Loch cruises, scenic sights and intriguing museum exhibitions are now on offer in the north as visitor attractions opened their doors again after lockdown.
Destinations from across the region reported “encouraging” signs of recovery, with the tourism sector having been shut down for months due to the pandemic.
Ronald Mackenzie, the director of Cruise Loch Ness, skippered his boat for its first outings since March.
The company has halved capacity on its vessel and cut the number of daily sailings from eight to four – among a number of other measures – to keep people safe.
Mr Mackenzie said: “We’ve had busy sailings so far, so it’s quite encouraging.
“We’ve had to rework our whole business just to comply with the guidelines but we’ve adapted and it all seems to be working well.
“The feedback from passengers so far has been positive, and everyone is being mindful of everyone else on board.”
Tourists were also enjoying the nearby Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, with bosses hailing the “promising” start to their much-truncated summer season.
Members of staff were all trained in new procedures and staying safe behind Perspex screens ahead of it reopening.
The Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition team are ready and waiting for your visit as we re open on Wednesday 15th of July. We…
Centre director Robbie Bremner said: “Obviously we’ve not had the same number of visitors as you’d expect for a typical July 15, but they’ve all been very happy.
“I think they’ve been glad to see there are attractions open now and they’ve all seemed comfortable coming through.
“It’s just a case of making sure they adhere to all the regulations.
“We speak to them all before and after – and they have all been delighted with their visit.”
People keen to flock to the great outdoors found extra support with the reopening of the Landmark forest adventure park in Aviemore and the visitor centre at Ben Nevis.
Petrolheads are being catered for by Moray Motor Museum in Elgin, which is now open from 11am-4pm every day of the week.
And volunteers have returned to their duties at Gairloch Museum in Ross-shire, after receiving additional training over the past few days.
We are really fortunate that many of our volunteers are happy to return to their duties at the museum. We could not…
This list of venues is due to grow dramatically in the coming weeks, as staff add the final touches to necessary new safety measures.
Screen Machine, a mobile cinema which tours the Highlands, will start its projector again on July 22.
Inverness Botanic Gardens and the Highland Folk Museum will welcome visitors once more later this month, while Inverness Museum and Art Gallery has set a reopening date of August 4.
The Highland, Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centres will follow by mid-September.
Elsewhere the Far North mobile library and facilities in Thurso, Nairn, Inverness and Fort William are all due to open by the end of this month.
Libraries in Dingwall and Portree are expected to open by mid-August.
No dates have yet been set for any of their counterparts in Moray.