Orkney joins Cruise Europe

2024-01-13T13:24:10+00:00 January 13th, 2024|Marketing|

Orkney is the latest cruise destination to join Cruise Europe.

This is an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland, situated off the north coast of Great Britain. It has about 70 islands, 20 of which are inhabited.

The largest town and the administrative centre is Kirkwall.

Orkney has a major extension planned for the main cruise berth at Hatston Pier in Kirkwall that will increase the full length to 685 m at 10 m water depth.

The new berth is planned to have facilities to provide fuel – including future fuels – at the berth and also to incorporate shore power infrastructure.

“There are potential plans for a new cruise reception terminal to make this one of the best berths in Scotland,” Lenore Macdonald, cruise operations and marketing co-ordinator OIC Marine Services & Transportation, said.

In 2023, Orkney Harbours introduced a new booking policy for cruise ships at Hatston Pier and the adjacent Kirkwall Bay Anchorage area to act as a clear set of guidelines to the size of vessels that will be handled at these locations.

At present the quays and anchorages available are:

*Kirkwall Hatston with a length of 345 m and depth of 10 m and Kirkwall Ro-Ro (157 m length and 8.5 m depth), both of which have a free shuttle bus service running on a continuous rotation to Kirkwall town centre, which is about 4 km away.

*Kirkwall North (124 m length and 5.4 m depth), which is within walking distance of the centre and Stromness North (148 m/5.4 m) – an easy walk into the centre of Stromness.

*Lyness Wharf (123 m/9 m) and Lyness Golden Wharf (190 m/5 m) are also available.

In addition Kirkwall Anchorage is 0.5 miles and Stromness Anchorage is 1 mile from the relevant tender quays. There are also anchorages available at some of the Islands.

Orkney’s passenger numbers have been steadily increasing with 2019 seeing 158 ship calls and 132,388 pax. In 2023, there were 205 calls bringing 205,543 pax, while 2024 is showing 255 calls booked bringing an estimated 250,000 pax.

First time callers this year will include ‘Le Lyrial’, ‘Renaissance’, ‘Jewel of the Seas’, ‘Ocean Albatros’, ‘Queen Anne’, ‘Nieuw Statendam’, ‘Scenic Eclipse’, ‘Azamara Onward’, ‘Celebrity Apex’, ‘Seabourn Sojourn’ and ‘Mein Schiff 7’.

At 59 deg N, and embracing British, Scottish, Orcadian and Viking heritage and culture, the islands offer a variety of of different shore excursions.

With 5,000 years of history, relics of two World Wars, Britain’s most northerly cathedral, castles, distilleries and the UNESCO Word Heritage Site of Neolithic settlement Skara Brae, abundant wildlife and much more, the choices are endless, the local government claimed.