We get asked this question a lot, and understand your concerns about missing your ship’s departure, but it is of course in our interests to ensure that our guests are back in time (our reputation is very important to us!) We always ensure that we drop our guests back at port at least one hour prior to departure. We have a 100% success rate and are usually a little early.
Please note – this tour is not running in 2020. Please contact us for 2021 tours.
Our South Queensferry shore excursion is the perfect compliment to our Greenock and Invergordon shore tours so, for your last Scottish port, be sure to join us to complete your authentic Scottish experience!
he first part of the tour is spent in St Andrews, where golf lovers can explore The British Golf Museum and watch the action at The Old Course. For those who are not golf fans, you can instead take our historic walking tour, and keep an eye out for Britain’s favourite royal couple, “Will and Kate”! Other tour highlights include Falkland (of Outlander fame) and the Royal Burgh of Dunfermline, where you will have the choice of exploring Dunfermline Abbey and Palace or visiting the humble birthplace of Andrew Carnegie.
Guaranteed departures, we never cancel tours … ever!
High spec coach with A/C, onboard bathroom and comfortable reclining seats
A separate tour guide and driver on every tour
100% money back guarantee if your ship doesn’t dock
All admission fees included
Our Edinburgh Shore Excursion Itinerary:
South Queensferry (1)
South Queensferry; your final Scottish port, and we will make sure that you make the absolute most of your last seven hours in our wonderful country! For those who have already been on our other shore excursions, this tour is designed to complement the sights visited previously, and will give you a fantastic taste of the Kingdom of Fife. But… it is not Edinburgh (we hear you say)! That is true, and Edinburgh is of course a beautiful city but, with 1.7 million visitors to Edinburgh Castle last year, we decided to give you an alternative; a tour which will appeal to golf fans, Outlander fans, history fans, and those who would like to experience something more of the real Scotland…
Your WOW guide and driver will be at the port early in the morning ready to greet you when you disembark from your tender. You will be able to check in as soon as you arrive, but you are also welcome to explore the pretty town of South Queensferry, which lies in the shadow of: The Forth Bridge, a UNESCO world heritage site and spectacular feat of engineering; The Forth Road Bridge and The Queensferry Crossing – it opened just last year and is the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world!
Please note that, as this is a tender port, we have a later-than-usual start time to ensure that you have plenty time to make your way in to the meeting place.
St Andrews (2)
After crossing over the Firth of Forth and its iconic bridges, we continue heading North for an hour until we reach our first stop; the pretty coastal town of St Andrews. Famed for being The Home of Golf, and also for being home to Scotland’s most prestigious university (founded in 1314 and meeting place of college sweethearts Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge) there is a lot more to this charming town than just golf and royalty! With its sandy beaches, medieval street plan, cathedral and castle, you will find plenty to occupy you during our two hour stop here. First off, you can choose from two itineraries; Historic St Andrews – walking tour or The Home of Golf , as outlined below.
Option 1 – Historic St Andrews - Walking Tour
As a compact town dotted with historical buildings, what better way to explore it than on foot, with your highly knowledgeable WOW guide to accompany you of course! Our one hour walking tour starts at 12th Century St Andrews Cathedral, where you will have the opportunity to stroll around the remains of Scotland’s largest and most magnificent medieval church. From here, we take a scenic stroll along a coastal path to St Andrews Castle, the ruins of which you can admire from outside. We will finish the walking tour in the town centre.
You will then have an hour to explore the town by yourself. With so much to see and do the decision will be a tricky one: Continue along the coastal path to visit The Museum of The University of St Andrews, which is free to visit and is worth doing so for the fantastic terrace views of West Sands; head to West Sands for a brisk coastal walk; grab something to eat in one of the numerous pubs and eateries around Market Street or sample some sustenance of the liquid variety in Luvians Bottle Shop (your last opportunity to buy malt whisky in its homeland!)
