Normally, we don't give much editorial attention to deals and discounts, but a current offer from European Waterways Ltd. seemed too good to ignore--and besides, we needed an excuse to use Akiyama Takeshi's handsome photo of the Scottish Highlander in rural Scotland.
Here's the deal:
For its July 17 Scottish Highlander barge cruise, European Waterways is offering a discount of US $2,000 per cabin. That's a significant reduction from the standard fare, which is $4,090 per person for a six-night cruise in mid-July. (You must book by June 30, 2011 to get the discount.)
The discounted fare includes local transfers between Inverness and the barge, six nights on board, all meals, wines, an open bar, shore excursions, and the use of barge amenities such as bicycles and a fish finder.
The cruise itinerary runs along the Great Glen between Dochgarroch and Banavie, with cruising on the Caledonian Canal and several lochs (including the southern shore of Loch Ness). Excursions include such attractions as Cawdor Castle (featured in Shakespeare's Macbeth), Fort Augustus (site of a sheepdog demonstration and a golf course that uses sheep for lawn mowers), the historic battlefields of Glencoe, a mountain gondola trip, and the Ben Nevis distillery.
The Scottish Highlander is a luxury hotel barge with a tartan-themed lounge and dining room, a sundeck, a "passenger-friendly" wheelhouse, three staterooms, and one suite. The 117-foot vessel is fully air-conditioned and has a crew of four (including a chef) serving eight guests.
- Note: Although we haven't traveled on the Scottish Highlander, we have cruised on a European Waterways luxury hotel barge in France. For an in-depth report and photo gallery about that experience, see our La Renaissance cruise review at Europe for Cruisers.
Photo: Akiyama Takeshi