On a voyage through Scotland's famed lochs and inland waterways aboard the Lord of the Glens, experience mystical landscapes dotted with medieval castles and ancient churches. Trace Scotland's compelling history on visits to battlefields, fortresses, and ancient tombs. Cruise Loch Ness; descend through the intricate lock system of Neptune's Staircase; and explore serene hills and harbor villages on the picturesque islands of Mull, Iona, Eigg, and Skye.
Kayak on Loch Ness and wander through the colorful seaside town of Tobermory.
Stroll across the battlefields at Culloden where Bonnie Prince Charlie was dramatically defeated.
Hike through stunning scenery on the Isle of Skye, and learn about the tiny community on the remote island of Eigg.
Attend the Edinburgh Military Tattoo on an optional extension in Edinburgh.
Itinerary - 9 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Inverness, Scotland. Kyle of Lochalsh
Depart for Inverness, arriving the next morn- ing. Drive to Kyle of Lochalsh, and board the Lord of the Glens to the strains of a highland piper. Settle into your cabin and gather for a reception and dinner on board tonight. .
M.V. Lord of the Glens (D) (D)
Day 3 — Isle of Skye/Inverie
Visit the Isle of Skye and take a guided walk in the Cuillin Hills (weather permitting), or explore Eilean Donan Castle and the quaint village of Plockton on the mainland. At the Museum of the Isles, trace the legacy of the 1,300-year-old Clan Donald, who once ruled the west coast of Scotland, and walk through the woodlands of Armadale. Then sail to Inverie, where you can have a drink at the most remote pub in the British Isles. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Isle of Eigg/ Tobermory, Isle of Mull
Sail to tiny Eigg and see what life is like for the roughly 90 people who live in this island community. Look for marine animals, including Atlantic seals, minke whales, dolphins, por- poises, and a variety of seabirds. Alternatively, we may visit the Isle of Rum, renowned for spectacular Kinloch Castle. Continue to the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides to explore Tobermory. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Iona/ Duart Castle/ Oban
Sail along the coast of Mull and cross to Iona by ferry to explore this picturesque island. Visit the medieval abbey ruins and the rebuilt abbey church. Stroll through St. Oran’s Chapel and the royal graveyard where generations of Scottish kings are buried, and enjoy a brief walking tour of Iona. Visit photogenic Duart Castle, an imposing fortress with a dungeon. Sail across to the town of Oban, set on a picturesque bay on the Firth of Lorn. (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Oban/ Loch Linnhe/ Glenfinnan/ Banavie
Explore the lively town of Oban on foot, visiting a whisky distillery and McCaig’s Tower, a monument on a hill overlooking the town and bay that was inspired by the Roman Colosseum. Sail Loch Linnhe and ascend Neptune’s Staircase, a set of eight intercon- nected locks. Drive to Glenfinnan, a village nestled within the mountains, and enjoy an afternoon walk. Continue to Banavie and welcome local musicians on board for a lively performance this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Laggan Locks/ Fort Augustus
Sail into Loch Lochy and descend an impressive flight of locks that runs through the heart of Fort Augustus. Glide down the tree-lined canal known as Laggan Avenue, or hike or bike along the towpath. Moor at Fort Augustus and set out on a kayak excursion or a hike. (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Loch Ness/ Inverness/ Culloden/ Clava Clairns
Enter Loch Ness, where we’ll learn about the legendary monster said to inhabit the loch's depths. Sail to Inverness and visit Culloden, the infamous battlefield where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite forces were defeated in 1746. See the prehistoric standing stones and passage tombs of Clava Cairns. (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Inverness/U.S.
Disembark in Inverness and transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)
Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts--from naturalists to regional specialists — who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes and local culture. The expert featured below will be part of the expedition team on the date noted.
Photographer Jim Richardson has produced more than 40 stories for National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Traveler, where he is a contributing editor. Jim’s recent work on environmental issues resulted in two cover stories for National Geographic in 2008—one on light pollution and another on the state of the world’s soil. More recently, Jim shot and wrote the National Geographic Traveler story titled "My Scottish Obsession" for the August/September 2012 issue. His work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, Life, and Sports Illustrated, and been featured on CBS News Sunday Morning and ABC's Nightline. The Society's assignment photographers voted Jim the National Geographic "Photographer's Photographer" in 2015.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single cabin in 2016, add $3,640 in Category 1 and $4,190 in Category 2; in 2017, add $3,790 in Category 1 and $4,320 in Category 2. International airfare to and from Inverness is not included in the expedition cost. .