8 Magna Carta Steamship Company Ltd. Lord of the Glens Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it traversed the Caledonian Canal and it totally fulfilled our expectations. The scenery was magnificent and we were lucky with many sunny clear days, even though a bit chilly. The crew was marvellous and dealt ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it traversed the Caledonian Canal and it totally fulfilled our expectations. The scenery was magnificent and we were lucky with many sunny clear days, even though a bit chilly. The crew was marvellous and dealt with a couple of crises with exceptional proffessionalism. Brian was an excellent manager and it seemed that the crew was truly a team with him as leader. The entire journey was something to be remembered as a great travel experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We cruised on Lord of the Glens as part of a National Geographic Expedition, and we would travel again in a heartbeat on this wonderful ship. The ship is stylish and elegant, without being stuffy. Polished brass and wooden fixtures ... Read More
We cruised on Lord of the Glens as part of a National Geographic Expedition, and we would travel again in a heartbeat on this wonderful ship. The ship is stylish and elegant, without being stuffy. Polished brass and wooden fixtures recreate the by-gone days of cruising. There is ample public space for everyone to have a comfy spot (and, since the weather on many days was a bit damp, those spaces were well-used.) When the sun was out (and even when it wasn't), many passengers enjoyed time viewing the scenery from the teak decks. Our cabin was on the Alexander Graham Bell deck and, contrary to what I was expecting based on other reviews, the cabin was spacious, the bathroom was more than adequate, and we had absolutely no problem storing our luggage either in the closet or under the bed. The breakfast options were ample and satisfying. In addition to the buffet, guests had the option to order off the menu. Passengers sign up for their lunches and dinners in the morning. There were always several interesting dishes, thus making it often hard to choose. You had all day to anticipate a good meal, and that the service at mealtime was prompt and efficient. Bar service was terrific and you were encouraged to order your dinner drinks/wine ahead of time. Again, that made for very prompt service. The entire hotel staff, under Brian's capable and gregarious direction, were courteous and very friendly. The ship's company and crew were professional, and the captain was often about, mingling with the guests. It was a real pleasure watching him exercise his ship-driving skills through those narrow canals. We loved every moment aboard Lord of the Glens.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We sailed on the Lord of the Glens 11thru 18th June '13. First the ship,we had a top deck cabin, which are not the biggest but are far quieter and offer better views than the middle and lower decks.By ocean standards the cabins are ... Read More
We sailed on the Lord of the Glens 11thru 18th June '13. First the ship,we had a top deck cabin, which are not the biggest but are far quieter and offer better views than the middle and lower decks.By ocean standards the cabins are small particularly the bathroom, we managed okay but larger people may find the space restricting. There no elevators on this ship only 2 staircases between decks. The cabins have more than adequate storage and feature tv,radio,desk.stool,hairdryer etc. We did not have the pleasure(?) of local entertainment on board but by the time dinner was finished a quick nightcap in the bar meant it was bedtime,incidentally the bar closes at 10.30,but a small selection of drinks are left for you to help yourself on an honesty basis by leaving your cabin number.There is no stated policy about bringing your own drink on board so we had the odd bottle in the cabin for pre dinner drinks.By the way an average bottle of Pinot Grigio is £18.00and the house red(tempranillo/Syrah) is the same price,expect to pay about £25.00 for reasonable wine.Whisky is £3.15 per 25ml glass with single malts being £3.95.Also tea and instant coffee are available free 24/7 Overall the food that was provided was of a pretty good standard but we felt lacking in imagination for such an up market cruise and you had to select your lunch & dinner in advance by means of a tick box chart in the lobby,however as no cabin number was required it was only a guide for the galley,we changed our minds a couple of times with no problems.Seating for meals is mainly at tables for six and is one sitting except breakfast which is 7.30 till 9.00 all meals are open seating.Lunch would pass for dinner on some cruise lines! All tours are included which mainly consist of coach trips to various attractions,we enjoyed them al The upper deck houses the bar and tea station along with a forward lounge,which can get a little crowded at times and an aft lounge with sofas & easy chairs with equally good views .There are also outside areas fore and aft weather permitting! I would suggest taking a cruise that ends in Inverness as it is a much nicer way to finish up rather than having a long drive from elsewhere,which may leave you feeling a little flat. Finally the age range on our trip was mainly over 65's .   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
