The Experience

Scotland’s Highlands and Islands Expedition Cruise

DAY 1: Depart for Inverness, Scotland.
Arrive in Scotland.

DAY 2: Inverness
Arrive in Inverness, and embark Lord of the Glens to the strains of a highland piper. Tonight, enjoy a reception and dinner on board while docked in Inverness. Lord of the Glens (D)

DAY 3: Culloden/Clava Cairns/Loch Ness
Following an optional morning walk, visit Culloden, the infamous battlefield where Bonnie, Prince Charlie’s Jacobite forces were defeated in 1746, and then see the ancient standing stones of Clava Cairns. Set sail this afternoon on the Caledonian Canal, built between 1803 and 1822 to connect Loch Ness with the Great Glen,™s three other lochs. Enter Loch Ness, cruise past the romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle, and learn about the legendary monster said to inhabit the loch. Moor this evening at Fort Augustus. (B, L, D)

DAY 4: Laggan Locks/Banavie/Glenfinnan
Ascend an impressive flight of locks that runs through the heart of Fort Augustus. Glide along the tree-lined canal known as Laggan Avenue, or hike or bike along the towpath and rejoin the ship at the first lock. Depart Laggan Locks and sail into Loch Lochy. Follow the canal to the town of Banavie, nestled in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Great Britain’s highest mountain. In the afternoon we travel to beautiful Glenfinnan, surrounded by mountains, where there are fine walking options. From Glenfinnan we’ll see the West Highland railway line,™s renowned viaduct, made famous in Harry Potter movies. Welcome local musicians on board for a lively evening of music and song. (B, L, D)

DAY 5: Loch Linnhe/Oban
Lord of the Glens descends Neptune’s Staircase, a set of eight interconnected locks, and continues through Loch Linnhe to the town of Oban, set on a picturesque bay on the Firth of Lorn. We’ll have time to explore this lively town on foot, visiting a whisky distillery and McCaig,™s Tower, a monument on a hill overlooking the town and bay that was inspired by the Roman Colosseum. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Sound of Mull/Duart Castle/Iona/Tobermory
This morning we sail to the Isle of Mull, in the Inner Hebrides. Visit photogenic Duart Castle, an impressive fortress (with a dungeon!). Drive across Mull, then cross to Iona by ferry to explore this picturesque island. Visit the medieval abbey ruins and the rebuilt abbey church, and learn about the ecumenical movement based there. Stroll through St. Oran’s Chapel and the royal graveyard where generations of Scottish kings are buried, and enjoy a brief walking tour of Iona. Continue on to the picturesque town of Tobermory, After dinner, staff from the Wings Over Mull Birds of Prey and Conservation Centre visit us aboard ship. (B, L, D)

DAY 7: Tobermory/Isle of Eigg or Isle of Rum/Inverie
This morning, explore Tobermory’s lively quayside on your own or on a walk led by our staff. Then we sail north to tiny Eigg, catching glimpses of the islands of the Inner Hebrides along the way. At Eigg you can get a sense of what life is like for the roughly 90 people who live on this island community. Look for marine animals and birdlife, including Atlantic seals, minke whales, dolphins, porpoises and a variety of seabirds. Alternatively, we may visit the Isle of Rum, renowned for spectacular Kinloch Castle. Then sail to the tiny village of Inverie, where you can have a drink at the most remote pub in the British Isles. (B, L, D)

DAY 8: Isle of Skye
We sail from Inverie this morning, and spend the day on the Isle of Skye. At the Museum of the Isles, trace the legacy of the 1,300-year-old Clan Donald, the Lords of the Isles, who once ruled the west coast of Scotland, and take a walk through the woodlands in Armadale. You’ll then take a guided walk in the Cuillin Hills (weather permitting) amid some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. Those who prefer not to hike can explore Eilean Donan Castle and the charming village of Plockton. Celebrate your Scottish voyage at a farewell dinner on board. (B, L, D)

DAY 9: Kyle of Lochalsh/Inverness/New York
Disembark in Kyle of Lochalsh and drive to Inverness for homeward bound flights. (B)
Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting. While in the neighborhhood consider the extention for an additional fee: 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. Our visit is timed to coincide with the spectacular Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a festival and celebration of music and culture set against the famous backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. You’ll also see the Scottish Crown Jewels and enjoy some time to explore on your own.

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