Inverness is one of Scotland’s major cruise ports and a great place to visit during a cruise vacation. The port is located a short walk from the city center, and while there you may discover a local charm unlike any you’ve experienced before. Majestic street art, boutiques, and cafes will instantly greet you upon arrival. If you’re interested in castles, churches, and museums, you’ll love spending time in Inverness before or after your cruise. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the legendary Loch Ness monster, who calls the Highlands home. Scotch-lovers will jump at the opportunity to take whiskey distillery tours and tastings.
A great time to visit Inverness is between May and September.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes Inverness, Scotland. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to Inverness, Scotland. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit Inverness, Scotland:
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Inverness, along with a brief description:
♦ Loch Ness
The legendary Loch Ness is just a short drive (approximately 30 minutes) from Inverness (it’s also a stop on Lindblad’s itinerary). Not only will you be surrounded by stunning scenery, but the remains of Urquhart Castle overlook the water. You’re even able to climb up one of the towers and absorb some of the most stunning views of Loch Ness and the surrounding Scottish Highlands. A restaurant and gift shop are located nearby, so you can grab a bite to eat before or after your visit, and browse the many exciting Loch Ness monster souvenirs to mark your visit.
If you’re looking to visit some castles that are not in ruins while spending time in Inverness, then be sure to save time for Dunrobin Castle and Cawdor Castle. Dunrobin Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in the Highlands, featuring almost 200 rooms. Visitors can gain entry to the falconry display, gardens, and museum. There is also a gift shop and tea room. If you want to tour the inside of an active castle, Cawdor Castle includes a tour of the castle, gardens, and nature trails. Other castles in Inverness that are worth checking out include Fort George (which now serves as a history museum) and Castle Stuart (restored with a golf course).
♦ Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
If you’re culturally curious, you might consider checking out the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. This museum is wonderful way to learn more about the unique history and culture of the Scottish Highlands. Among the many exhibits, you can view ancient artifacts, art collections, artisan crafts, and many more things that tell the story of Scotland’s vast history. There is also a café where you can taste some local cuisine for yourself.
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