Rugged and windswept Scotland is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. Travelers in the know are using their precious vacation days to visit the northernmost country of the United Kingdom and explore the mountains and valleys of Scotland. One of the easiest ways to do so is by sailing on one of our Scotland cruise itineraries.
When you cruise to Scotland with us, you’ll get to explore the wonders of this beautiful country, from its lowland cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow to the majestic highlands that roll from the country roads in incredible peaks of green where you can find some of the most beautiful castles of the country. Keep your eyes peeled for the adorable Highland Cattle, too. Even dining is an adventure in Scotland if you try the haggis, the national dish. Haggis is a savory dish with a pudding consistency that is made from the offal of sheep or calfs and mixed with oats and spices.
When it comes to visiting Scotland, it’s important to note that the country is divided into two parts: the highlands and the lowlands. The highlands are where you’ll find most of the natural attractions that are popular with visitors, while the lowlands are where the big city attractions are.
The Scottish Highlands is a mountainous area of Scotland located in the northwestern part of the country. They get their name due to being at higher elevation than the rest of Scotland. You’ll also find Ben Nevis peak there, the highest point in the United Kingdom.
A highlight for any Scotland cruise passenger who visits Edinburgh is seeing the iconic Edinburgh Castle atop Castle Rock and touring the opulent rooms of Holyrood Palace. Other castles to see in Scotland include medieval Urquhart Castle and historically important Stirling Castle.
The Shetland Islands are located to the north of Scotland’s mainland, about halfway between it and Norway. The area is made up of a subarctic archipelago. On the islands you’ll find dramatic cliffs with the ocean crashing below, vibrant green fields, and tiny fishing villages.
Scotland cruise ports of call provide a gateway to the culture and top sights of the country. Our three Scotland ports will whisk you away to the city life of Scotland, the miles upon miles of farmland, and to the country’s remote and ruggedly beautiful islands.
Shore excursions are a great way to explore the cities and landscape of Scotland during your cruise. Along the way you’ll learn about the history of Scotland and may even hear the stories of William Wallace that were made famous in the movie Braveheart.
Loch Ness is a freshwater loch famous for an old picture that seemingly shows a monster in the water (aka “Nessie”), but you’ll soon be under the spell of its tranquil beauty even if you don’t see a prehistoric looking animal head poking out of the water.
From Glasgow, you can take a shore excursion to the beloved city of Edinburgh, located along Scotland’s south border. Edinburgh is the world’s first UNESCO designated City of Literature. It is also home to centuries of British history, much of which can be seen along its iconic Royal Mile.
Scotland is home to beloved scotch whiskey distilleries. During your cruise to Scotland you can take a shore excursion to one of the distilleries for a tour of the facility and learn how Scotch is made. After you’re armed with knowledge of Scotland’s famous liquor, it’s time to taste it.
Scotland cruise port of calls are typically found on British Isles or Ireland and Iceland cruise itineraries. These itineraries often embark from Amsterdam, Netherlands or Dublin, Ireland. Expect to spend more than a week at sea when planning your cruise to Scotland since most of these itineraries sail for 10 to 12 days.
Keep in mind that Scotland cruise ports aren’t always right by the major destination you’ll be visiting. Scotland cruises that stop in Glasgow will actually pull into port in the town of Greenock. And in the highlands, you’ll dock in Inverness, located about 15 miles from Loch Ness, which is at the top of most visitors’ list of things to see during a Scotland cruise. Those visiting Lerwick will dock right by the harbor and can easily walk around town or get on an excursion to explore more of the Shetland archipelago.
Packing for Scotland should include warm layers, even in the summer months. The northern location of the country means it can dip into cool temperatures in the early morning and evenings, and coastal breezes in the Scottish Highlands and Shetland Islands may have you reaching for a light jacket even midday. Layer your attire and you’ll be able to feel comfortable no matter the climate while you explore the beautiful country of Scotland.