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.
Guaranteed departures, we never cancel tours … ever!
Luxury 30-seater mini-coach with A/C & WiFi
A 5 Star accredited company
Free cancellation up to 14 days prior to departure
We guarantee to get you back in time
1. Invergordon and Cromarty Firth
Our enthusiastic and experienced WOW team will welcome you to the port of Invergordon.
Upon arrival at the Port of Invergordon you will be greeted to a warm welcome from the WOW Scotland team (usually resplendent in their kilts!). After taking your seats in our executive 30-seater mini-coach you will feel immediately at home as your highly experienced guide takes the reins and your long-awaited day in the Scottish Highlands begins….oh what a day we have in store for you!!As we journey along the shores of the Cromarty Firth keep your eye out for seals, oystercatchers and herons as your guide enthralls you with stories of the area’s fascinating naval history (you’ll even find out why the US Navy used a local distillery as their HQ during the First World War!).
2. Cawdor Castle
NEW for 2020 – this tour will visit Cawdor Castle!
Early records show that the castle dates back to at least 1454. Although there have been many fortifications and additions over the last 640 years, the building has been remarkably well-preserved, and gives a wonderful impression of how the landed gentry would have lived back in the 15th Century. To this day the castle remains in the Campbell family, with the Dowager Countess Cawdor, stepmother of the 7th Earl of Cawdor, residing there over the winter months.
You will be presented with an audio guide, which provides an interesting and entertaining overview of each room of the castle. From the 16th Century Drawing Room with its splendid fireplace and portrait gallery, to the bedroom showcasing Flemish tapestries from the 17th Century, all of the splendid rooms feature fine art and antique furniture, and every object has a story behind it. This is no more so than in, “The Thorn Tree Room”, where you hear the story of the legendary tree which the castle was built around back in 1372 and which, remarkably, still exists there today!
After you have completed the audio tour we would recommend heading outside to the immaculate gardens: The Flower Garden is a formal garden designed in the 18th Century and featuring lavender borders and yew tree hedges; The Walled Garden features exotic plants, a maze, a Knot Garden and a hidden Paradise Garden; The Wild Garden is a hidden delight which leads into 750 acres of woods and trails.
There is also a coffee shop featuring home baked scones and cakes, and three gift shops, one of which sells a wonderful selection of classic Scottish souvenirs unique to the castle.
On most tours this will be our first stop of the day and, for all tours starting before 0900 we will arrive at the castle before it opens to the public, ensuring that we can beat the crowds, and have the best possible experience! We will spend two hours at the castle and in its grounds.
With its fascinating history, riverside location, plethora of pubs and shops, there is something for everyone here Read more...
Inverness may be the capital city of the Highlands, and one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, but, with a population of just 70,000, its compact city centre is easy to explore in an hour.
There are a plethora of historical sights in the centre and we would suggest making your way to the top of Inverness Castle hill to admire the surrounding views, as well as the statue of Highland heroine Flora MacDonald, who famously helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape after the Battle of Culloden. From here, head into the city’s pedestrianised area to check out the Victorian gothic Town House, looking out for the Mercat Cross, which sits atop the legendary, “Clach Na Cuidden” stone, said to protect the city and its people. Before you head back pop in to see St Andrew’s Cathedral, an imposing building situated in a picturesque location on the banks of the River Ness.
If the weather is kind to us and you fancy a river walk instead then Inverness can certainly deliver; approximately 10 minutes from the centre are the Ness Islands, wooded islands situated in the middle of the River Ness. A walk from one side of the river to the other via this series of interlinked islands provides a delightful and relaxing nature break, and gives you a real feel for why Inverness was recently voted one of the happiest places in the UK!
For those who would like to indulge in some retail therapy you will have plenty of opportunities in Inverness; shops range from the kitsch souvenir emporiums selling all manner of tartan and woolen goods, to the traditional stores of the 1876 Victorian Market and the brand name outlets in the Eastgate Centre.
We will have approximately one hour in Inverness.
4. Loch Ness
And of course, a trip to the Highlands would not be complete without a visit to the legendary Loch Ness!
We will spend 20 – 30 minutes at Dores Beach (20 minutes if you are on a 6 hour tour, 30 minutes if you are on an 7-8 hour tour).
5. Highland Scenery
Sit back, relax and enjoy the dramatic, unspoilt landscapes that the Scottish Highlands are justifiably famed for.
