Capture the ‘spirit’ of Scotland with European Waterways, Europe’s largest luxury hotel barge cruising company, on their new Whisky Trail Cruise in the Highlands of Scotland on board the Scottish Highlander.
European Waterways offer an assortment of themed charter cruises featuring tailored itineraries that allow travellers to experience the history and culture of Europe.
Travelling along the Caledonian Canal, guests will visit at least three historic distilleries, each with its own remarkable history. Along the way, the hotel barge will glide across the scenic deep water lakes that include Loch Ness, past spectacular natural vistas, and visit some of the country’s most famous castles and historic sites that have inspired many songs and legends.
“European Waterways’ Whisky Trail themed cruise is perfect for single malt whisky enthusiasts,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “It’s a unique opportunity for a group of like-minded travellers to get a true ‘taste’ of what made Scotland famous. Guests are also free to enjoy the many varieties of special whiskies available onboard the hotel barge.”
The 8-passenger Scottish Highlander evokes the ambiance of a Scottish country house, with subtle use of tartan furnishings. It cruises the Caledonian Canal between Fort William and Inverness, with guests being served the finest Scottish fare such as line-caught wild salmon, fresh scallops and locally-sourced saddle of venison – all skillfully prepared by the onboard Master Chef.
Among the distilleries visited on the Whisky Trail is the Benromach Distillery near Forres, an intimate, family-owned business founded over 100 years ago. The tour includes a tasting of the classic Benromach Speyside single malt. Another private tour and tasting is provided at the Glen Ord distillery. Founded in 1838, it is the only remaining single malt Scotch whisky distillery on the Black Isle. Also scheduled is a visit to the Dalwhinnie distillery, located in the spectacular Cairngorms National Park, where guests will enjoy the unique experience of tasting several aged single malts with a variety of matching chocolates.
“The distillery tours and private whisky tastings are the highlight of the cruise, but seeing the extraordinary diversity of wildlife and the expansive, natural views that frame the cruise route are all equally memorable experiences,” said Banks. “And, of course, crossing Loch Ness, it’s advisable to have your cameras ready and the focus sharp – just in case Nessie makes an appearance!”
Rates for this 6-night, all-inclusive Whisky Trail charter cruise start at €25,000 (AU$37,100) for 8 guests. In addition, the cruise is also available for individual cabin bookings on two departures in 2016 – June 5 and October 2. Rates are from €3,250 (AU$4,810) per person.