Spirit of Scotland barge Review and Specifications
Specifications of Spirit of Scotland barge
|Year built||2001 / Age : 18|
|Ferry route / homeports||Inverness|
|Owner||European Waterways Ltd|
|Operator||European Waterways Barge Cruises|
|Speed||10 kn / 19 kph / 12 mph|
|Length (LOA)||39 m / 128 ft|
|Beam (width)||5 m / 16 ft|
|Decks with cabins||1|
Review of Spirit of Scotland 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 8-passenger fleet mate Scottish Highlander.
The ship Spirit of Scotland has only 6 cruise cabins for up to 12 passengers. All staterooms are outside, equally sized (12 m2 / 130 ft2), each with porthole window (non-opening) 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, wardrobe, electronic safe box (in the closet), individually controlled air-conditioning (central heating).
Ship's facilities and amenities include spacious bar lounge with comfortable seating, restaurant (dining area with a 12-seat table), two Sun Decks (outdoor relaxation areas with parasol/folding canopy, table, deckchairs, barbecue, stern-located whirlpool jacuzzi). Complimentary are provided 6x bicycles (on shore excursions/tours) and onboard Wi-Fi Internet (subject to local reception).
Onboard dining options include traditional Scottish cuisine specialties (seafood and game) prepared by ship's Chef and served by the crew. The crew also includes tour guide, 2 housekeepers and the Captain. Three 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).
Boat's last refurbishment was in 2017.
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.
Cruise fares start from USD 4700 per person. Ship charter prices start from USD 46,400 (basic package).
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, 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.
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During drydock refurbishment 2019, all cabin bathrooms and ship's sound system were upgraded. New soft furnishings were added.
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