Insight Q&A: Cruise Loch Lomond
Discover why this storied Scottish lake is so captivating
O ye'll take the high road, and I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland a'fore ye,
But me and my true love will never meet again,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond.
Loch Lomond is stunningly beautiful - and you've probably heard of it through this elegiac song, which has traveled far beyond its 18th-century Scottish origins.
Thirty verdant islands dot the lake, which is 22 miles long and nearly five miles long at its widest point. The storied beauty of Loch Lomond is surely best appreciated on the surface of the water, gliding along as CIE Tours guests get a chance to do on several of our Scottish tours. We spoke to Stuart Cordner, who works for Cruise Loch Lomond, about why the lake is not to be missed.
CIE Tours: Tell us a little about Loch Lomond – what makes it special?
Stuart: The dramatic natural raw landscape makes Loch Lomond a unique place in which I am extremely fortunate to work. What makes it that extra special is the light. The continually changing light, reflections and shadows on the hills and water is captivating – and does release feelings of calm and a reconnection with nature.
CIE Tours: What is your favorite part of your job?
Stuart: When skippering the vessels I get the chance to meet visitors from around the world. Its great to share experiences with them. I am always asked about growing up here and how our family business has evolved over the years. I also get to hear about where guests are from and how Loch Lomond compares!
CIE Tours: What does a CIE Tours guest experience on a cruise of Loch Lomond?
Stuart: The cruise at the dramatic northern fjord end of the Loch, for me the more scenic part, in the heart of Rob Roy MacGregor country. The skipper gives a live commentary on the history of Scotland’s most celebrated outlaw. Sailing over the deepest part of the Loch (200m) in the shadow of Ben Lomond the cruise sails around Honeymoon Island and passes the impressive Arklet Waterfalls.
Relax and enjoy the stunning natural landscape of the National Park whilst perhaps sampling a Rob Roy Whisky coffee on board!
CIE Tours: Many people know of Loch Lomond because of the famous song – would you like to tell us a little about the song?
Stuart: By yon bonnie banks…..is known by many around the world and synonymous with the natural beauty of the landscape and the romance of Loch Lomond. For years the Loch has inspired writers, poets and musicians such as Sir Walter Scott, Gerard Manley Hopkins and more recently Runrig!
The famous song was written about two Jacobite soldiers imprisoned in Carlisle, one knowing his imminent death will mean he takes the low road while the other the high road and will live, and that he will never see the love of his life again.
CIE Tours: What does it mean to you to be able to share this special bit of Scotland with visitors?
Stuart: It is a privilege to live in this stunning part of the world and is coupled with the golden ticket job of promoting and getting to share it with visitors from around the globe. As the business has evolved we have developed cruise products to enable visitors to combine the cruise with soft adventure, outdoor activities and wildlife experiences. In the last 12 months we have identified an opportunity to further harness the power of this blue space that is Loch Lomond to help improve wellbeing and reduce anxiety by reconnecting with nature.
Our Company has an important role promoting sustainability within the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park to enable visitors to enjoy the landscape responsibly and to protect the environment. As ambassadors for Loch Lomond this approach is the focus for Cruise Loch Lomond becoming a triple bottom line Company.
Eager to experience the serene beauty of this beautiful lake for yourself? You can come along with us to Cruise Loch Lomond on our Scottish Dream, Scottish and Irish Dream, and our Scottish and Irish Gold tours. Visit their website at CruiseLochLomond.co.uk.
If you'd like to hear the song that made Loch Lomond famous, YouTube has several versions, including a classic one by Benny Goodman and an epic live version by Scottish band Runrig.
Watch the video below for a glimpse of what it's like to cruise Loch Lomond - and put it on your travel wish list!