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Boat Trips and Cruises in Scotland

Scotland’s choice of cruises and boat trips is simply huge and covers a range of excursions on inland loch, sea-loch and open sea right around the coast, from the Bass Rock in the east to St Kilda in the west. There are comparatively large and historic vessels, such as the paddle-steamer Waverley, capturing the old days of traditional Clyde estuary cruising, right down to small, fast ‘RIBS’ exploring the coves and islands of the western seaboard.

On inland waters, cruise opportunities include favourites like the SS Sir Water Scott, on Loch Katrine in the Trossachs for more than a century. Loch Lomond also has cruising options, including taking the mail-boat round the loch’s islands. Loch Ness is another cruising centre, with the prospect of a sighting of the elusive Loch Ness Monster being well catered for on a variety of cruises, some including the Caledonian Canal as well.

For real wildlife, the Moray Firth dolphins in particular are viewable via a variety of operators from Avoch in the Black Isle all the way to Macduff to the east. Cruises from here also go to Troup Head for Scotland’s only mainland gannet colony.

The western seaboard has some great excursions to places such as the Summer Isles from Ullapool or to Skye from Gairloch. The island of Skye in particular has a number of options, including a unique glass-bottomed vessel operating out of Kyle of Lochlash, and also on offer is a close-up view of the magnificent Cuillin Hills via a boat trip on Loch Scavaig from Elgol. Like Skye, Mull is a noted area for whale-watching excursions, while some of the most spectacular parts of Argyll are also viewable by boat, for example, from Oban. Cruises here include the famous Gulf of Corryvreckan, and also the island of Staffa.

Overall, there are boat trips ranging from the sedate to the adventurous, but all carry appropriate (and strict) safety certification. Many of the larger vessels also offer refreshments and have high standards of comfort.

Shetland Orkney Northern Highlands Western Isles Skye & Lochalsh Inverness, Loch Ness & Nairn Aberdeen & Grampian Highlands Fort William & Lochaber Argyll & Bute Perthshire, Angus & Dundee Loch Lomond, Stirling & the Trossachs Ayrshire, Arran & Clyde Valley Glasgow Dumfries & Galloway Kingdom of Fife Lothians & Borders Edinburgh


Moray Firth Dolphin

Cruises & Railways »

Take to the water with any one of Scotland’s boat trip operators, or enjoy a nostalgic trip on Scotland’s preserved railways.

© Copyright Edinburgh Boat Charters Ltd, Sailing in Scotland »

When you dream of sailing, make Scotland part of that dream. A coastline of lochs, mountains, islands and beaches joined by a clear and uncrowded sea. Waters that offer both sheltered sailing and challenging adventures, according to the yachtsman's mood and experience. A natural freshness and unspoilt environment and a haven for sailors.

Beaches »

With a coastline estimated at 8197 miles (13,115 km) long, there is plenty of room for Scottish beaches!