
- Tour of Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull
- Cruise on Loch Ness and Neptune's Staircase
- Services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Day 1 – Edinburgh
Following your individual travel to Edinburgh, meet your group and tour escort at your hotel. After arriving, you are at leisure, perhaps to explore Edinburgh’s historic center, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
As you wander through the narrow streets of the medieval Old Town and the elegant terraces of the Georgian New Town, it is easy to see why the city was awarded this accolade. Stroll past award-winning modern architecture and majestic old buildings, built in the area's typical grey stone, or amble down the winding alleyways which fan out from the beautiful Royal Mile, named because it runs between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace.
Edinburgh Castle itself might be an excellent place to explore. The building serves a mighty symbol of Scotland's turbulent past and overlooks the city from its perch on an extinct volcano. Overnight Edinburgh. (D)
Days 2-3 – Edinburgh to Inverness
Transfer to Edinburgh Waverley station to Inverness today, traveling through some of the Highland's most fantastic scenery. On arrival, we board our ship, the MV Lord of the Glens.
On Day 3, we set sail across mystical Loch Ness, famed for its 'monster' as well as its indescribable beauty. Overnight ship. (Day 2 – B, L; Day 3 – B, L, D)
Day 4 – Banavie and the West Highland Line
Today, we sail onwards towards pretty Banavie, where we disembark our vessel for a fantastic excursion on the West Highland Line to Glenfinnan. This evening, we remain in Banavie. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 5 – Neptune’s Staircase and Tobermory
Today, we begin by ascending through the incredible feat of engineering that is Neptune's Staircase, which lowers the vessel to Corpach. From here, we continue through the myriad of lochs and rivers, out towards Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 6 – Duart Castle
Today, we arrive into Craignure, where we transfer to stunning Duart Castle. After some time here, we return to the ship for lunch, continuing to Oban where we take a tour of the whiskey distillery. We enjoy a 'wee dram', then visit McCaig's Tower, which was built to resemble the Colosseum in Rome.
This is our final evening on board, and tonight, we indulge in a Captain's farewell dinner. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Home
After breakfast, you are free to leave Oban at your leisure. (B)
Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, Edinburgh
The 4-Star Apex Waterloo Place Hotel is ideally located at the eastern end of Princes Street, close to Edinburgh Waverley Railroad Station. The rooms feature a television, fridge, safe, tea and coffee making facilities, luxury toiletries and complimentary Wi-Fi.
MV Lord of the Glens
MV Lord of the Glens offers a truly unique way to take in the peaceful atmosphere and timeless landscape of Scotland's most dramatically beautiful lochs. The 150-foot-long Lord of the Glens was originally built in Greece in 1985. Designed in homage to the grand old Royal Yacht Britannia, this vessel exudes charm and regal elegance, from the proud bow and exterior, to the luxurious cabins and leisure areas. Prior to its relaunch in 2000, the vessel was completely renovated, and its interiors were designed to complement the region it serves - the waters of Scotland's lochs and canals. Nowadays, it is a regular feature of the Scottish coastal landscape as it weaves in an out of the bays, harbours and inlets which characterize Scotland's shores.
Split into four decks, each named after a famous Scotsman, the Lord of the Glens is spacious and well-maintained. The upper deck plays host to the lounge and bar area, with its location on board offering sublime views of the green islands and ancient castles of Scotland through panoramic windows. This is the perfect place to sit back with a Scottish whisky and socialize with your fellow passengers as the gentle scenery drifts past. The restaurant, further down, seats around 60 diners, each of whom are regaled with a dazzling array of sumptuous meals, taking their culinary cues from each destination the ship visits.
Providing the entirety of mainland Scotland with transport links, Abello Scotrail is a fantastic commuter service that means even the farthest reaches of this wild and wonderful country is easily accessible. Running since 1983 under a variety of operators, this service has numerous lines, including one that stretches from the tip, Thurso, down to Edinburgh.
The lines on the Scotrail service are some of the most scenic in the world. The Kyle Line, the West Highland Line, and the Hadrian's Wall line are all services by Scotrail trains. The West Highland Line, stretching between Glasgow to Mallaig, stopping off at Fort William and with an offshoot line to Oban, is arguably the most famous of this line. There are numerous stunning sights to look out for on this route - from the breathtaking wilds of the highlands to the peaks of the craggy mountains, to the iconic 21-spans of the beautiful Glennfinnan Viaduct.
The stock that traverses the lines are comfortable and modern, with spacious carriages and seating, as well as large windows through which to see the passing beauty of the Scottish countryside.
West Highland Line
Also known as 'the Iron Road to the Isles', a journey on the West Highland Line is an epic rail adventure that takes passengers through some of the world's most beautiful and dramatic landscapes. In fact, the line has twice been voted the world's best rail journey by readers of Wanderlust magazine.
Running from Glasgow's Queen Street station, the train runs through the city's outskirts and on to Helensburgh. From here the train begins its ascent into the famous Highlands.
Soon the train skirts the beautiful Loch Long, followed by the immense Loch Lomond, as it makes its way up the ever-increasing gradients. The journey continues alongside the Loch - Britain's largest body of inland water - whilst winding through wooded slopes.
Continuing northward through charming isolated villages, the train then climbs more than 500 feet (150 m) in just five miles, before arriving at the tiny hamlet Crianlarich. Here the West Highland Line splits into two branches. One continues to Fort William and Mallaig, the other heads west to Oban.
Tour Dates & Prices
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You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.