Caves, Clans & Castles

Step back in time with this captivating six-night cruise allowing you to not only enjoy breath-taking scenery, but also take in some of the architectural, geological and historical gems the River Clyde has to offer. The area’s long and often turbulent past, brings together a rich tapestry of medieval castles and grand mansions, some of which are still family homes today. From our berth in Greenock, Spirit of Fortitude sails along the Firth of Clyde past the ancient Viking battle scene of Largs before visiting secret religious and historical caves. We visit ancient ruins of castles, world famous film locations and modern day stately homes, all whilst enjoying the very best of hospitality, comfort and luxury. Find Shakespearean treasures, Bronze Age artefacts and tales of bloody history at every turn, all whilst surrounded by the very best scenery that Scotland has to offer. Passing places, anchorages and ports Greenock From its humble beginnings as a fishing village in the 15th Century, Greenock and its access to the River Clyde made it an important location for servicing the busy city of Glasgow until the 1800s and then became the shipbuilding capital of the world. Set on steep slopes, it has magnificent views across the firth of Clyde to the mountains beyond. Arran Full of beautiful coastlines, rolling hills, woodlands and mountainous terrain, this most southerly Scottish Isle is just 19 miles long by 10 miles wide but offers some stunning seascape vistas at every turn. Easily described as a miniature Scotland due to the variety of terrain, as you traverse the island you will feel that you are miles away from the hustle of everyday life. It is home to a modern but popular distillery and the Isle produces its own soaps and lotions with a visitor centre where you can see how it is done. Full of local artisans, we source much of our menu from here. The island is also home to the Kings Caves – a series of waterfront caves carved out of the sandstone and thought to be where Robert the Bruce had his famous encounter with the spider. Skelmorlie Castle With parts of the building dating back to the 15th century, it is a phenomenal building with more than 20 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, nine kitchens and 14 acres of gardens. Originally it belonged to the Earls of Eglinton, who were responsible for leading the Montgomery clan in support of Mary Queen of Scots in battle. Not far from the castle is a 100-foot-high artificial mound, which is said to have been the site of ancient Sun and serpent worship. Great Cumbrae Around the 7th century, legend tells that St Mirin returned to Cumbrae from Ireland and following the example of St Patrick, rid the island of snakes. To this day the island remains snake free! The Cathedral of the Isles in Millport, is Britain’s smallest Cathedral and dates from 1851 and is thought to be built on the spot where St Mirin used to preach to
6
Greenock
2017-11-05, 2018-04-14, 2018-10-27

Mythical Loch Ness & The Caledonian Canal

Spirit of Fortitude is one of the largest vessels to be able to transit the Caledonian Canal, watch in awe as she squeezes through the engineering marvel that is this Thomas Telford canal in this interesting and unique six night cruise, with two options - Oban to Inverness or Inverness to Oban. This voyage encompasses scenes of murders, monsters, castles, lochs and some of the most stunning landscapes you could ever wish to see. Starting from Oban, this journey encompasses the beautiful sea lochs of Loch Linnhe, Loch Ness and the Great Glen as well as sixty miles of the Caledonian Canal with its perfectly engineered locks. There is something for everyone on this cruise from exploration activities, (cycling & canoeing or a cable car up the side of Aonach Mor and para gliding) visits to ancient monuments and numerous sites of historical interest, gardens and castles, or sitting back soaking up the wildlife and stunning scenery created by the Great Glen Fault, that runs through Loch Linnhe and the Firth of Lorne and the great glen to Inverness. Keep an eye out for that rare glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster on Loch Ness! Passing places, anchorages and ports Oban Our gateway to the highlands and islands ……. Historically a fishing and trading village until the Victorian steamers started arriving in larger numbers to this pretty village, Oban grew into a town as it became a main stopping off point for the Western Isles. Set in a natural bay, it is largely protected from wilder weather and has some beautiful seaside shops to visit. At the top of the hill behind the bay sits McCaig's Tower or the Folly as it is better known. Built in 1902, McCaig built the colosseum style structure as a lasting testament to his family and also to provide work for the local tradesmen. Despite it being a steep walk to the top, the views are spectacular. Oban also boasts a cathedral, castle and a golf course and has a rich culture in traditional Scottish music and this is evident with its many festivals. Here, fresh seafood is a must, it is literally from sea to plate and is served up beautifully by our on-board chef. Ladys Rock At the entrance to the Sound of Mull sits Eilean Musdale and the lighthouse that bears her name. Built in 1833 by Robert Stevenson – the grandfather of the acclaimed writer Robert Louis Stevenson , the lighthouse replaced a tall standing stone that had sat there for centuries. Just southwest is Lady’s Rock, where Lachlan Maclean left his wife to die in 1527. Having decided to murder her, he rowed the unfortunate Lady Catherine out to the island to leave her to die. The very morning after, he looked out from his home at Duart Castle and seeing no sign of life and assuming that she was dead – he sent a message to his deceased wife’s brother the Earl of Argyll at Inveraray Castle –
5.00 / 1 review
per person
6
Oban
2017-09-13, 2018-09-15

