Summary : Selected as a National Geographic Traveler magazine "Tour of a Lifetime" for its authenticity, immersion, sustainability, and connection, the Highlands and Islands expedition offers the most encompassing way to explore Scotland. Sail through the heart of Scotland via the Caledonian Canal that bisects the country, plus explore remote and beautiful islands of the Inner Hebrides. Kayak Loch Linnhe, see the storied battlefield of Culloden, beautiful Glenfinnan, the historic Isle of Iona, and the isles of Mull, Eigg, and Skye. Travel to hauntingly beautiful moorlands, grand castles, sacred abbeys, and sweeping mountains.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
Just-Released Offer Free Bar Tab and Crew Tips
$7,990 to $14,060
Arrive in Inverness. Board Lord of the Glens and settle into your cabin. Gather for a reception and dinner on board, and a performance by junior Scottish dancers.
Visit Culloden, the infamous battlefield where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite forces were defeated in 1746. See the prehistoric standing stones and passage tombs of Clava Cairns. This afternoon, set sail on the Caledonian Canal and enter Loch Ness, where we’ll learn about the legendary monster said to inhabit the loch. Moor at Fort Augustus and set out on a hike.
Ascend an impressive flight of locks that runs through the heart of Fort Augustus. Glide along the tree-lined canal known as Laggan Avenue, and sail across picturesque Lochs Oich and Lochy. From the town of Banavie, drive to Glenfinnan, a lovely village nestled within the mountains, and choose between a kayaking excursion and an afternoon walk. This evening, enjoy a whisky tasting aboard ship.
Today descend Neptune’s Staircase, a set of eight interconnected locks, and continue through Loch Linnhe to the town of Oban, set on a picturesque bay on the Firth of Lorn. There is time to explore this lively town on foot, visiting a whisky distillery and McCaig’s Folly, a monument on a hill overlooking the town and bay that was inspired by the Roman Colosseum.
Sail to the Isle of Mull, in the Inner Hebrides. Drive across Mull, then cross to Iona by ferry to explore this picturesque island. Visit the medieval abbey ruins and the rebuilt abbey church. Stroll through St. Oran’s Chapel and the royal graveyard where Scottish kings including Macbeth are buried. On Mull, visit Duart Castle, home to Clan Maclean. Continue on to the picturesque town of Tobermory.
Explore colorful Tobermory and learn about the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust’s efforts to protect marine mammals in these waters. Then sail north to either Eigg, Rum or even Canna, depending on conditions. The islands have populations of fewer than one hundred souls, and teem with wildlife. Look for marine animals, including Atlantic seals, minke whales, basking sharks, harbor porpoises and a colony of Manx shearwaters. Then sail to the tiny village of Inverie, where you can have a drink at the Old Forge, the most remote pub in the British Isles.
Continue north to the Isle of Skye. At the Museum of the Isles, trace the legacy of the 1,300-year-old Clan Donald, who once ruled the west coast of Scotland, and walk through the woodlands of Armadale. Take a guided walk in the Cuillin Hills (weather permitting), or explore Eilean Donan Castle and the quaint village of Plockton. Celebrate your voyage at a farewell dinner on board.
Disembark in Kyle of Lochalsh and drive through the highlands to Inverness. Then transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary (Kyle of Lochalsh to Iverness):
6/1/2019, 7/27/2019, 8/10/2019, 6/14/2020, 7/26/2020, 8/9/2020, 8/23/2020, 9/6/2020
Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Optional Pre- or Post-Trip Extension: Edinburgh
Visit the ancient Edinburgh Castle and see the Stone of Scone—an oblong block of red sandstone used for centuries in the coronation of monarchs of Scotland. See the Scottish Crown Jewels and enjoy some time to explore on your own. Time your visit to coincide with the spectacular Edinburgh Military Tattoo a festival and celebration of music and culture set against the famous backdrop of Edinburgh Castle (select August dates only). Dates that don't coincide with the Tattoo will have a Scottish cultural evening included instead. From $1,790 per person, double occupancy. Contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Transfers between airport and ship if booked on group flights; shipboard accommodations; kayaking; certified photo instructor; WiFi; all meals onboard ship; soft drinks onboard ship; gratuities to local guides and bus drivers. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa fees; baggage/accident/travel insurance; items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, laundry; optional extensions; gratuities to ship's crew (at your discretion); fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: Stewart Aitchison (Skua); Stewart Cohen (Iona Abbey); Ralph Hammelbacher (Flower Cliffs, Tobermory, Highlands); Ralph Lee Hopkins (Puffin); Lindblad Expeditions (Neptune's Staircase)