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

The Queen in the bay

At 8am this morning, Cunard's flag ship the Queen Elizabeth dropped anchor in Kirkwall Bay with 2056 passengers on board and 990 crew. This is the first visit to Orkney for this vessel; previously the QE2 called in to Orkney in 1998.



The Queen ElizabethAt 8am this morning, Cunard's flag ship the Queen Elizabeth dropped anchor in Kirkwall Bay with 2056 passengers on board and 990 crew. This is the first visit to Orkney for this vessel; previously the QE2 called in to Orkney in 1998.

A group of 12 Duke of Edinburgh Award participants will board the Queen Elizabeth at 10 am along with a group of OIC officials, and a welcome plaque will be presented to the Ships Master Christopher Rynd. After a welcome reception, there will be a guided tour of the ship.

Michael Morrison, Business Development Manager with Orkney Islands Council said'' We are extremely proud to be hosting this very famous vessel today, and have been looking forward to this event all season. Walking through the streets of Kirkwall this morning, it is so good to see how the local community has welcomed the Queen Elizabeth with shops having outside displays, musicians in the street and local folk chatting and giving directions to passengers. No matter how detailed our planning is for such port calls, nothing can beat a spontaenous and warm welcome from the Orkney public.''

The Queen Elizabeth will return to Orkney in August 2013 when she will berth alongside the new Hatston extension which will be 385 metres in length with 11 metre drafts.

There are 78 cruise ship port calls to Orkney for 2012 with 53 port calls already booked for 2013.