The Arisaig Route

When I get the urge to set sail, it is Arisaig and the famous and magical hues of greens and blue waters that I yearn for. The combination of islands, sheltered bays, overhanging cliffs and surrounding wildlife automatically make me feel closer to the beautiful nature of Scotland and brings an immediate feeling of relief, relaxation and tranquillity. Sailing out past the majestic beauty of Mull towards the "safe place" of Arisaig where the Hollywood blockbuster "Local Hero" was filmed, we pass what feel like long forgotten coves, beguiling bays and castles, hidden islands and sandy beaches. Sea birds soar above your head and dolphins and seals vie for your attention. We visit tranquil villages where your welcome is eternal and make our way to Loch Nevis with its glass clear reflections on mirrored lochs give you time to relax and marvel at the magnificence of the West Coast. Returning to Oban, we pass Eigg and Muck before sailing past the wild retreat of Coll with maybe a sight of the Basking Sharks that inhabit these waters. Sailing around Mull leads us past the gorgeous Isle of Iona - our very own Holy Isle before passing the uninhabited Garvellachs or Rough Islands which look to be cut from jewelled glass and decorated with precious gems of wild flowers. Relaxation in five-star luxury has never been this magical. Passing places, anchorages and ports Oban Our gateway to the highlands and islands ……. Historically a fishing and trading village until the Victorian steamers started arriving in larger numbers to this pretty village, Oban grew into a town as it became a main stopping off point for the Western Isles. Set in a natural bay, it is largely protected from wilder weather and has some beautiful seaside shops to visit. At the top of the hill behind the bay sits McCaig's Tower or the Folly as it is better known. Built in 1902, McCaig built the colosseum style structure as a lasting testament to his family and also to provide work for the local tradesmen. Despite it being a steep walk to the top, the views are spectacular. Oban also boasts a cathedral, castle and a golf course and has a rich culture in traditional Scottish music and this is evident with its many festivals. The fresh seafood is a must; it is literally from sea to plate! Tobermory The brightly coloured houses in the distance are immediately recognised by eager pre-schoolers as the quaint village of the BBC programme Balamory. If looking for PC Plum and Suzie Sweet is not your thing, then Tobermory still has a plethora of delights to offer. A picture perfect setting of coloured buildings down to the pier surrounded by wooded hills around the bay up to the lighthouse with its playful otters among the rocks. At the bottom of the bay is thought to remain the wreck of a Spanish galleon which fled the English fleet when she anchored in Tobermory to take on provisions. Following
6
Oban
2017-08-27, 2018-05-19
Offers Call Today!

