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Scottish Highlands Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended Scottish Highlands Cruises & boat tours

Loch Ness: Urquhart Castle Round-Trip Cruise

1. Loch Ness: Urquhart Castle Round-Trip Cruise

Climb aboard a small cruise boat for a truly inspiring tour of Loch Ness, departing from Clansman Harbour, just south of Inverness, and sailing as far as Urquhart Castle and back. Once on board, you will sail to the heart of Loch Ness, famous around the world for its mysterious - and elusive - monster. A selection of Scottish produce, as well as hot and cold snacks are available to purchase from the bar, if you fancy a wee dram as you cruise. Boats also have free WiFi for your convenience. Soak up the stunning mountain views as you cruise to the remains of Urquhart Castle, the envy of Scotland’s romantic ruins. Once you reach the blunt peninsula of Urquhart Bay, the boat will turn around and sail at back to Clansman Harbour.

Loch Lomond: Scottish Highlands Sightseeing Cruise

2. Loch Lomond: Scottish Highlands Sightseeing Cruise

Depart from Balloch village and set sail beyond the stately homes of historic Scottish industrialists within view of Ben Lomond, Scotland's most southerly Munro. Continue towards Inchmurrin Island, the largest inland island in Great Britain and home to the ruins of the 12th century Lennox Castle. Learn the history and legend of Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas while enjoying some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. Enjoy a cruise commentary by famed historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver, best known from BBC's "Coast" and "A History of Scotland." 

Dochgarroch: Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal 2-Hour Cruise

3. Dochgarroch: Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal 2-Hour Cruise

Join this cruise for a round-trip sail to Urquhart Castle from Dochgarroch Lock. Your cruise sails from Dochgarroch Loch on the Caledonian Canal and heads to the heart of the mystery, where you’ll learn the fascinating story of Loch Ness. You will pass by The Great Glen, Aldourie Castle, and more while enjoying the selection of hot and cold Scottish snacks on board. There is also a bar if you fancy a wee dram, and for those of you who like to stay connected, there is free Wi-fi onboard.

Fort William: Seal Spotting Loch Linnhe Cruise

4. Fort William: Seal Spotting Loch Linnhe Cruise

Embark on a boat tour of Loch Linnhe. Pass picturesque villages, seal, islands and a Caledonian forest. Hear live commentary from the skipper. Depart from Fort William's town pier and head towards the top of Loch Linnhe. See the charming village of Corpach which has Scotland's most instagrammed shipwreck. Marvel at islands teeming with birdlife. Sail over the entrance to the Caledonian canal. Admire traditional black houses, stunning glens, an ancient Caledonian forest, and salmon and mussel farms. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles, otters, and porpoises. Have the chance to purchase refreshments and from the crew. Get close to Black Rock for the chance to see seals and seal pups. Head back to Fort William.

Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

5. Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

Discover the legends and secrets of the islands of Loch Lomond on this cruise from Alexandria. Learn the history and the legends of Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas, while enjoying some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. Hop aboard the spacious and comfortable boat that Balloch Village Ferry Landing. Have plenty of space for indoor and outdoor viewing with opened and closed deck space, and full bar facilities where you can purchase a drink. Begin you circular cruise which passes the world-famous Loch Lomond Golf Club. Explore the middle island of Loch Lomond, sail through an area known to locals as "The Narrows", and continue onwards to the village of Luss. Listen to cruise commentary by famed historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver, best known from BBC's "Coast" and "A History of Scotland." Return to your starting point at the end of your journey.

Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise, Outlander & Whisky Tour

6. Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise, Outlander & Whisky Tour

Uncover the mystery of Loch Ness on a cruise Urquhart Castle on this guided tour from Inverness. Immerse yourself in local history at Culloden Battlefield. Enter the world of the hit TV show Outlander at the standing stones at Clava Cairns. Depart central Inverness and journey to the world-famous Loch Ness. Glide over the lake's shimmering waters on a 1-hour cruise to Urquhart Castle. Have free time to explore the13th-century ruins on foot. Stop to purchase lunch in one of the charming local cafés in Beauly and explore Beauly Priory, which was featured in the Outlander novel series. Next, stop at an ancient pine forest to see waterfalls. Visit a Highland whisky distillery, where you have the option of sampling a wee dram. Listen to tales of the Jacobite rebellions and the brutal Battle of Culloden, on a visit to Culloden Battlefield. Step into the world of Outlander at the burial chambers and standing stones at Clava Cairns. When you’ve heard the harrowing history that inspired the Outlander story, you might not want to travel back in time to meet Jamie Fraser after all. Return to Inverness in the early evening.

