The Highland Branch of Seagull Trust Cruises is based in Inverness but unlike the Trust’s other Branches, it has no office or base to work from and it relies on the goodwill and generosity of its supporters to supply the required facilities to allow it to operate. The Branch is extremely fortunate that it continues to enjoy such a depth of community recognition and support.
A maximum of 12 passengers can be carried on each cruise. The boat is equipped with a passenger lift and it also has a disabled toilet. Passengers embark and disembark at Twin Jetties located on the seaward side of Tomnahurich Bridge where there is a small lay-by for parking vehicles. Access to the Twin Jetties is made via the tarred Canal Tow Path between the Canal and the Caravan site and it is sign posted.
We operate on the Caledonian Canal, cruising the 4.5 miles between Caley Marina and Dochgarroch, which takes approximately 2 hours. We operate two daily cruises on Mondays to Fridays, from April to September. Cruises begin at 10.30 am in the morning and 2 pm in the afternoon but times can be adjusted to meet passenger needs.
If you would like to see a map of the location of the Jetties, or download a copy of it, this can be done by clicking on one of the links in the Downloads section or try the location map below.
The Highland Branch was formed in 1987 through the co-operation of the trustees from the Trust’s Edinburgh headquarters with local councillors and volunteers who were organised by Highland Council’s Director of Libraries and Leisure Services Harold Wilkinson. The Loch Ness cruise boat ‘Abbey Princess’ was purchased, adapted and refitted at Caley Marina and at McDermotts Fabrication Yard, Ardersier. Mr Jim Hogan of Caley Marina kindly donated a permanent berth and the use of facilities at Caley Marina, which has also supplied fuel for the boat for many years. British Waterways (now Scottish Canals) provided a jetty named the Twin Jetties near to Tomnahurich Bridge where passengers embark and disembark.
The first cruise took place on 14th April 1989 with nine passengers. The boat was named ‘Highland Seagull’ and the official naming ceremony was carried out by the Duke and Duchess of York on 30th June 1989. That year the Highland Seagull carried 769 passengers and during its 22 years service with the Branch completed 3,063 cruises and carried a total of 28,110 passengers.
In 2010 plans were drawn up for a boat to replace the Highland Seagull and a contract was signed on 30th September 2011 with Buckie Shipyard Ltd. to build a new boat. The Branch subsequently took delivery of the new boat at Inverness Marina on 22nd April 2012. It had been decided to name the new boat ‘Highland Cross Seagull’ and its first cruise took place on 14th May 2012 with 11 passengers from Inverness College. The ‘Highland Cross Seagull’ was officially named by HRH The Princess Royal on 7th June 2012 at Seaport Marina Inverness. During the last five years, over 10,000 passengers have been carried.
To use the branch map: Click on the blue icon for address details. Double click the icon to centre map on that location. Use arrows and + / - in top righthand corner to navigate map