Day-By-Day

A balance of sailing, savoring and exploring idyllic islands


Each Scottish Highlands tour aboard Lord of the Glens is crafted to offer a holistic, panoramic experience of the sweep of Scottish history and the beauty of its moorlands and islands. Flexibility is the hallmark of a Lindblad-National Geographic expedition, and our daily itineraries will sometimes adjust to take advantage of unique opportunities.  

Current

Embark: Kyle of Lochalsh

Disembark: Inverness


The ship travels from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness on the itinerary below.

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  • DAY 1: Depart

    Depart for Inverness, Scotland.

  • DAY 2: Inverness/Kyle of Lochalsh

    Arrive in Inverness, transfer to Kyle of Lochalsh, and embark Lord of the Glens overlooking the Isle of Skye. Tonight enjoy a reception and welcome dinner on board, followed by a concert of Scottish traditional music by local musicians. (D)

  • DAY 3: Isle of Skye/Inverie

    Your morning options include a guided walk in the Cuillin Hills on Skye (weather permitting), amid some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. The Cuillin Hills are much loved by Scots as having some of the most beautiful landscapes anywhere, and some of the finest hiking. Alternatively, if you prefer not to hike you can explore Eilean Donan Castle and the charming village of Plockton on the mainland. The small 13th-century castle of Eilean Donan sits on a tidal island at the confluence of three lochs, and is connected by a short bridge to the mainland. A Jacobite stronghold, it was destroyed by government forces in 1719 but restored in the early in the twentieth century in Arts and Crafts style. The charming planned fishing village of Plockton has an attractive waterfront with exuberant gardens that speak eloquently of the temperate influence of the warm North Atlantic drift in these high latitudes. It’s an enjoyable place for photography or just for an afternoon stroll.

    In the afternoon, visit the Museum of the Isles, tracing the legacy of the 1,300-year-old Clan Donald, the Lords of the Isles, who once ruled the west coast of Scotland. See the ruins of Armadale Castle, ancestral home of the MacDonalds, and take a walk through the beautiful woodlands and gardens.

    We then sail to the tiny village of Inverie, where you can have a drink at the Old Forge, the most remote pub in the British Isles (there is no road to Inverie, which can only be reached by sea or after a 17-mile hike). The pub is a convivial place, where you can have a chat with Inverie’s residents over a pint of local ale. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 4: Isle of Eigg or Isle of Rum/Tobermory (Isle of Mull)

    This morning, sail south to the Small Isles to land on Eigg, Rum, or even outermost Canna, depending on weather conditions. The islands have small populations of fewer than one hundred souls, but teem with wildlife. Look for marine animals and birdlife, including Atlantic seals, minke and humpback whales, dolphins, basking sharks and harbour porpoises and one of the largest colonies of Manx shearwaters in northern Europe. If we visit Eigg, we’ll have chances to walk around the island, which is dominated by the imposing crag of An Sgurr, and talk with the local residents. If we visit Rum, we’ll visit fanciful Kinloch Castle, completed in 1900 as the home of Sir George Bullough, who had purchased the island with money he had earned as a textile magnate. The castle is now managed by Scottish National Heritage. If conditions permit, it may be possible to visit distant Canna, the outermost of the Small Isles, which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland.


    We plan to meet with a member of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust to learn about their efforts to protect marine mammals in these waters.

