With its deep, dark, and murky waters, Loch Ness is the largest freshwater lake in Scotland by volume due to its depth. With more than 20 miles of water surface area, it has become a popular tourist destination for a variety of reasons such as boating, fishing, and most importantly, spotting the legendary monster named “Nessie”. According to the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, there have been more than 1,000 reliable sightings of the creature ranging from eyewitness accounts to photos and videos. With its deepest point reaching approximately 755 feet along with the low visibility due to the surrounding soil content, these details only add to the mystery. Boating trips have become big business for the relatively small towns surrounding Loch Ness, and they can provide easy transportation to beautiful vantage points as well as aid in a personal search for “Nessie”.
Villages on Loch Ness
There are only a handful of villages in the vicinity of Loch Ness, with many of them in rural areas. With more than 200,000 annual visitors, Drumnadrochit is considered the Loch Ness focal point with many boats leaving the northern shores of the lake. The equally beautiful southern area of Loch Ness can provide solitude away from the busy crowds of peak season. The four main villages that can provide a range of accommodations and amenities are:
- Dores: called the northern gateway to southern Loch Ness, it has some Bed and Breakfast accommodations and pubs.
- Drumnadrochit: the largest village on Loch Ness with every amenity for the tourists such as shops, pubs, restaurants,hotel accommodations and the informative Loch Ness Exhibition Centre.
- Invermoriston: a small village located between Drumnadrochit and the southern village of Fort Augustus has a post office, shops, pubs and accommodations.
- Fort Augustus: the southernmost village of Loch Ness has a tourist information office, small shops, pubs, restaurants and variety of accommodations.
According to the article “Scotland Weather and Climate”, on worldtravelguide.net, the higher inland areas have snow during the winter and fog can occur any time of the year. Spring and summer are the best time to see the Highlands and lakes especially with the cooler temperatures and breezes off the water.
Loch Ness Boat Trips
Many of the Loch Ness based vessels listed here are equipped with modern surveillance and safety equipment including Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Sonar. The tours are informative and all of the boats are maintained in excellent condition.
Loch Ness Cruises
- The company operates a vessel based in Drumnadrochit from the Loch Ness Monster Visitor Centre.
- The boat is equipped with Radar, Sonar, G.P.S. and underwater cameras.
- They offer one hour cruises with bus excursion.
- [email protected]
Deepscan Passenger Cruises
- The company operates a Deepscan vessel based in Drumnadrochit from the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre.
- The boat is equipped with Radar, Sonar, G.P.S and other surveillance equipment.
- The boat was involved in many Loch Ness projects including the Deepscan Project.
- They offer cruises leaving on the hour.
- [email protected]
- The award winning company operates three vessels with all of the latest equipment and amenities including food and snacks.
- They offer cruises ranging from one to six hours in length with side excursions.
- The boats are based at Clansman Harbour, Loch Ness
- [email protected]
Boating trips on Loch Ness provide the equipment and informative crew to make a personal search for “Nessie” a memorable one. There are a number of companies that offer tours ranging from personal small surveillance boats to larger multi-leveled ships. All of these Loch Ness based boats not only offer the transportation and comfort, but they provide the best vantage point of the surrounding area: from the lake itself.