Make your own way to Waverley Bridge in the heart of Edinburgh, and then hop aboard your tour bus and ride west to South Queensferry. Along the way, enjoy views of Princes Street, a bustling shopping street located in the gridded district of Edinburgh New Town that was built during the 18th and 19th centuries. Note how the area, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, retains much of the original neoclassical and Georgian architecture.
On arrival in South Queensferry, board the Forth Belle at Hawes Pier and set off on a 1.25-hour cruise around the Firth of Forth, an estuary of Scotland’s River Forth. Choose a seat on deck or in the warm inside lounge and listen to audio commentary of the sights along the way. Perhaps indulge in a beverage and a light snack from the onboard bar (own expense).
Admire panoramas of the Edinburgh skyline and the coastline of the Kingdom of Fife, and view a series of three bridges, each a modern marvel in its time. The Forth Road Bridge, a suspension bridge constructed in 1964, connects West Lothian to Fife. Next to the suspension bridge stands the Forth Rail Bridge, a cantilever bridge built in 1890 that stretches an impressive 8,296 feet (2,528 meters) in length. Then, observe the ongoing construction of the sleek, white Queensferry Crossing, which promises to be the longest cable-supported bridge in the world, boasting three towers.
The boat makes a stop at Inchcolm Island, home to a medieval abbey on verdant gardens and two lovely beaches. If you wish, disembark here and spend approximately 1.5 hours exploring the grounds (landing fee own expense).
During your cruise, observe a variety of marine wildlife including seals, porpoises and seabirds. Take advantage of the onboard binoculars and telescope to catch sightings of the dolphins that occasionally frolic in the Firth of Forth, and to spot puffins, black-and-white birds with rounded bodies and bright orange beaks.
Following your cruise, arrive back to Hawes Pier and board your return bus from South Queensferry to Waverley Bridge OR spend some time exploring South Queensferry and take a later tour back.
Edinburgh Bus Tours
St Andrew Square