European Waterways’ Luxury Hotel Barge Cruises in the Scottish Highlands Offer on board more than 20 Single

European Waterways’ Luxury Hotel Barge Cruises in the
Scottish Highlands Offer on board more than 20 Single Malts


It’s no surprise that, in Gaelic, the name “whisky” loosely translates to “water of life.” This popular spirit is an integral part of Scotland’s cultural heritage. While there is disagreement on whether whisky was invented in Ireland or Scotland, everyone agrees that today the two countries offer their own unique style of the spirit, all of which are exceptionally satisfying.

This age-old question is welcomed for discussion aboard two of European Waterways’ most distinctive luxury hotel barges, the 8-passenger Scottish Highlander and 12-passenger Spirit of Scotland. Both vessels cruise the Caledonian Canal of the Scottish Highlands between Muirtown and Banavie. They offer Whisky Trail Cruises that visit at least three Scottish distilleries with a prestigious pedigree. They also feature more than 20 single malts to choose from in their open bar. As a result, whether guests charter the vessels for themed cruises or book a cabin to enjoy their classic itineraries, whisky lovers are never disappointed. The 6-night, all-inclusive voyages offer ample time to discuss the finer points of one of the world’s most beloved spirits over gastronomic meals and daily excursions.

Whisky Trail Cruises

European Waterways’ Whisky Trail Cruises on the Spirit of Scotland and the Scottish Highlander feature a special itinerary tailored to whisky enthusiasts. They include private guided tours that reveal the unique production processes behind the various single malts, followed by tasting classes.  Among the destinations visited is the Dalwhinnie distillery, known for its exclusive bottling and six single malts. Nestling at the foothills of the Cairngorm Mountains, at an elevation of 1,164 feet above sea level, it is also the highest distillery in Scotland.

Guests also visit the Tomatin distillery 25 minutes south of Inverness, as well as the Glen Ord distillery on the Black Isle. Founded by Thomas Mackenzie in 1838, Glend Ord is one of the few in Scotland with onsite maltings. The Speyside Benromach distillery, a family-owned business for more than 100 years, is also on the itinerary.

European Waterways’ Whisky Trail cruises can be chartered at any time of the season and are not subject to a supplement. In addition to the distillery tours, they feature excursions to historic castles and, of course, spectacular Highland vistas and memorable crossings of famous lochs that include the home of “Nessie” Prices for the Spirit of Scotland, based on 12 passengers, start at £44,000; prices for the Scottish Highlander, based on eight passengers, start at £29,000.

“More than 40 million people around the world claim Scottish ancestry; however, regardless of their lineage, everyone will feel right at home aboard our luxury hotel barges,” noted Derek Banks, European Waterways’ Managing Director. “With a wide variety of whiskies available, they are also sure to find themselves in good spirits and ‘tearin’ the tartan’ – sharing good times in great company – throughout the cruise!”