Scottish Highlands
Boat Tours & River Cruises

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Our most recommended Scottish Highlands Cruises & Boat Tours

Loch Lomond: 1-Hour Cruise

1. Loch Lomond: 1-Hour 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." 

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Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

2. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

Head for the Highlands, whether in search of the Loch Ness Monster or just a scenic day trip from Edinburgh. After pickup, relax on your group’s bus and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary. Visit Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows and a cup of coffee. Discover what a ‘hairy coo’ really is. Next, travel up the road to Glencoe and enjoy a 10-minute photo stop in front of the unforgettable Highland views. Have lunch in Fort William, where your guide can advise you on where to eat. If you're interested in the mysteries of the kilt, you can even get a ‘wee’ kilt introduction here. Then be whisked to Loch Ness itself. Customize your experience at Loch Ness with personal touches. Visit the majestic Urquhart Castle, and hop on a boat in search of ‘Nessie’, as the locals call it. Or simply hang out on the pier and grab a coffee with gorgeous views. On the way home, make a short snack stop in Pitlochry, a beautiful village in the heart of the country, before returning to Edinburgh.

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From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

3. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

Depart Edinburgh on an air-conditioned luxury coach (max 34 seats). Pass Stirling Castle and hear your tour guide tell tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the bloody battles fought out on these lands. First, arrive at Callander town, nestled at the foot of the Trossachs. Next, drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Your Scottish guide will tell you about Rob Roy MacGregor, the infamous Highlander. Follow in the footsteps of James Bond ("Skyfall") and Harry Potter ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban") as you travel to the stunning Highland valley of Glencoe. Hear the eerie story of the Clan MacDonald massacre of 1692. Travel through Fort William, home to Ben Nevis, which at 4,409 feet is the highest mountain of the British Isles. Arrive on the south bank of Loch Ness in the charming village of Fort Augustus, where lots of cafes, shops, and restaurants offer a relaxing lunch. Stroll along the banks of the Caledonian Canal, then experience Loch Ness on an optional 1-hour boat cruise. Try to catch a glimpse of "Nessie," the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Admire the impressive Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge with views of the Nevis Range. Enter the Cairngorms National Park and discover "Monarch of the Glen" country. Drive along Loch Laggan before the roads climb above the Grampian Mountains. Travel over the Pass of Drumochter, linking the northern and southern Central Highlands. Experience the majesty of a mountain pass created by glacial activity during successive Ice Ages. Finally, stop briefly in the beautiful Victorian town of Pitlochry before heading back to Edinburgh city center, arriving at approximately 8:30 PM.

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From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

4. From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

From Glasgow, travel north towards the Scottish highlands. Our first stop is for a cup of tea or coffee at a café on the shores of Loch Lomond. We then climb up into the Highlands over the unique, desolate landscape of Rannoch Moor and the Black Mount to Glencoe, site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald clan. After lunch in the Fort William area, we continue beneath Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis and into the Great Glen. At Loch Ness, take a 1-hour cruise on the loch or enjoy the beautiful views at its shores. Begin your return journey from Inverness, Capital of the Highlands. Before arriving back in Glasgow, we will cross the Grampian Mountains and the woodland scenery of Perthshire, including the Forest of Atholl.

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From Inverness: Complete Loch Ness 1-Day Experience

5. From Inverness: Complete Loch Ness 1-Day Experience

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. Venture on with a gentle drive to Invermoriston, where you can go on a scenic stroll that showcases 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. Journet back towards Inverness, stopping for short walks and coffee breaks at the scenic villages of Foyers and Dores before your estimated arrival in Inverness at 5:00 PM.

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From Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Highlands Full-Day Trip

6. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Highlands Full-Day Trip

Explore the beauty of Scotland’s Highlands on a 12-hour scenic driving tour by comfortable coach. See historic sights and unforgettable landscapes on this guided day trip from Edinburgh. Following a hotel pick-up in central Edinburgh, you will head towards Stirling, catching views of the Castle and Wallace Monument. Continue towards Callander, and stop for morning coffee, and the chance to meet “Hamish the Hairy Coo.” Head northwards over Rannoch Moor, and reach the dark, brooding Pass of Glencoe. Stop to learn the story of the massacre of 1692, before crossing Loch Leven. Stop for lunch in Fort William, then follow the Caledonian Canal up the Great Glen to Loch Ness. Here, you have the option to cruise on the Loch for approximately 1 hour, or relax in the tranquil village on its banks. After Loch Ness you will head South East and take in magnificent views of Loch Laggan. Marvel at the magnificent Blair Castle, home of the Dukes of Atholl for over 700 years, before moving onto Pitlochry, a delightful Victorian resort town. Then, head south through Fife, and cross the Forth next to the amazing Forth Bridge, before arriving back in Edinburgh.