Fort William: Evening Cruise with Views of Ben Nevis

7. Fort William: Evening Cruise with Views of Ben Nevis

Departing from and returning to Fort William's main town pier, this 90-minute cruise is the perfect way to relax after a day exploring the mountains and glens of Lochaber! Enjoy spectacular views of Ben Nevis, islands teeming with birdlife, and unbeatable sunsets over the granite hills! Enjoy a range of local beers and whiskies aboard your vessel MV Elsie.

From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

8. From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

Cruise on Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle on this coach and boat tour that transports you directly from Inverness city center to the legendary Loch Ness. You’ll learn everything there is to know about the stirring past of these famous shores as you relax on a guided coach tour. After departing from Inverness by coach, you will drive to Loch Ness. Once you arrive, hop on board a boat to cruise across the Loch’s world-famous waters. Keep an eye on the sonars for a blip that could be Nessie. There is a fully stocked bar on board and a selection of Scottish snacks. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are also served, should you require a little warming up. Once you are back on shore, explore the historic ruins of the once-mighty stronghold of Urquhart Castle. After you have seen the castle, relax on the coach as you make the return drive to Inverness city center.

Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

9. Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

Experience the wild and windy Scottish coastline. Listen to informative commentary from your guide throughout the cruise and enrich your knowledge of Scotland’s natural history. Cruise through the Pentland Firth past Duncansby Head lighthouse passing close to the sheer 200-feet high cliffs teeming with sea birds followed by a close-up view of the famous Stacks of Duncansby. Cross the inner sound of the Pentland Firth for a view of the uninhabited island of Stroma and the colonies of Atlantic Grey Seals. See the various cliffs and birds of Stroma. The types of birdlife seen will depend on the nesting season. For example Puffins will be seen in large numbers in June and July but in much smaller numbers in August. If you are lucky, catch a view of some whales.

From Inverness: Loch Ness Day Trip

10. From Inverness: Loch Ness Day Trip

Explore the Scottish Highlands on a bus tour from Inverness. Take scenic nature walks, surrounded by violet heather, rolling hills, and forests. Look out for the Loch Ness monster on the shores of the deepest loch in all of Scotland or embark on a 1-hour boat cruise on the loch at your own expense. Depart Inverness and journey to the deep freshwater lake of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, where, on arrival, you will head to the Clansman Hotel for an optional boat trip across the water. Cruise around the loch for stunning views of the surrounding scenery, and get the chance to see Urquhart Castle from a different perspective. Look for the legendary Loch Ness Monster to work up an appetite, and then enjoy a delicious lunch at a nearby restaurant (not included). Venture on with a gentle drive to Invermoriston, to take a stroll by flowing rivers, an ancient summerhouse, and the ruins of a picturesque stone bridge. Continue to the wee village of Fort Augustus, nestled between Loch Ness and the 60-mile Caledonian Canal. Journey back towards Inverness, stopping for short walks and coffee breaks at the charming villages of Foyers and Dores before arriving back in Inverness.

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  • Water activities
  • Day trips
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What people are saying about Scottish Highlands

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 682 reviews

From start to finish this cruise up Loch Ness and back was amazing, stunning scenery, fantastic commentary from the guide, lovely hot drinks (with or without a nip of scotch) … So glad we did the cruise… definitely one to do … highly recommended it

This tour was so much fun! Our guide was fantastic and super knowledgeable about the details and history of each place we went to. We had an amazing time and got to see and experience so many beautiful places!

Highly Recommended! I was on my own and felt really comfortable. Fully of knowledge, humour and helpful.

Guide was very informative about Lochness and everything about the Loch very relaxing as well

Stunning scenery, excellent care from knowledgeable tour guides, highly recommend