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There is no place quite like Scotland when it comes to majestic mountains and peaceful lochs. And there is no better way to see where mountains meet water than a cruise along the Caledonian Canal. Our Caledonian Canal cruises offer you an affordable and enjoyable way to explore what many consider one of the finest man-made waterways in the world. We offer a range of cruises from 1 hour to 3 hour round trips, cycle & sail options and for the more adventurous our 6 hour cruise which runs from Banavie to Fort Augustus.

Our canal cruises involve different starting and ending points up and down the Caledonian Canal. Many of our customers enjoy cruising from Banavie to Gairlochy, for example, then walking or cycling back. Others prefer to stay on board for the entire journey. And why not? We offer warm enclosed seating, plenty of full-view windows, and full commentary.

Cruise the Caledonian Canal

The Caledonian Canal

The Caledonian Canal is an impressive waterway that connects the east and west coasts of Scotland by way of Inverness and Corpach. The 60-mile route was conceived in the late 1700s but not built until the early part of the 19th century. Despite being first surveyed in 1773, it wasn’t until 1803 that Parliament passed legislation to authorise the project.

It turns out that the Caledonian Canal is not a single man-made structure from beginning to end. In fact, only about one third is man-made. The rest consists of the following lochs:

• Loch Dochfour
• Loch Ness
• Loch Oich
• Loch Lochy.

If you were to cruise the entire length of the Caledonian Canal, you would experience a total of 10 bridges, 4 aqueducts, and 29 locks. At Neptune’s Staircase, eight locks are required to enable boats to traverse the changes in elevation. If you have never experienced it before, it is definitely worth looking into. There is nothing quite like being in a boat as it moves through a series of locks.

Neptunes Staircase Caledonian Canal
Neptunes Staircase Caledonian Canal. One of the world’s most scenic cruises.

What You’ll See

Caledonian Canal cruises are not about the destination. They are about experiencing the incredible scenery and awesome natural wonders along the way. We mentioned previously about how the mountains meet the water along the canal; this is no exaggeration. There are a few other places in the world where the mountains are so close to the water. It is almost as though you can reach out and touch them.

Along with the mountains, you will also be treated to pristine valleys, canal side shops and boutiques, and, of course, the locks and lochs. Around each gentle turn, there is something new to explore. A Caledonian Canal cruise is a unique kind of excursion that never gets old, no matter how many times you go.

Who Cruises the Canal

A cruise along the Caledonian Canal is a great opportunity for explorers of any age. We hope you will consider cruising with Clyde Cruises, either on your own or with a select group of friends or family members. Caledonian Canal cruises are ideal for:

• Family Trips – Clyde Cruises is thrilled to see families take our cruises together. Cruising with mum, dad and the kids offers an opportunity for the whole family to do something together. It is an opportunity to get out and see nature without the distraction of video games, computers, and television.

• Couples – Couples, both old and young, enjoy the peacefulness and tranquillity of cruising along the Caledonian. You can sit together and gaze out the window, discussing what you see along the way. And of course, there are plenty of opportunities for taking spectacular pictures. A Caledonian Canal cruise is a great way to spend a summer afternoon or inject something a little bit different into your honeymoon plans.

• Social Groups – Social groups and clubs are always looking for things they can do together without breaking the bank. We are proud to say our Caledonian Canal cruises fit that bill perfectly. Cruising is very affordable whether you bring your group aboard one of our public vessels or charter a boat for your exclusive use.

• Business Groups – Business owners looking for a unique opportunity to close a deal may find a canal cruise to be just the ticket. Cruising helps you to relax and de-stress, making it easy for you and your clients to work out an agreement that is mutually beneficial. Whether you need to close a critical deal or just entertain clients for a few hours, you should consider a Caledonian Canal cruise.

The Caledonian Canal is a very important waterway to Scotland. Without it, travelling from coast-to-coast would not be nearly as easy or enjoyable. We invite you to see the canal yourself by booking a tour with Clyde Cruises.

Some Trip Advisor quotes:


“Not something you see every day!”

“Remarkable piece of engineering”

“Must See!!”

Our Caledonian Canal cruises will allow you to explore this tremendous waterway in a relaxing and comfortable environment. Tours typically run seven days a week, throughout the summer months. Book your cruise today!

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