About two years ago I took my family for a day cruise along the Thames in a boat called The Spirit of Chartwell. This day out was fabulous for all sorts of reasons; I learnt that there was a sister ship called The Lord of the Glens ... Read More
About two years ago I took my family for a day cruise along the Thames in a boat called The Spirit of Chartwell. This day out was fabulous for all sorts of reasons; I learnt that there was a sister ship called The Lord of the Glens operating on the Caledonian Canal which appeared to be very similar in style and standard. The Spirit of Chartwell was chosen for the Queen to travel along the Thames during her Diamond Jubilee trip, so I think you can get an idea of the standard we are talking about here. The Spirit of Chartwell was superior in appearance to the Lord of the Glens as it had a full colonial-style top deck with lovely canopies and wooden furniture, plus it had a baby grand piano inside. Boarding the Chartwell was a delight in itself - the Captain's personal welcome dressed in white jacket with gold epaulets - it just carried on like that from that moment. The Lord of the Glens didn't match up all that well on first arrival. The boarding steps are a bit cramped and uneven and the boat does not have that colonial look. The small welcoming party of staff was, however, lovely and struck a friendly note straight away. This is, in fact, a very friendly ship, as we were to find out. The size of the cabins and the single staircase are somewhat dictated by the fact that the ship's overall size has to conform to the dimensions of the locks which it has to enter: it is at the maximum possible size! If the cabins were twice the size, there would be half as many paying passengers so the price would double ! If the cabins were half the size or less - Brittany Ferries style - the cruise would be a lot cheaper due to economy of scale, but everywhere on the ship would be uncomfortably packed with people. There is clearly a balance to be made and we found it very well-judged. The Captain's welcome was a nice touch. The meals were of a high standard with 3 choices for each course. It was a privilege to be served food of such a high standard in a fairly remote area of the country. Quite hard to source, I would imagine. The standard of cooking was very high. Dinner is served at 7pm which allows for a relaxed evening and for the gentle entertainment which was provided for us each evening. Brian, I think, has been on the ship since it started on the Caledonian. He is extremely good at his job - always cheerful, never 'in your face'. The staff take their cue from him. I would like to personally thank him for all he does. We've been on quite a few cruises now. We have loved nearly all of them for all sorts of reasons - fabulous food, amazing entertainment, exotic venues - but we have given them a rest because they have started to blur . . . we're not sure which one was which, what we did where . . . yes, we're getting spoilt! The Lord of the Glens does not blur into any of those previous holidays. It was limited because it was a limited environment but it left us with a very Scottish experience. I am not referring to just the geography there - we especially appreciated the very unassuming, but very special types of entertainment we received each evening (we didn't expect anything, for some reason). You're in very safe hands on this ship - the crew make every reasonable effort to make the holiday enjoyable. We liked the dining arrangements - shared tables but moving around each evening so we got know know most of the people on board. One thing that could improve the comfort of guests, we felt, would be the option to have a duvet instead of blankets. We checked this out and took our own. No real problem. Would we go again? We certainly would. If we are lucky enough to get the opportunity, we'll go round the islands next time. Many thanks to the Magna Carta Steamship Company for conceiving of this tremendous and very original holiday in the first place. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We travelled on the Lord of the Glens from Oban to Inverness over a 5 night period in October. The weather, surprisingly, was fantastic bar one or two light showers. We travelled from Oban to Mull, then up through the Caledonian canal to ... Read More
