Inverness, Scotland - British Isles & North West Europe Cruises

Soak up the unmistakable Scottish Highlands, shrouded in myth and folklore. Amidst conical hills and verdant glens, seek out Loch Ness and scan its glassy surface for the legendary ‘monster’. Visit Culloden Moor where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated, Cawdor Castle – forever linked with Macbeth – and regional whisky distilleries bearing their own famous names.

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Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Cruise Loch Ness

    Take a cruise around Loch Ness, the perfect way to absorb the spectacular scenery and look out for the Loch Ness Monster!

    Cruise Loch Ness

    Setting off from Invergordon, you’ll drive south west and follow the banks of the beautiful Cromarty Firth towards Loch Ness, the United Kingdom’s largest volume of freshwater. Its murky depths conjure up tales and sightings of weird creatures, including its most famous legendary inhabitant - Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.

    Upon arrival at the loch, there will be an opportunity to view the lovely surroundings and perhaps pick up a souvenir, before stepping aboard your sightseeing boat. As you cruise out on to the famous Loch, allow the audio commentary to take you through the landscape. Discover the geology and history of the area and the tales of Nessie. During your cruise, be sure to keep an eye out for any monster sightings!

    Afterwards, your return journey will take you through Inverness for a brief panoramic city drive, before heading back to Invergordon.

    This excursion will operate by coach and by boat. The drive to Loch Ness is around 1-1½ hours each way. There is an 80 metre walk from the coach parking area to the sightseeing boat. This walk is fairly steep with approximately 24 steps to negotiate and there are some steps to negotiate on the boat. Flat, comfortable non-slip shoes are essential. The cruise lasts around 1 hour. Refreshments are available to purchase on board if required and local currency is required.

    Tour code

    IN1_011

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Grand Dunrobin Castle

    Combine a scenic drive to the northern Highland coast with a visit to the grand chateau style Dunrobin Castle.

    Grand Dunrobin Castle

    A scenic drive north from Invergordon displays the wonderful countryside in this area of Scotland. Crossing the Dornoch Firth you will pass through the fishing village of Golspie, where the Duke of Sutherland’s monument can be seen high on the nearby hill. This tribute is a source of contention in the area, as he is regarded by many locals as responsible for evicting thousands of tenants during the Clearances.

    The breathtaking Dunrobin Castle with its fairy tale turrets suddenly becomes visible at the end of a long, tree-lined drive. The impressive building, containing 189 rooms filled with fine furniture, paintings, tapestries and art, is magnificently set in a great park and formal gardens overlooking the sea. The collections make for an interesting visit, as you browse through the bedrooms, nurseries, studies and public rooms. Displays include antique household equipment, ceremonial robes, uniforms, arms and a complete working 19th century fire engine, all of which give a detailed insight into life for the earlier Earls and Dukes of Sutherland.

    After a self guided tour of the Castle there will be around one hour of free time to further explore the Castle or to walk amongst the beautiful gardens in this wonderful setting.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is up to two hours of walking at the castle involving some steps, a spiral staircase and inclined and uneven terrain. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    IN1_004

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    4 hours

  • A Taste of Glenmorangie Whisky

    Experience the Glenmorangie Distillery, complemented by an exclusive visit to the Signet Room to savour a wee dram or two.

    A Taste of Glenmorangie Whisky

    ‘Glenmorangie’ in Gaelic means glen of tranquillity, which perfectly describes the calm and scenic Dornoch Firth shore, location of the Glenmorangie Whisky Distillery. For over 150 years this renowned whisky has been distributed all over the world and the traditions and art of distilling have been passed down from generation to generation.

    A guided tour of the distillery will allow you to see the production area where you’ll learn about the flagship whisky, Glenmorangie Original, and each stage of the distilling process. Afterwards, you’ll have an exclusive visit to the Signet Room, named after the signet emblem which is Glenmorangie’s brand icon. You’ll be joined by an expert taster who will share their tasting knowledge with you and you’ll be offered to sample a wee dram of Glenmorangie Original and one of the rarest whiskies, Glenmorangie Signet. The Signet is matured in the world’s finest casks and is an infusion of unique and rare elements. Its rich dark layers of flavour offer a taste that is described an unusual and alluring.

