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Exploring the Caledonian Canal from Inverness to Oban

  • Vessel: Flying Dutchman
  • Where: Scotland
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Embark: Inverness - 8 April 2023, 18:00
  • Disembark: Oban - 15 April 2023, 10:00
Single berth in Twin Cabin Ensuite£965.00 £241.25
Twin Cabin Ensuite (single occupancy)£1,435.00 £358.75
Single berth in Twin Plus Ensuite Cabin£1,075.00 £268.75

Set the sails with the Flying Dutchman as you explore the Caledonian Canal, locks, sea lochs and quaint harbour villages from Inverness to Oban.


  • Fully crewed tall ship
  • Sheltered sailing
  • Private cabins
  • Perfect for adventurers
  • Half-board


Scotland, UK

Explore the lochs of the Scottish highlands as you sail and journey through the Caledonian Canal from Inverness to Oban. This fascinating part of the world is the gateway to the highlands where mist shrouded mountains tumble down to meet the water’s edge. Discover the engineering feat of Neptune’s staircase and anchor in picturesque sea lochs – the perfect backdrop for the Flying Dutchman.


Canal Gates and Sea Lochs

Hop aboard the Flying Dutchman at 6pm and after an introduction to the crew, dinner will be served at 7pm where you can get to know your fellow guests. (If you are arriving into Inverness earlier, just let the boat know and you can drop your luggage off and spend some time exploring.)

Glide through the five canal locks of Inverness before setting sails to reach the infamous Loch Ness – our anchorage for the night and home to the Loch Ness monster… The second largest fresh water lake in Scotland, it measures 23 miles long and over 750ft deep. It forms part of the Caledonian Canal which, constructed in the 19th century, connects Inverness to Fort William and has 29 locks along its length.

Our next stop will be Fort Augustus, a small village on the south bank of the great Loch Ness. Spend the morning exploring ashore here before completing another five locks up to reach Neptune’s staircase where will will anchor overnight.

Neptune’s staircase is a system of eight locks designed by Thomas Telford. The series of locks allows boat to rise an impressive 19.5 meters over a length of 457 meters. Originally manpowered, the locks now operate hydraulically and are the largest of their kind in the UK.

Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland provides an impressive backdrop for this part of the voyage and if there is time, we will aim to stop at the famous Ben Nevis distillery.

Once we have passed Fort William, the West coast awaits and we will set sail for the beautiful Loch Linnhe and the island of Lismore. Explore the ancient ruin of Castle Coeffin dating back to the Celts in the middle ages before sailing the Sound of Mull to the quaint harbour village of Tobermory on the island of Mull.

Described as one of the most beautiful harbours in Scotland, colourful houses curve the waterfront of Tobermory – the perfect last stop of our voyage. Visit the Tobermory distillery as we anchor overnight before heading back down the Sound of Mull to finish our voyage in Oban.

Life onboard

One of traditional sailing, sea-faring tales and breath-taking destinations, sailing with the Flying Dutchman is a far cry from its ancestral name. Although a traditionally rigged vessel with an authentic wooden boat feel throughout, the Flying Dutchman has been fitted as a charter vessel to a high, modern standard – providing guests with an authentic sailing experience while ensuring comfort and mod-cons are not forgotten. With private twin en-suite cabins, large communal spaces both above and below decks and an onboard chef for hearty home-cooked meals after a day of good sailing – sailing with the Flying Dutchman is an experience you won’t forget!

Enjoy a balance of traditional sailing harnessing the power of the wind to spending time exploring ashore in hard to reach locations away from the tourist hustle and bustle. The half board nature of the Flying Dutchman means that guests are able to enjoy the cuisine and fresh produce of the local area.

Read more about what to expect from life on board the Flying Dutchman.


Flying Dutchman

Guest berths: 24 Rig: Schooner

Built in 1903, the Flying Dutchman has been recently re-fitted to a high standard for comfortable sailing holidays in Scotland. There is a huge 480m² sail area to propel you through the water and on the Flying Dutchman you will have the option to participate in helping the different sails up and getting to know all the different crafts. You will be guided by an experienced crew to help you with all the different crafts on the ship. If you want to steer the ship, do not hesitate to ask the captain.

The main saloon is a generous space with plenty of portholes providing comfortable area with lots of natural light. A combination of sofas and tables make it a great communal area to get to know your fellow guests and enjoy meals inside. There is also a well-stocked bar within the saloon area too. Below decks, there are ten ensuite cabins for guests with bunk beds, all with heating and air-conditioning depending on where you are in the world.

The rear deck is layered with wood, which emphasises the traditional atmosphere of the ship. On the main deck there are 3 different tables and couches to sit on, this area is covered to protect the guests from the rain. This offers the opportunity to stay outside and eat your dinner under the stars.

Deck plan

Flying Dutchman deck plan More about Flying Dutchman


  • Are all meals included?

    Yes - all meals are included in the price (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Hot Drinks) Please note that alcohol/soft drinks are not included. There is an honesty bar onboard.

  • Are there any added extra's?

    No, unless you go ashore. Excursions are not included.

  • Can you cater for dietary needs?

    Vegetarians only.

  • What language is spoken onboard?


  • What are the sleeping arrangements?

    10x double ensuite cabins and 1x four berth ensuite cabin

  • How many toilet/showers does she have?


  • Is there WIFI?

    No, but you should easily be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.

  • Can I charge my phone/Camera?


  • Are there life jackets provided?


  • Are Waterproofs provided?


  • Do I need sailing experience?

    No, absolutely not! Just a lust for adventure.

  • Will I be sea sick?

    Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure.

  • Is bedding included?

    All bedding and wash towels are included. Please bring a swimming towel if you wish to swim ashore.


From: Inverness

To: Oban

Buckie is very close to Airport Inverness. There will a free minibus from Inverness airport to take people to the boat in Buckie.

To get from Oban, the bus is the best means of transport, whether you’re flying from Edinburgh or Glasgow (15 minutes difference). From both airports there is a transfer bus every 30 minutes to Buchanan (Glasgow) Bus Station, from where the bus to Oban departs.
For more information: Citylink.co.uk
If you wish to travel by train, first take the bus to Glasgow. Then you can take the train from Glasgow: Scotrail.com

Klm flies to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
EasyJet flies to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.
Flybe flies to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness.
Ryanair flies alone to Edinburgh.

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