Loch Ness is one of the most unique and beautiful lakes in the world. Seeing it is a must for anyone visiting Scotland. But what’s the best way to see it? A catamaran cruise on Loch Ness, of course!
In 2018, Crise Loch Ness celebrates its 50-year anniversary offering tours on Loch Ness. To celebrate, they acquired a new catamaran to add to their collection of vessels. The catamaran seats 190 (soon to be 218). The other boats include a smaller yacht and a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) for high-speed cruises all the way to to the famed Urquhart Castle and beyond.
The catamaran cruise on Loch Ness is a 50-minute tour leaving on the hour every hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. There’s also a night cruise at 8 p.m. The catamaran cruises are £14.50 ($20) unless you’re with one of the tours from Edinburgh, in which case they are £13.50 ($19). The new catamaran has a large indoor cabin with a bar and sonar equipment to see all sides of the loch…and all the mysterious blips that appear. The covered deck has more seating that can be used in any weather. Unfortunately there is no seating outside on the front of the boat, which is where I wanted to be. Experienced guides will tell you all about the loch (lake) and Nessie.
If you visit Scotland during the summer months, the RIB cruise on Loch Ness is the ultimate thrill ride. You can either take the 90-minute tour to Urquhart Castle, or the half-day cruise for the entire length of the loch.
Getting up to Loch Ness is not easy in a day, but doable. Several companies like Gray Line, Rabbies and the Ness Bus offer a day tour to Loch Ness. The one-day trip will have you on the road for at least 8 hours. That can be done with a rental car, but a bus where you can see the scenery is far more comfortable and you’ll receive hours of information about Scotland by the tour guide. Read here if a day tour to Loch Ness is worth it.
But why is Loch Ness so amazing? Sure, the Loch Ness monster is the biggest attraction, which you might consider mythical. The truth is that the lake has its own biosphere and enough other unique features so that the existence of an underwater creature can’t be fully disproven. Between a lack of visibility in the water, miles of underwater caves and a constant temperature, something very real could be lurking under the surface. But I won’t spoil all the details. You’ll have to get those on the catamaran cruise.
When (not if) you plan your trip to Scotland, make sure to include Loch Ness in your itinerary, and keep your eyes open for Nessie. You just might get lucky.