Comparative Itineraries

Here is one detailed itinerary and two others less ideal

Although some itineraries are detailed and require no adjustment (see Example 1),
others show lack of knowledge of the terrain, distances involved, need for comfort stops (toilets),
stops for Lunch (in cases where these were not included) (see Example 2),
and even venues or destinations shown in the Brochures sent to them, were missing from the itineraries sent to the guides and drivers (see Example 3).
Obviously the guide needs to check the original brochure for any missing venues well before the tour.
When not supplied, the guide will only discover the omissions when the clients point them out.
Some drivers use SatNavs designed for cars showing "Scenic" routes, often inadequate for large coaches,
few drivers have the Professional SatNavs, si I bought one of these to help less experienced drivers.

Example 1 - One Day Shore Excursion

Original Detailed Itinerary for Passengers, Guide and Driver



N.B Ship may change its shore times on the day and itineraries may need to be adjusted
Group must board the cruise at least 1 hour before departure.
Breakfast on-board
32 pax on this tour + Local Guide
07.00am Cruise arrival NORWEGIAN JADE
08.15am Disembark your cruise ship in Invergordon and meet your local guide
who will be waiting at the exit of the port complex, on the main road. (Iain Tait-invoice)
Walk to Invergordon High Street to meet your coach and driver. (D&E Coaches – Prepaid)
08.30am Start your tour and travel to Loch Ness via Beauly. (35 min)
09.05am Arrive at Beauly (20 minute photo stop)
09.25am Leave Beauly for Urquhart Castle (25 min)
09.50am Arrive in Drumnadrochit located on Loch Ness visit Urquhart Castle (prepaid with Jacobite cruises).
10.00am Visit Castle Urquhart (1 hr 25 min) (See film before exploration)
11.25am Board your cruise from Urquhart Castle and enjoy a 30 min cruise on the Lock Ness.
End at Clansman Hotel Harbour (Jacobite Cruises - prepaid)
12.05pm Board your coach and drive to Inverness. (15 min)
12.40pm Enjoy a short tour of Inverness and then have lunch at leisure and free time to explore. (2hr 40mins)
03.00pm Return to your cruise ship in Invergordon. (45 min)
03.45pm Arrive at Invergordon Port
05.00pm Cruise departs

Example 2

(St Machar not accessible for large coaches - Provost Skene's house covered with scaffolding)

Original Program from the French Canadian Travel Agent

Day 8 INVERNESS – ABERDEEN 180 KM (Day 1 = flight from Canada; Day 2 = arrival in Glasgow)
Aujourd’hui, vous prendrez la route en direction d’Aberdeen, 3e ville d’Écosse, surnommée «cité argentée aux sables d’or», en raison du granite utilisé pour les habitations et du sable de ses plages. Visite du musée Culloden Moore, situé sur l’ancien champ de bataille de Culloden, celui-ci vous expliquera la tactique et les conséquences politiques du massacre. Chaque visiteur reçoit l’identité d’un soldat et peut suivre son destin dans le musée. Vous poursuivrez par la visite du château de Cawdor. Dans l’après-midi, tour d’orientation d’Aberdeen, pendant lequel vous verrez la cathédrale St Machar et Provost Skene’s House; la plus vieille maison de la ville. Dîner.

Itinerary supplied to the Guide and Coach Driver

(Timeing inaccurate and lack of details or photo stops)

Day 7 (Day 1 = arrival in Glasgow)
Scottish Breakfast at your hotel
08:30 Departure to Aberdeen
09:15 Visit of Culloden Battlefields Visitor Centre and museum
Add. Inverness IV2 5EU, tel. +44 (0) 1463 796090
Lunch at own arrangement
10:45 Entrance to Cawdor Castle, entrance included
Add. B9090, Cawdor, Nairn IV12 5RD Tel. 01667 404401
Transfer to Aberdeen for brief city tour
18:00 Tour end and Continue to hotel in Aberdeen to check in
19:00 Dinner at the hotel – drinks not included
Menu: - Roasted red paper and cucumber gazpacho
- Ballotine of Chicken and saffron, curried cauliflower,
pomme puree, rolled chicken mouss and saffron
and chicken broth
- Sticky toffee pudding with rum soaked dates and date
Overnight at Double tree by Hilton Aberdeen City Centre

