Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • Ft. Augustus, Inverness & Culloden Battlefield

    A sunny morning greeted us as Lord of the Glens descended the five locks at Fort Augustus. The occasional shower didn’t dampen our spirits as we set sail across Loch Ness. We heard an excellent presentation on the Highland Clearances that drove home the awfulness of this chapter of Sottish History.

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  • Corpach to Fort Augustus

    Though the day dawned with clouds, drizzle, and blustery winds, we soldiered on our way into the Caledonian Canal. First, we entered Neptune's Staircase, the largest flight of locks on the canal. Then we had a pleasant cruise through Loch Lochy, one of the canal's four lochs or freshwater lakes. Sideways winds and blowing rain made outdoors viewing and photography more challenging, but we rose to the occasion to enjoy the impressive views and farm country. After lunch, we transited Laggan Avenue, a narrow stretch of beautiful tree-lined canal that is quite photogenic. At about this time, the rain had its final say for the day and we continued with intermittent glimpses of blue sky. The west side of Scotland receives significantly more rain than the east side, so we hoped we were leaving the clouds behind. From the avenue we entered Loch Oich, with a shallow dredged channel marked by navigation aids. We passed the ruins of Invergarry Castle (burnt by Cumberland) and saw our first deer of the journey.

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  • Oban & Glenfinnan

    We began our day docked in the thriving town of Oban, perhaps most famous for the whisky of the same name. Blustery winds buffeted us as we walked to the distillery for a tour around the facility. It was a fascinating experience, learning about the whisky-making process and the history of this distillery. Following the tour, we trekked up a steep hill to visit McCaig's Tower, a prominent landmark above the town. It was built in 1897 by a local banker as a monument to his family. Today there are gardens inside and a commanding view of the surroundings.

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  • Isles of Mull & Iona

    During breakfast we sailed from Tobermory to Craignure, both on the Isle of Mull.

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  • Armadale, Eilean Donan

    It has been an incredible voyage aboard Lord of the Glens. It was our last day together, and we spent it at Armadale, the spiritual home of the McDonald Clan, and Eilean Donan, the most iconic castle one could imagine in Scotland. The first part of the day was spent walking among the incredible flower gardens at Armadale, which are renowned for their beauty. Then, at Eilean Donan, we had a tour of the iconic medieval castle where many modern-day movies have been filmed. On our way back to the ship, we stopped at Plockton, a small seaside town where we were excited to see a local festival and treated to some wonderful music and dancing in the center of town.

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  • Tobermory & Inverie

    Lord of the Glens had been moored overnight in Tobermory, the main village on the Isle of Mull, and this morning we had the opportunity to explore this astonishingly colorful little village, spread gently across a small bay and framed by high cliffs all around. The day was wet and windy but nonetheless the staff offered a choice of shore activities—a long walk out to one of the historic Stevenson lighthouses along the clifftop from where we were docked, a photo walk with National Geographic photographers, and an historic walk through the little village with our shipboard historian. 

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  • Iona & Mull

    Morning came early in Oban for our day of travel to Mull and the magical island of Iona. Clouds blanketed the hills of Mull as we cruised toward our docking at Craignure, where our bus waited. The driver was a gem, his running commentary a perfect match for the stunning landscape of Mull. By turn, he pointed out their stupendous rainfall (4.2 meters a year), deer on the hills, the elementary school with just five students, the scarecrow that was actually a skeleton riding a bicycle, all the movies that had been filmed in the area, and much of the island gossip—all while negotiating the one-track road and traffic that slid by, inches away. He made the long drive to Phionnphort a delight.

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  • Oban, Scotland

    If Oban, Scotland, is known for anything, it is whisky. If it were Ireland, whisky would be spelled with an “e” and it would look like this: whiskey. But it’s not, so no hate mail. Oban, however, is more than just the distillery bearing its name. It is a vibrant community with a connection to the sea and fisheries that are found here. It is also a bustling tourist town and has many sites to see and participate in.

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  • Fort Augustus to Corpach

    Activities today started even before breakfast had been served when a group of our fellow travelers took the opportunity to walk along the canal tow path—flat, even, straight—toward the first set of locks that the ship would encounter. It was wet and gray, but spirits were high.

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  • Inverness & Loch Ness

    Our first day on board Lord of the Glens started with a beautiful, sunny morning in Muirton overlooking the city of Inverness, shimmering below us as we lay quietly in the canal. Our destination was the famous battlefield of Culloden, where on April 16, 1746, the rebel Jacobite army under Bonnie Prince Charlie met a well-prepared government army commanded by the Duke of Cumberland. The consequences of their defeat on that field reverberated through the Highlands for many years to come, leading to suppression of the culture, population clearances, and emigration to the new world.

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