Invergordon

A springboard for the wilderness areas in Europe
The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
The Loch Ness lake and its mystery creature

Find Northern Europe Cruises

Invergordon

Lost between truth and legend

When you step ashore from your MSC cruise in Invergordon, you’ll be enthralled by the Scotland’s Northwest Highland region, which covers the northern two-thirds of the country and holds much of the mainland’s most spectacular scenery.
 
You may be surprised at just how remote much of it still is: the vast peat bogs in the north, for example, are among the most extensive and unspoilt wilderness areas in Europe, while a handful of the west coast’s isolated crofting villages can still be reached only by boat.

The only major city, Inverness, is best used as a springboard for more remote areas where you can soak in the Highlands’ classic combination of mountains, glens, lochs and rivers, surrounded on three sides by a magnificently pitted and rugged coastline. Inverness Castle is closed to the public, but the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery offers an insight into the social history of the Highlands, with treasures from the times of the Picts and Vikings.

A shore excursion on your MSC Northern Europe cruise can also be the opportunity to discover Loch Ness. Twenty-three miles long, unfathomably deep, cold and often moody, Loch Ness is bounded by rugged heather-clad mountains rising steeply from a wooded shoreline with attractive glens opening up on either side. Its fame, however, is based overwhelmingly on its legendary inhabitant Nessie, the “Loch Ness monster”, who ensures a steady flow of hopeful visitors to the settlements dotted along the loch, in particular Drumnadrochit.

The first mention of a mystery creature crops up in St Adamnan’s seventh-century biography of St Columba, who allegedly calmed an aquatic animal that had attacked one of his monks. Nearby, the impressive ruins of Castle Urquhart – a favourite monster-spotting location – perch atop a rock on the lochside.

Must see places in Invergordon

Discover our excursions

10 results found

  • CAWDOR CASTLE & CULLODEN BATTLEFLIED

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    IVG01

    This excursion will begin with a 1-hour coach drive to Culloden for a short photo stop at the site of the important battle that occurred in 1746; the defeat of the Jacobite forces led by Charles Edward Stuart halted the intent to restore the House of Stuart to the British throne. Next, you will proceed to the village of Cawdor, seat of the eponymous Cawdor Castle. This beautiful traditional medieval castle and residence is closely associated with Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Dating back to 1372, the castle is still in the hands of the Cawdor family. After the visit, you will have time to roam through the beautiful gardens: the larger North Garden with its soft fruits, flowers, vegetables and orchards just as the smaller Paradise, Knot and Thistle Gardens, and an orchard planted with old Scottish fruit trees. The uncultivated garden on the banks of Cawdor Burn (Gaelic for stream) leads into Cawdor Forest. The tour concludes with your return to the ship. Please note: limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. This tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults£52.00Price per person

    • Children£39.00Price per person

  • GRAND DUNROBIN CASTLE & ROYAL DORNOCH

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    IVG05

    This tour takes you up the northern stretch of the highland coast, passing through the enchanting, historic town of Dornoch and visiting the magnificently located Dunrobin Castle. A scenic drive north from Invergordon offers a taste of the wonderful countryside in this part of Scotland. You will pass through the pretty town of Tain before crossing the Dornich Firth and continuing on via the fishing village of Golspie, where the Duke of Sutherland’s monument can be seen high on the nearby beinn (Gaelic for mountain). Dunrobin Castle dramatically reveals itself at the end of a long, tree-lined drive. The impressive house is the largest in the northern highlands, contains 189 rooms, with a rich collection of fine furniture, paintings, tapestries, and objects d’art. Displays include antique household equipment, ceremonial robes, uniforms, arms and a fully functional 19th-century fire engine. You will have an opportunity to stroll in the magnificent park and beautiful formal gardens that surround the castle and enjoy gorgeous views of the sea. The tour also includes a photo stop at the 12th-century town of Royal Dornoch, after which you will return to the ship. Please note: limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. The guide will give explanation only outside the Castle; guests will visit the site individually. This tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults£55.00Price per person

    • Children£39.00Price per person

  • LOCH NESS & URQUHART CASTLE RUINS

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    IVG04

    This half-day tour will take you to Scotland’s most famous lake, Loch Ness, and to the picturesque Urquhart Castle. Heading south-west from Invergordon, you will travel along the banks of the beautiful Cromarty Firth via Muir of Ord and pass the ruins of the abbey at Beauly (French for beautiful place) before reaching the wonderful Loch Ness. As Britain’s largest inland body of freshwater, the loch’s murky depths have spawned many lurid tales and sightings of weird creatures, including its most famous legendary inhabitant – Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. The tour then continues on to the 14th-century Urquhart Castle, the ruins of which sit magnificently right on the edge of the loch and are one of the most photographed scenes in Scotland. After a guided tour at the castle’s state-of-the-art visitors’ centre, the next leg is Inverness, the “capital of the highlands”, for a brief sightseeing bus city tour. Return to the port. Please note: limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. This tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        4:30 h

