Nessie2We would like to state one thing first off: Cruise ships do not dock in Inverness (or in Loch Ness for that matter – we would certainly not want to endanger our dear friend Nessie!)

One of the most regular shore excursion queries we receive is,

“We dock in Inverness, not Invergordon – can you offer us a tour from Inverness?”

Black IsleWe can understand why customers believe they will be docking in Inverness; the cruise ship’s itineraries often state the destination port as “Inverness/Loch Ness”, which is pretty confusing we have to admit!  However, we would like to advise passengers cruising on the Royal Princess, Celebrity Eclipse, Norwegian Jade, Brilliance of the Seas, MS Rotterdam, MS Zuiderdam and indeed all other cruise ships docking in “Inverness/Loch Ness” that you will definitely be docking in the Port of Invergordon, which is situated on the Cromarty Firth, approximately 40 minutes drive North of Inverness.

Port of InvergordonInvergordon is often referred to as ‘the best natural harbour in Europe’, which means that large ships can easily arrive and depart the harbour and, crucially, no tendering is required.  There are two piers at the port, with the vast majority of larger cruise ships docking at the main Admiralty Pier.  The pier is well located for the main street, and for transport links.

If you wish to visit Inverness and/or Loch Ness from the Port of Invergordon you have a few options;


  1. Group tour with WOW Scotland – see Culloden, Brodie Castle, Inverness, Loch Ness and much more!
  2. Train from Invergordon to Inverness – see The Trainline
  3. Bus from Invergordon to Inverness – see Stagecoach bus timetable
  4. Taxi – various companies operate in Invergordon and Inverness

Loch Ness and Urquhart CastleTo get to Loch Ness, you would be best advised to take a tour or a taxi, as there are no direct buses from Invergordon, and the indirect bus route involves changes and takes approximately two hours each way.

So, now that you know where you are docking, and what your options are, it’s time to get planning for your trip to the Scottish Highlands.  We look forward to showing you our amazing country!