Scottish Highlands & Islands Cruise KKR21
|Resort:||Scottish Highlands & Islands Cruise KKR21|
|Operator:||Great Rail Journeys|
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.
Day 1 – Meet in Inverness
Following your individual travel to Inverness or Aviemore, your Tour Manager meets you at our hotel. After checking in, there is time at leisure to explore the historic town before dinner.
Day 2 – 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 three-course dinner on board.
Day 3 – The 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
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
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 – Neptunes Staircase and Inverness
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
After breakfast on board, we disembark in Inverness and you are free to make your homeward journey.