The next part of our tour aims to give you a real taste of the Highlands on the 30 minute drive to Clava Cairns. As we head for the hills, and the altitude increases, the landscape changes from rolling farmland, to forests, to rugged mountain moorland. As we navigate the winding country lanes your guide will tell you all about the wonderful countryside, and the flora and fauna that thrive here. The chances of seeing other people from your ship on this route are slim to none!
6. Clava Cairns
We then explore the pre-historic standing stones and burial chambers of Clava Cairns, a must for Outlander fans!
For Outlander fans, this is must-see stop. When Diana Gabaldon visited here after writing the first book she couldn’t believe there was split standing stone so close to the battlefield of Culloden and this is seen as many as the spiritual home of the fictional, ‘Craig na Dun’.
We will spend approximately 30 minutes here.
7. Culloden Battlefield
Our final visit of the day is to Culloden, one of the most important battlefields in the British Isles.
The Battle of Culloden took place on 16th April 1746 and was the final chapter of the Jacobite Uprising, as well as the last pitched battle to be fought on British soil. Your guide will bring the poignant landscape to life as he enthralls you with a historical account of the bloody battle, the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the subsequent demise of the Gaelic language and clan culture in the Highlands.
We will spend at least one hour at Culloden Battlefield and your guide will provide a 45 minute walking tour of the site. For anyone who does not speak English we can provide complimentary entrance and an audio guide to the interactive exhibition instead.
8. Highland Cows
We’ll do our best to stop and say Hi to a hairy Highland Coo at some point during the tour – always a highlight!
After a wonderful day exploring the historical, cultural and natural highlights of the Scottish Highlands we will return to Invergordon, via the Black Isle peninsula and traditional villages which are well-known for their impressive floral displays. We will arrive back at the port in plenty of time for your ship’s departure.
2020 Tour Dates and Ships
13th July Azamara Pursuit 9:00 am 5:00 pm
23rd August Azamara Quest 9:00 am 5:00 pm
27th July Celebrity Reflection 8am – 3.30pm
Holland America Cruises
8th July 2020 MS Rotterdam 9am – 3.30pm
9th July 2020 MS Veendam 10am – 6pm
14th July 2020 MS Zuiderdam 9am – 3.30pm
6th August 2020 MS Zuiderdam 9am – 3.30pm
13th August 2020 MS Nieuw Statendam 9am-3.30pm
2nd September 2020 MS Rotterdam 9am – 3.30pm
16th September 2020 MS Rotterdam 9am – 3.30pm
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)
8th May 2020 Norwegian Star 9am – 4.30pm
19th May 2020 Norwegian Jade 8am – 2.30pm
23rd May 2020 Norwegian Star 8am – 3.30pm
2nd June 2020 Norwegian Jade 8am – 2.30pm
25th August 2020 Norwegian Star 9am – 4.30pm
7th September 2020 Norwegian Star 9am – 4.30pm
19th September 2020 Norwegian Star 9am – 4.30pm
7th July 2020 Oceania Nautica 11am – 5.30pm
31st July 2020 Oceania Marina 9am – 4.30pm
17th September 2020 Oceania Sirena 8.45am – 3.45pm
12th May 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
24th May 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
5th June 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
17th June 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
29th June 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
11th July 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
23rd July 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
4th August 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
16th August 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
28th August 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
2nd September 2020 Island Princess 9am – 4.30pm
9th September 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
21st September 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
3rd October 2020 Regal Princess 8am – 4.30pm
Royal Carribean Cruises
19th July Brilliance of the Seas 9am – 4.30pm
When you book onto one of our Invergordon Tours you are booking the following:
30 seater mini-coach featuring AC and WiFi (most have USB ports too)
Money back guarantee if your ship is unable to reach port
Passionate and experienced tour guide, with many 5 star TripAdvisor reviews
The only Visit Scotland 5 star rated tour operator in Invergordon
Number 1 Inverness tour company, with a 5 star-rating, on TripAdvisor
A company you can trust; member of Visit Scotland, Invergordon Tourism Alliance, Visit Inverness Loch Ness and The Inverness Chamber of Commerce
A company which has taken over 7000 guests on our Invergordon tours over the last seven years, returning each and every one to the port on time
Due to customer demand, we have a booking system for the four seats at the front of the coach. These seats are available to pre-book for a £20 per seat surcharge (if you are not given this option when booking then this will be because the seats have already been taken). 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 front seats.
