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

Orkney Islands Wins Prestigious Award as UK’s Best Port of Call

Judges say infrastructure investment has paid off.

Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands has been nominated the UK’s best cruise ship port-of-call in the prestigious annual cruise industry awards announced by the influential news and reviews website - www.cruisecritic.co.uk 

The 2010 Cruise Critic U.K. Editors' Picks Awards celebrate excellence in cruise travel with the winners selected by an international panel of cruise journalists, led by Cruise Critic's editor in chief, Carolyn Spencer Brown. The awards recognise cruise lines and ships according to the types of passengers to whom they cater. Also considered are the breadth and quality of services offered in several key areas, ranging from luxury to budget-friendly, family cruising to child-free cruising, and best healthy cruise to best for dining.

This year, there are 20 different categories reflecting the wide variety of cruises and ships available to travellers today. It includes several new award categories – Best for Healthy Cruising, Best Pub at Sea, Best Entertainment at Sea, Best for Kid-Free Cruising, Best for Lectures at Sea and  Best for Acquiring a New Skill.

Talking about the Cruise Critic Awards for 2010, Carolyn Spencer Brown said, "It's been an exceptional year for the British cruise industry. In the face of cutbacks almost everywhere else, cruise industry growth continues unabated, with the cruise choice, quality and value-for-money on the rise for British travellers. There is excellence throughout the British cruise industry, and selecting the best of the best has been very difficult this year."

Talking about Cruise Critic's Awards for U.K. Ports, Spencer Brown added, "The British cruise industry is a shining beacon for the country's economy. According to the Passenger Shipping Association, the number of ports continues to grow, along with the number of passengers who visit them. The industry is also generating more than €2.3billion in revenue while employing some 49,000 people. Our awards recognise two ports that have helped fuel that growth through their own investment programmes.

"Kirkwall, capital of the Orkney Islands, has been selected as the Best UK Port of Call. Deservedly, it has been the U.K. port most visited by cruise ships this year. The port and tourist authorities have worked hard to get all the details right, and this has paid dividends. They have invested in pier and dock-side facilities, improved transportation options and offer a lovely variety of shore experiences, from ancient stone circles to contemporary artisan traditions.