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The Grand Highland Fling Cruise


Reviews for the The Grand Highland Fling Cruise

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.
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.
We went with West Highland Sailing. There was a small problem in findingg their base, the sign to Laggan Locks off the A82 leads to the opposite side of the lock from the base! However that was sion put right. The boat was well presented and we got aboard soon after lunchtime after a very good briefing. We slowly cruised from there as far as Inverness, fortunately finding Loch Ness in pieceful mood. The locks were easy and the lockkeepers friendly and helpful. It would have helped if I had realised at the outset that you should go to the side of the lock that the lockkeeper is standing. Sadly the good weather broke after out first two days, but you must expect rain in Scotland! We had two problems, the fiorst with the engine stalling on using the bowthruster when at tick-over and the other with a loo blocking [not our fault I hasten to say] On each occasion an engineer arrived very promptly and put things right. My party consisted of myself [86], my sister [92], siter-in-law [84] and my daughter , nephew and neice. On the whole the young managed the ropes and the old ones enjoyed the view [and did the washing up]. Everyone enjoyed themselves despite the rain. The staff were all very pleasant and helpful.
We stopped when we could. we stopped at Castle Urquart and explored it. We stopped near Inverness and spent a morning ashore looking round. We spent two nights at Fort Augustus - one each way, and the young went to a hop in the village hall one night. Because Laggan lock was out of action for a little while we only went down Loch Lochy and back on our last day.
The scenery. The fabulous weather.
We cruised to Inverness and back. We went to the Inverness Highland Games. Recommend both things to friends.