|Location: 58° 59’ N 002° 57’ W|
|No. of Berths: 3|
|Berth details:||Hatston Pier, Max L.O.A. 385m. Depth: 10.0m|
Kirkwall (North Face), Max L.O.A. 124m. Depth: 5.4m
Stromness (North Pier), Max L.O.A. 148m. Depth: 6.0m
|Anchorage Position:||58° 59.50’ N 002° 57.70’ W (Inner),|
59° 00.30’ N 002° 57.75’ W (Outer)
|Distance to Landing Stage: 0.4 NM (Inner), 1.2 NM (Outer)|
|Tidal range/movement: 1.0m - 3.0m|
|Pilotage: Compulsory for vessels over 65m length|
|Town centre: Hatston Pier – 3km, Kirkwall Pier – 0.8km|
|Shuttle to town: yes - from Hatston Pier|
|Nearest airport: Kirkwall, 6km|
Business Development Manager, Marine Services, Harbour Authority Building, Scapa, Orkney, Scotland, KW15 1SD
T: +44 (0)1856 873636 F: +44 (0)1856 873012
Scandinavian by Heritage – Nordic by Influence – Scottish by Design.
Over 5000 years of History. See it - Touch It - Feel It.
The Orkney archipelago, 70 remote and beautiful Islands, 59 degrees north off the North East of Scotland, is located on the same latitude as southern Greenland; the Gulfstream accounting for the Islands’ temperate climate.
To appreciate Orkney, visitors don’t need a particular knowledge of history – just curiosity and a lively imagination! Rarely does a day go by without something ‘archaeological, meteorological or topological’ stopping the visitor in their tracks.
The quality of the light, the ever changing weather, the magnificence of the archaeological sites and the awe-inspiring vistas and seascapes will take your breath away.
There is a World Heritage site dating back to 3100BC including Skara Brae Stone Age Village (circa 3100BC), Maeshowe Chambered Cairn, The Ring of Brodgar (Orkneys own Stonehenge, circa 2000BC) and the Standing Stones of Stenness.
It is equally famous and important as a habitat for birds and wildlife, with 19 highest level European Special Protection Areas or Special Areas of Conservation and one RAMSAR (International Wetlands) designation, set within around 750,000 acres of actively managed land as wildlife reserves.
Amongst Orkney’s War Relics there is an Italian Chapel constructed and hand painted by Italian Prisoners of War, a Naval Museum with war relics and arte facts, and Scapa Flow, the resting place of the Royal Oak and the scuttled German Fleet in World War 2 where there is excellent diving in 25 metres of sheltered waters.
Orkney boasts Balfour Castle, Britain’s most northerly inhabited castle; St Magnus Cathedral, Britain’s most Northerly Cathedral; Earls and Bishops Palaces, Britain’s most Northerly former Royal Residences; and Highland Park, Britain’s most Northerly distillery producing arguably one of the worlds finest single malts.
With up to 28 comfortable, modern 45-seater coaches with skilled local drivers and over 30 accredited and highly-trained local guides, many of which are multi lingual and a bespoke Meet and greet Service for all ships, you are assured of a highly informative and enjoyable visit.
The following is a list of popular excursions that are available.
It should be noted that these details are not definitive but are intended to demonstrate the range of excursions and activities available to cruise passengers visiting Kirkwall as part of a cruise. Please note that, in many cases and with prior arrangement, half day tours can be combined to create full day itineraries
Shore excursions are normally pre-booked onboard via the cruise line concerned. Cruise Scotland cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of this information and all details and tour descriptions should be checked with the cruise line concerned.
Half day tour ANCIENT TREASURES OF ORKNEY
This tour passes through the gentle rolling landscape of Orkney and into the Neolithic Heartland of Orkney; an area designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. This tour will stop at the Ring of Brodgar; a huge ceremonial circle of stones dating back almost 5000 years before continuing on to the 5000-year-old village of Skara Brae. See the remarkable dwellings revealed from beneath the sand dunes by storms only 150 years ago and also visit the nearby manor house of Skaill House, built in 1620 on top of an ancient graveyard.
This tour then concludes by following the coastline of Scapa Flow, made famous for its role in both World Wars.
Half day tour DISTILLERY & CHURCHES OF SOUTH ISLES
Leave Orkney’s largest island and follow the coast of Scapa Flow to the smaller South Isles. Driving over the Churchill Barriers, built during the Second World War to protect Scapa Flow, we visit the beautiful, hand-painted Italian Chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war who were interned on this small island during World War Two.
The tour then continues to Highland Park distillery to discover Orkney’s highly acclaimed 12- year-old malt whisky at the world’s most northerly whisky distillery. This tour also visits the beautiful 12th century sandstone St. Magnus Cathedral, built by the Vikings and allows time to explore Kirkwall’s exciting craft and knitwear shops.
Half day tour CRAFTSMEN OF THE SOUTH ISLES
Leave Orkney’s biggest island and follow the coast of Scapa Flow to the smaller South Isles. Drive over the Churchill Barriers, built during the Second World War to protect Scapa Flow and visit the beautiful, hand-painted Italian Chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war who were interned on this small island during World War Two.
Next this tour stops at Hoxa Tapestry Gallery where we can view the beautiful large hand-woven tapestries before continuing to Sheila Fleet Jewellery. Sheila’s collection of gold, silver and enamel jewellery is crafted in this country workshop where you will be shown the processes involved in crafting one of her highly acclaimed pieces.
Half day tour NORTH ORKNEY EXPLORATION
This tour takes a leisurely drive through the rolling countryside of the islands and enjoys superb views towards the Northern Isles of Orkney. We will pass Eynnhallow Sound: a dramatic stretch of water where the Atlanic Ocean meets the North Sea and then pause at the small tidal island at the Brough of Birsay to view the dramatic scenery before continuing on to a local tearoom to enjoy refreshments.
Next we journey into the Neolothic Heartland of Orkney, stopping at the Standing Stones of Stenness, a 5000-year-old circle of stones, before returning to your ship along the north shore of Scapa Flow, where we hear some of the wartime stories which make this one of the most well known stretches of water in the world.
Half day tour KIRKWALL ON FOOT
We depart on foot with our guide from the picturesque harbour and stroll along the ancient shoreline of Kirkwall that dates back to when the town was first founded by the Vikings. En-route we shall hear stories of times gone by in Kirkwall.
Arriving at St Magnus Cathedral, a beautiful red and yellow sandstone building which dominates the skyline of Kirkwall, we will tour the interior of the Cathedral. Next, we visit the neighbouring Earl’s and Bishop’s Palaces, once belonging to Earl Patrick Stewart, who had the Earl’s palace built using forced labour. Our walking tour ends at the Orkney Museum and there is free time to visit the museum, browse the shops and stroll back to your ship at your leisure.
One Hour (Minimum) SEA-FARING STROMNESS
We depart on foot with our guide from the picturesque harbour in Stromness and stroll along the pretty flag-stoned street of this seafaring town.
Making our way along the twists and turns of the narrow street, we will explore the narrow lanes and tiny piers which intersect the street along its length. Stromness is a town of quirky architectural character, with many connections to the famous Hudson's Bay Company. We will hear fascinating stories about Stromness’s maritime history as well as learning about its arts and literary heritage.
After a gentle stroll along the street, there will be the option to visit the Stromness Museum and the beautifully refurbished Pier Arts Centre (time permitting) with exhibitions by both local and international artists. There may also be time to explore the craft shops selling local knitwear, pottery and art work.
Note: Additional time for Museum and/or Art Centre at guests discretion.