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Kirkwall, Orkney

Britain’s Most Popular Cruise Ship Destination

At 59 degrees north, and embracing British, Scottish, Orcadian and Viking Heritage and Culture, The Orkney Islands are a must see destination on any Around Britain, Scandinavian or northern European Cruise.

The diversity of itineraries encompassing 500 years of history, relics of two World Wars, Britains most northerly Cathedral, Castle, Distillery and a globally reknowned Word Heritage Site all contribute to a wealth of choice in deciding how to spend your time in Orkney.

Scotland’s longest deepwater, commercial berth can accommodate some of the world’s largest cruise liners, and there is additional capacity for other berthing and anchorage locations in Kirkwall and Stromness. Over 300 calls are booked for 2018 and 2019.

Cruise ship visitors are given a Welcome Brochure and street map with all the main tourism points of interest highlighted in eight international languages, and a complimentary shuttle bus service transports passengers  from the main terminal at Hatston Pier into Kirkwall. It is worth noting that despite the progressive vibrancy and bustling commercial activity of this island group, there are not any  trains, dual carriageways, shopping malls or traffic lights in Orkney which makes the visit experience all the more unique.

Top Five Facts About Kirkwall, Orkney

  1. Kirkwall is the United Kingdom’s most popular cruise ship destination
  2. Kirkwall has witnessed over 240% growth in passenger numbers in the last 5 years
  3. Orkney’s 5000 year old historic sites are totally accessible and are not security fenced or untouchable
  4. Many of Orkney’s historic sites are free of charge at the point of entry
  5. Orkney’s most popular visitor attraction is the Italian Chapel, hand built by Italian Prisoners of War

MSC Splendida image: Craig Taylor Media

Port Info
Contacts & Info
Time Zone:


Operational Hours:


Latitude & Longitude:

Hatston Pier. Kirkwall. Lat. 59° 00′ 01″ N, Long. 002° 58′ 29″ W.

Prevailing Weather:

variable according to season

Berth Information:

Hatston Pier  385 metres LOA 10.5 metres draft

Vessel Length:

Over 385 metres. risk assessment required

Vessel Width:


Air Draft Restrictions:


Vessel Draft:

10.5 metres

Depth on Berth:

10.5 meters at chart datum

Largest ship to call:

MSC Meraviglia

VTS - Channel:

VHF Channel 11

Max Ship Dimension:

Draft restricted berthing at 10.5 metres


Compulsory for passenger vessels over 65 metres


3 x 55 tonne bollard pull ASD tugs available ( pre booking required)

Security Facilities:

Full ISPS accredited port


10 metre and 15 metre gangways available with PRM facilities

Fresh Water:

Available at 50 tonnes per hour flow rate

Power Supply:

120  amps

Fuel Supply:

MGO bunkers available subject to pre notification

Hot works / painting/ lifeboats:

Permits required in advance via the Harbour Authority

Waste Handling:

All waste handled apart from liquid waste and grey water waste

Cruise Terminal Building:

Reception building at Hatston terminal

Currency Exchange:

Available via ATM’s and lcoal post office

Internet Access:

Available free of charge at the cruise terminal and throughout Kirkwall.


Public telephones available in Kirkwall.


Mailboxes and lcoa post office close to the main visitors arrival point.

Taxi Rank:

Several in the centre of Kirkwall.

Distance to Railway Station:


Distance to Airport:

5 miles/8km

Banks / ATM Machines:

In the centre of Kirkwall


In the centre of Kirkwall

Port Contacts

Harbour Master


1856 873636


Marine Services
Harbour Authority Building, Scapa, Orkney, Scotland KW15 1SD

Visitor Information

Experience Kirkwall, Orkney