Navigate Scottish lochs on this relaxing cruise
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This fantastic five-night cruise through the heart of the Highlands begins and ends with a night in Edinburgh before we board our ship for a journey through the rugged coastline of Scotland's west coast to the unspoilt beauty of the Isle of Mull, up Neptune's Staircase, along the Caledonian Canal and across Loch Ness.
Meet your group and Tour Manager at the Apex Waterloo Place hotel in Edinburgh. After arriving, you are at leisure in Edinburgh, perhaps to explore its historic centre, 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.
This morning we transfer to Waverley Station for a journey via Glasgow to the fishing village of Oban on the Scottish mainland's west coast. This quaint little town is known as the 'seafood capital of Scotland'. On arrival, we transfer to the North Pier, where we board our floating hotel for 5 nights, the luxury MV Lord of the Glens. After settling in to your cabin, you are free to explore the delights that Oban has to offer, before a welcome reception and dinner on board. We moor in Oban overnight.
After enjoying our first sumptuous breakfast on board, we enjoy a walking tour this morning that includes a trip to a local whisky distillery. Here, we take a tour and enjoy a sample of one of Scotland's most famous exports, before we visit McCaig's Tower. This circular folly overlooks the town, and was based on the Colosseum in Rome. Following our excursion, we set sail for the first time. Take the time to relax on board, enjoying the facilities, as the spectacular coastal scenery of Oban Bay and Loch Linnhe pass effortlessly by, before we enter the Sound of Mull.
As we head through small islands and across to Mull, the incredible views are simply awe inspiring; the rugged coastline, the hills that rise sharply from the water's edge, all painted in the breathtaking greens, purples, and browns of the moorland and rock faces. We arrive at Craignure on the Isle of Mull for a visit to Duart Castle, the ancestral home of the MacLean Clan. Leaving Duart Castle, we cross Mull by coach to Tobermory, the capital of the island.
The fishing port of Tobermory is most recognizable for the gaily painted houses that line the waterfront. This morning, you are free to explore the town before we leave Mull and sail to the mainland. Our journey takes us along the length of the Sound of Mull and along Loch Linnhe to Corpach.
We disembark our vessel for a fantastic excursion on the West Highland Line. This particular stretch of railroad is famous for its exquisite beauty, and today, it takes us to Glenfinnan, a glorious journey that travels over the famous Glenfinnan viaduct. The Glenfinnan Viaduct is most famous for being a location used in the 'Harry Potter' films, where the Hogwarts Express passes through the Scottish Highlands. The viaduct itself is also a rather marvelous example of engineering, as it features 21 spans (or arches), which curve gently over the valley, in a way that almost compliments the surrounding scenery.
As we travel on, we are provided with a breathtaking snapshot of the stunning highland region. This evening, we remain moored in Corpach, a village filled with pebble-dashed houses that are so typical of the highland region.
Today, we begin by ascending through the incredible feat of engineering that is Neptune's Staircase, which raises the vessel to Banavie. From here, we sail through Loch Lochy and Loch Oich, as well as the tree-lined Laggan Avenue, before travelling through Fort Augustus in preparation of our final destination of Loch Ness. We have time to explore Fort Augustus this evening, as the boat docks here overnight.
On Day 6, we set sail across mystical Loch Ness, famed for its 'monster' as well as its indescribable beauty. This mysterious stretch of water also holds the title of being one the deepest freshwater bodies in the United Kingdom, and on all sides the majestic hills of the highlands slope dramatically away from its shimmering depths.
We cruise past the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle, that sits on the shore of the Loch, and pass Loch Dochfour on our way into Inverness. It is here that our journey on the MV Lord of the Glens concludes, and tonight we enjoy a farewell reception and dinner.
After breakfast, we disembark the MV Lord of the Glens, in Inverness, where we transfer to the station and travel by rail to Edinburgh. This journey is, in itself, an excellent way to see the true beauty of Scotland. On our way, we pass through rolling countryside and verdant forests of the brooding Cairngorms National Park, filled with dramatic mountains that can either be shrouded in Scottish mist, or unveiled to great effect by the sun.
We arrive for a final afternoon at leisure in the Scottish capital, where we check into our hotel.
After breakfast, you are free to leave Edinburgh at your leisure.
We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to and from Edinburgh Airport (EDI), which is approximately 8 miles from your base in Edinburgh.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
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.
An escorted experience and travel during your tour
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Navigate Scottish lochs on this relaxing cruise