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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 5000 years of history, relics of two World Wars, Britain’s most northerly Cathedral, distilleries and a globally renowned 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, Stromness and on some of our isles.  Over 200 calls are booked for 2024.

Cruise ship visitors are given a Welcome Brochure and street map with all the main tourism points of interest highlighted in six 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 no trains, dual carriageways, shopping malls or traffic lights in Orkney which makes the visit experience unique.

Top Five Facts About Orkney

  1. Kirkwall is the United Kingdom’s most popular cruise transit call destination.
  2. Home to St Magnus Cathedral, the most Northerly Cathedral in the United Kingdom.
  3. Skara Brae, Maeshowe, Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness are the four main monuments that make up the UNESCO Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site and date back over 5000 years.
  4. Orkney’s most popular visitor attraction is the Italian Chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war.
  5. Orkney has the world’s shortest scheduled flight 1.7 miles, two-minute flight between Westray and Papa Westray.
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:

Local 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

Lenore Macdonald


00 44 1856 873636


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

Visitor Information

Experience Kirkwall, Orkney