    To round off your tour, there will be an opportunity to browse the visitor centre to discover the traditional skills of coopering and malting and the effects of wood on whisky. You may also choose to visit the distillery shop, which displays a wide range of whiskies and a selection of beautifully crafted gifts.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Space on this tour is restricted and therefore early booking is advised. This tour involves around 1¾ hour's of walking and periods of standing. There are uneven surfaces, open gratings and approximately 55 steps spread throughout the distillery. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Please remember local currency.This tour is not suitable for children. Participants taking part in the whisky sampling must be over 18 years of age.

    Tour code

    IN1_012

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    3¼ hours

  • Glenmorangie Whisky & Royal Dornoch

    Visit a traditional distillery that produces one of Scotland’s best-loved malt whiskies and explore the historic town of Royal Dornoch.

    Glenmorangie Whisky & Royal Dornoch

    A short drive north takes you to the ancient Royal Burgh of Tain, an attractive small town of grand whisky-coloured sandstone buildings and home to the Glenmorangie Distillery. ‘Glenmorangie’ in Gaelic means ‘glen of tranquillity’, a particularly appropriate description for its calm and scenic location. Enjoy a guided tour of the fascinating distillery that is famous for its highly rated malt whisky which is distributed around the world. During your leisurely visit, see demonstrations of traditional skills, before savouring a glass of this fine whisky.

    Following the distillery visit, cross the Dornoch Firth via the low causeway bridge to the Royal Burgh of Dornoch. This historic 12th century town is a designated National Scenic Area in the Highlands of Scotland. Its tranquil location, scenery and climate have attracted visitors for decades. There will be time in this enchanting town to admire the many fine buildings which include the impressive medieval Cathedral, majestic 16th century Bishop’s Palace (now a hotel), courthouse and the Old Town Jail or you may prefer to wander down the peaceful streets lined with sandstone cottages and town houses or browse the series of enticing galleries and shops.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There are uneven surfaces, open gratings and approximately 55 steps spread throughout the distillery. There will be around 45 minutes spent in Royal Dornoch.

    Tour code

    IN1_005

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    3¾ hours

  • Rogie Falls & Silverbridge Forest Walk

    Admire the tumbling Rogie Falls and discover the Silverbridge Forest.

    Rogie Falls & Silverbridge Forest Walk

    Heading northwards along the picturesque banks of Cromarty Firth, your journey will take you to the Rogie Falls. ‘Rogie’ is norse for ‘splashing’ which aptly describes the impressive falls as they tumble down over jagged rockery. Enjoy a guided walk and take in the commanding views as you head across the suspension bridge that spans across the Blackwater River.

    Just a short drive away is Silverbridge Forest, an area of woodland that surrounds the Blackwater River. Upon arrival, follow your guide as you walk downstream and discover the local flora and fauna. The area is renowned for a wide range of native and international tree varieties including conifers, birch and rowan. It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including the Red Squirrel, deer and the leaping salmon.. At the half way point, admire the views of the river from the stone arched bridge, before walking back upstream.

    On the return drive to Invergordon, a brief stop will be made en route for you to admire the charming former spa town of Strathpeffer.

    This tour involves around two hours of leisurely walking over uneven terrain, which may become slippery when wet. Flat, non-slip walking shoes or boots are essential. At Rogie Falls there are 4 sets of steps with around 20 to 30 steps on each. Wildlife sightings at Silverbridge Forest are not guaranteed. Please ensure you take a bottle of water.

    Tour code

    IN1_009

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Inverness & Cawdor Castle

    Discover the highland capital of Inverness and the enchanting medieval Cawdor Castle.

    Inverness & Cawdor Castle

    Travelling south from Invergordon, you’ll drive along the banks of the beautiful Cromarty Firth towards the historic city of Inverness. Upon arrival, enjoy a brief panoramic drive around the city taking in a few of the historic sites, before enjoying some free time at your own leisure. Explore and admire the city and perhaps purchase a snack or refreshments.

    After your time in Inverness you’ll head a little further inland to Cawdor Castle, a traditional medieval castle and residence. Dating back to 1372, it is still in the hands of the Cawdor family after 6 centuries and remains a living home to this day. The castle also has a fascinating association with Shakespeare’s Macbeth. A visit to the castle will show you its romantic furnishings both inside and out, and you’ll also have time to admire the lovely grounds and gardens. Each of the gardens offer a variety of flowers and plant life all meticulously looked after.

