Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander - Barging in Scotland -

Cruising the Caledonian Canal of Scotland

Facts About the Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander

The Scottish Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander was built in 1931 and operated as a cargo barge in Holland. She was later converted to an 8-passenger hotel barge cruising the highlands of Scotland along the Caledonian canal.

French Barge Scottish - Cruising Scotland

117 feet long
8 Passengers
5 Crew
1 Twin / Double Suite
3 Twin / Double Staterooms
Centrally Heated
All weather wheelhouse with observation area for guests
8 Touring Bikes
Air Conditioned Minibus

Barge Specifics

Your Crew On Board

Accommodation On Board

Maximum 8 passengers / 1 Suite and 3 Staterooms

All cabins can be configured with either 2 single beds or a double bed.

All cabins have an en-suite bathroom, wardrobes, drawers and a bedside table with reading light. The fittings are of solid mahogany.

In the 3 staterooms, the top of the beds are positioned in the recess beneath the 2 large picture windows, one of which opens.

The Cameron Suite has 4 porthole windows which all open.

Cabin Sizes

Bathrooms: The Cameron Suite bathroom measures approximately 4ft 6” (1.4m) x 6ft 2” (1.85m). The stateroom bathrooms each measure 2ft 7” x 4ft 4” (0.8m x 1.3m)

Ceiling height: The ceiling height in the Cameron Suite is 6ft 6” (2m) but gets a little higher in some parts. The height in all the Staterooms is 6ft 9” (2.1m)

Size of the beds:

All sizes are approximate.

Bathrooms: All cabins have a shower, wash-basin, and WC. The bathrooms are fully lined & have a heated towel rail, 110v shaver socket and an air extractor fan (except the Cameron Suite which has a porthole). Towels, hand soap, shower gel, shampoo, hair dryers, slippers and bathrobes are all provided.

Climate Control

The barge has household style central heating. Air conditioning unit in Saloon area. Each cabin has a cooling fan.

Computer and Telephone

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available on board for guests bringing their own appliances. Connectivity can be limited in remote locations.

There is no passenger telephone on board Scottish Highlander.


The local currency in Scotland is GBP Pound Sterling. Scottish Highlander unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.

Cycling & Walking

You are welcome to walk or cycle, using the on board bicycles. Most guests choose not to miss any cruising and tend to cycle or walk when the barge is stationary.

Cycling opportunities can be limited on certain days due to the differing terrain along the cruise route.

There 4 general purpose and 4 folding bikes on board. Children’s bikes, helmets and child bike seats can be arranged if required on request – please notify Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks prior to your departure.

Dining Room & Saloon

20ft long (6.1m) x 12ft wide (3.6m).

Accessed from the main sundeck by a double door and then 5 steps down. The saloon is finished in yew and Brazilian mahogany and there are 7 observation windows. For relaxation there are 2 leather armchairs, 2 Chesterfield sofas, and a coffee table.

In the dining area of the saloon the dining table seats up to 9 guests. There is a long fully stocked bar with fridge.

Tartan carpet runs throughout the saloon leading into a corridor accessing the 4 cabins. The dining area has a wooden floor.


The barge is wired for 240 volts with 110 volt sockets in the bathrooms for shaving. We suggest you bring an adapter for your particular appliances, which should correspond to the standard UK 3 pin plug. There are also 2 USB ports in each cabin for re-charging phones, I-pads, laptops etc.

If you wish to use your electrical appliance on board, please ask one of the crew when you arrive on board to ensure that it is suitable to the barge’s electrical system.

We cannot be held responsible for unforeseen voltage fluctuations which sometimes occur when swapping from one voltage system to another.


The Scottish Highlander barge has a very comfortable 9-seater (including driver) air-conditioned minibus. Which is used for transfers and excursions.

For charter bookings, the itinerary can be adapted to suit your group’s particular needs. If a destination or excursion is within a reasonable distance of the barge, we will do everything we can to arrange it. Please speak with Paradise Connections in advance of your cruise and we can pre-arrange with the Captain.

Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to remain on the barge.

Facilities On Board

Food & Drink

All meals on board are freshly prepared by your chef and most meals are a set-menu (there is no choice available). International and traditional Scottish cuisine is featured.

We are able to arrange special meals, e.g. vegetarian / no fish / vegan etc; and we are able to cater for any preferences or allergies. However, it is most important that we are notified of any specific requirements at least 8 weeks prior to your departure date. Failure to notify Paradise Connections in advance of your cruise may result in disappointment on board.

