Cruise ship passengers

Last updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2023

Step off your cruise ship and onto the train for an easy, effortless way to see Scotland.

Travel deep into the Highlands. Explore the bustling metropolitan centre of Glasgow, or the history and architecture of Edinburgh. Wherever your cruise ship arrives, you’ll be within striking distance of a train station with regular services to major cities.

Just ask your ship’s crew or local welcome volunteers for the nearest train station, and you’re away.

Greenock Ocean Terminal is the main cruise destination port in the West of Scotland. Greenock Central station is a 15 minute walk from the terminal, and the journey to Glasgow city centre takes about 40 minutes. There are usually three to four trains each hour.

Glasgow has been voted the ‘friendliest city in the world’ in a Rough Guides poll and a must visit destination by leading publications like the New York Times, The Guardian and Wanderlust! You can expect a very warm welcome, world-class architecture, a vibrant nightlife, breathtaking scenery and outstanding shopping.

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When you arrive at Rosyth or South Queensferry, you have two of Scotland’s most beautiful destinations to choose from. Head south for Edinburgh, the Scottish capital known for its castle, iconic architecture and cultural scene.

Or head north to visit St Andrews. Explore this ancient university town, with its cobbled streets, beautiful coastline, and world-famous golf courses.

Rosyth to Edinburgh

Rosyth is a busy industrial port about 12 miles from Edinburgh. Don’t miss Scotland’s capital, with its iconic buildings, famous cultural scene, and stunning views.

The nearest train station to the port at Rosyth is Inverkeithing, three miles from the port. Taxis are available from the terminal building – expect to pay around £10 to get to the station.

From Inverkeithing it's about 30 minutes by train to Edinburgh Waverley, with around four trains each hour.

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South Queensferry to Edinburgh

South Queensferry is eight miles from Edinburgh. You’ll arrive at Hawes Pier, and the nearest train station is Dalmeny, a ten-minute walk from the pier, though there are some steps to climb.

It takes about 20 minutes by rail to Edinburgh Waverley station and there are approximately four trains each hour.

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Travel to St Andrews

St Andrews - the home of golf - is about 50 minutes by train from Inverkeithing (for Rosyth arrivals) and 60 minutes from Dalmeny (for South Queensferry arrivals).

St Andrews’ nearest railway station is Leuchars: you’ll need to catch the train towards Dundee or Aberdeen. From Leuchars station there is a regular shuttle bus into town. You can buy a combined rail and bus ticket to St Andrews.

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Invergordon is in a particularly beautiful part of the Highlands, surrounded by mountains and rolling farmland.

Invergordon station is a ten minute walk from the pier, in the centre of town. From there it's 50 minutes by train to Inverness, with six or seven trains each day.

​Inverness is the capital of the Highlands; a beautiful city in the very heart of Scotland’s most remote and rural areas.

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There are fewer services in the Highlands so please check connection times for all routes carefully to make sure you can get back to your ship in plenty of time for departure.

You'll dock at City Quay on Dundee’s waterfront – just a short walk from the city centre. And once you’ve explored the city, you can discover St Andrews, Perthshire or even Edinburgh by train.

Dundee station is a 20 minute walk away in the city centre (1.5 miles). From here it's about 15 minutes by train to Leuchars (for St Andrews) or 80 minutes to Edinburgh city centre. Trains run regularly throughout the day.

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Oban is a busy ferry port in a beautiful, sheltered harbour. Your cruise ship will anchor just off shore, unless it's small enough to tie up at North Pier.

Oban station is a short walk from the ferry terminal and there are normally six trains a day to Glasgow.

The world-famous West Highland Line runs from Oban and is regularly voted the most beautiful in the world. Head to Falls of Cruachan for the visitor centre and tours of the power station, or Arrochar & Tarbet, for cruises on Loch Lomond.

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Thurso is the most northerly town in mainland Scotland. From Thurso you can take a scenic rail journey on the Far North Line to see the wild expanses of peat bog, mountains and moors that Scotland’s famous for. Head for Dunrobin Castle for an excellent day out, roughly 90 minutes on the train.

Your cruise ship will either anchor just off shore or at Scrabster quay, and transport is normally arranged into Thurso, where the train station is easy to find, right in the town centre.

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Buying tickets

How to buy your rail ticket

  • From the ticket office at staffed stations
  • At a ticket vending machine
  • From our on-train staff when you board at a station without ticket buying facilities
  • Online
  • Via the ScotRail App

City bus tours

We've teamed up with Glasgow City Sightseeing and Edinburgh Bus Tours to offer an all-in-one Rail & City Bus Tour ticket.

Get Standard Class rail travel from selected stations and discover either Glasgow or Edinburgh with a hop-on, hop-off open top city bus tour. Tours run daily approx. every 15-30 mins from 09.30 to 16.30.

Glasgow City Sightseeing

City Sightseeing Glasgow open top bus

Get the train from Greenock West, Greenock Central or Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow and discover the best the city has to offer.

See all the major sights and attractions with 21 stops around Glasgow. Attractions include: Glasgow Cathedral, Merchant City, Glasgow Green, Riverside Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and the West End.

Bus tours depart from George Square (Glasgow Queen Street) and Radisson Blu hotel on Wellington Street (Glasgow Central).

Simply show your ticket to the City Sightseeing bus driver when you board. But don't forget to keep your ticket for the return train journey.

Edinburgh Bus Tours

Edinburgh Bus Tours buses on Waverley Bridge

Get the train from Dalmeny, Inverkeithing or Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley and enjoy Edinburgh’s best views from a unique vantage point.

Make the most of your time in the city on a hop-on and hop-off open top bus tour. Choose from Edinburgh Tour, Majestic Tour or City Sightseeing.

Major attractions include:

  • Edinburgh Bus Tour and Edinburgh City Sightseeing: Central Edinburgh, old and new towns, Holyrood, Grassmarket and Edinburgh Castle
  • Edinburgh Majestic Tour: Outside central Edinburgh - Royal Botanic Gardens, Royal Yacht Britannia and Leith

Bus tours depart from Waverley Bridge. You must visit the tour sales desk at the Lothian Buses Travelshop on Waverley Bridge to collect your tour ticket before boarding the bus (leave Waverley station by the Market Street exit and turn right. The Travelshop is on the corner of Market Street and Waverley Bridge, about 100m).