    Following your visit, you’ll take the drive back to Invergordon.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves walking over varying terrain, which includes some steep inclines, steps and narrow spiral staircases. Flat, non-slip shoes are essential. An introduction of the castle will be provided by your guide at the entrance. Once inside there will be no guided tour, however castle stewards will be on hand to offer information and answer any questions. Local currency is accepted for purchases.

    Tour code

    IN1_008

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    7 hours

  • Leisurely Loch Ness

    A relaxing panoramic tour to the beautiful and mysterious area of Loch Ness, one of the most popular locations in Scotland.

    Leisurely Loch Ness

    Pass the banks of the scenic Cromarty Firth before pausing at the charming village of Beauly on the way to Drumnadrochit. Approaching from a height, look out over the famous Loch Ness, the deepest freshwater loch in the country. Enjoy spectacular views of the Loch, and have your binoculars at the ready to catch a possible glimpse of its elusive monster, ‘Nessie’.

    Your leisurely drive will take you through stunning scenery and along the length of the Loch. A photograph stop will enable you to capture the most picturesque parts of the Loch, before continuing along the panoramic eastern shore of the Loch.

    On the return journey to the port, you’ll pass through the historic city of Inverness, with its imposing Castle overlooking the city.

    This excursion will operate by coach. This tour involves limited walking, however guests must be able to negotiate steps onto and off the coach. There will be some photo stops en-route, however these are dependent on local conditions on the day.

    Tour code

    IN1_003

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    3¾ hours

  • Inverness On Your Own

    An ideal opportunity to discover the historic city of Inverness for those who prefer to explore independently.

    Inverness On Your Own

    A short orientation tour of the Highland City of Inverness will help you get your bearings before setting off on your own. Despite being the capital of the Highlands, Inverness is more like a town and its centre is compact and easily accessible.

    Why not spend some time strolling along the tree-lined banks of the River Ness, seeing the majestic Inverness Castle, visiting the museum or browsing the shops, which include several large chain stores and local craft shops.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Guests are advised that this tour is unguided and exclusive of entrance fees. The journey time to Inverness is 45 minutes each way depending on traffic. Maps will be provided. Your coach driver will advise you of the departure time and pick up point for your return transfer to the ship.

    Tour code

    IN1_007

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    5½ hours

  • Loch Ness & Inverness

    Discover the mystery of the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ at the Loch Ness Visitors Centre, and explore the historic town of Inverness.

    Loch Ness & Inverness

    Drive along the banks of the Cromarty Firth and through Beauly on your way to Drumnadrochit, where a visit will be made at the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition Experience.

    The centre offers a fascinating insight into the story of ‘Nessie’ and the Loch’s wider significance. Here, you’ll see a fascinating presentation passing through seven themed areas of a journey from the dawn of time to the 3rd millennium. A highly effective mix of lasers, special effects and digital projection charts the history of the Loch Ness Monster by exploring Scotland’s geological past, its folklore and the various research projects undertaken on the Loch. Afterwards, just a short drive from the centre, is the ideal place for a photo stop to capture the spectacular mountain scenery and views of Loch Ness.

    Next you’ll head to Inverness, ‘Capital of the Highlands’, to enjoy around 1½ hours of free time will to explore all that the city has to offer at your own leisure. Perhaps browse the shops or visit an historic site, such as the Gothic-style Town House or Inverness Castle.

    The journey to the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition Experience takes approximately 1-1½ hours. The area is flat and there is seating throughout the themed areas. Any walking and activities undertaken in Inverness are at the guests’ own discretion. Visits to historic sites are subject to opening times. Luncheon is not included but can be purchased in Inverness.

    Tour code

    IN1_001

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    7 hours

  • Panoramic Highland Glens & Firths

    A panoramic tour around the eastern Scottish Highlands, renowned as one of the most beautiful areas within the British Isles.

    Panoramic Highland Glens & Firths

    As you follow the banks of the beautiful Cromarty Firth you will take in views of the scenic Black Isle and perhaps catch a glimpse of a seal. Turning inland, take the scenic road through the Ardross Forest, planted with beautiful spruce, larch and pine trees, pausing at the Struie Hill viewpoint with superb views over the Dornoch Firth.