Option 2 – The Home of Golf
Scotland is synonymous with golf but, of the country’s 550 courses, non is more internationally recognised than The Old Course at St Andrews. Situated in an enviable position overlooking the course, the British Golf Museum offers a meticulous presentation of “the most comprehensive golf collection in Britain, and one of the finest in the world” (entrance fee of £7 included in tour price). You can peruse the museum at your leisure.
Afterwards, you may wish to enjoy a spot of lunch in the cafe, which offers panoramic views of the first tee of The Old Course, as well as the stunning West Sands beach. Alternatively, just around the corner is the Dunvegan Hotel, where you can enjoy refreshments whilst surrounded by golf memorabilia, and indeed golfers. What better place to relax than a hotel which The Golf Channel recommends as one of the best golf hangouts in the world?! To finish off your trip to St Andrews, why not cross the road to indulge in a spot of golf retail therapy at Auchterlonies, or take a few snaps of The Swilken Bridge; one of the most famous golf course landmarks in the world.
You will have two hours in St Andrews to enjoy the museum and other attractions.
Falkland (a.k.a Inverness in Outlander!) (3)
After a scenic drive through the countryside we will arrive in Falkland. This charming village is situated at the foot of the Lomond Hills and was named as Scotland’s first conservation village; there are very few villages in the country which are quite so rich in wonderful old buildings! This was most likely one of the reasons why Falkland was chosen to represent 1940s Inverness in the hit TV series of Outlander – fans will doubtless recognise the Bruce Fountain and Mrs Baird’s Guesthouse (the Covenanter Hotel), and even non-fans will not find it hard to imagine taking away the cars and being transported back in time!
Architecturally this former Royal Burgh is of great interest, with many buildings being over 300 years old. We would recommend familiarising yourself with its medieval streets, The Old Town House and Moncrief House, before browsing the town’s quirky shops and cafes.
You will have approximately 45 minutes to look around Falkland.
The last stop on our tour is certainly not on the tourist trail (Rick Steves doesn’t even mention it in his guide to Scotland!) but, especially on busy cruise ship days, this is definitely a huge advantage! You will get off the beaten track to explore Dunfermline, the ancient capital of Scotland, and one of its most attractive and historically interesting towns. We will spend approximately one hour here and you again can select the option which appeals to you most, as outlined below;
Option 1 – Dunfermline Abbey and Palace
If you enjoy visiting beautiful historic buildings, and doing so on a self-guided basis, this option visits two of “The Auld Grey Toun’s” most historic buildings and will definitely be the one for you.
We will take you first to Dunfermline Abbey, the final resting place of Robert the Bruce and many of Scotland’s greatest medieval monarchs. Substantial parts of the building remain, including the vast monks’ refectory, and it is truly an impressive and fascinating historic sight.
The adjacent Dunfermline Palace is a ruined former Scottish palace; it was frequented by the Scottish Royal family in the 16th Century and the future Charles 1st of England was born there. You can stroll around and admire the breathtaking views across the glen from the palace windows.
You will have around one hour to explore Dunfermline Abbey and Palace (the £5 entrance fee is included in the tour price)
Option 2 – Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum
The alternative option for Dunfermline will be of particular interest to North Americans, as we visit The Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum. From his humble beginnings in Dunfermline in 1835, Andrew Carnegie went on to become the richest man in the world (he certainly personified the “The American Dream”!) and also the greatest philanthropist who ever lived.
The museum is hosted in the house he grew up in and here you can find out about his early life, his meteoric rise to steel magnate and his subsequent philanthrophic activities; By the time he died in 1919, Carnegie had given over $350m to good causes (by some estimates, this would equate to over $76 billion today).The museum will also give you a flavour of what life was like in Dunfermline in the 19th Century.
You will have one hour to spend in the museum (admission is free).
When you book onto our shore excursion from South Queensferry you are booking the following:
Comfortable touring coach featuring AC, on-board restroom and PA system
Pick-up directly across from the port gate
Money back guarantee if your ship is unable to reach port
Knowledgeable and experienced tour guide, with many 5 star TripAdvisor reviews
All admission charges included
Visit Scotland 5 star rated tour operator
TripAdvisor 5 star rated tour operator
A company which has taken over 5000 guests on shore excursions over the last six years, returning each and every one to the port on time
We were on a Princess cruise and booked WOW Scotland for our stop at Inverness. Tour guide Jonathan was excellent and seemingly knew everything with incredible detail. Of all our tours, he and WOW Scotland was by far the best. It was the only one where we had both a driver and tour guide. HIGHLY RECOMMEND with no reservations.