We travelled on the Lord of the Glens from Oban to Inverness over a 5 night period in October. The weather, surprisingly, was fantastic bar one or two light showers. We travelled from Oban to Mull, then up through the Caledonian canal to Inverness. This trip is unusual. Firstly, you get to see places you wouldn't normally unless you want to take long car trips. Seeing the Highland scenery from the centre of a Loch is also a bonus and there is a lot of wonderful scenery to see. As it was October we saw some fantastic autumn colours and there was plenty to experience along the way. Parts of the canal are stunning and you get the opportunity to stop off to visit Glenfinnan and travel across the viaduct, Tobermory and Duart Castle on Mull and Fort Augustus. This was a relaxing and peaceful holiday. Food superb. Despite the 7.30 pm sitting we were served relatively quickly. Yes they wait till each one on your table is finished but you don't really notice this and anyway you are so engrossed in conversation with your fellow passengers that time passes quickly. The lounge area on the top of the vessel is great for sitting and enjoying a drink or a cup of tea while you watch the canal scenery pass by. So weather, really, is not necessarily a drawback if you can't get outside. Yes the cabins are small but we found ours (on the top deck) fine and there was plenty of storage. It was also very quiet. Beds comfortable and a nice large window to look out of. The only drawback for me was the bathroom, which is very small, and as I am of ample proportions I did find this a bit of a nuisance. There are some steep stairs leading from one deck to the the other. I managed reasonably well but it is worth bearing in mind if you are really bad on your legs. The crew, especially Brian the hotel(ship) manager, are wonderful. They are attentive and give good service. Brian organised some trips for us and my husband enjoyed a couple of walks led by Brian along the canal towpaths. The ship is spotless and tastefully decorated although, I too, did notice the rather strange choice of Egyptian prints on the walls! There seem to be a lot of companies offering holidays on Lord of the Glens so its worth doing some research as to what is the best combination/deal for you, but we loved it and would certainly go again. We enjoyed the unusual experience, loved the scenery and relished the slow pace of life which suited us very well. We did it with Great Railway Journies and can't fault them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
When we looked into this cruise I looked for reviews, and found 3, so thought I would add another one, should people want to go into the wilds of Scotland. We started at Inverness train Station-where we met Brian. A very very helpful hotel ... Read More
When we looked into this cruise I looked for reviews, and found 3, so thought I would add another one, should people want to go into the wilds of Scotland. We started at Inverness train Station-where we met Brian. A very very helpful hotel manager. As the coach is not allowed to park near the train station, for the first of many occasions he had to think on his feet. He soon collected us all up though and we were on our way.The boat is small ,but perfectly formed. Our cabin-302 ,was right next to reception ,but we never heard any noise. The cabins are small-very small...but what surprised us was how every nook and cranny is utilised. the cabin ate up the contents of 2 large cases and their contents with ease. cases go under the beds-very large space here, and there is a large drawer, a double wardrobe, and 8 sets of drawers,plus a hidey hole in the dressing table. (not sure if the cabins lower down have this hidey hole) the bathroom is tiny tiny-think canal boat/caravan,with a small shower-with curtain, toilet, and small basin. Again there was storage here for toiletries-two large wire cages, more than enough for all of our things. The rest of the ship is equally very nice, and cosy, well decorated. On the top deck are 2 lounges ,with comfy seating....can you guess what secret the large curved seat in the front holds, most things have more than one use. The dining rooms holds everyone at one seating. you can sit where you like but for lunch and dinner everyone has all of their courses served at the same time. 1st course-that is cleared away, then 2nd course etc. the evening meal usually took up to 2hrs for this reason. All the food is fresh and was really really lovely....very well done. The cruise was down the Caledonian Canal and around some of the inner Hebrides at the end. Due to the weather (windy and wet) when we were in the open seas, Brian had to do a lot of thinking on his feet. We went everywhere we were supposed to, but maybe not in the order we should have done. I think if you consider doing one of these cruises ,and they involve the open sea you have to be prepared for a lot of changes...On one island we were about to disembark ,when it was decided we would not be staying there due to an approaching storm, and it appears running out of food-could not have that could we? We set of for more sheltered berthing, and somewhere where more fresh food could be purchased. I feel a word should also be put in here for the barman Gordon-by the 2nd night he knew what we drank and our cabin number. He was always very friendly, and it was not his fault that the two times the contents of the bar took a tumble in rough seas ,he was not around!!!! Would we go on here again.Yes we would-we saw some lovely lovely places that we would not otherwise have had the chance of seeing. The whole thing was most enjoyable. If anything lets things down I would say it is the bathrooms,but how can they alter them. If they cut down on the cabins, less people, so more expensive cruises... Ages on our cruise I would say low 50's upwards, with most at the higher end. You do need to be able to use stairs on this boat as they are quite steep. Go and learn some wonderful things and see some wonderful parts of Scotland Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Had a five day cruise on LotG in April last year, from Inverness to Oban. We were incredibly lucky with the weather, and the Highlands of Scotland were looking their absolute best. We travelled to Inverness by train, and were met at ... Read More
