While European Waterways offers many themed cruises featuring specialized itineraries that allow guests to experience the history and culture of Europe, there’s one that can truly be said to capture the “spirit” of a country – the company’s “Whisky Trail Cruise” in the Highlands of Scotland.
Travelling aboard the hotel barge Scottish Highlander, the voyage goes along the Caledonian Canal where guests will visit at least three historic distilleries. 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 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 eight-passenger Scottish Highlander evokes the ambiance of a Scottish country house, with its tartan furnishings. It cruises the Caledonian Canal between Fort William and Inverness, with guests served Scottish fare.
Among the distilleries visited on the Whisky Trail is the Benromach Distillery near Forres, an intimate, family owned business founded more than 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 Cairngorms National Park.
“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.”