The Caledonian canal is one of the most scenic waterways in Europe. Located in the Scottish Highlands, the waterway travels through three beautiful Lochs including Loch Oich, Loch Lochy and the world famous Loch Ness. It begins from under the shadow of the great Ben Nevis Mountain at Fort William and continues to the wonderful medieval city of Inverness. In total it has 29 locks including the impressive Neptune Staircase which is a sequence of 8 locks, the only canal feature like this in Britain. There are many lovely villages and towns along the canal which all provide for free overnight mooring and a friendly welcome.
The canal offers stunning scenery, lots of attractions and entertainment and the perfect opportunity to really get away from it all and explore the Scottish highland at you leisure. For culture, tradition and history, a boating holiday in Scotland is an ideal and unique way of experiencing everything that Scotland prides itself on. We have many comfortable and modern boats for you to choose from so why not use our search engine to pick and plan your boating holiday in the heart of the Scottish highlands.
The Highland Cruise
Day – 1 Arrive at you designated base marina. You will be greeted with a very friendly welcome given a tour of your boat. A class on the safety procedures and on how to use the boat will be given. Then spend the next few hours exploring the surrounding waters and taking in the spectacular scenery.
Day – 2 Time to explore Loch Lochy with Banavie as your desired destination. This part of the canal lies under the backdrop of the highest mountain range in the United Kingdom and the famous Ben Nevis. Loch Lochy is beautiful and takes about 2-3 hours to navigate through. The final part of the this stretch is a little more tricky and involves climbing the Neptune Staircase. This is a series of eight locks and is the largest staircase loch system in Britain. Beyond this is the town of Banavie. If you have the time we recommend you take the short trip from here to the popular historic town of Fort William which is only a few miles away.
Day -3 Turning back, set out for Loch Oich. This will bring back through Loch Lochy and the Laggan locks until you reach the open water of the Loch. Upon entering Loch Lochy you certainly notice the breathtaking green scenery of the Great Glen Water Park and there are plenty of mooring points here if you wish to go ashore and partake in some of the many activities on offer. Arriving in Fort Augustus will be the main aim for today. This pretty little village is a popular stopping point for pleasure craft users and you can take the opportunity to learn more about highland life by visiting the town Clansman centre. The local taverns are very welcoming and this is an ideal place to spend the night.
Day – 4 Today it is time to explore what is probably the most famous Loch in the world. Keep your crew on alert in case of any monster sightings and set out for Drumnadrochit. Here there is a museum dedicated to telling the story of the Loch Ness monster and its history. Urquhart castle makes for a fascinating visit also and this part of Loch Ness is generally buzzing with tourist activity. The castle and it’s remains was once a great fortress and is very interesting to explore. The town offers some nice restaurants and taverns and is a good place to spend the evening.
Day – 5 From Drumnadrochit, travel north towards Inverness. This trip will only take a few hours so you can spend much of the morning and afternoon exploring Loch Ness. Inverness is a wonderful city full of culture and entrainment. Moore your cruiser at one of the many points provided and venture into the city tonight. Festivals are held here regularly through out the year and there is plenty of night-life to enjoy.
Day – 6 Continue to explore Inverness and the surrounding sites including Cawdor Castle, the site of the Battle of Culloden, Inverness Castle, the city Museum and much more. These site seeing tours can be arrange from the local tourist office in the city centre. Tomorrow you will have to be back in your base marina early so its best to start your journey back this evening.
Day – 7 Spend the final few hours of your wonderful cruising holiday taking in the dramatic scenery for the last time. It is very difficult to leave and you will surely want to come back. Arrive at the marina and its time to depart.