Tuesday, January 2, 2024 - 18:47 by ce-press
Orkney 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 settlement and also the administrative centre is Kirkwall.
Orkney has a major extension planned for the main cruise berth at Hatston Pier in Kirkwall that will take the full length to 685m at 10m water depth.
The new berth is planned to have facilities to provide fuelling - including future fuels - at the berth and also incorporate shore power infrastructure.
“There are potential plans for a new cruise reception terminal to make this one of the best berths in Scotland,” adds Lenore Macdonald, cruise operations and marketing co-ordinator OIC Marine Services & Transportation.
In 2023 Orkney Harbours introduced a new booking policy for cruiseships at Hatston Pier and the adjacent Kirkwall Bay Anchorage 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 345m and depth of 10m and Kirkwall Ro-Ro (157m length and 8.5m depth), both of which have a free shuttle bus service running on a continuous rotation to Kirkwall centre, which is about 4km away.
Kirkwall North (124m length and 5.4m depth) which is within walking distance of Kirkwall centre and Stromness North (148m/5.4m) which is an easy walk to the centre of Stromness.
Lyness Wharf (123m/9m) and Lyness Golden Wharf (190m/5m) are also available.
In addition Kirkwall Anchorage is 0.5nm and Stromness Anchorage 1nm from the relevant tender quays. There are also anchorages available at some of the Isles.
Orkney call and passenger numbers have been steadily increasing with 2019 seeing 158 calls and 132,388 passengers, this year 205/205,543 and 2024 showing 255 calls currently booked bringing an estimated 250,000 passengers.
First time callers next year 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 degrees north, and embracing British, Scottish, Orcadian and Viking Heritage and Culture, The Orkney Islands offer a variety of of different shore excursions. With 5000 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.