The Kyles of Bute

5th October 2017 Special Rates Available! Call Now: 01577 861121 11th October 2017 Special Rates Available! Call Now: 01577 861121 19th October 2017 Last Few Spaces Available! Call Now: 01577 861121 30th October 2017 FULLY BOOKED Experience the famous and majestic Kyles of Bute, a firm favourite of those who regularly sail in the West of Scotland, sure to leave a lasting impression with its spectacular scenery as well as being steeped in history. Then enjoy the romantic waters of Loch Fyne, Scotland’s longest sea loch, adorned with Castles and hill towers, home to Loch Fyne oysters enjoyed in the world’s top restaurants around the globe, as well as Scotland’s first planned town and home to the Duke of Argyll the royal burgh of Inveraray with its spectacular Inveraray Castle! From our berth in Greenock, Spirit of Fortitude sets sail on a three-night cruise past Holy Loch, named for the sacred, yet sunken cargo from a ship carrying soil from the Holy Land destined for the foundations of Glasgow cathedral. Passing Dunoon then onto the Isle of Bute where we head north through the fabulous Kyles of Bute, past Tighnabruaich before heading into Loch Fyne, Scotland’s longest sea loch. We visit Portavadie; a place of great contrast. Portavadie is a must visit with its multi award winning spa experience. This is followed by a short trip across the loch to the fishing village of Tarbert where its ruined castle, once occupied by Robert the Bruce, stands guard over the harbour entrance. Arran is the largest of the Clyde islands and we visit the north west of the island at Lochranza, a lovely tranquil setting for a very popular distillery. Opened in 1995, the Isle of Arran Distillery boasts a welcoming Visitor Centre and a number of excellent whiskies. There is also the visitor attraction of Arran Aromatics famous for its luxury Scottish made toiletries. Passing places, anchorages and ports Greenock From its humble beginnings as a fishing village in the 15th Century, Greenock and its access to the River Clyde made it an important location for servicing the busy city of Glasgow until the 1800s and then became the shipbuilding capital of the world. Set on steep slopes, it has magnificent views across the firth of Clyde to the mountains beyond. Holy Loch Historically home to the American Naval base, set in a fault line and named for its sunken soil cargo once destined for Glasgow Cathedral. Isle of Bute- Rothesay A quaint Victorian seaside resort, full of its original architecture, packed with character. It even boasts original Victorian toilets on the pier that are the only facilities in Scotland to be given their own visitor leaflets! Decorated in the most splendid tiles with opulent colour schemes, highlighting the no expense spared when it came to the Victorians. Along the esplanade lies the unique cast iron and glass, circular structure of the Discovery Centre and further along is Rothesay Castle - which was a favourite home of early Scottish kings and
3
Greenock
2017-10-05, 2017-10-11, 2017-10-19, 2017-10-30, 2018-03-24, 2018-04-09, 2018-10-12, 2018-10-23, 2018-11-03

The Spirit of Scotland

Sun, sea, golf and whisky - all from the opulent decks of The Spirit of Fortitude. What more could any golfing enthusiast ask for? Ten days of award winning courses, world class distilleries, impressive historical wonders and some of the most alluring coastlines and sights you could ever wish to see. Test your nerve on world famous links courses and follow in the footsteps of golfing legends. Pit your skill against nature on some of the most beautiful yet treacherous courses in the world. Couple this with tasting sessions and tours of local but global whisky distilleries and immerse yourself in the water of life. At every turn, nature will inspire you with golden eagles, otters, seals, whales and more. Truly, this voyage of discovery encapsulates Scotland and will enchant you forever. Passing places, anchorages and ports Greenock From its humble beginnings as a fishing village in the 15th Century, Greenock and its access to the River Clyde made it an important location for servicing the busy city of Glasgow until the 1800s and then became the shipbuilding capital of the world. Set on steep slopes, it has magnificent views across the firth of Clyde to the mountains beyond. Royal Troon With two spectacular courses, Royal Troon is a must for any golf enthusiast. Lying at the end of a gorgeous stretch of Ayrshire coastline, golf has been played here long before the club was founded in 1878. Awarded Royal status in its centennial year of 1978 it has hosted The Open Championship 8 times and will host it again this year. The Old Course is thought to be one of the greatest in Scotland and with a mixture of the wind and terrain - it is a challenging one. Take time to reminisce in the history of players past who have found glory here and take your chances on the famous "Postage Stamp" hole surely your best chance for a hole in one on a Championship course! The alternate course - The Portland Course was originally designed by William Fernie who won The Open in 1883 before being redesigned in the 1920's by Dr Alister MacKensie. Slightly more forgiving than The Old Course, the Portland Course takes you through sheltered holes on a slightly shorter course. Arran Full of beautiful coastlines, rolling hills, woodlands and mountainous terrain, this most southerly Scottish Isle is just19 miles long by 10 miles wide but offers some stunning seascape vistas at every turn. Easily described as a miniature Scotland due to the variety of terrain, as you traverse the island you will feel that you are a million miles away from the hustle of everyday life. It is home to a modern but popular distillery and produces its own soaps and lotions with a visitor centre where you can see how it is done. Full of local artisans, we source much of our menu from here. The island is also home to the Kings Caves – a series of waterfront caves carved out
10
Greenock
2017-10-07, 2018-04-28, 2018-09-30