      • Adults£55.00Price per person

      • Children£42.00Price per person

    • LOCH NESS, WATER MONSTERS & HIGHLAND CASTLES

      CULTURE AND HISTORY

      IVG03

      A great day off the ship awaits you discovering Scotland’s famous Loch Ness, the highland capital of Inverness and two romantic medieval castles on this exciting tour. A scenic route heading south-west will first take you to Loch Ness, the UK’s largest inland body of freshwater. The loch’s murky depths are said to be home to weird creatures, the most famous of which is the alleged Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. Next up is the 14th-century Urquhart Castle, the ruins of which are magnificently situated right on the edge of the loch. After a guided tour of the castle’s modern visitors’ centre, the tour continues to Inverness, the “capital of the highlands”, for a coach-based sightseeing tour and a chance to explore on your own and have lunch (price not included in the tour). The final destination is the pretty village of Cawdor and the 14th-century Cawdor Castle, which is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is approached via a drawbridge. The tour concludes with your return to the port.Please note: limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. This tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
      • Limited seats

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        8 h

      • Adults£79.00Price per person

      • Children£55.00Price per person

    • ROGIE FALLS & SILVERBRIDGE FOREST WALK

      NATURAL WONDERS

      IVG09

      Starting from Invergordon to travel initially along the shores of the Cromarty Firth, a scenic North Sea inlet, you will then head up to one of the most beautiful spots in the Inverness region, the breathtaking Rogie Falls near the small spa town of Strathpeffer. The sturdy suspension bridge over the Black Water River provides spectacular views of the falls. Reboarding the coach, you then drive a short distance to the location of your second walk. In the Silverbridge Forest, you follow the dark waters of the river downstream, watching them tumble over giant boulders and through a series of rapids. As you make your way through the bosky gloom, your guide will point out some of the local flora and fauna, which may include leaping salmon and red squirrels. You will also cross a traditional stone arched bridge that spans the river at Little Garve – the halfway point of your walk. The trail will then take you back upstream to return to the starting point. Next up is a short drive to the pretty town of Strathpeffer, a popular spa town in its Victorian heyday, where you will have some free time to explore on your own. Scenery that is more stunning awaits you on your return journey to your ship, which ends your tour. Please note: limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. This tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair as it involves walking on 3 km and climbing approx. 200 steps.
      • Limited seats

      • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

        Difficulty Level
        Strenuous

      • Duration
        4:30 h

      • Adults£62.00Price per person

      • Children£45.00Price per person

    • SEA SAFARI & WILDLIFE ADVENTURE

      NATURAL WONDERS

      IVG10

      This thrilling sea safari and wildlife adventure will take you to explore the incredible beauty of the Cromarty and Moray Firths from the best perspective possible: the water. In addition, to turn the fun factor up to the max, you will be boarding a special high-speed RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). Fast and nimble, this is an excellent craft on which to see all the key sights and observe the varied wildlife. Each of these tours is unique and as you travel, an experienced skipper and knowledgeable guide will provide a wealth of intriguing information and amusing anecdotes to entertain you. After a short introduction, the tour starts from Invergordon harbour and will then see you speed your way to the small historical village of Cromarty. As you go, be sure to watch out for marine mammals such as dolphins and harbour porpoise (a smaller relative of the dolphin), which are frequent visitors to the area throughout the year, as well as minke whales, which only come during the warmer summer months. Then, as you head towards the Moray Firth, you will pass bird colonies, coastal cliffs with sheer drops to the water, old defences dating back to WWI and WWII as well as several other points of scenic and historical interest. This seafaring tour ends with your return to the port of Invergordon and your ship. Please note: this tour is subject to weather conditions; wildlife sightings not guaranteed. This tour is not suitable for pregnant women or guests with mobility/back problems or who are seriously overweight. Children aged 5/8 years old are accepted on tour subject to weather conditions on the day of call; an adult must accompany each child under 12 years old. The skipper of the boat will offer a commentary during the tour in English.
      • Limited seats

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        3 h

      • Adults£82.00Price per person

      • Children£82.00Price per person

    • INVERNESS ON YOUR OWN

      SCENIC ROUTE

      IVG08

      The port of Invergordon is situated only a short distance from the pretty city of Inverness, which dates back to the 6th century A.D. and is regarded as the capital of the Scottish Highlands. A 45-minute coach drive will first take you through the stunning Scottish landscape – green, craggy, untamed – to reach Inverness. While still on the coach, your visit kicks off with a brief and unguided city tour to let you get your bearings, after which a map of the city will be your guide. You will then have enough time to explore the lovely city at your own pace, do some souvenir shopping or relax in one of the many cafés. Among the main attractions of this vibrant university town are the mid-19th-century Inverness Castle at the end of the pedestrian zone, the Inverness Museum & Art Gallery with a fine collection of Pictish stones, wildlife dioramas and historical weaponry, as well as the Old High St. Stephen’s Church, a late-19th-century building constructed in Gothic style. Alternatively, take a scenic walk along the River Ness to the so-called Ness Islands or follow the towpath of the Caledonian Canal, both within easy reach of the city centre. The tour will then end with your return drive to the port and your ship. Please note: guests using a wheelchair are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made.
      • No guide available

      • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        4:30 h

      • Adults£32.00Price per person

      • Children£22.00Price per person

    • LOCH NESS BY BOAT

      SCENIC ROUTE

      IVG02

      Satisfy your inner Nessie hunter on this half-day tour to what is arguably the most famous of Scotland’s lakes: Loch Ness. Heading south-west from Invergordon, you will travel along the banks of the beautiful Cromarty Firth via Muir of Ord and pass the ruins of the abbey at Beauly (French for beautiful place) before reaching the wonderful Loch Ness. As Britain’s largest inland body of freshwater, the loch’s murky depths have spawned many lurid tales and sightings of weird creatures, including its most famous legendary inhabitant – Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. You can find out all about the loch’s geology, history and Nessie mythology during a boat trip on the water. Make sure to have cameras at the ready for any monster sightings and to capture the dramatic mountains surrounding the loch. The coach drive to the port will conclude the excursion. Please note: limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. This tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
      • Limited seats

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        4:30 h

      • Adults£62.00Price per person

      • Children£45.00Price per person

    • LOCH NESS PANORAMIC

      SCENIC ROUTE

      IVG07

      Take a trip to Loch Ness, one of Scotland’s most popular destinations and the site of an abiding modern monster mystery. After leaving Invergordon, a comfortable coach will take you along the Cromarty Firth, a North Sea inlet, for a first brief stop at Beauly en route to the village of Drumnadrochit, whose elevated position affords spectacular views of Loch Ness, the UK’s largest body of freshwater by volume. However, the loch’s greatest claim to fame is its alleged star resident: the Loch Ness Monster, aka Nessie. Thought by some to be one of a small group of otherwise extinct plesiosaurs, Nessie has fuelled the imagination of countless explorers ever since the story broke in the early 1930s. Have your zoom-lens camera ready for a shot of the elusive creature – you would make history if your photo proved Nessie’s existence. The route then continues along the main road flanking the loch, with more stunning scenery before you reach the loch-side Clansman Hotel – about as close as you can get to the water without needing a boat. As one of the prettiest spots Loch Ness has to offer, this is the perfect place to take some more photos before you return to Invergordon. Please note: limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. This tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair; to reach the panoramic viewpoint at Clansman Hotel it is necessary to climb steps.
      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        3:30 h

      • Adults£39.00Price per person

      • Children£29.00Price per person

    • GLENMORANGIE WHISKY & ROYAL DORNOCH

      SOMETHING SPECIAL

      IVG06

      A short drive north will take you through the village of Tain and on to the distillery at Glenmorangie, which aptly translates as glen of tranquillity from Gaelic. The distillery has been producing its highly rated malt whiskies since the 19th century and has long been a global brand with sales all over the world. The fine art of distilling has been passed down through generations of local families that have made up the dedicated workforce. A guided tour will acquaint you with every step of the distillation process, at the end of which you can even try a dram. The next leg of the tour takes you across the Dornoch Firth to the 12th-century town of Royal Dornoch. Surrounded by sand dunes and blessed with an exceptionally sunny climate, this popular resort boasts solid Edwardian hotels, a profusion of trees and flowers, miles of sandy beaches and a championship golf course. The town’s oldest buildings, including an impressive cathedral, flank the spacious town square. You will then return to your ship at Invergordon. Please note: limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. This tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
      • Drink included

      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults£49.00Price per person

      • Children£35.00Price per person

    The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Cruises guests with an idea of the different tours which can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
    Shore excursions programmes and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
     
    Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

    United Kingdom

    God Save the Queen
    God Save the Queen

    The United Kingdom is not just one country but four – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and a multitude of cultural identities: God forbid you should call a Scot or a Welshman English for example.


    Don’t miss the true London experience during your holiday to the United Kingdom; the capital is the one place that features on everyone’s itinerary. 

    Brighton and Canterbury offer contrasting diversions – the former a lively seaside resort, the latter one of Britain’s finest medieval cities. 


    The southwest of England holds the rugged moorlands of Devon, the rocky coastline of Cornwall, and the historic spa city of Bath, while the chief attractions of central England are the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge

    Further north, the former industrial cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle are lively, rejuvenated places, and York has splendid historical treasures, but the landscape, especially the uplands of the Lake District, is the biggest magnet. 


    The finest of Scotland’s lochs, glens and peaks, and the magnificent scenery of the West Coast islands, can be reached easily from Glasgow and Edinburgh – the latter perhaps Britain’s most attractive urban landscape. Finally, a cruise to the United Kingdom isn’t complete without a stop in Northern Ireland with its capital city Belfast and the spectacular Giant’s Causeway.