    We continue aboard Lord of the Glens to the picturesque town of Tobermory, with the afternoon and whole evening free to explore this colorful village. Tobermory was established in 1788 and is famous for the brightly painted houses that line its waterfront, located at the bottom of a cliff face. In the afternoon, visit the town’s small whisky distillery. Tobermory is also home to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, and one of their representatives will come aboard to give a presentation on their remarkable work in these waters. (B,L,D)

     

  • DAY 5: Iona/Duart Castle/Oban

    Sail along the coast of Mull to Craignure in the morning, then drive to the ferry to Iona and explore this picturesque island, which is of vital historic importance. St. Columba arrived here in 563 with twelve followers. They built a church and began the process of converting the peoples of the area to Christianity. Iona became famous as a place of learning and as a pilgrimage site. We’ll visit the medieval abbey ruins and the rebuilt abbey church, and learn about the ecumenical movement based here since the 1930s. Stroll through St. Oran’s Chapel and the royal graveyard, burial site of generations of Scottish kings (including Macbeth), the Lords of the Isles, and High Kings of Norway. We’ll have a home-cooked lunch in the St. Columba Hotel.

    On the way back to Craignure, we visit photogenic Duart Castle, the ancestral home of Clan Maclean—an impressive fortress (with a dungeon!) with dramatic views over the Sound of Mull. It was built in the 13th century and is still lived in by the Maclean family. We then sail across the Sound of Mull to the bustling town of Oban, set on a picturesque bay on the Firth of Lorn, where we stay for the evening. If you wish, walk all the way up to McCaig’s Tower, a monument on a hill overlooking the town and bay that was inspired by the Roman Colosseum. It’s a great vantage point, with fine views of the town and the waterfront. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 6: Oban/Loch Linnhe/ Glenfinnan/Banavie

    This morning Lord of the Glens sails to the Caledonian Canal, built between 1803 and 1822 to connect Loch Linnhe with the Great Glen’s three other lochs, along the slip fault of the Great Glen. Our ship ascends Neptune’s Staircase, a set of eight interconnected locks rising 64 feet from the sea lock at Corpach. In the afternoon we travel to beautiful Glenfinnan, along Loch Sheil and surrounded by mountains, where “Bonnie” Prince Charlie first raised the Jacobite standard on mainland Britain in 1745. There are fine walking options here, with dramatic views of the Glenfinnan Railway Viaduct on the West Highland Railway line, made famous more recently in the Harry Potter movies—a late Victorian construction with 21 arches. We moor at the village of Banavie, nestled in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Great Britain’s highest mountain. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 7: Laggan Locks/Fort Augustus

    Sail into Loch Lochy, glide along the tree-lined canal known as Laggan Avenue, and sail across picturesque Lochs Lochy and Oich. Descend an impressive flight of locks that runs through the heart of Fort Augustus. Seeing the process of getting the ship through the locks is always exciting, and Lord of the Glens is purpose-built to fit in the locks’ narrow confines. The ship is always an object of curiosity among local residents and other visitors as we make our transit. We moor this evening at Fort Augustus, with a chance to kayak in Loch Ness itself in the late afternoon or take an exploratory hike through the surrounding countryside. An on-board whisky tasting rounds off the day. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 8: Loch Ness/Culloden/Clava Cairns/Inverness

    Enter Loch Ness, cruise past the romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle, a Norman castle on an Iron Age site, and learn about the legendary Loch Ness Monster, which is said to inhabit the loch in this vicinity. Continue through Loch Dochfour to Inverness.

    This afternoon visit Culloden, the infamous battlefield where “Bonnie” Prince Charlie’s Jacobite forces were defeated on April 16, 1746. The battle was brief but bloody and decisive, with as many as 2,000 Jacobites killed or wounded. It had drastic consequences for the Highlands of Scotland and was followed by the infamous Highland Clearances that saw the mass expulsion of Catholic clansmen from their homes and in many cases from their country. Our visit includes both the battlefield and the award-winning visitor center, the National Trust for Scotland’s flagship site. We’ll then continue to the evocative 4,000-year-old burial chambers and standing stones of Clava Cairns, dating from the early Bronze Age. The impressive structures of this sacred site were developed for over a thousand years.

    Tonight, enjoy a reception and dinner on board, with a special after-dinner performance in the lounge by a local troupe of junior Scottish dancers. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 9: Inverness/Depart

    Disembark in Inverness and transfer to the airport for homeward-bound flights. (B)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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