What a well run tour. The bus and greeters were right there outside the port. Great value especially compared to ships pricing. Got us back in plenty of time. Gordon was an AWESOME guide. Making the tour fun and informative.
There is a reason this tour group is rated as high as it is. We took shore excursions on each of our Carribean Princess 12 day British Isle tour and this was the best.
FAQs about our Edinburgh Shore Excursions:
If you’ve any questions about our Edinburgh shore excursions you should find the answer by clicking on the relevant section. Should your question not be answered please contact us and we’ll be very happy to help.
What size of vehicle do you use?
In 2019 we will be operating two main vehicles on this route; a 28-seater and a 30-seater. Both vehicles are very well-appointed, with panoramic windows, comfortable reclining seats and on-board WiFi. You can rest assured that you will be able to relax and enjoy the majestic scenery in complete comfort and, with our smaller group size, you are guaranteed a more personal experience.
Where do we meet you in South Queensferry?
When you get off the tender boat walk to the main street and your guide will be waiting for you there. Your vehicle will be located close by.
Can children come on this tour?
Yes – children are welcome on our shore tours. Please note that you must purchase a ticket for every child as, even if they sit on a parent’s lap, they officially take up one space on the coach.
Can I reserve seats on the tour?
Yes. Due to customer demand, we have a booking system for the following seats;
- 4 front row seats – these give you unparalleled views out of the front windows, and the opportunity to disembark first at every stop. Our most popular seats.
- 4 second row seats – many guests prefer to sit near the front of the coach, or be reassured that you will be seated together if they are a couple/group, both of which you get with this option. These seats also have a little more legroom than these front row seats. These are available on some tours only.
- 2 extra legroom seats – these are situated near the back of the coach and have approximately 50% more legroom than regular seats. They are particularly suited to those who are tall, or like to stretch out.
- 4 back row seats – these are ideal for groups who wish to sit together. Unlike on most other coaches we have removed the fifth/middle seat so the seats are spaced further apart, giving you more elbow room.
The price of the upgrades vary depending on which tour you are on, with prices between £2.50 and £22.50 per person. If they are available, upgrades will be given as an option when booking.
Please note that it does not make any difference which side of the coach you sit on, so we don’t take requests for specific sides.
The rest of our seating works on a first-come-first-served basis, as we feel that this is the fairest system of allocating seats. It is not possible to reserve window seats, or seats together if you are travelling as part of a group but, if you do wish to choose your seat, we would recommend arriving early at the bus stop (i.e. a few minutes before check-in closes). If you are unhappy with your seat please let your tour guide know and he will do his best to accommodate your requests, although obviously many guests would prefer a window seat so it is not possible for everyone to have these!
Note that any fees paid for seat upgrades are non-refundable if you cancel your tour.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Payments are taken through our secure online booking system, which utilises both PayPal and Stripe. These accept almost any debit and credit card, including American Express (we cannot accept Diner’s Card or Discover).
Can I book with confidence?
Yes! We know that you have a choice of tours, and we are always reviewing our offering to ensure that we are providing the best tour, combined with the best value for money and best customer care, from the minute you land on our website. We are confident that we do this, and are proud to have been awarded a coveted 5 star rating from VisitScotland in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 for providing “exceptional” tours.
Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor (as of October 2019 we had 1690 5 star reviews) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 tour company in Inverness (out of a staggering 94!).
For those who are unsure about booking with a small company, please click on any of the following links for assurance that we are a member of the national tourism body; Visit Scotland and also of the Federation of Small Businesses and local tourism body; Visit Inverness Loch Ness.
What is your policy if our ship is unable to dock (e.g. due to adverse weather conditions)?
