Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Gleneagles Golf Course
Gleneagles Golf Course
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Largest ever Cruise Liner - "Balmoral" anchors in Thurso Bay

Scrabster this week attracted its largest-ever cruise liner, with the visit of the 43,537 gross tonne "Balmoral".

The vessel was too big to come alongside, instead it anchored in Thurso Bay before its 1,300 passengers were taken ashore by tender.

It was the penultimate arrival in a record year for cruise traffic at the port. "

"Balmoral", the biggest in Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines fleet, arrived on Monday morning from Tobermory towards the end of a week-long tour of the UK and Ireland.

The Norwegian skipper of the 218-metre long vessel was presented with a commemorative plaque by Sandy Mackie, Manager of Scrabster Harbour Trust.

The main shore attraction for passengers was the Castle of Mey. Others went on coach tours while a group went for a round at Thurso Golf Club.

Before its late-afternoon departure for Harwich, the passengers and 500 crew were treated to a performance on board by members of Caithness Junior Pipe Band and a group of local Highland dancers.

"Balmoral" was the 10th of 11 cruise ships scheduled to have stopovers in Scrabster this year.

It is the largest total since the Harbour Trust started promoting the port as a cruise destination following the opening of its deep-water Queen Elizabeth Pier in 2003.