Well, that’s the end of the busy tourist season in Inverness…and what a season it has been!  From the outstanding success of our new Isle of Skye Group Tour, to the greeting of a record number of guests from the cruise port in Invergordon, our summer was definitely varied, fun and, of course, a lot of hard work!

So, to celebrate the end of a great season, and to thank all of the WOW team for sailing through it with good humour and enthusiasm, we decided it was about time that someone took us out on a tour for the day.  Hmmm…now …who would be brave enough to take a group of local tour guides on a tour, you might ask?! Step forward Cruise Loch Ness.

The WOW Team

We started our day at one of our favourite ale pubs; The Benleva Hotel in Drumnadrochit, where we enjoyed a warm welcome, and of course a pint of local ale to toast the day ahead.  Heading on in our WOW convoy to Fort Augustus, we then got kitted out and it was all aboard for a Loch Ness cruise, with a difference…Rather than a typical loch cruise, we chose a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) which, at a maximum speed of 40 knots, is the fastest boat on the loch – perfect for those who enjoy a guided tour, combined with the exhilaration of a power boat! What followed was a fantastic experience, which exceeded everyone’s expectations (and that is not easy to do!)

 

Gordon listens to the tour guide - what a novelty

Gordon listens to the tour guide – what a novelty

We started off cruising the south side of the loch, which is all the more interesting as many parts are only visible from the water.  Our guide and captain, Marcus, showed us the horseshoe scree, feral mountain goats, whisky caves and the infamous Fraser Yew Tree, whilst regaling us with tales of quirky lochside residents past and present.    It was then time to push on up to Urquhart Castle– we have all been there many times, but again we got a unique perspective as we took a brief stop to admire the ruins from below.

Daredevil Dave

Daredevil Dave

Before we knew it, it was time to speed back down the loch, skipping back and forth over the wake of another RIB was definitely a highlight, as we all bounced around and clung on to our seats!  All too soon it was time to cruise back along the Caledonian Canal to dock; we all agreed that the unique views of the loch, combined with the speed and thrill of the rib, a great guide and the soft reflections on the water on a beautiful autumn day, had made for a very special trip.

Beautiful Loch Ness

Beautiful Loch Ness Feeling refreshed, and just a little windswept, our day was not over yet, as we took a scenic route to Dores Inn, and enjoyed a hearty late lunch and few well-earned pints.  From there, it was on to Inverness to catch one of our favourite bands; Schiehallion, play at Inverness’ oldest pub, The Gellions.  What better way to round off a fantastic end of season tour?!

Now, we’d better get back to planning next year’s tours…watch this space for a new tour incorporating the above RIB ride (now who said we never stop working?!)