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Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

7. Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

Spend a day experiencing the natural beauty of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park from Edinburgh. Enjoy a memorable visit to Stirling Castle, explore the pretty villages of Aberfoyle and Loch Lomond Shores, and set off on a spectacular cruise across Loch Lomond. Departing Edinburgh, head to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, one of the prettiest and largest lochs in the whole of Scotland. Here you can enjoy an hour-long cruise taking in spectacular views of the loch’s many islands and the surrounding mountains. Alternatively, take a stroll through the picturesque loch-side conservation village of Loch Lomond Shores, with its quaint houses, cafes, and stunning views across the loch’s western shoreline.  Enter The Trossachs National Park and experience its abundance of lochs, mountains, and forests. Continue on, past medieval Doune Castle, to the pretty town of Aberfoyle, situated on the banks of the River Teith in Stirlingshire, where you stop to enjoy some lunch.  Travel north-west for your last stop of the day at magnificent Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s most historically significant castles, sitting high on volcanic rock and offering wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. Visit the castle and learn of the exploits of key historical figures including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots. Travel back to Edinburgh at the end of your tour.

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Loch Ness, Glencoe & Highlands Small-Group Tour from Glasgow

8. Loch Ness, Glencoe & Highlands Small-Group Tour from Glasgow

Depart Glasgow at 8:00 and travel north towards the Highlands along the “bonnie, bonnie” banks of Loch Lomond. Crossing the ancient natural fault line that runs across Scotland you travel into the majestic Highlands where the scenery changes quickly and dramatically – the flat fertile plains of the Lowlands give way to shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops and forest-filled glens. Traveling north through Breadalbane, meaning the 'High Country of Scotland,' you climb towards the wild desolation of Rannoch Moor and down into Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe. Glencoe is infamous as the site of the Glencoe massacre in 1692. Beyond Glencoe you will enter the Great Glen, a deep glacial valley which follows a geological fault line. Passing through the town of Fort William you drive under Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, before arriving at Fort Augustus on the southern shore of Loch Ness. Of course, the loch is best known for the legendary sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie. Fort Augustus is a pretty little town in its own right, the Caledonian Canal which links the lochs of the Great Glen dominates the town and makes for a great place to relax and watch the boats sail by. You will stop here for lunch before travelling north the full length of the loch with opportunities to see the ancient stronghold of Urquhart Castle while taking a 5-Star Jacobite boat cruise on the loch. From Loch Ness you continue north through Inverness before traveling south through the mountains of the Cairngorms National Park. Your route takes you over the Drumochter Pass, 1500 feet above sea level, and past the 13th century Blair Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Atholl. Your next stop is the Highland resort town of Pitlochry, built on Victorian tourism and nestled amongst the mountains of Highland Perthshire. Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoaches for a more personal service.

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Edinburgh: Loch Ness and Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

9. Edinburgh: Loch Ness and Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

Head north from Edinburgh and pass the imposing ramparts of Stirling Castle. Skirt the Trossachs Rob Roy country, and cross the wilds of Rannoch Moor before stopping at dramatic Glencoe; the scene of the infamous 1692 massacre.  Your journey takes you through Fort William. Pass Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, before entering the Great Glen. Arrive at the pretty Highland village of Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness, and enjoy a lovely picnic with freshly made sandwiches, fresh fruit, shortbread and Scottish mineral water. If you fancy something more substantial, your guide will happily recommend some great local cafes.  Take an optional boat cruise on the loch, go for a scenic hike, or just relax by the Caledonian Canal. If you choose to sail along the waters of Loch Ness, it really is an unforgettable experience. Your boat is eqipped with the latest hi-tech color, sonar, and underwater imaging system, giving you a fascinating view of the underwater terrain and life. You might even see Nessie! You can also relax with a coffee or beer in the on board bar. Having seen the best of the Scottish Highlands, it's time to head back to Edinburgh via shimmering Loch Laggan and the wild and lonely Drumochter Pass. Head south and enter Perthshire, a land of forests, rivers and mountains. See the spectacular Forth Bridge before arriving back in Edinburgh at around 20:00.

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Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

10. Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

Discover the legends and secrets of the islands of Loch Lomond, known as “the jewels in her crown.” Learn the history and the legend of Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas, while enjoying some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. This leisurely 2-hour circular cruise passes the world-famous Loch Lomond Golf Club and explores the middle island of Loch Lomond, sailing through an area known to locals as "The Narrows", and continues onwards to the village of Luss.   Enjoy cruise commentary by famed historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver, best known from BBC's "Coast" and "A History of Scotland." The luxurious and smooth passenger boats offer excellent viewing, opened and closed deck space, and full bar facilities.  

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Other Sightseeing Options in Scottish Highlands

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What people are saying about Scottish Highlands

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 682 reviews

Our tour guide John, from the hairy coo company, was not only incredibly knowledgable and passionate about Scotland but also hilarious; a great sense of humour! The sites were breathtaking, despite the clouds. We highly recommend!

This was a beautiful tour! Eric was a wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide. Stirling Castle was closed, and Eric did an awesome job at showing us beautiful locations that made our time fruitful. Definitely recommend!

Gary did a great job guiding us on our tour. He was very informative and gave us a good amount of time to explore the different places. I hope everyone gets Gary as a tour guide.

If you have limited times to explore scotland, get this tour. The view was magnificent and really blow my mind.

Best tourguide/bus driver Stewart. You are a legend. Walking/driving encyclopedia. -kristle & ernest (PH)