We were tempted to begin this article in the following way: Scotland cruises are cruises that involve Scotland. This is a simple way to begin an article, and similar formulations have served us in the past when writing about a particular type of cruise. The virtue of this type of declarative start is that it is usually precise and informative, and that is exactly why it can’t be used now. Scottish cruises are slightly hard to classify, which is why we used the vague word “involve” above instead some preposition. Are Scotland cruises defined as cruises to Scotland, or are they cruises from Scotland, or something else? You may have a perfectly clear conception of cruises and Scotland, and you may be interested in both, meaning you might have some interest in taking a Scottish cruise, but yet have no idea what exactly a Scotland cruise is. And that is exactly why we are here to make sense of Scotland cruises.
As we have implied, Scotland cruises (or “Scottish cruises” – we use the two interchangeably) can take several forms. Perhaps the most common conception of a Scotland cruise is that it is a cruise that goes to Scotland. In other words, Scotland is the destination, and just as a voyage whose destination is the Caribbean is called a Caribbean cruise, a Scotland cruise is merely any cruise that goes to Scotland. There are few (if any) cruises that debark from a faraway port (like one located in the US) to visit Scotland and only Scotland. Rather, Scotland tends to be one of several countries visited on a given vacation, and the extent to which it is featured varies from cruise to cruise. On some cruises, there are various stops in Scotland, but on others a Scottish port is merely one of dozens of other places visited during the voyage. A cruise to Scotland that substantially involves the country (a few ports are visited, and the cruise isn’t months long, say) is probably the closest thing there is to a “Scotland cruise” in the way that the average person might use the phrase.
There are two other Scottish cruises we can think of, and they are closely related. The first is the type of cruise that only involves Scotland, meaning the cruise begins and ends in Scotland, and every stop during the voyage is in Scotland. Such cruises generally start in one of the main cruise ports in Scotland (like the one in Glasgow), sail around a fairly compact area (i.e., not far into open waters) to visit islands and/or lochs, and then return the to port whence it departed. Predictably, these cruises aren’t very long, although we’ve seen some that can last up to a week. The only other type of Scotland cruises (if you even want to call them “cruises”) are the day trips you can take from some of the cities that are on the country’s shore. For instance, there are several shorter boat trips offered by The Scottish Seaboard Centre (which is near Edinburgh) that focus on viewing wildlife. One probably wouldn’t be inclined to describe this as a “Scotland cruise,” even though it is a cruise (in a sense) that “involves” Scotland (and Scotland alone).
As you can see, there are several different types of trips that might be called “Scotland cruises.” Some are more thoroughly Scottish than others, but they all in some way come into contact with the country. So, if you like cruises and have any interest in visiting Scotland, the two can be combined, and if you want to move forward on a vacation plan, you can read our article on how to book a Scottish cruise.