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

Kirkwall named runner up in international Port of the Year award

Kirkwall in Orkney has been named runner up in the Port of the Year category at the recent global Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards 2013.

The port was shortlisted against Port Everglades in Miami, which secured first place, and Port Toulon in France, which was placed third.

The winners were announced during the Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Cruise Convention in Hamburg, Germany on 24 September.

Commenting on the award, Chair of Orkney Islands Council's Infrastructure and Development Committee, Councillor James Stockan, said: “This is an exceptional achievement for a small port - to have been considered alongside massive destination ports for such a prestigious award and to be runner up.

“This is a worldwide award and we were the only UK Port in the final short list.

“I’d like to applaud the work of the Council’s team and all the partners and tourism operators involved who make sure Orkney and Kirkwall puts on such a good welcome for every cruise ship visit.”

Michael Morrison, Business Development Manager for Orkney Islands Council’s Marine Services was at the awards ceremony and able to proudly display the award certificate on the Cruise Scotland stand at the Seatrade Exhibition. He said: “To come runner up in a global award at this level is brilliant – and is testimony to the passion and commitment of the team who deliver cruise ship services in Orkney.

“The feedback from cruise lines is that the customer service ratings or port calls into Orkney are better than for any other UK port. That is something we must strive to maintain and improve in the years ahead.”

The Port of the Year category is specified as ‘A Port Authority / Port Management Company which has made significant improvements to its handling facilities / cruise – tourism infrastructure over the past 12 months.

The award is judged by a panel of 16 persons from throughout the industry world-wide.

Orkney received 73 visits by cruise ships carrying around 60,000 passengers during 2013.

Seventy three visits are already booked for 2014 by ships which will bring around 64,000 passengers to Orkney. Fifteen cruise ships have also booked for 2015 and there are already some bookings for 2016.