1. We’re born!

    ‘68 28 May

    Norman Hugh Mackenzie launches Loch Ness Cruises - a name so perfectly descriptive, we’ve never had to change it too much - offering cruises over the long summer months with an ex RNLI Liverpool class lifeboat called Clan Mackenzie. We could carry 12 passengers.

    The Liverpool class lifeboat called Clan Mackenzie
  2. Ron’s born

    ‘71 4 Nov

    Ronald Mackenzie, son of founder Norman, is born about 4 miles from the bank of Loch Ness. A water baby you might say and a future owner of the business.

    Ron as a toddler
  3. Goodbye old friend

    ‘76 10 Apr

    An extremely proud but very sad day for the whole family. Starlet replaces the family’s first commercial boat, the Clan Mackenzie. We love you and always will.

    Ron aboard the boat named Starlet
  4. Hello new friend

    ‘78 2 Apr

    The family say hello to our new addition, the Pentland Spray which replaced our beloved Starlet. We purchased this cracking little ex RAF Air Sea Rescue Launch boat from John O’Groats Ferries. Starting her life as a mail boat from Wick to Orkney, she grew up to bring delight to up to 12 passengers on the beautiful Loch Ness. She even had inside seating! You know it rains occasionally here.

    A new boat named Pentland Spray replaces Starlet
  5. In the movie business

    ‘80 21 Jul

    Our boat is hired out for the first of many films. This first one was all about our shy and elusive Nessie. Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World programme, titled Monsters of the Lake, featured interviews on board the Pentland Spay.

    The Pentland Spray being used for filming
  6. Dreaming big

    ‘82 27 Mar

    Everyone thought not so old Norman went a bit nuts. Caledonian Queen replaces Pentland Spray - allowing up to 65 passengers a trip! Norman and his motley crew sailed her from the Menai Strait, North Wales, taking two days to reach Fort William. Possibly because the boat had a bar.

    A new boat named Caledonian Queen which replaced the Pentland Spray
  7. Ron steps up

    ‘90 14 Jan

    Ron, present chief, becomes a partner in the business after harassing his dad to become a partner since 1971. He stamps his new authority by changing the name from Loch Ness Cruises to Cruise Loch Ness. It made perfect sense as there were three other operators on Loch Ness under that name and the others weren’t very good.

    Work also started on our new custom built cruise boat the Royal Scot which would give us an incredible capacity of 120 passengers.

    A custom built boat named The Royal Scot under construction
  8. A new launch

    ‘91 22 Apr

    Royal Scot is launched from Voyager Yachts in Cornwall. Ron and five of the shipyard workers sail her home up the West Coast of Britain, entering the Caledonian Canal at Fort William. It took 62 hours of non-stop sailing. And yes, there’s a bar on board.

    Inside the Royal Scot
  9. What a day!

    ‘00 4 Jun

    Ron became 100% owner of Cruise Loch Ness. We can now truly call ourselves the best family run, owned and operated cruise company on Loch Ness. And because it’s 2015, we can now say longest family owned cruise company on Loch Ness too!

    Cruise Loch Ness staff in Fort Augustus
  10. The Big Yin

    ‘01 24 Aug

    Billy Connolly charters the Royal Scot for the day and invites a few of his Hollywood chums, including Robin Williams, Ewan McGregor, Steve Buscemi, Eric Idle and Billy’s wife Pamela Stephenson - our first big celebrity private hire. ​

    Billy Connolly
  11. Becky and Barnaby Bear search for Nessie

    ‘03 15 Apr

    Becky and Barnaby Bear joined us for a search for Nessie for the CBeebies TV programme. Did they find Nessie? You’ll have to watch to find out.

    Filming for Becky and Barnaby Bear, a CBeebies TV programme
  12. Summer of ‘07

    ‘07 24 Jul

    Lovable comedian Dave Gorman jumped aboard one of our cruisers during his charitable cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Rumour has it our skipper Ricky gave him a few one liners for his gigs but we find that hard to believe.

    Dave Gorman
  13. RIBs are not just for eating

    ‘08 10 Aug

    We bought a second hand Rigid Inflatable Boat RIB which could carry 12 passengers at a time. It was summer and we were excited.

    There were no other RIB operators on the Loch and it really was a gamble as to whether it would take off. Luckily, for us, it did and remains one of the most talked about Loch Ness tours today!

    Ron, family, and Nessie on a new rib boat
  14. Need for speed

    ‘09 11 Apr

    We sold our second hand RIB and ordered two custom built 12 passenger RIBs: Ness Express & Ness Explorer. We were really excited now - these things can almost fly!

    One of our custom built rib boats
  15. Attention! At Ease.

    ‘09 17 Jul

    As part of John Sergeant's Tourist Trail ITV show, we welcomed John and the crew on board in summer of 2009, where they caught up with a group of Loch Ness monster hunters. There might have been a bit of swimming too! We love his hat.

    Filming for John Sergeant's Tourist Trail ITV show
  16. Up a Long Creek Challenge

    ‘10 8 Feb

    February in Loch Ness can be cold. Very cold. We’re tough though and it was more than a pleasure to invite Fred MacAulay and Dougie Vipond aboard as part of their Up a Long Creek challenge for BBC Sports Relief. The pair managed to complete a gruelling 62-mile long kayak trip along the Caledonian Canal in some of the worst winter weather we’d experience for years. Good effort guys!

    Fred MacAulay and Dougie Vipond kayak the Calledonian Canal
  17. Reach 10 crew mark!

    ‘10 1 May

    Look at these beautiful creatures. It’s not just the famous Nessie that attracts attention around here. Our crew’s like the Top Gear of Loch Ness. The dream team and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. Thank you!

    Members of the Cruise Loch Ness Team
  18. Caledonia calling

    ‘11 24 Nov

    It was time for our second passenger vessel and we welcomed the Caledonian Spirit into our family. This allowed us to operate all year round, offer unforgettable weddings and carry a total of 238 passengers at any one time.

    Our boat named Caledonian Spirit
  19. Rocks off

    ‘12 9 Jun

    What a day! We carried the Olympic Torch on board Ness Express from Fort Augustus to Dores Beach and onto the main stage at the Rockness Music Festival. We even made it into the opening credits for the Olympics.

    An Olympic Torch aboard one of our rib boats
  20. Calling all VIPs

    ‘13 1 Nov

    Deborah Leah becomes the newest member of our fleet. A luxury 12 passenger cabin RIB for the VIP market. It’s also available for you, because you all deserve it. Everyone deserves to be a VIP - if just for a day.

    Deborah Leah, a luxury cabin RIB
  21. Stepping up

    ‘14 3 Jan

    The most stylish and modern cruise boat on Loch Ness joins our family. The Legend of Loch Ness replaces the Caledonian Spirit.

    A new boat named The Legend of Loch Ness
  22. Google Nessie

    ‘15 21 Feb

    There’s something in the water! You can now search for Nessie with Google Street View thanks to Google and Cruise Loch Ness. You’re welcome.

    Our luxury cabin RIB, Deborah Leah takes part in bringing Loch Ness to Google Street View
  23. 5 star tours!

    ‘15 22 Sep

    We’re delighted to announce our 5 star tour rating from the Scottish Tourist Board. Thanks to all the crew for their hard work, you all rock.

    Scottish Tourist award
  24. Coming soon...

    ‘16 08 Feb

    A wonderful new boat coming soon, courtesy of Exeter Fabrication & Incat Crowther design.

    Image of our new boat which is coming soon.