Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Gleneagles Golf Course
Gleneagles Golf Course
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Cruise Ship Support Service Tenders Awarded

With Orkney about to witness its biggest ever cruise ship season and with advance bookings for 2013 beating all previous records, two new Companies will be joining 'Team Orkney' for the next 2 year period in helping to deliver cruise ship support services.

The Orkney Community Transport Organisation (OCTO) will be providing shuttle buses from Hatston Pier to the Travel Centre for crew and independent passengers and this season there are around 43,000 cruise ship passengers due in Orkney supported by 15,000 crew.

The Hatston shuttle service is a complimentary service to ships provided by Orkney Islands  Council to encourage passengers when not on tour to come into the town centres and visit local retail and food and beverage outlets.

Operating the Meet and Greet service for the next two years will be the challenge set before Jean Ross, a local tourist guide who won the tender for this service in December 2010. With around 50% of passengers not booking pre arranged tours but wishing to enjoy the local offerings at their leisure, they are just as important an element of the port call as are those with pre booked tours.

Michael Morrison, Business Development Manager with Orkney Islands Council said' This season we will be publishing local tourism information for cruise ship passengers in 4 languages plus English and will be providing a double shuttle service  for the larger liners to avoid congestion on the piers during the busier times. Furthermore, we will be offering a dowload from the Marine Services website for cruise ships to see what facilities we have both on the quayside and what can be experienced during the port call both  to encourage pre arrival tour sales and also to give information on the Hatston extension works taking place this season.''

Orkney is one of the fastest growing cruise ship destinations in the UK and is on track to contribute almost £3million pounds to the local economy in 2012 and £4million in 2013.