Arriving in Kirkwall, Orkney’s capital.

Your vessel will berth at either Hatston Pier – Orkney’s main cruise ship terminal - or at Kirkwall Pier. It may also anchor within Kirkwall Bay, with tenders providing transport between your ship and Kirkwall Harbour.


If you have a pre-booked tour arranged via your ship, you will be escorted to your coach at the appointed time. Tour coaches will be parked on the pier a short distance from the passenger gangways.

If you have arranged a private tour, your tour operator will notify the Harbours team in advance that they are collecting passengers. The Meet and Greet team will direct you to your chosen tour operator.

You might prefer to go and explore Kirkwall independently. There are several ways to do this.

Orkney Islands Council provides a complimentary shuttle bus service from Hatston Pier to the Kirkwall Travel Centre. The distance is about 4km (2.5 miles) and the journey takes around seven minutes. The shuttle buses operate from 08:30, or later if your time of arrival is after 08:30. The last shuttle is 60 minutes prior to the ship’s departure, if your ship sails after 19:00 the last shuttle bus will leave at 18:00. The shuttle bus service operates throughout the day and does not conform to any particular timetable; instead it operates on a continuous rotation in line with passenger demand. Your ship will advise on shuttle bus operations on the day of your arrival.

You can walk into town from Hatston Pier, which takes 40 minutes to an hour depending on how fast you walk. Passengers are asked to observe road and passenger signs, although there are pavements for most of the way.

If you are arriving at Kirkwall Pier, or travelling by tender into Kirkwall Harbour, you will disembark right in the heart of the town, only a short walking distance from local shopping areas and restaurants.

Tourism Information upon Arrival.

The port operates a Meet and Greet service to provide arriving passengers with general information about Orkney. You will receive a Welcome to Kirkwall street map and guide, published in six languages – English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Spanish.

The Meet and Greet service is available at all your points of arrival and at the Kirkwall Travel Centre. The Meet and Greet service can also assist with any queries that you may have and can guide you to locations for services such as currency exchange and rest rooms. The service can also give you directions to shops and points of interest.

Kirkwall Travel Centre

The Kirkwall Travel Centre is the point of arrival and departure for shuttle buses from and to Hatston Pier. At the Travel Centre you will find the VisitScotland Visitor Information Centre, where detailed tourism information can be accessed.

The Meet and Greet service also provides information on local bus services throughout the Orkney mainland. Kirkwall centre is two minutes walk from the Travel Centre.

Internet access is available on Hatston Pier, free of charge. Internet access is also available free of charge at the Kirkwall Travel Centre. There are also wi-fi hot spots throughout the main shopping areas in Kirkwall and the Meet and Greet service can advise you where to find them.