Q: What time do we join the barge?
Guests join the barge at 2.00pm and the finishing time varies depending on the type of cruise; please check the relevant schedule.
Q: How many guests do you take?
We run with a maximum of 12 people on each barge.
Q: Can I book on as a single person?
Yes. Rates vary depending on the specific week with many berths available for a minimal surcharge. Single occupancy of en-suite cabins starts at £590 for the 2020 season but rises to £1,395 on our high season themed weeks. Please contact us for details.
Q: Am I too old for this sort of holiday?
Whether you are 8 or 80 we are sure you will have a good time with us. People of all ages come on our holidays with the average age being around 55.
Q: Is the holiday suitable for families?
Yes. This is an ideal holiday for families with children of 7 years and over. There is a 25% discount for children (12 years and under) based on two sharing a twin cabin.
Q: What is included in the price?
Our prices include all meals freshly prepared by our resident cook, tea and coffee (which is freely available for guests to help themselves), activity equipment and instruction for all our standard activities.
Q: Are there any (optional) extras to pay for?
Yes, these include any drinks from the ‘bar’. Optional extra activities such as golf can be arranged with outside providers. Transport after the holiday to return you to the cruise start point if required.
Q: Is it possible to get to you by public transport?
Yes, there are good connections to Fort William and Inverness by rail and coach from Glasgow. There is an overnight sleeper service from London Euston to both Fort William and Inverness. The cruise start points of Muirtown (Inverness) or Banavie (Fort William) are a short taxi ride from the town centres.
Q: Where are the nearest airports?
Inverness is the closest but the airports at Glasgow and Edinburgh can also be used.
Q: Is car parking available?
Yes, at both start points. At Muirtown (Inverness) there is a locked compound, at Banavie (Fort William) open car parking is available next to our pontoon.
Q: How do we get back to where we joined the barge?
We can arrange a minibus to take guests from where they finish the cruise back to where they joined the barge (where their car may be parked), or to the bus or railway station at the town near to their cruise starting point. The cost for this in 2020 is £40 per head. This must be booked at least 2 months in advance.
Q: What relaxing areas are there?
In the dining and saloon areas there is a large dining table which can seat up to 18 and comfortable seating to relax on. The whole area is centrally heated and there are opening windows. There is plenty of space on the deck for relaxing and sun bathing.
Q: Is smoking allowed onboard?
Smoking is only permitted on deck.
Q: What is the food like?
Caledonian Discovery has a well-earned reputation for generous amounts of good food. Three meals a day are prepared by a cook and an assistant, where possible using local fresh produce. Pre booked special diets can be catered for if advanced notice is given.
Q: Is there a bar onboard?
We stock a choice of red and white wines, beers, lagers, and spirits. We also sell soft drinks and bottled water.
Tea and coffee making facilities are available for which there is no charge.
Q: Is 230v Mains electricity available?
Yes, during the daytime and evening. Power points are available to guests in the cabins and also in the saloon and passageway until 10pm. Overnight we like to have a quiet boat so we switch to battery power which keeps all the essential systems running. If you do need overnight mains power for medical reasons, contact us to see if we can accommodate your item. In any case, any crucial items should have their own battery backup in case the ship’s batteries get depleted.
Q: Do I need to bring a hair dryer?
No, there is a hair dryer in all cabins.
Q: Are there washing/drying facilities?
There is a laundry/drying room on board. Please advise the crew should you wish to use the washing machine.
Q: Do I have to do all the activities?
No, you can come and be highly active or you can have a more relaxed time and do very little, it’s up to you.
Q: What sort of places do you stop at night?
There are a wide variety of places we visit, from tying up at a canal-side village to anchoring out in a loch in more remote locations.
Q: Do you allow pets?
No, sorry, even the best behaved pet can be a safety concern on a boat and other guests may be allergic to animals. You may see pictures of a dog on our website, this is Martin’s dog who is often on board and guests do enjoy walking him and taking his picture. He is not allowed down below in the guest areas and is kept in the wheelhouse with Martin or the appropriately named ‘Dog House’ (a crew area of the barge).
Q: What crew are there?
We have a skipper and a mate who between them do the activity instruction, a cook, an assistant, and a bosun who helps look after the barge and drives the safety boat which we also use for getting ashore when we lie at anchor.
Tipping is not expected but it is often done and is much appreciated by the crew. The amount given would be entirely up to the guest.
Q: What about Highland Midges?
The “Midge Season” can be from late May to September, but they are usually most prevalent July/August. We find that Midges don’t like wind, rain and hot weather. Avon Skin-so-Soft (Dry Oil Body Spray) is particularly effective against the Midges – as used by the cast and crew of Braveheart & Harry Potter!
Q: Can I charter the whole boat?
Yes, this is a wonderful and affordable way to have a group or family holiday (for up to 12 persons) at an affordable price – from as little as £786 per person full board for a week long cruise in 2019. Any week in our cruising schedule can be chartered with an itinerary of your choice. Early booking is recommended.
Q: Can I Fish on the Lochs
You are able to fish for Brown Trout/Rainbow Trout and Pike on Loch Lochy and Loch Oich only, without a Licence. Our barges have a limited amount of fishing gear so if you wish to fish, please bring your own.
Q: Is Wi-Fi available?
There are hot spots provided by Highland WiFi in several of our mooring locations on account or for a fee. The signal may not be available inside the barge depending on our exact mooring position.
Free Wifi is available at the Glengarry Castle Hotel, Invergarry, the Lock Inn and the Lovat Arms hotel in Fort Augustus, and the Craigdarroch House Hotel at Foyers.
Q: Will my mobile phone work?
Vodafone, EE and “3” have reasonable reception throughout the Glen but not necessarily in every location. Reception may not extend down to your cabin so you may need to take the phone out on deck to get a good signal. 3g and 4g service is only reliable in Inverness, Laggan and Fort William areas at the moment so access to ‘Mobile Broadband’ is pretty limited.