Spirit of Scotland hotel barge going through a Sottish loch in a small town on an overcast day.
Dining table set for service with red, white & blue linens aboard Spirit of Scotland barge.
Saloon seating area with red fabric couch & chairs & large view windows aboard Spirit of Scotland riverboat.
Spirit of Scotland barge saloon with checkered red & green rug, wood bar stools & bar, red & gold padded chairs & plenty of light.
2 twin beds with bedside table between, porthole, & walnut-wood large closet & desk aboard Spirit of Scotland barge.
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Spirit of Scotland

year built
crew members
126 feet
17 feet
cruising speed
10 knots (max)

The elegant 12-guest Spirit of Scotland barge is a purpose-built small ship offering extensive public areas inside and out that feature the breathtaking Highlands scenery. Cruise the Caledonian Canal and the lochs of the Great Glen in comfort and style aboard a modern-made hotel barge that evokes the traditional steamers that plied the lochs of Scotland in times gone by.

Spirit of Scotland Barge Review

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Spirit of Scotland review includes a detailed description of the small ship including deck plans and a photo gallery. Our Northern Europe experts have been aboard the Spirit of Scotland firsthand. Please read our Spirit of Scotland barge review below then contact our small ship cruise experts to compare the Spirit of Scotland with other small cruise ships and yachts offering small ship cruises in Northern Europe.

Choose the Spirit of Scotland barge for a classy ambiance paired with gourmet food, exemplary wines and fine whiskey. Cruise Scotland’s mysterious rivers, canals and lochs with opportunities to explore by bike and on foot along the way. This Scottish barge is also an ideal ship for private charter cruises, with theme options including whiskey, golf, horse-riding, fishing and family cruises, or customize your own itinerary. After having been aboard, we loved the large covered sundeck, hot tub, bicycles (enough for each guest) and attentive hosts on board. It’s a ship that easy to feel home on right from the start. Aesthetically, there is just enough plaid to conjure up the Scottish vibe, and the bar is fully equipped with a variety of Scotch whiskey to taste.

Common Areas Aboard Spirit of Scotland

Spirit of Scotland’s bright and spacious interior saloon and dining area is lined with picture windows to take in the beauty of Scotland’s moors as the hotel barge slowly winds through her pristine surroundings. A separate bar offers a large selection of whiskey and a selection of international fine wines. An integral forward wheelhouse invites guests to view the cruise route ahead as the ship steams forward.

Outside, separate areas offer relaxation, whether on a recliner or in the heated spa pool, as well as a covered dining terrace. The large upper sun deck is the ideal place to admire the dramatic backdrop including historic landmarks, while cruising along deep-water lochs.

Dining Aboard Spirit of Scotland

The full complement of 12 guests may dine together with open seating at the dining table. While the atmosphere is casual, the gourmet fare and wine pairings ensure gastronomic delights may be enjoyed by all on a daily basis. The featured cuisine is traditional Scottish foods and international favorites, with the creative chef preparing fresh dishes using locally sourced game and beef, wild salmon and seafood paired with a selection of fine international wines. Many allergies and special diets such as vegetarian, vegan and no fish may be accommodated with advanced notice.

Breakfast may feature a full Scottish cooked meal or continental-style options such as toast, fruit, cereals, fruit juices, tea and coffee. Lunch usually consists of a light meal with salads, pates and fish dishes, and the occasional outdoor picnic. Lunch may offer a 3-course sit-down affair, or hot soups on colder days. Dinner is always a gastronomic adventure with a taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, harmonizing food and good wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee and liqueurs.

Non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea are included, as are drinks from the well-stocked bar. Open 24 hours, the bar offers wines, spirits, a wide range of Scottish single malt whiskies, beers and soft drinks. All house wines are provided with meals and guests may enjoy a champagne welcome on arrival.

Activities Aboard Spirit of Scotland

This Scottish hotel barge meets its two on-land vehicles, an 8-seat and a six-seat van, for transfers and excursions when she docks. The ship welcomes guests to remain on board during excursions as desired, or guests may choose to walk or ride a bike both during excursions or while the barge cruises. Eight bicycles and helmets are carried on board, with children’s bike equipment available with advanced notice. Umbrellas are also available if the weather merits their use.

On board, passengers may enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi on their personal devices while in the salon and dining area, although connectivity can be limited in remote locations. Two USB ports are available in the upstairs saloon, as is a radio and iPod docking station. The heated hot tub out on deck encourages relaxation while the Scottish barge slowly moves along. Entertainment options also include a small library of books and maps to peruse, a collection of board games to play and binoculars for spotting birds. The open bridge invites guests to chat with the captain and perhaps learn about the ship’s radar and depth sounder.

Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard Spirit of Scotland

The Spirit of Scotland’s six air-conditioned cabins each offers a choice of twin or double beds for an intimate size of 12 guests total. Each stateroom is complemented by a fully tiled ensuite bathroom with power-shower, sink, toilet, towels, hand soap, shower gel, shampoo, hair dryer, slippers and bathrobes. All cabins also offer a safe plus polished walnut furniture including a large wardrobe with three sections, a fitted desk with drawer and cupboard below, and a bedside table with drawer and cupboard. A reading light and USB port adjoins each bed. A television with DVD capabilities offers in-room entertainment. The barge is wired for 220 volts, with sockets which correspond to the standard European two-pin plug.

2 twin beds with bedside table between, porthole, & walnut-wood large closet & desk aboard Spirit of Scotland barge.

Located mid-ship with 3 opening portholes. Two single beds or one queen-size bed. Approximately 130 sq ft.

Deckplan of Spirit of Scotland hotel barge with 3 passenger decks, 6 staterooms, dining room, saloon, bar, wheelhouse, spa pool & 3 sun deck areas
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