Jacobite Cruise on Loch Ness

Written by Carol Thornton | 23rd of September 2023
Jacobite cruise on Loch Ness

It was my husband's birthday, and he had expressed an interest in trying the Jacobite cruises on Loch Ness. We had been around Loch Ness and visited Urquhart Castle on foot many times, but never a cruise on Loch Ness so we relished the opportunity.

After a quick search for "loch ness cruises", we found the Loch Ness by Jacobite cruise, they had a great website and the catamarans looked state of the art.

We left Inverness and travelled south by car along the A82 for about seven miles until we arrived early at our destination, Dochgarroch. There is a nice café and shop to visit or have a walk along the banks of the canal, before joining the boat.

Loch Ness by Jacobite

We boarded the Jacobite Maverick, at Dochgarroch Lock for a two-hour cruise. The fare was £26 per adult. The Jacobite Maverick has disabled toilet facilities onboard. We left Dochgarron at 12 noon and sailed south at a leisurely pace along the Caledonian Canal, passing the Darroch and Torr woods on our left and the pretty Bona Lighthouse.

Jacobite Loch Ness cruises boat tour

The Caledonian Canal

Thomas Telford was commissioned as the principal engineer in the building of the Caledonian Canal which took twelve years to construct and opened in 1822. In all, the canal is twenty-two miles long and has twenty-nine locks.

The Great Glen runs from Inverness in the north to Fort William in the south. It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect weather for sitting outside on the upper deck of the Jacobite Maverick.

On each catamaran there is a screen showing a live sonar readout from the murky depths below, no "Nessie" sized objects but plenty of fish. It's a great feature and makes you think you will be the one to find the monster first.  The onboard guide was full of interesting facts about Loch Ness and the surrounding areas.

Jacobite Loch Ness cruises

Loch Ness

The canal opened up into Loch Ness and the magnificent panoramic views of the legendary loch and mountains; it enthralled us for the rest of the cruise. We kept a lookout for Nessie too, but we had no luck in seeing the Loch Ness monster.

Loch Ness is a large deep freshwater loch in the Highlands of Scotland, 230m at its deepest, and sits on the Great Glen fault line, so if you feel any rumbles in the deep this could be why! Loch Ness is an area of stunning natural beauty, a must-see for everyone. Loch Ness contains more water than all of the lakes in Wales and England combined, wow!

Historic Urquhart Castle - Jacobite experience

Loch Ness Monster

Popular in Scottish folklore since the year 565, "Nessie" or the "Loch Ness Monster" is a creature that is said to live in Loch Ness. The monster is often described as having a long neck, almost like a prehistoric Plesiosaur, and also having humps that poke out of the water. There have been many sightings over the years, hoaxes, grainy photos and odd sonar readings, but it is a fun enduring legend and great tourist attraction.

Urquhart Castle

Halfway into the journey, the ship paused for photographs of Urquhart Castle, which is situated on a rocky peninsula called Strone Point on the West bank of Loch Ness, approximately seventeen miles south of Inverness. Historical records suggest that there has been a castle on this site from at least the 13th century and the castle has borne witness to some of the most dramatic chapters in the history of the Scottish Nation. Urquhart Castle is dominated by the prominent Grant Tower and the ship’s location on the loch offers plenty of opportunities to take photographs of this picturesque gem. The castle is owned by Historic Scotland.

Trip past historic Urquhart Castle, accessible from Inverness bus station.

Jacobite Loch Ness Cruise

Loch Ness by Jacobite has been offering tourist cruises on Loch Ness for over 40 years, welcoming nearly 300,000 visitors each year on their fleet of catamarans. Their tours can last from anything up to one hour to a 7-hour extravaganza. They have won awards from Visit Scotland, Trip Advisor, Green Tourism, and Grammy.

What else can I see after the cruise?

You are spoilt for choice for things to see in the Inverness area:

Conclusion - Loch Ness by Jacobite

Suggestions; bring your own picnic and drinks, beverage prices on board are very expensive. Wrap up warm on cooler days if you are travelling on the upper deck. Indulge in a Miele’s Ice-cream when you get off of the boat, there are lots of flavours to choose from and the mobile cabin is situated near the car park.

We had a fantastic trip with "Jacobite Cruise on Loch Ness", we would highly recommend it on your travels around Scotland and Scottish Highlands.  Why not check out the Jacobite Steam Train in Fort William next?  An excellent tourist train journey along the Glenfinnan Viaduct as seen in Harry Potter.

All information was correct at the time of writing, please check things like entry costs and opening times before you arrive.

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