Scottish Highlander barge Review and Specifications
Specifications of Scottish Highlander barge
|Year built||1931 / Age : 88|
|Flag state||United Kingdom|
|Owner||European Waterways Ltd|
|Operator||European Waterways Barge Cruises|
|Speed||10 kn / 19 kph / 12 mph|
|Length (LOA)||36 m / 118 ft|
|Beam (width)||5 m / 16 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||200 gt|
|Passengers||4 - 8|
|Decks with cabins||1|
Review of Scottish Highlander barge
MS Spirit of Scotland is a boutique hotel barge cruising in Scotland, with roundtrip departures from Inverness. The 2001-built motorized ship is operated under charter by European Waterways. The barge cruises in Caledonian Canal and Great Glen's lochs and connecting rivers since June 4, 2017. The 3-level ship was purpose-built as hotel barge, providing travel experience similar to that of traditional steamers which plied the Scottish Highlands lochs in bygone eras. Travelers now have a choice of 2 barges in this region - the other ship being the 12-passenger fleet mate Spirit of Scotland.
The luxury hotel barge Scottish Highlander has max capacity 8 passengers and features 4 passenger cabins, 3 crew cabins, bar saloon (lounge). The crew includes tour guide, chef, housekeeper, and the Captain. Two staircases connect both decks. The list of onboard served malt whiskeys includes Benromach (10 years old), Glenmorangie (10 yo), Lagavulin (16 yo), Dalwhinnie (15 yo), Glenfiddich (12 yo), Bowmore (12 yo), Isle of Jura (10 yo), Talisker (10 yo), Highland Park (12 yo), The Singleton of Glen Ord (15 yo) and Tomatin (12 yo).
Onboard dining options include traditional Scottish cuisine specialties (seafood and game) prepared by ship's Chef and served by the crew.
The ship Scottish Highlander has only 4 cruise cabins for up to 8 passengers. All staterooms are outside, equally sized (12 m2 / 130 ft2), each with opening window and 2 single beds (convertible to double). As standard amenities, each cabin offers en-suite bathroom (WC, wash basin, shower cabin), flat TV (with DVD player), radio, phone (onboard calls only), hairdryer, electronic safe box, individually controlled air-conditioning (central heating).
European Waterways Scotland barge cruise itinerary
Spirit of Scotland cruise tours include the 6-day "Classic Cruise" itinerary plus themed voyages (Whisky Trail, Family Cruise, Golf Cruise, Honeymoon Cruise). The 6-night classic itinerary is specifically designed for nature lovers to enjoy Scotland's diverse wildlife and unique coastal scenery. The ship is also perfect for charters by families, special interest groups (foodies, walkers, golfers), and whisky connoisseurs.
Itinerary's highlights include:
- Glen Ord tour (whisky distillery, tasting)
- Culloden Moor
- The Highland Club visit
- tour to Cawdor Castle and its three gardens (only between early-May and late-September)
- Clava Cairns (prehistoric burial site)
- Cruising on the freshwater lakes Dochfour, Lochy (Lochaidh), Ness, and Oich
- river and canal cruising, walking, and cycling opportunities
Next, are listed cruise tour itinerary's ports of call and daily scheduled activities (onboard and ashore).
- Day 1 (Muirtown) greet and meet at Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel (Inverness), bus transfer by private minibus to the barge, embarkation with Champagne Welcome (party), onboard dinner
- Day 2 (Muirtown to Dochgarroch) Muirtown lock cruising, Tomnahurich bridge passing, optional walk along River Ness to Dochgarroch, onboard lunch, Culloden Moor, Muir of Ord distillery (established in 1838, guided tour, whisky tasting of single malts, onboard dinner
- Day 3 (Dochgarroch to Fort Augustus) - Cawdor Castle, and gardens, a tour through Clava Cairns (clan chieftain burial site), cruising through Loch Dochfour and Loch Ness, passing Urquhart Castle ruins, cruising to Fort Augustus, onboard dinner
- Day 4 (Fort Augustus to Kytra) - onboard breakfast, walking tour in Fort Augustus, mooring in Kytra, onboard lunch, visit to The Highland Club's residences (former Benedictine Monastery), falconry and birds of prey demo on Loch Ness, local restaurant dinner.
- Day 5 (Kytra to Laggan) - onboard breakfast, Eilean Donan castle, afternoon cruising on Loch Oich, arrival in Laggan, onboard dinner
- Day 6 (Laggan to Banavie) - crossing Loch Lochy, passing Gairlochy (hamlet, optional visit to Clan Cameron Museum), passing Moy Bridge, mooring in Banavie, onboard lunch, a visit to Glen Coe, optional cable car ride to Aonach Mor mountain, Old Inverlochy Castle ruins, Captain’s Farewell Dinner on the ship
- Day 7 (Banavie) - onboard breakfast, debarkation, private minibus transfer to Inverness. Other transfer locations are available with Private Charter cruise bookings.
On the North American and Australian markets, European Waterways barge cruise deals can be booked via the luxury travel company "Abercrombie & Kent Ltd". The company is a subsidiary of Abercrombie & Kent Group and headquartered in Cheltenham (Gloucestershire, England UK).
Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All companies and their fleets are listed there.
Scottish Highlander barge wiki
The vessel was built as freight barge by Gebroeders Van Zutphen in Vreeswijk (Holland). Initially, it was named "Vertrouwen" ("trust" in Dutch). For its first 60 years of service, the ship operated as cargo barge transporting grain and commodities throughout Holland.
In 1991 it was purchased by JP Leisure Ltd. After a drydock reconstruction in Holland, in April 1993 the ship was repositioned to Inverness and as "hotel barge" started passenger shipping operations. In 1999, it was bought by Derek Banks and became part of European Waterways fleet. In 1999-2000, the boat was completely renovated and renamed "Scottish Highlander". During drydock refurbishment 2019 were upgraded all cabin bathrooms and boat's sound system, and also were added new soft furnishings.