We also give you the opportunity to book the extra leg room seats near the back of the coach. The surcharge for extra legroom seats is £15 per seat.
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 always possible to keep everyone happy!
Note that any fees paid for front row or extra legroom seat upgrades are non-refundable if you cancel your tour.
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.
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.
For all private and scheduled tours your guide or another member of the WOW team will be waiting at the entrance to the port.
The WOW team are easily identifiable in our branded WOW Scotland uniforms, and generally standing with WOW Scotland flip signs.
Due to parking restrictions at the Port of Invergordon you will have to walk around 0.2 – 0.3 miles (i.e. approx. 5 minutes) to the coach, which will be parked close-by.
If you have mobility issues please contact us to discuss your requirements and we will do our utmost to assist you.
Please note that we cannot transport mobility scooters on any of our coaches, due to limited boot/trunk space.
From 2019 we are planning to visit a local bakery en-route to pick up lunch (own expense).
For less than £4 you can get a freshly made sandwich, delicious cake and soft drink. On Sundays we will have an alternative plan as the bakery is not open.
You can either eat this on the bus, or (weather permitting!) enjoy it at a scenic location en-route.
Every tour has the opportunity to buy souvenirs (for those that like that sort of thing!). At Beauly there are number of quaint shops plus there are lots of places in Inverness too. There is also a gift shop at Culloden Battlefield, and there will usually be a chance to buy unique handmade ‘Nessie’ souvenirs at Loch Ness.
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 5 star rating from VisitScotland in 2016, 2017 and 2018 for providing “exceptional” tours.
Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor (as of May 2019 we had 1420 5 star reviews) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 activity in Inverness.
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 Inverness Chamber of Commerce and local tourism body; Visit Inverness Loch Ness. WOW Scotland has also featured in a number of local and national publications including Wanderlust, Coast Magazine, The Houston Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Vancouver Sun, Scotland Outdoors Magazine, Scottish Life magazine (Autumn 2013 p 49), German TV programme Euromaxx and the Inverness Courier (our logo has even featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Johnny English Reborn..and we are looking out for logo in a new Hollywood film soon – watch this space!).
All payments are taken through our secure online booking system, which utilises Stripe. We accept almost any debit and credit card, including American Express (we cannot accept Diner’s Card or Discover).
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.
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
Yes, if you book onto one of our tours then we will run this tour, regardless if anyone else has booked on or not!
We have never had to cancel a tour yet but, if the weather forecast was so bad that we considered it dangerous to travel, then we may have to cancel a tour. However, this is extremely unlikely, and we would do our utmost to accommodate you on an alternative date.
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 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 and 2018 for providing “exceptional” tours.
Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor as of March 2018 1420 out of 1490 reviews rate us as excellent) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 activity in Inverness.
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 Inverness Chamber of Commerce and local tourism body; Visit Inverness Loch Ness
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.
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!
Yes, lots! Check out our TripAdvisor ratings to see what our customers say about us (we are currently number 1 in Inverness, have 5 stars and have been awarded a Certificate of Excellence – which means we rate amongst the top 10% of TripAdvisor businesses worldwide – every year since we started the business in 2010!)
Thank you Gordon!! We had a great tour and you made the whole experience a breeze. We were able to see twice as many sights for half the price of the cruise ship excursions. Great Day!!
After 19 Cruises and numerous tour bus shore excursions, this particular tour was one of the best. Their experience in avoiding the large crowds added to a sense of having a private tour. These guys know their way around the Highlands and know how to provide a great tour. One would be hard pressed to find a better shore excursion. I highly and I mean Highly, recommend this tour.
We were on a cruise and docked at Invergordon and decided on a local tour company for an excursion instead of the Cruise excursion option. Wow Scotland fitted the bill perfectly. They meet you right outside the dock gates so no problem in finding the meeting point. Our tour guide Gordon was excellent and was very knowledgeable. Overall a good option with typical Scottish hospitality and a good alternative option to do excursions.
Fabulous tour and highly recommended for cruise passengers. Gordon was our guide and we were very impressed with his style and knowledge on the tour. The whisky sampling was one of the highlights of the trip and was a great way to finish the tour. The online booking service was a breeze to book with and their communication was excellent. I would highly recommend WOW Scotland again.