Itinerary completed by the Guide

Day 7
07.30 Breakfast
08.45 Dep. Hotel 20 min A9 - B9006
09.05 Arr. Culloden Battlefield
09.15 Visit the Visitor Centre and Battlefield (Visit 1 hr 30 min)
10.45 Dep. Culloden 15 min B9006 -B9091 - B9090
11.00 Arr. Cawdor Castle IV12 5RD
11.15 Tour of Castle and Gardens 1 hr 30 min
12.45 Lunch at the Castle 45 min
13.30 Dep. Cawdor Castle 40 min - A96
14.40 Arr. Elgin Cathedral Photo Stop 20 min
15.00 Dep. Elgin Cathedral 1 hr 40 min A96 - A978
16.40 Arr. Kings College Aberdeen (No large coach access to Cathdral)
Kings College Photo Stop 25 min
16.45 Dep. Kings College Photo Stop 25 min
17.10 Panoramic Tour by coach
17.20 Provost Skene's house is visible when driving past
(when there is no scaffolding) but no stopping is possible
17:30 Arr. Footdee Aberdeen
Visite the village and beaches Visite 45 min
18:15 Dep. Footdee
18:30 Arr. Double Tree Hotel AB24 5EF
19:30 Dinner at the hotel

Example 3

Original Program from the French Travel Agent

4th day: Inverness area - Loch Ness - Sutherland - Thurso (165 km).
Visit Scottish Kiltmaker, to discover the whole story,
the different tartans according to the clans and the secrets of making the traditional Scottish outfit : the Kilt.
Road to the mysterious and mythical Loch Ness and stop to try to flush out Nessie.
Free lunch.
Continuation to Sutherland, in the wild north of Scotland.
Visit of a distillery of "water of Life" - in Gaelic - more commonly known as whiskey, followed by a small tasting.
The day continues to the northernmost tip of Scotland:
the village of John O'Groats with its view of the cliffs of the Orkney Isles.

Itinerary supplied to the Guide and Coach Driver

07:45 Breakfast at the hotel.
08:45 Meet your guide in the lobby – departure for day’s programme. Guide Iain Tait Mob:***** *** ***
10:00 Entrance to Scottish Kiltmaker Shop. Highland House of Fraser Ltd Tel: 01463 222781
14:30 Entrance to Glenmorangie Distillery. Glenmorangie Distillery Tel: 01862 892 477
Accommodation The Royal Hotel, Traill Street Thurso, Caithness Scotland KW14 8EH Tel: 01847 893 191
1 night Dinner bed and Scottish breakfast
19:30 Dinner at the hotel.

Itinerary completed by the Guide

Day 4
07:30 Breakfast at the hotel.
08:45 Dep. from Nethy Bridge Hotel. 38.4 miles - 1 hr via Speyside Bridge Roundabout
(No unnamed roads or 3 ton Wooden Bridge!) B970 - A95 - A938 - A9 - A82 - B861

09:45 Arr. at Inverness Huntly St.
10:00 Visit to Scottish Kiltmaker Shop (1 hr)
11.00 Dep. from Kilt Maker 8.3 miles - 20 mins - B861 - B862
11:20 Arr. at Dores Beach on Loch Ness
(20 mins Photo Stop at Loch Ness )
11.40 Dep. from Dores Beach 8.3 miles - 20 mins - B861 - B862
12:00 Arr. at Inverness Huntly St.
Lunch in Inverness (1 hr)
13.00 Dep. from Inverness Huntly St 35.7 miles – 55 mins - A9
13:55 Arr. Glenmorangie
14:15 Visit to Glenmorangie Distillery (1 hr 15 min)
15:30 Dep. Distillery 85 miles – 2 hrs 10 mins - A9 - A99
17:40 Arr. John O’Groats
(25 minute Photo and Comfort Stop at John O'Groats - View of Orkney)
18:05 Dep. John O’Groats 32 miles – 45 mins - A99 - A836 - A9
18:50 Arr. Thurso - Accommodation The Royal Hotel
1 night Dinner bed and Scottish breakfast
19:30 Dinner at the hotel.