Fort William welcomes first cruise liner
“Spirit of Adventure” sailed into Loch Linnhe on Sunday 16th May to become the first international cruise liner to visit Fort William.
The 9,570 gross tons passenger liner slipped through the Corran Narrows at 0500 hours and was tied up alongside Corpach harbour by 0700 hours.
In accordance with tradition, Councillor Allan Henderson, Provost of Lochaber, presented the ship’s captain with an engraved brass plaque to commemorate the ship’s maiden call. Christine MacColl and Calum Boyd of ClydeBoyd were also on hand to present Captain McLundie with a bottle of 25 year old Ben Nevis single malt whisky to mark the occasion.
Speaking at the presentation, Captain McLundie, a native of Oban, said he was delighted with the welcome given to the ship. “I’d like to thank everyone at Clydeboyd for their help in making this visit a success. It’s always good to visit new ports, particularly one like Fort William in such a spectacular setting.”
The call into Fort William provided passengers an opportunity to experience the many amenities of the area, including woollen mills and craft shops with traditional produce. The pier is ideally situated for visits to famous attractions such as Loch Ness, where visitors can hope to catch a glimpse of “Nessie”, and Neptune’s Staircase, the longest staircase lock in the UK at the southern end of the Caledonian Canal.
There are also many historical and cultural attractions within easy reach of Fort William, including the Glenfinnan Monument in commemoration of the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745 at the beginning of the Jacobite Rising. The Jacobite Steam Train, which runs from Fort William to Mallaig, allows visitors to view the Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous by its appearances in the Harry Potter films, as well as other spectacular Highland scenery throughout the trip.
Of course, one of the most famous Scottish products is whisky, and the Ben Nevis distillery provides visitors with an insight into the production of whisky during the tour of the distillery.
"Spirit of Adventure”, owned by Saga Shipping, is currently on short term charter to the National Trust for Scotland and the visit to Fort William was part of a week long cruise around the West coast of Scotland for Trust members.