There is no assigned seating and the dining table accommodates all guests at a single sitting.

Breakfast: Full Scottish cooked breakfast or Continental-style buffet breakfast with toast, fruit, cereals, fruit juices, decaffeinated or regular tea and coffee.

Lunch: Usually consists of a light buffet with salads, pates and fish dishes. Occasionally you can enjoy a picnic out and sometimes a 3 course sit-down lunch or hot soups on colder days.

Dinner: Always a gastronomic adventure by your talented chef. A taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, harmonizing food and good wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee and liqueurs.

Captain’s Farewell Dinner: Captain’s dinner on the last night of the cruise. Guests may choose to dress slightly more formal.

Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated tea and coffee. There is also a Nespresso Coffee machine available with an à la carte menu of speciality coffees. The well-stocked bar is open 24 hours, which includes wines, spirits, Scottish single Malt Whiskies, beers, and soft drinks. All wines are provided with meals and there is a Champagne welcome on arrival.

Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some champagnes, whiskies and special vintage wines are not included although you may purchase bottles in advance of your cruise at cost if you notify us in advance how many you require. We do not recommend specific beverage ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.

Hot Air Balooning

The region Scottish Highlander cruises in is not suitable for hot air ballooning.


We recommend you bring sufficient clean clothing for your cruise as there are no laundry facilities on board. However, the crew may be able to assist in an emergency on a request basis.

Luggage / What To Pack

Please plan to travel with one suitcase per person. Soft-sided luggage will be easier to store once you have unpacked. There is a limited amount of space on the barge and minibus.

Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard Scottish Highlander and for most excursions. Dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal. For the Captain's Farewell Dinner on the final evening, guests often dress-up which is optional.

Suggested things to pack:

Umbrellas are available on board.


Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you require frequent or ongoing medical attention.

The crew are unable to administer medicines but can accompany you to a chemist for you to purchase any necessary medicines. Due to your cruise often being in a rural location, we recommend you bring all necessary medication with you. Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation and the Emergency Services can be called if required.

Problem During Your Cruise

If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things right. Please bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.

Restricted Mobility

Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.

Scottish Highlander has boarding steps with 2 handrails from the bank to the main deck. The gradient can sometimes be steep.

There are 5 wide stairs from the main deck down to the saloon with handrails on both sides. The staterooms are on the same level as the main Saloon. To access the Cameron suite, there are 3 stairs down from the stateroom corridor with a single handrail.

We are able to hire wheelchairs locally – a small charge may apply. Please notify Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks prior to your departure. Please note wheelchairs are not suitable for use on board. Passengers must be accompanied by someone who is able to push the chair as the crew are unable to assist.

Safety & Security

Once you are on board, your Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures. Safety Instructions are detailed below.

Please note that we cannot be responsible for any valuables that you bring on board. We strongly recommend that you do not bring valuables with you unless required and that you ensure that all valuables are covered by your travel insurance.

There is a safe located in each cabin. Cabin doors are not locked for safety reasons.


Scottish Highlander has a strict non-smoking policy for safety reasons and for the comfort of your fellow passengers.


There is an outside deck area at the Bow of the barge with a large table and seating for 8 guests.

Themed Cruises

For charter groups only, Golf, Walking (along the banks of Loch Ness and the Great Glen), Fishing, Whisky, and Family Cruises are available on request. We can also adapt our cruise to include horse riding. Special interest cruises often have a supplement, for details please visit Scottish Highlander's Itinerary page and Rates page.


Gratuities are not included in the cruise fare. Tipping is entirely discretionary but is greatly appreciated by the crew if you are fully satisfied with the level of service on board.

As a guideline, the average tip given by our guests from around the world is approximately 5% of the Cruise Fare.

The usual way to give the tip is to give the amount in cash as one lump sum to the Captain / Cruise Director on the last day of the cruise. They will distribute the amount equally amongst the crew.

Sterling, Euros or Dollars are equally appreciated. ATMs are accessible for cash withdrawal on most itineraries during the cruise and the crew can advise where these are located.


For details of the Scottish Highlander vehicle, please see “Excursions,” above. The approximate transfer duration is 15 minutes or 2 hours depending on the cruise route.


Tap water in Scotland and on-board Scottish Highlander is potable, but we advise guests to use the bottled water provided in each suite.

Safety Instructions On Board Scottish Highlander

On arrival the Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures on board.In addition, it is important that all passengers are familiar with the safety instructions detailed below.

Please ask a member of the crew on board if you require any further safety advice

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