We helped Debi treble online ticket sales.

Cruise Loch Ness
375 hours to complete

Founded 50 years ago, Cruise Loch Ness (CLN) run scenic cruises, high speed boat rides, and private hire facilities from the heart of Fort Augustus. Last year we launched a new website and integrated booking platform for them, tripling online sales soon after launch.


One of the most iconic tourism companies in Scotland, CLN’s ambition is matched only by their thrilling RIB trips. With a constantly expanding business, they wanted a new website that would help them grow, cater to a high volume of mobile traffic, and replace their existing booking system. Specifically, our goals were to:

  • Increase their online sales
  • Showcase their amazing cruises and trips
  • Craft a mobile-first user experience
  • Help reduce their back office admin burden

The deepest love affair

A family business, CLN love what they do and have spent 50 years operating cruises on Loch Ness. Their passion is clearly evident in the experiences they offer, the happiness of their staff, and the incredible feedback and reviews they get from customers.


The strategy for CLN was two fold: create a simple yet visually compelling site that would really showcase the stunning cruises and exciting rib trips on offer; develop a fully integrated booking system that would make it easy for users to buy tickets online whilst streamlining the back office administration.

For the first part of our strategy, we knew photography and copy would be key. So we commissioned Laurence Winram to shoot every aspect of the cruises on the offer and wrote completely new copy from scratch to match.

Solving the booking problem took more thinking as initially we looked into different off-the-shelf third party offerings. However, it soon became apparent that none of them offered the simplicity or flexibility required. Ultimately, we ended up designing and building a completely bespoke booking platform.

Creating for content

There are no flashy gimmicks or crazy complex features on the CLN site. Instead, we paired good text with good photography to create great content and let the experiences CLN offer speak for themselves.

We also audited their content down from a large number of walls of text to a handful of key landing pages. This culling exercise helped focus the two core messages we wanted to convey: great boat trips and online booking.


To promote the two main activities CLN offer, our concept for the site was deliberately directive; choose a cruise tour or choose a RIB trip. This duality of design on the homepage allowed us to funnel users into the area they wanted (and the corresponding sales journey) from their first click, immersing them in the decision making process immediately.

Mobile use was also heavily considered throughout the process as over 42% of users were accessing the site via mobile or tablet devices. So a mobile-first approach was taken to ensure the site - particularly the booking process - was designed to work well on small screens and low bandwidth connections.

Reducing barriers to booking

Key to increasing the number of sales made online was making the process as simple, clear, and seamless as possible. The entire booking process was broken down and reduced into two screens. The first allows users to select their date and ticket types, the second lets them pay. Simple.

A fully integrated payment gateway was used allowing us to take credit cards directly on-site and on the same page as the user’s booking details. This removed another step in the booking process, increased trust with the user, and improved purchase conversion rate.

“We were looking to make a big impact with a new website and Primate really cracked it for us, the feedback from users was extremely impressive. They also built a bespoke, fully integrated booking system which has seen sales almost triple in the first season. Needless to say, we are delighted.”

Debi Hunter