The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which recently opened in Orlando, may be the Mecca of destinations for fans of the popular book/movie series. But it's not the only travel option for those looking to experience some of the magic.
The world of Harry Potter also comes to life on European Waterways’ Scottish Highlander family themed cruise. As the Scottish Highlander evokes the feeling of a Scottish country house, with tartan furnishings and landscape paintings, the family cruise takes passengers through some of Europe’s scenery that has been featured in numerous Harry Potter films. Not only do travel agents receive a minimum of 10 percent commissions on all sales, but families can save 25 percent by chartering an entire barge on select dates if they deposit by July 31.
Accommodating up to eight people, chartering the whole hotel barge is $20,400 with the discount. The price is comparable to the cost of an all-inclusive land vacation for eight people at a top hotel, but the Scottish Highlander cruise offers the intimacy and charm of having the entire vessel exclusively for one family. It also boasts a master chef who prepares gourmet meals that include traditional Scottish fare such as venison, game, salmon and seafood, as well as fine wines and whiskies for the grown-ups. Passengers also enjoy en-suite accommodation, with a front-row seat to some of the scenery from the vessel’s deck, and shore excursions with an experienced guide.
Among the highlights of the Scottish Highlander family cruise is a picnic on the famous Silver Sands of Morar, a stretch of coastline known for its seascapes of white beaches. It is followed by a ride on The Scarborough Spa Express steam train, better known to Harry Potter fans as the Hogwarts Express. The historic train features the actual steam engine and some of the carriages prominent in the Harry Potter films. At one point of the trip, it glides across the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, a towering 21-arch, single-track structure built in 1901. For the children, it is another unmistakable landmark made famous in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and other films in the series.
In addition to the Harry Potter experiences, there are other optional excursions and activities, including: a cruise across Loch Ness and along the Caledonian Canal, where guests go “Nessie spotting” with the Highlander’s own sonic “fish finder;” a visit to the 13th century Urquhart Castle; trout fishing on the River Oich; an afternoon of go-kart racing; a visit to a local water park; and a walking tour of a 17th century living museum that features performers dressed in period costume engaged in work and leisure activities of the time.
Visit at www.gobarging.com.