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Shore Excursions from Greenock

Malt Master Whisky, Dumbarton Castle & Loch Lomond Shore Excursion

Are you a Scotch Whisky lover? Have you ever fancied creating your own special malt? You can do just that on the Malt Master tour at Scotland’s most beautiful distillery Glengoyne. Learn about the 200-year-old craftsmanship that goes into each bottle of whisky and then taste and mix samples to create your own unique Glengoyne Single Malt. As a memento you’ll get your own labelled small bottle with a record of your unique recipe. Also, on this trip visit the site of one of Scotland’s most ancient castles and stroll along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Main Departure Point
Greenock Ocean Terminal

Adults 16-59: £57.00
Seniors 60+, Students: £55.00

Please note we are unable to take persons under 18 on this tour.

See the Details & FAQ tab for optional extra costs and further information.

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Departing from Greenock your luxury mini coach transports you to Dumbarton Castle, a striking fortress that perches in the cleft of Dumbarton Rock. The castle has the longest recorded history of any Scottish stronghold – and arguably one of the most colourful. It’s been at the centre of the Kingdom of the Britons, a medieval castle, a Royal refuge, a fortress and military prison.

St Patrick of Ireland is thought to have been born at nearby Old Kilpatrick on the Clyde and the first recorded presence of Dumbarton Castle is in his letter to King Ceretic, who ruled from the castle, rebuking him for his treatment of Patrick’s followers.

Its bleakest time was in 870 AD when the Vikings besieged the castle for four months, until the starving Britons fell, and made off in 200 longboats with many treasures and slaves. In the Middle Ages it became an important Royal Castle: Alexander II of Scotland built the medieval castle around 1220 in defence against Norway but little of that building remains.

On a trip to the castle today you can also learn about two key figures in Scottish history: the patriot William Wallace who was betrayed here in 1305 and sent to London to his death, and Mary, Queen of Scots who sought refuge here as a child monarch before fleeing to France in 1548. It’s worth the climb up the White Tower Crag for stunning views of the River Clyde and as far as Loch Lomond and Argyll.

The next stop for our small group tour is on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond at Balmaha, which has an excellent visitor centre where you can learn about the geology, wildlife, myth and legend of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. You might see passing walkers on the internationally famous West Highland Way trail as they follow in the footsteps of ancient drovers and military men. If you’re inspired, you can tackle a small section of the route with a hike part way up Conic Hill for breath-taking views (it would take two to three hours in total to ascend and descend), or stroll the Millennium Forest Trail.

From the oak-lined shores of Loch Lomond to the oak casks of a Glengoyne Distillery tour where the sights, sounds and scents of Scotch whisky making will fill your senses. Have you ever fancied creating your own unique whisky? Well, only at Glengoyne can you mix your own Highland Single Malt.

This distinctive experience begins with a dram of whisky, the Glengoyne 12 Year Old, and an incredibly in-depth tour of the distillery from expert guides who’ll share the guiding principles for making world-class Glengoyne.

You’ll take the role of Malt Master, the artisan who has the crucial job of balancing the flavours from the oak casks. Five samples from very different Glengoyne single casks will be set out before you and, with a sample here and there, from American and European oak, from a previous fill of bourbon or sherry, you’ll create your unique single malt.

Your special formula will be presented in a 200ml Glengoyne bottle, boxed with a label and a record of your recipe. Could there be a better memento from your tour of Scotland’s most beautiful distillery to show your friends? We think not.

From the edge of the rolling hills known as the Campsie Fells, your driver-guide will transport you back to Greenock to join your ship.

Please note: Depending on ship docking times, we may visit Balmaha at the end of the tour but there will be an opportunity for lunch before the distillery tour.

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Departure & Return Information
This shore excursion takes around 7.25 hours to complete. In all events we aim to be back at port a minimum of one hour prior to your ships departure time. Your email confirmation will detail the departure time of your excursion.

Greenock Ocean Terminal
Our coaches are parked at the Patrick St exit. There are terminal staff members who will direct you to the Patrick St exit. When you get there you will see your Discover Scotland Tours driver-guide waiting with a sign.

Return Drop Off Point
Greenock Ocean Terminal.

Tour Inclusions
Costs are for transportation by air-conditioned 16 seat mini coach and the services of an English speaking driver-guide.

Tour Exclusions
Lunch, refreshments and entry fees to visitor attractions.

We regret that we do not carry children under the age of 18 on this tour.

Tour Highlights
Dumbarton Castle, Loch Lomond National Park, Ben Lomond, Conic Hill, Highland Village of Balmaha and Glengoyne Distillery for the Malt Masters tour.

Optional Extras

Malt Master Tour
Standard Price - £78.00 per person if you book at the counter.
Book through your driver-guide (cash only) and they will get you the group discount rate of £70.00 per person.

Dumbarton Castle
Adults £6.00
Seniors £4.80
Students £6.00

All payable in cash on the day of travel.


Do you shore excursions only depart from Greenock Ocean Terminal? (What ports do you leave from?)

Yes, as we are a Glasgow based company the only port which we serve is Greenock.

Where do we meet the coach?

Our coaches park by the Patrick Street exit gate to the terminal. There will be members of terminal staff to guide you in the correct direction upon exiting the ship.

How long does our excursion last?

Our Shore Excursions  depart at least one hour after the ship has docked and are due to return around no later than 1 ½ hours before departure in most cases. This excursion is scheduled to last for 7.25 hours. Exact timings are dependent on the cruise times so please ask if you require more details.

Can children take part in this excursion?

This excursion is suitable for adults aged 18 or over only. Unfortunately, children are not able to accompany adults on this tour.

What happens if our ship is unable to dock?

In the unlikely event that your ship is unable to dock - you will receive a full refund.

Are there guided tours at Dumbarton Castle?

Dumbarton Castle do not offer guided tours or audio tours. There are however information boards throughout the site which explain the castles history. 

Is there a lot of walking on the tour?

The castle site is very large, steep and rocky. All areas are reached via a number of narrow stairways, many of them historic. There are stairs throughout the castle but only the White Tower Crag has a significant amount - 500 in total!

The castle advises visitors to wear sturdy footwear.

There is also the option for walks at Balmaha. Visitors can enjoy the Millenium Forest path, an easy circular route or tackle a short hike up part of Conic Hill. Those who do not wish to walk can visit the National Park Visitor Centre or enjoy a refreshment at the nearby Oak Tree Inn. We advise anyone planning a walk to wear comfortable, waterproof clothing and footwear.

Departure Time: Your email confirmation will detail your departure time.

Other tours

Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Trossachs Shore Excursion
Highland Lochs, Glens & Castles Shore Excursion
Outlander Shore Excursion
Glenfinnan, Mallaig & Jacobite Steam Train

Private & Exclusive tours for families & friends

In the current climate of social distancing and bubbles, now more than ever may be the time to consider a private tour of Scotland for your family and friends.

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