What are the cheapest boat tours available around Loch Ness?

Loch Ness is a captivating destination nestled in the Scottish Highlands. Known for its tranquil beauty and the enigmatic legend of the Loch Ness Monster, it draws thousands of visitors every year. If you're planning to unravel the mysteries of the lake and capture the natural beauty surrounding it, a boat tour is an excellent option. But, amidst the multitude of cruises available, which ones are the most affordable? Let's dive into the details and find out the cheapest boat tours available around Loch Ness.

1. Loch Ness by Jacobite Cruise

When it comes to Loch Ness cruises, Jacobite holds a top position for its exceptional tours and remarkable service. The company offers a wide array of tours, and among them, the 'Freedom' tour is the most affordable option.

The Freedom tour is a one-hour trip on the loch, giving you a chance to soak up the serene beauty of the Scottish Highlands and catch a glimpse of the mythical Loch Ness Monster. You'll embark from Clansman Harbour, cruising through the deep, dark and mysterious waters. In addition to the captivating cruise, you'll also find an opportunity to explore Urquhart Castle, one of Scotland's largest castles, with its remarkable history and stunning views over Loch Ness.

2. Cruise Loch Ness

Cruise Loch Ness offers one of the most competitive prices for Loch Ness boat tours. The company's 'Experience Loch Ness' tour is a great option for budget-conscious travelers who want to explore Loch Ness and its surroundings.

The Experience Loch Ness tour is a two-hour journey from Fort Augustus, at the southern tip of Loch Ness. The tour provides an insightful commentary about the loch, its history, and the legend of the Loch Ness Monster. Along the way, you'll have plenty of opportunities to marvel at the surrounding mountains and possibly spot some local wildlife.

3. Inverness Boat Tours

Inverness Boat Tours is another great option if you're looking for affordable Loch Ness cruises. Their 'Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal' tour provides an excellent mix of sightseeing and history at a reasonable price.

The tour starts from Inverness, the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands. You will sail through the Caledonian Canal, into the heart of Loch Ness. You'll learn about the construction of the canal, the history of the area, and of course, the tales of the Loch Ness Monster. Along the tour, you'll enjoy stunning views of Inverness and the highlands.

4. Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition Cruise

The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition is a unique facility that offers a comprehensive understanding of Loch Ness, its monster, and the exploration carried out in the loch. They also offer an affordable boat tour, 'The Deepscan', which is an opportunity to explore Loch Ness on a budget.

The Deepscan is a one-hour tour of Loch Ness from Drumnadrochit. The tour combines a pleasant boat ride with a wealth of information provided by the on-board sonar and underwater imaging system. You'll learn about the numerous searches for the Loch Ness Monster and the scientific studies conducted on the lake.

5. Nessieland Castle Monster Centre

The Nessieland Castle Monster Centre offers a unique and affordable way to discover Loch Ness. Their 'Nessie Hunter' tour is a family-friendly option that guarantees fun and excitement.

The Nessie Hunter is a 30-minute boat trip from Drumnadrochit. The tour offers great views of the loch and the highlands, and the chance to learn about the legendary Loch Ness Monster. The tour also includes entry to the Nessieland Castle Monster Centre, where you can discover more about the loch, its monster, and the various sightings over the years.

6. Highland Free Spirits: Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle & Whisky

Highland Free Spirits offers another choice for budget-friendly boat tours around Loch Ness. Their 'Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle & Whisky' tour combines the best of Scotland: breathtaking landscapes, historical landmarks, and a taste of the renowned Scotch whisky.

The tour begins from Inverness and takes you on a pleasant boat trip on the beautiful Loch Ness. You'll enjoy the panoramic views of the Scottish Highlands and might even catch a glimpse of the elusive Nessie. As the tour continues, you'll visit the magnificent Urquhart Castle overlooking Loch Ness. Here, you can explore the castle ruins and learn about its historical significance.

To round off the perfect day, you'll visit a local distillery where you can sample Scotland's famed whisky. This tour offers exceptional value for money and is a great way to experience the Scottish culture on a budget.

7. Go Monster Spotting with Nessie Hunter

Looking for a unique and affordable way to explore Loch Ness? Nessie Hunter is an excellent option. Their Nessie Monster Spotting tour offers an exciting and interactive experience for all ages.

This 90-minute cruise departs from Clansman Harbour and takes you on a fascinating journey around Loch Ness. As you sail through the deep waters, you'll learn about the local legends and folklore, including the famous Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie as she is often called. The boat is equipped with sonar equipment which adds a touch of mystery and excitement to your tour. Who knows, you might even spot Nessie!

The tour also includes a visit to Fort Augustus, a beautiful village at the southern end of Loch Ness. There, you'll get the chance to see the impressive Caledonian Canal, a masterpiece of early 19th-century engineering.


Loch Ness has an undeniable allure with its breathtaking landscapes, fascinating history, and the intriguing mystery of the Ness Monster. A boat tour is an excellent way to truly immerse yourself in the magic of the area. Whether you're looking for a short and sweet boat trip, a day tour full of activities, or a unique Nessie-spotting experience, you don't have to break the bank. All these tours offer affordable prices and unique experiences, making them the cheapest boat tours available around Loch Ness.

Remember, the best time to visit Loch Ness is from June to September when the weather is typically warm and dry. However, no matter when you decide to visit, Loch Ness never fails to capture the hearts of those who dare to explore its depths and marvel at the beauty of the Scottish Highlands.