Had a five day cruise on LotG in April last year, from Inverness to Oban. We were incredibly lucky with the weather, and the Highlands of Scotland were looking their absolute best. We travelled to Inverness by train, and were met at the station by a coach which transferred us to the ship. (The same coach and driver were to follow us and take us on excursions at the various stops over the next few days.) On arrival at the ship we were met by Brian, the cruise director, purser, Maitre d', and just about everything else. The ship is small, holding just 54 passengers, but is the maximum size that can fit through the locks in the Caledonian Canal. The main public room is the combined lounge and bar on the upper deck, with large windows to view the passing scenery. The dining room is one deck below. Tea and excellent coffee are freely available in the lounge. Open deck space is plentiful for the number of passengers. Meals are single sitting at a set time, and you are free to choose your table companions in tables for four or six. The food is excellent, using often local produce. Beware, the waiter will offer to pour you glasses of wine, but each glass is recorded and added to your bar bill (though not extortionate). We were in a category 3 cabin (the most expensive) and it was not large by cruise ship standards, though perfectly adequate for a short cruise. The beds were very comfortable. The most interesting bit was the passage through the Caledonian Canal, and in good weather this is simply exquisite. There are several flights of locks to pass through, and this adds to the interest. Excursions were arranged to various places of interest on the trip, such as Glenfinnan, Duart and Torosay Castles, and these were included in the price of the cruise. Brian was always on hand to answer any questions, and to assist with any problems. On our cruise we found that most people were early bedders, and my wife and I often found we were the last in the bar. Overall we found it an excellent experience, not super-luxurious but very comfortable and enjoyable. The crew went about their duties in an unobtrusive manner, though it was possible to chat to the captain while he was maneuvering the ship in the locks. Did I mention Brian? Omni-present, very affable and helpful, he was the public face of the ship, and greatly contributed to the success of the cruise. This is not for people who want glitzy ships with climbing walls, skating rinks and 4000 other passengers, but for a low key and intimate experience I would thoroughly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We booked the Lord of the Glens for a 4nts Caledonian Canal Cruise in Nov 2009 as a relaxing end of season break. This turned out to be one of the best cruises we have ever done! Having been on many cruise lines and many ships, this small ... Read More
We booked the Lord of the Glens for a 4nts Caledonian Canal Cruise in Nov 2009 as a relaxing end of season break. This turned out to be one of the best cruises we have ever done! Having been on many cruise lines and many ships, this small vessal is amazing - offering the very highest in food standards onboard, beautiful accommodation and a pleasant luxury style lounge and resaturant. The Lord of the Glens is perfect for a realxing break while taking in the beautiful scenery of Scotland. As a very small ship - she does not offer evening entertainment - just a luxury home from home style lounge area and very friendly crew. Most evenings you are actually moored up, so can get off to visit local bars and take a late evening walk in the countryside. Meals are served in the luxury restaurant and a choice is offered at both lunch and dinner, breakfast is buffet with a large selection of both hot and cold dishes. Now remember this is a small river cruise style ship - carrying between 40 - 50 passengers on average - so don't book expecting big ship style cruising. Dress code is informal throughout. Cabins are small - but they are superb in their design and layout to make the most of the available space. They are far superior to most large cruise ships we have been on. We were so impressed by the Lord of the Glens, we have already booked a longer cruise on her for Summer 10 and also looking into booking on her brand new sister ship The Spirit of Chartwell for cruises along the river Thames which start from Spring 2010 - again in pure luxury style. The cruise we went on started and finished in Inverness (Scotland). Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Lord of the Glens Ratings
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