Boating on the Caledonian Canal is a unique way to see Scotland's wilderness
The Highlands provide a backdrop of incredible beauty for your boating holidays in Scotland. During your Caledonian canal cruise, much of your time will be spent on lakes (lochs) nestled in the rugged valleys along the Great Glen, a geologic fault line that shaped the landscape of the region. Hilltop castles, quiet waterside towns, lake resorts, cosy pubs and rich, melodic bagpipes...The Highlands are an ideal destination to hire a boat in Scotland!
- Spectacular mountain scenery from your hire boat
- Hiking & hill walking
- Whisky distillery tours
- Fishing, wildlife & bird-watching
- Loch Ness Monster spotting
Reviews for Scotland cruises
My husband and I took a 10 day cruise. We had done the French canals last year so had a little experience. It was the first time for our 2 friends but it was a pleasurable experience for us all. Unfortunately the weather was not kind to us and it rained every day. We sailed north from Laggan to Inverness and because of the poor weather decided to stay there for a few days and rented a car and toured the area quite extensively. Audrey, the very kind lady at Caley Cruisers Inverness was very helpful organising a taxi and hire car. Thank you Audrey. The overnight stops we made along the way were peaceful and we mostly had no neighbours. The much dreaded middies only came out once and that was at the lock at Kytra on the way up.
Fort Augustus was good. We tied up overnight both ways. Navigating the multi locks here was not as daunting as we expected and there was always assistance. We moored overnight both ways at the Glengarry hotel mooring and explored the old castle and there are some nice little walks in the area. Beware, the pontoon was very very slippery when wet.
We travelled with another couple from Australia. We were in Scotland for our sons wedding. We do a lot of boating in Australia and decided it would be great to cruise the Caledonian canal for a week. We had a wonderful time and would love to do this again sometime.
We saw most points of interest along the way. dinner at Inverarry castle was a real treat. it was quite thrilling to catch a brown trout. it was great fun going thru the locks. Port Agugustus was a great place to watch the passing parade.
Taking in the vistas of the Scotish Highlands. Awesome! And Loch Ness, Loch Oich, Loch Lochy and the Caledonian Canal are spectacular, especially at daybreak when the water is like glass.
Locks anywhere amaze me, especially when they're in series. Don't miss the 5 sequential locks at Fort Augustus or the 8-lock Neptune's Staircase at Fort William. In addition to sightseeing a short day hikes in the morning and evening, we enjoyed running along the canal's tow path. We also enjoyed several restaurants, especially Oakwood Inn and the Eagle Barge. Of course, you can't miss looking for Nessie on Lock Ness.
The most memorable part of the trip was the incredible scenery we could only have seen from a boat. The locks were pretty amazing as well. As a whole the experience was wonderful, so much to learn and so many wonderful sights to see. The back bedroom was a bit of a squeeze, but otherwise the boat was very comfortable. We cooked on the boat and also ate ate the tie up spots. Navigating was an entirely new thing for us, but all t he lock keepers we very patient and helpful. We even got gold stars from one keeper for wearing our life jackets!
Along the cruise we saw beautiful hillsides covered with forests running down to the fern lined banks of the lochs. It was easy to imagine seeing Mole and Ratty hiding in the holes in the banks. Leprechauns were not impossible either. There were castles crofts, bridges, pubs, small towns, fields of sheep, highland cattle grazing on the hillsides, and vast expanses of deep dark water. Even the boat's wake was interesting to watch due to the dark smoothness of the water. There were several nice restaurants in some of the bigger small towns. We really enjoyed our dinners on the Eagle tied up in Laggan. W spent time ashore walking and shopping and sightseeing. We also saw several other cruise boats on the lochs. We didn't see any monsters, but we had a lovely sunset dinner on Loch Ness.
The people were wonderful all the lock keepers and the bridge keepers , and especially Andy, Tom and Sheila from West Highland sailing, they were all just great.
It was all stunning , Eastwards towards Fort Augustus, more pubs and restaurants , Westward fantastic scenery, we did both.