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Kirkwall Orkney Islands Scotland United Kingdom Cruise Port Guide


Hatston Terminal has berthing facilities to accommodate ships loa 225m and draught 10m alongside. Kirkwall Town harbor has alongside berth for vessels up to 125m loa, beam no restrictions, draught 5m. Larger vessels anchor in Kirkwall Bay, passengers are landed by tender close to town. The complimentary shuttle service provided by Orkney Islands Council, will operate from Hatston Pier to the Kirkwall Travel Center

Hatston terminal is located 2-3 miles from the center of Kirkwall.

Kirkwall is 16 miles from Stromness, 7 miles from Finstown and 15 miles from St. Margaret’s Hope.

Printable map to take along.

Cruise calendar for this port and which berth will be used.

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Monthly Climate Averages for Kirkwall Orkney Islands Scotland United Kingdom



The Orkney Islands are politically a part of Britain, yet seem quite different in many ways. Numerous place names have non-English sounds, reflecting the original Viking settlement of the 9th century. Norse crafts and traditions are obvious everywhere. In addition to the Norse heritage, there are numerous remains of prehistoric monuments such as the Stenness Standing Stones at Finstown.
The islands were ruled from Norway and Denmark until 1468, when a Norwegian king gave them to Scotland in lieu of a dowry for his daughter's marriage to King James III.

The Orkney archipelago is located at the same latitude as southern Greenland; the Gulf stream accounts for the islands' temperate climate. Approximately half of the 60 islands are inhabited; the rest are home only to seals and seabirds. Most of the inhabitants, who draw their livelihood from the fertile hills rather than the sea, live on Mainland, the largest of the Orkney Islands.
Kirkwall, located on Mainland, is the principal harbor and capital of Orkney. Steep-roofed stone houses line streets that wind around the medieval St. Magnus Cathedral. A museum featuring Orkney historical artifacts is housed in the 16th-century Tankerness House. Other attractions around the island include Maes Howe, the site of Britain's best-preserved megalithic tomb, and the Stone Age village of Skara Brae. Scapa Flow serves as a reminder of more recent times when, during both World Wars, Britain's naval base was located here.
The islands are virtually a museum of prehistoric times. Rock circles, cairns, standing stones, ancient tombs and prehistoric villages are scattered about, gaining these islands international recognition. The Orkneys are also a paradise for bird watchers, with a myriad of puffins, eider ducks, whooper swans and arctic terns. These birds, as well as many other species, nest here during the summer months.

Tours Excursions Transportation:

Stagecoach in Orkney is the main operator of buses in and around Kirkwall. All bus routes focus on the Travel Center, which is located on West Castle Street, just off Broad Street. This is where the tourist information center is also located. Buses operate to most areas of the mainland, with buses going to the main historic sites in the summer months.

It pays to compare your cruise line tours here.

Nearby Places:

No trip to Orkney is complete without discovering and exploring the smaller islands that surround the Mainland of Orkney. Each island has its own unique character and individuality, with fascinating history, wildlife and attractions.

Shopping and Food

On Albert Street, the main street in the town center, you will find a variety of small shops. Knitwear, local arts and crafts, and jewelry may be of interest.


The currency throughout the UK is the pound (£). You may also hear the slang term quid for pounds. Scottish bank notes are frowned upon in other parts of the UK, so change the notes before leaving Scotland.

Cash machines (ATM) or less formally 'holes in the wall' are very widely available and usually dispense £10 and £20 notes.

Visa, Mastercard and Maestro, are accepted by most shops and restaurants.

Currency Converter


English is spoken throughout the country, but sometimes with heavy accents!

Most cafe's and restaurants offer free WiFi.

The local emergency telephone number is 999, however the EU-wide 112 can also be used.

Opening Hours and Holidays:

Shopping hours are in general:

Small stores 6 or 7 days a week (10am - 6pm)
Larger stores in general stay open til' 9PM
Hyper marts often 24/7

Holidays in the United Kingdom

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