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Five-Star Highlands Cruise

Explore the rugged Scottish Highlands

From $ per person


After travelling on the incredibly scenic Kyle Line Railway, we explore the rugged Scottish Highlands on a voyage that takes us up Neptune's Staircase, along the Caledonian Canal and passes the glorious islands and idyllic scenery of the Inner Hebrides.

The itinerary for your journey
Tour highlights

What’s included

Day 1 - Meet in Inverness
Inverness

Meet your group and Tour Manager at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness. After checking in, there is time at leisure to explore the historic town before dinner.

Day 2 - MV Lord of the Highlands
MV Lord of the Highlands

This morning we transfer to Inverness station, where we board the train for a journey on the Kyle Line to Kyle of Lochalsh. Here, your Tour Manager bids you farewell, and you board the luxury MV Lord of the Highlands. For any queries during your time on board, there is an experienced Cruise Director. After settling in, enjoy a welcome reception and a threecourse dinner on board.

Day 3 - The Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye

After indulging in our first breakfast on board, we enjoy a morning visit to Eilean Donan Castle, set dramatically in the middle of the confluence of Lochs Duich, Long, and Alsh, before going on to the picturesque village of Plockton. From here, we return to our vessel to sail via Kyle Rhea and the Sound of Sleat to Armadale on the Isle of Skye. Later in the day we visit the Clan Donald Centre and Gardens, before we sail to the town of Inverie, located on Loch Nevis.

We moor at Inverie for the night, giving you the chance to have a drink at the Old Forge, which boasts the title of the most remote pub in Great Britain, being 20 miles away from the nearest road.

Day 4 - Eigg
Tobermory

This morning we sail around Ardnamurchan Point, the most westerly point of mainland Britain. We reach Eigg, a tiny island dominated by 'an Sgurr', a dramatic pitchstone ridge.

Whilst on board, look out for the myriad of marine animals and birds that inhabit the island and its surrounding waters, including minke whales, dolphins, porpoises, and a wide variety of seabirds. After exploring Eigg, we sail into the Sound of Mull towards Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, the second largest Island of the Inner Hebrides.

The route takes us past the dramatic scenery of Scotland's west coast, with views of untouched moorland sloping down to jagged rock faces on the shore. We then arrive in Tobermory, the capital of the Isle of Mull, located in the north of the island. This lovely little fishing port is famed for its brightly coloured houses. We moor here for the night, giving you the chance to further explore the pretty harbour of Tobermory.

Days 5-6 - Iona and the West Highland Line
Iona

We sail along the Isle of Mull to Craignure today, where we enjoy an excursion to the hidden and beautiful Isle of Iona. This unspoilt island is only accessible from Mull, and is filled with pristine beaches and wild terrain. Later, we return to Craignure, where we sail across to Oban.

Here, we take some time to photograph the lovely 13th century Duart Castle. We moor at Oban overnight On Day 6, we leave Oban to sail along Loch Linnhe to Corpach, located at the entrance of the Caledonian Canal. This afternoon, we take the West Highland line over the beautiful Glenfinnan viaduct to the village of the same name. Tonight, we moor at Corpach.

Days 7-8 - Neptune’s Staircase and Inverness
Urquhart Castle

We sail this morning to ascend the incredible feat of engineering that is Neptune's Staircase, a flight of eight inter-connected locks that take the vessel along the Caledonian Canal, through Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, and Laggan Avenue. We arrive at our mooring space for the night, Fort Augustus.

Loch Ness is our destination on Day 8. We cross this beautiful stretch of water, which has fostered tales of the famous 'monster' because of it's murky and mysterious depths, and take in the stunning surrounding scenery, including the ruins of Urquhart Castle.

This afternoon, we enjoy a fascinating excursion to Culloden, the site of the battlefield where 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' and his forces were defeated in 1745. We also visit the ancient standing stones of the Clava Cairns. This evening, we enjoy a farewell reception and dinner on board, spending the night moored in Inverness.

Day 9 - Departing Inverness
Inverness

After breakfast on board, we disembark in Inverness and you are free to make your homeward journey.

Recommended airport

We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to and from Inverness Airport (INV), which is approximately 10 miles from your base in Inverness. 

Visa Requirements

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.

Departure Dates

All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.

Trains
The Kyle Line
Travelling on the Scotrail service to Kyle of Lochalsh on the Kyle Line

The Kyle Line takes us on one of the most scenic rail journeys in the British Isles, travelling between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh.

On leaving Inverness, the line hugs the shores of the Beauly Firth before heading north to Dingwall. From here, the line immediately turns inland and climbs over the Highlands. As a result of a dispute with the landowners of the time, the builders of the railway were forced to make a sharp detour around Strathpeffer. After a steep climb to Black Rock the line descends through beautiful wooded hillsides until it reaches Garve on the shore of Loch Garve. On a still clear day this loch perfectly mirrors the surrounding hills and trees. From Garve station the line climbs up to the broad straths leading to the West Coast before climbing to the summit of the line at Luib.

The line then descends to the magnificent scenery of Loch Carron, where it twists and turns in and out of the loch side inlets. Plockton station and village, with yachts anchored in the shelter of its beautiful bay, is the next passing point, and was the location for the BBC Television series 'Hamish Macbeth'.

The final section of the journey is perhaps the most dramatic (and the most expensive), as it was carved through the solid rock that leads to Kyle Pier. Kyle of Lochalsh ("strait of the foaming lake") sits at the entrance to Loch Alsh, opposite Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye. The two villages were formerly connected by a ferry service, but this was replaced by the Skye Bridge in 1995.

Please note: some of our tours travel on this route in reverse from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness or travel just part of this route. See individual tour for details. 

Read about the experiences of a member of the Great Rail Journeys Marketing team during his journey on the Kyle Line

Scotrail
Scotrail

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.

Another famed line that we utilise on the Scotrail network includes the Kyle of Lochalsh line, running 63 miles between Dingwall and Kyle of Lochalsh. With spectacular views of the Isle of Skye as you come towards the pretty Kyle of Lochalsh, this particular line is certainly a glorious introduction to both of the Highlands of Scotland and the Hebrides. Other particularly beautiful places that the network explores include the Cairngorm National Park, on the Inverness to Edinburgh line, which passes through magnificent and verdant pine forests, as well as nearby the iconic Cairngorm Mountain.

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. New trains will be coming soon in the next few years, with more services, power sockets, Wi-Fi, and improved accessibility.

West Highland Line
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 pretty wooden 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.

Hotels
Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness
Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness

Located within a short distance of Inverness city centre, the Kingsmills Hotel benefits from its beautiful setting, within four acres of gardens and in close proximity to the Inverness Golf Club. Hotel facilities include a restaurant and bar, free and paid Wi-Fi, a gym and spa, and an indoor pool.

Ships
MV Lord of the Highlands
MV Lord of the Highlands

Brand new for 2020, the sleek MV Lord of the Highlands' facilities are spread across three spacious decks. On board, you'll find a superb restaurant as well as a bar and lounge area. Decorated in regal Scottish style, each cabin features a picture window or balcony, flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi and full en suite bathrooms.

With room for up to 40 passengers and 17 crew, there'll always be someone on hand to assist you, and the intimate surroundings just add to the special atmosphere of both this ship and cruise.

Upgrades

We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!

This page was printed from www.greatrail.com/us/tours/five-star-highlands-cruise/#KKR20 on 9 July 2020.
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