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’s cruise season starts early with arrival of Magellan

The first cruise ship to arrive for the 2016 season will berth at Hatston Pier at 0800hrs on Thursday 10 March.

The Magellan, owned by Cruise and Maritime Voyages with a maximum passenger capacity of 1,800 passengers is a regular caller to Kirkwall; and is currently on an itinerary of the north Atlantic region.

This season, Orkney has 113 port calls booked from a range of cruise operators with the largest ship being the Caribbean Princess with a capacity of 3,600 passengers to the smallest ship being the Hebriddean Princess with 50 passengers.

Stromness will receive 16 port calls this season, and the number of ships arriving in Kirkwall are fairly evenly split between berthing at Hatston Pier, and those either tendering into Kirkwall Pier or berthing alongside.

Meet and Greet Services for all of the port calls will be conducted by Sam and Mike Berston of M&S hospitality Services Ltd. and J&V Coaches operated by Vega and Jimmy Poke will be providing shuttle bus services between Hatston Pier and the Kirkwall Travel centre.

Orkney remains the most popular cruise ship destination in the United Kingdom, and as the season gets underway, there are already 113 port calls pre booked for the 2017 season. The last call of the 2016 season will be by Black Watch on 30 December en route to Edinburgh for the Hogmanay celebrations; and Greet Services for all of the port calls will be conducted by Sam and Mike Berston of M&S hospitality Services Ltd., and J&V Coaches operated by Vega and Jimmy Poke will be providing the shuttle bus service between Hatston Pier and the Kirkwall Travel centre.

On 10 August, Orkney will receive its 1,500th port call and 750,000th cruise passenger since records began in 1992, with the arrival of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' Black Watch at Hatston Pier. A day of celebrations are being planned to celebrate amd mark this maritime tourism milestone.