    Descending to the firth, follow the picturesque northern side to the enchanting 12th century town of Royal Dornoch. The town’s oldest buildings are all clustered around its spacious and beautiful square. Stop to admire the impressive medieval Cathedral, the majestic 16th century Bishop’s Palace, with stepped gables and towers, and next door, the Old Town Jail, now home to a series of galleries and shops.

    Imagine the smell of malted barley in the air as you pass the Glenmorangie Whisky Distillery and enter the Royal Burgh of Tain, a small thriving town with ancient history and attractive red sandstone architecture. Continue through low-lying fruitful farmland, dotted with relics of the Pictish people that once lived here, to the windswept Easter Ross seaboard where you find the fishing villages of Balintore and Shandwick.


    This excursion will operate by coach. All sightseeing is conducted from the comfort of your coach with photograph stops at Struie Hill and Royal Dornoch.

    Tour code

    IN1_002

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    3¼ hours

  • Georgian Cromarty & the Black Isle

    Enjoy a scenic exploration of the beautiful 'Black Isle', an area of rolling farmland and pretty villages.

    Georgian Cromarty & the Black Isle

    Following the Cromarty Firth to the Black Isle, an area which is in fact, a peninsula and not an island, you’ll discover one of the most attractive gems on the east coast. The beautifully preserved 18th century town of Cromarty is full of historic interest, from the 17th century East Church with its extraordinary pews and the fascinating old Courthouse to old-world antique shops, taverns and cafés. After a short guided tour, there will be time to stroll at leisure through the town, perhaps visiting the thatched-roofed Hugh Miller’s Cottage, birthplace of the eminent local geologist and writer.

    Continuing on the road above the fabled Fairy Glen, setting of many a local legend, through fertile farmland, dramatic countryside and stately woods, past the village of Rosemarkie, an important centre of Christianity in Pictish times. A stop will be made at Fortrose, a quietly elegant village to photograph the beautiful ruins of the early 13th century Fortrose Cathedral.

    Further on, you’ll catch a glimpse of the colourful hanging rags as you pass by Clootie Well, a Celtic place of pilgrimage where the water is supposed to bring good luck & health.

    Before returning to the ship, a stop will be made at North Kessock, one of the best spots in the UK to view Moray Firth dolphins. From here, you can also see over to Inverness and the impressive Kessock Bridge.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Approximately one hour is spent in Cromarty.

    Tour code

    IN1_006

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Rib Ride Adventure

    A unique experience combining stunning scenery and breathtaking wildlife, in an exhilarating RIB.

    Rib Ride Adventure

    From the pier you’ll take a 15 minute walk to West Harbour, where you’ll board your rigid inflatable boat. As you settle in to your seat, get ready for an exhilarating ride across the water.

    You’ll whizz eastwards towards the Cromarty village coastline, where Harbour Porpoise frequent the area all year round. Its then on to Moray Firth, a vast inlet of the North Sea which offers a wealth of wildlife watching opportunities. Look out for its resident Bottlenose Dolphins, and Minke and Pilot Whales have also been spotted here. The coastal hillsides and cliffs attract a large number of seabirds and the area plays an important part in the conservation of wildfowl and wader populations.

    Along the way, you can admire the lovely scenery, and you’ll also discover a few points of historical interest, such as the WWI and WWII gun battery.

    ACTIVITY EXCURSIONS
    You and all those in your party should be aware that, in undertaking activity excursions, you will be involved in a degree of physical exertion and/or activity such as hiking, biking, snorkelling, kayaking, diving etc. By booking the excursion you confirm that you and all those in your party are in good physical and mental condition, with no history of conditions such as seizures, dizziness, fainting, heart condition, respiratory problems or back/neck problems (by way of example only). You should also ensure that no one in your party is taking medicine that carries a warning about impairment of physical or mental abilities. If you are pregnant this type of excursion may not be appropriate for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well enough to take part in the activities booked and you are reminded to take care for your own safety. Because of the risks associated with activity excursions, you may be asked by the excursion provider to sign a document which may affect or limit the excursion provider’s liability. Comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended.

    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    The RIB ride is not suitable for those with injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride. Pregnant women and children under nine years of age may not participate. You will be provided with a life jacket and wet weather gear, however it is recommended you also wear warm clothing. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed. The route taken by the boat will be dependent on local weather conditions.

    Tour code

    IN1_010

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    3 hours

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