If your ship is unable to reach port we will refund the full cost of your tour. We know that this is highly unusual, but want to offer our customers the best experience and ensure that you have the confidence to book in advance.
Can I cancel my tour if I change my mind?
- If you cancel your shore tour up to 14 days prior to the tour you will be refunded 100% of your tour price (note that any fees paid for seat upgrades are non-refundable)
- If you cancel your shore tour between 7-14 days prior to departures you will be given a 50% refund (note that any fees paid for seat upgrades are non-refundable)
- If you cancel within 7 days days no refund will be given. However, if we are able to re-sell your place then we may be able to issue up to a 50% refund, so please let us know if you need to cancel, no matter how last minute it is.
Unfortunately we cannot make exceptions to these rules, as it would be unfair to treat customers differently.
In order that you do not lose out, if you have to cancel your tour due to unforeseen circumstances, we do strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance with integral cancellation insurance.
Do you offer guaranteed departures?
Yes, if you book onto one of our tours then we will run this tour, regardless if anyone else has booked on or not!
The only reason we would require to cancel a tour would be if the weather forecast was so bad that we or one of our suppliers (e.g. the ferry operators for our Orkney Tour) considered it dangerous to travel. However, this is extremely unlikely, and we would do our utmost to accommodate you either on on an alternative tour that day, or on an alternative date.
Should I tip my guide?
If the tour meets or exceeds your expectations then please feel free to tip as it is always very much appreciated. However, please rest assured that tips are not expected in Scotland, so no offence will be taken if you don’t tip. It is worth noting that, if there is a separate driver and tour guide on your tour, they always split any tips equally, so it is fine to give money to either one of them.
What are your terms and conditions of booking?
Our terms and conditions can be found here. You’ll find a general overview of our cancellation terms in this FAQ section if you don’t want to read though all the T&Cs!
Is it possible to pay on arrival?
Due to high demand for our tours, we are unable to secure your booking unless you pay the full amount in advance. That being said, you are welcome to come to the bus stop in the morning and, if there are places available, you can join the tour and book/pay online on our website.
Who will our tour guide be?
Which ships do you offer tours from?
In 2019 we are offering scheduled tours from most ships from Invergordon, including: Crown Princess; Pacific Princess; Celebrity Reflection; Norwegian Spirit, Pearl & Getaway; Brilliance of the Seas; Costa Mediterranea; Marco Polo; Magellan; Columbus; MS Zuiderdam, Prinsendam, Rotterdam & Koningsdam; MSC Orchestra & Preziosa. If your ship isn’t available to book please get in touch as we may still be able to offer you something.
We can also offer private coach tours from every cruise ship that docks at Invergordon.
From Greenock and South Queensferry we are only offering tours from selected ships in 2019, but may be available for private coach tours from other ships.
We would like to be back at the ship a while before it leaves. Is this possible?
Why should we choose WOW Scotland?
We know that you have a choice of tours, and we are always reviewing our offering to ensure that we are providing the best tour, combined with the best value for money and best customer care, from the minute you land on our website. We are confident that we do this, and are proud to have been awarded a 5 star rating from VisitScotland in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 for providing “exceptional” tours.
Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor as of November 2019 1680 out of 1760 reviews i.e. 95% rate us as excellent) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 tour operator in Inverness (out of a staggering 94!).
For those who are unsure about booking with a small company, please click on any of the following links for assurance that we are a member of the national tourism body; Visit Scotland and also of the Federation of Small Businesses and local tourism body; Visit Inverness Loch Ness
Do I need to bring cash with me on the tour? If so, are Euros/US dollars accepted in Scotland?
It is advisable to bring some cash (GBP £) on all tours. Credit/debit cards are widely accepted but, in some small shops (or for smaller purchases), cash is the only option.
Please note that American Express is not commonly accepted in Scotland, but Visa and Mastercard should be fine. Unfortunately very few places will accept other currencies such as Euros or US dollars.
Do you offer foreign language tours?
At the moment we only offer tours in English, and we are unable to offer any translation services. This is something which we are working to improve in the future but, for now, hopefully the fantastic Highland scenery can speak for itself!