Discover Scotland’s Best With This Unique Cruise From Glasgow to the Isles

Encounter Scotland’s wild landscapes, iconic cities, and grand landmarks in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and isles throughout the Inner and Outer Hebrides and beyond.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Courtesy of Tauck

On this thoughtfully paced, small-ship cruise, you’ll see the beauty of Scotland on land and at sea. The 11-day itinerary captures the many sides of Scotland and its islands, even going as far as the isolated Shetland Islands. Begin and end your journey in the country’s crowning cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow, with gorgeous landscapes along the way.

Among the authentic experiences, you’ll drink in stunning views from the deck and sip single-malt whiskies, while visiting lesser-known locales on the isles of Mull, Skye, and Lewis, plus make stops to traverse the dramatic clifftops of Orkney on foot and see Neolithic monuments. Each day reveals another unexpected layer of Scotland’s richly woven heritage, encompassing music, dance, and culinary traditions.

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Trip Highlight

Shetland Islands

Gain insight into local life and traditions with the Shetland Rural Experience featuring David Murray and his champion sheepdog, Sweep. See Shetland ponies and sheep up close as Sweep impressively performs his sheepherding duties without a word of instruction.
Tauck Tours

Trip Designer


Three generations of Taucks have pioneered escorted travel since the tour company’s first trip through New England in 1925. Nearly a century later, Tauck remains a trusted brand and offers more than 140 distinctive travel experiences.
Courtesy of Tauck

The Tea Room of the Blythswood Square Hotel

Courtesy of Tauck

Day 1-2:Glasgow

Start your trip by settling into The Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow. Right outside the hotel’s doors, you’ll find lush private gardens and a central location for strolling to the nearby city center. Attend a Tauck welcome reception in the evening at the voco Grand Central Glasgow to meet fellow travelers and toast the beginning of an unforgettable journey.

Tomorrow, you’ll get an overview of Glaswegian history with a tour of George’s Square, Glasgow Cathedral, Buchanan Street, and Princes Square, plus a visit to the eclectic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Afterward, you’ll board your ship to begin your seven-night, small-ship cruise, heading first to the Isle of Mull.

Duart Castle on Mull Island

Courtesy of Tauck

Day 3:Isle of Mull

After your first soothing night at sea, you’ll awake to the brightly painted buildings of the Tobermory seafront in the picturesque capital of the Isle of Mull. Once anchored, you can choose to go on a guided nature hike at Aros Park or head to the medieval Duart Castle, which was restored in the 20th century. The latter is one of the few places in Scotland where you can visit a clan seat still owned by its members, the Maclean clan. Today’s adventures will end with a captain’s welcome reception on the ship followed by a well-orchestrated dinner.
Portree Bay

Portree Bay

Courtesy of Tauck

Day 4:Isle of Skye

Your adventure to the northernmost reaches of the Inner Hebrides continues as you arrive at the Isle of Skye. Taking its name from Gaelic for “Isle of Mist,” the otherworldly landscape winds through dramatic cliffs and ethereal glens spinning a visual narrative of myths and legends.

Onshore, you’ll have your choice of excursions, including a visit to the commanding Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the MacLeod clan. Alternatively, you can visit a croft (a traditional type of smaller-scale farming unique to Scotland) or enjoy a wildlife safari through Portree Bay and the Sound of Raasay for a close-up view of local creatures, such as seals, otters, sea eagles, and dolphins, an unexpected sight in these coastal waters.
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Gearrannan Blackhouse Village

Courtesy of Tauck

Day 5:Isle of Lewis

An invigorating morning begins with a captivating introduction to the Outer Hebrides, one of the most remote and rugged regions in the country. The ship docks in Stornoway, a far-flung outpost founded by the Vikings in the 9th century on the Isle of Lewis, which shares its expansive landmass with the Isle of Harris to the south.

Looking out to the cobalt blue waters of the Minch, a sea channel separating it from the mainland and the Inner Hebrides, you’ll get a genuine taste of everyday life in these down-to-earth island communities. Breathe in the salty air and take in views from a panoramic bus ride to the Standing Stones of Callanish, Dun Carloway Broch, and Gearrannan Blackhouse Village.
Skara Brae

Skara Brae

Courtesy of Tauck

Day 6:Orkney Islands

Sailing further north, you’ll arrive in Kirkwall, a one-time medieval Norwegian port, hinting at the overlapping layers of history within this archipelago that was given to Scotland by the king of Norway in 1468 as collateral for a loan. In a presentation onboard the ship, you’ll dig deeper into the past with an Orkney historian and storyteller, who weaves the many threads into an engaging narrative spanning ancient times to World War II.

To cap off the day, you’ll head to the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 10 miles outside the city. Considered among the most significant Neolithic sites in Western Europe, its four monuments include a large, chambered tomb, ceremonial stone circles, and a 5,000-year-old settlement called Skara Brae.
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Shetland Ponies

Courtesy Of Tauck

Day 7-8:Shetland Islands

On the outermost fringes of Scotland, more than a hundred islands make up the Shetland archipelago, yet people only inhabit 16 of them. You’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, help support the peatland ecosystem, and restore local bogs by planting sphagnum moss. Among the handful of villages in the Shetland Islands, you’ll dock in Lerwick, the only one considered a town.

Next, you’ll traverse the east coast for a look at St. Ninian’s Island. In the countryside amid Shetland ponies and sheep, guests will also meet David Murray, a Shetland-born sheepdog trainer, and his champion sheepdog, Sweep. A member of the Scottish National Sheep Dog Trials team, Murray will run a demonstration of sheepdog trials.

Palace Of Holyroodhouse

Courtesy Of Tauck

Day 9-11A Royal Farewell in Edinburgh

The country’s vibrant capital city, Edinburgh, will serve as the grand finale to your unforgettable journey. Check into the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel or InterContinental Edinburgh The George for three days of getting acquainted with the many sights of the medieval Old Town and New Town, an area situated across the valley that was developed in the 19th century and is celebrated for its Georgian buildings and public squares.

Among the city highlights are Edinburgh Castle perched atop a volcanic rock and the Royal Mile running from there to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Treat your senses to urban greenery with a tour of the palatial gardens and a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden, a center for studying plant diversity and conservation.

Finally, enjoy a private farewell reception and dinner aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. At your red-carpet arrival, you’ll be welcomed aboard via the Royal Brow, an entrance previously reserved for Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family. Adding to the VIP treatment, you’ll enjoy an exclusive experience with access to areas that are normally roped-off—and truly feel like it’s your yacht for the evening. You’ll also get to see the Royal Apartments and other areas typically inaccessible during regular tours.

The elegant evening, which has been curated specifically for Tauck, features dishes made in the ship’s original Royal Galleys. Using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients from the very best Scottish suppliers, including many who are Royal Warrant Holders that provide food to the Royal Family, the menu can include everything from artisan bread to petit fours—for a send-off in true style.
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