An adventure in the Scottish Highlands begins with a day in Edinburgh

Editors Note: Twenty-six-year old-Will Garrett and his father Edward sailed on the Scottish Highlander luxury barge operated by European Waterways earlier this month. Will filed a daily report and these will be published this week. DAY 1: Detroit to St. Paul My trip began by leaving DTW (Detroit) and traveling to Minnesota (where my father lives) so that we could start our journey to Scotland together.  We had an uneventful evening and retired to bed early …wanted …

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Cruise shore excursions: go with a group or on your own?

AT SEA ABOARD THE WINDSTAR STAR LEGEND — Are you ready to take a vacation risk? Michelle and Lance Teschmacher certainly are—not a big risk. They are, after all, sailing on Windstar’s Star Legend around the Scottish Isles where there are 146 crew Ot take care of 205 guests. But rather than rely on the ship’s expensive shore excursions, Michelle Teschmacher explained, “We are happy to wing it.” Her advice: Ask the local tourism officials for the …

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At Scotland’s Fort George: a youth bagpipe band outperforms

INVERNESS, Scotland — Who knew? Who knew a youth band could be such excellent bag pipers and drummers. Of course, we are in Scotland—in the Highlands actually. We our ship docked in Invergordon, for port for Inverness, which is considered the entry point to the Highlands—and the home of “Nessie” the Loch Ness monster (no, we didn’t see her!). And as is the case on all Windstar Cruises, we are treated to a private event just for …

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The Miracle of Camp 60 – in the Orkney Islands north of Scotland

By Andy Yemma KIRKWALL, Orkney Islands, Scotland — We’ve all seen the World War II POW camp depictions – fact or fiction. Stalag 17, The Great Escape, Hogans Heroes. Here’s one that’s not only true, but truly inspiring. We are in the Orkney Islands, north of the Scottish mainland, on cruise aboard the Windstar Star Legend. We have taken a shore excursion, the highlight of which is another Scotch Whisky distillery tour. The distillery tour (Highland Park) …

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At sea with Windstar – connecting families and generations

AT SEA ON THE WINDSTAR STAR LEGEND — The passengers on the Windstar Star Legend range from 11 year old Cassie Albert, traveling with her parents and older brother and sister, to 91-year-old Beverly Unger, who has brought her grandson Wyatt,18, on a high school graduation trip. She lives in Canada and he lives in Portland, OR. We are on an 8-day “Gaelic Explorer” itinerary cruise that began in Dublin, Ireland, and ends in Edinburgh, Scotland, with …

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Finding a hidden gem of a restaurant on a remote road in Scotland

ISLE OF SKYE, Scotland (Day four of Windstar cruise) — Like a lot of young parents, Shirley and Eddie Spears longed to raise their kids away from the city. But unlike a lot of parents, they changed their lives to do that—and in the process had a hand in changing the way the world thinks about Scottish food. The Spears own the tiny (15 table) Three Chimneys Restaurant and six-room inn on an out of the way …

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Learning about the origins of the Titantic in Belfast, Northern Ireland

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (Day two of Windstar cruise) — In 1907, Belfast boasted the largest docks in Ireland. More than 6,000 men worked at dangerous and low paying jobs. James Pirrier wasn’t even 30 when he controlled Harland & Wolff, the largest shipbuilding firm in the world that was in Belfast. Over dinner, he and J. Bruce Ismay from the White Star Line collaborated to design Titanic and her sister ships—the largest and most luxurious ever built. …

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Visiting the Scottish Highlands…Vicariously!

My father Alexander was born in Scotland so for many years I have wanted to experience a luxury hotel barge.  Although I have not had this wonderful experience,    my son Will recently got the chance to go on European Waterways‘ Scottish Highlander and he took it!  How lovely! A luxury hotel barge to see the beauty of Scotland and the highlands. I wondered whether this would be the cruise for him…he’s in his 20’s, a young …

Read moreVisiting the Scottish Highlands…Vicariously!

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